Defense analysis professor John Arquilla explains “netwar,” the term he and David Ronfeldt coined fifteen years ago. Arquilla says dismantling enemy networks, not employing heavy tanks and aircraft carriers, is the key to waging war against a modern, decentralized enemy.
Is the United States military behind the curve? Dr. John Arquilla, a professor of defense analysis at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School, believes so. “[Our] big ships, big guns, and big battalionsare sure to be the wrong approach to waging the wars of the future.” He offers a way to get ahead of the curve: “[I]f we build a more networked force, it will already be able to fight at the regular level, and I believe that it will be able to scale up very nicely to fight the bigger wars.”
Military historian Victor Hanson agrees, for the most part. Hanson and Arquilla discuss the challenges of waging war in the modern globalized world. It is a military environment in which, John Arquilla argues, “‘many and small’ beats ‘few and large’,” “finding matters more than flanking,” and “swarming is the new surging.” Arquilla and Hanson discuss these tactics in light of American experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan. – Hoover Institution
John Arquilla is an associate professor of defense analysis at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. His teaching includes courses in the history of special operations, international political theory, the revolution in military affairs, and information-age conflict. He has written Lessons from the War with Saddam Hussein, Dubious Battles, and From Troy to Entebbe, as well as many articles, book chapters, and monographs on a wide range of topics in security affairs.
He is best known for his collaborative RAND studies with David Ronfeldt, notably Cyberwar is Coming! (1993), The Advent of Netwar (1996), In Athena’s Camp (1997), and Swarming and the Future of Conflict (1999). Their latest book, Networks and Netwars: The Future of Terror, Crime, and Militancy (2001) analyzes the rise of terror and transnational criminal networks, and considers strategic options for waging the current terror war.