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Ideas as Weapons: Influence and Perception in Modern Warfare Paperback – Bargain Price, January, 2009

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Paperback, Bargain Price, January, 2009

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 458 pages
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc. (January 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1597972614
  • ISBN-13: 978-1597972611
  • ASIN: B005M4KFCW
  • Product Dimensions: 8.9 x 6 x 1.4 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.2 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #3,632,238 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


“Never has information—the lifeblood of ideas, perceptions, emotions, decisions—been more a factor in success or failure than in the post-9/11 world. It has taken us far too long to comprehend fully the implications of use and denial of information. We were experts at it once—now it’s time to get renewed and recharged. This anthology provides a vital first step in this renewal. The rest is up to us. Thanks to these smart, tough professionals, we have a guide.”—Brig. Gen. Ret. Tom Draude, USMC, president, Marine Corps University Foundation
(Brig. Gen. Ret. Tom Draude 2008-11-11)

“Captures many of the tactical information operations that ensured our success during Operation al-Fajr in Fallujah. Kudos to the contributors to Ideas As Weapons who shed a light on what IO is all about."—Lt. Gen. Richard F. Natonski, USMC
(Lt. Gen. Richard F. Natonski, USMC 2008-11-11)

“Current Army and Marine Corps doctrine, documented in FM 3-24, points out that information operations may often be the decisive line of operation in counterinsurgency. Ideas as Weapons underscores the critical role of information in modern conflict and reveals the efforts of numerous serving officers to apply that doctrine under real-world conditions. Perceptions extend to influence, and in our battle of competing narratives with a medieval-thinking enemy, we must learn how to persuasively communicate our message. This compilation will appeal to anyone interested in this underappreciated and understudied component of war.”—Gen. James N. Mattis, USMC
(Gen. James N. Mattis, USMC 2008-11-11)

“While there remains much doctrinal confusion on information operations, this anthology brings clarity to a range of issues and provides practical, relevant, and recent examples from the field, emphasizing the critical role of intelligence in driving operations.”—Brig. Gen. Richard M. Lake, USMC
(Brig. Gen. Richard M. Lake, USMC 2008-11-11)

Ideas as Weapons provides a rich menu of expert contributors, important topics, and careful assessment that will be of immense value to scholars in national security studies, to policymakers who must grapple with the ‘war of ideas,’ and to military leaders who must plan and conduct wars both conventional and irregular."—Stephen J. Cimbala, distinguished professor of political science, Penn State University—Brandywine
(Stephen J. Cimbala, distinguished professor of political science, Penn State University-Brandywine 2008-11-11)

“Just what we were looking for—a book on information warfare that centers on people, not machines.”—Martin van Creveld
(Martin van Creveld 2008-11-11) --This text refers to the Hardcover edition.

About the Author

G. J. David Jr., is an active-duty major in the United States Marine Corps with field experience in the operating forces, with the Joint Staff, and with the national intelligence agencies and military services of the United States and other nations. He has also worked as a congressional staffer. He is a resident of Arlington, Virginia.

T. R. McKeldin III is a Marine reserve Lieutenant-Colonel who began his service as a Marine Combat Engineer officer, and is now an intelligence officer. He has served in operations in Cuba, Iraq, Afghanistan, Kuwait, Somalia, South Korea and Kosovo, among other countries. A native of Baltimore, Maryland, he now teaches intelligence strategy, policy, and collections at the National Defense Intelligence College in Washington, D.C.

Customer Reviews

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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Pen Name on March 9, 2009
Format: Paperback
All the COIN heavy hitters are represented in this timely compilation - General David Petreus, H.R. McMaster, T.X. Hammes, Bing West, John Nagl, David Kilcullen and others. Although as a contributor I'm biased, I think this is a "must have" for any student of contemporary counterinsurgency studies. All profits are going to charity; purchasing this book supports the Injured Marine Semper Fi Fund and the Fisher House.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This is an important book for both military and non-military thinkers alike. At its heart, it is showing the many different attempts to come to grips with the changes in modern warfare, and in particular with the role of information operations (IO). The context is, according to most of the writers, the failure of the US government and military to understand the role that information plays in conflicts between non-state and state actors (in particular 'terrorists' and 'insurgents').

The writers also deal with the realization that over-reliance on advanced technology is not the best weapon in attacks by non-state actors. They move the concept of IO beyond current obsessions with computer-network-attacks to the strategies used by non-state actors to leverage popular opinion, policy and the Internet against countries stuck in a state-to-state military response paradigm.

The fact that these actors/terrorists are diverse diffused, even franchised across different legal and cultural systems make one-fit-all military thinking outdated. Also, a failure of senior decision-makers to understand the expertise and growing experience of extremists in IO themselves to manipulate international and domestic audiences, clearly frustrates nearly all the writers in this compilation of essays. This gives their writing focus and strength.

In all there are 43 essays/articles, some taken from military and tactical journals. It's a dense read. The writers are highly experienced in their field, and of course, predominantly from the US military. Even when they represent, from my own perspective, a fairly conservative agenda, they are surprisingly blunt and honest in their assessment of the mess that can - and has happened - when IO is not well understood or resourced.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Midwest Book Review on April 14, 2009
Format: Paperback
IDEAS AS WEAPONS: INFLUENCE AND PERCEPTION IN MODERN WARFARE is a 'must' for both military and college-level political science collections: it offers insights and analysis on strategic, operational and tactical ideas key to military conflicts, using worldwide combat scenarios as a guide to understanding how modern warfare is conducted. Any military library and any college-level political discussion collection needs this.
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