Typically thorough RAND fashion...the authors ponder, correctly, whether a rigid, military command structure can adapt to the decentralized organizational restructuring that Net war will demand...The book correctly points out the importance of creating new doctrines within which to place the new technological developments. After all, to be effective, information must be combined with a coherent strategy, consistent organization and proper management of resources.
I enjoyed reading the book In Athena's Camp with its hard-hitting ideas and historical images of tactical warfare down the ages...a real eye-opener...I found the book to be thought provoking and an excellent reference guide on the use of information in warfare - past, present and possible future. Anyone interested in military history and cyberspace should read this book.
Science and Technology Journal
Arquilla and Ronfeldt's contributions provide the most interesting conceptual meat of the book...They propose that 'information is a bigger, deeper concept than traditionally presumed and should be treated as a basic, underlying, and overarching dynamic of all theory and practice about warfare in the information-age.' This view of information as having a 'transcendent, if not independent, role' leads them into fascinating discussions of the nature of information and knowledge.
Information, Communication, Society
This lively and highly readable survey of trends in information warfare provides an excellent overview of an expanding field in military science. The editors, John Arquilla of the Naval Postgraduate School and David Ronfeldt of the RAND Corporation, are well versed in the complex theories of information warfare, and they render the subject highly approachable to those not fully engaged in the debate...it represents one-stop shopping for any serious military analyst seeking to understand the current language, trend lines, and tensions in the discussion of information warfare.
Naval War College Review
Although some of its passages will be of more interest to philosophers than to soldiers, In Athena's Camp is an interesting book. It should be read by anyone in the special-operations community who is interested in information operations, especially those in PSYOP, a field that is only beginning to better use technology to form network-hierarchy hybrids in order to act faster than our competitors.
Major Bill Gormley
From the Publisher
We have been posing our ideas about conflict in the information agefor some years now, beginning in 1991 with our original ruminationsabout cyberwar, then about netwar, and lately about informationstrategy. With each step, we have kept returning to a favorite set ofthemes organization is as crucial as technology in understandingthe information revolution; this revolution is giving rise to networkforms of organization; and the rise of networks will continue to accruepower to nonstate actors, more than to states, until states adaptby learning to remold their hierarchies into hybrids that incorporatenetwork design elements. Meanwhile, we have kept our eyes onemerging trends in conflict from the end of the Persian Gulf War,through recent developments in places like Chechnya and Chiapas to further our understanding that the context and conduct of conflictis changing from one end of the spectrum to the other.New modes of war, terrorism, crime, and even radical activism areall these emerging from similar information-age dynamics? If so,what is the best preparation for responding to such modes? Whenthe subject is warfare, for example, it is common wisdom that militariestend to prepare for the last war, and there is much historicalevidence to support this notion. Today, however, it is clear that defenseestablishments around the world and especially in the UnitedStates are thinking about how war will change, how the revolutionin military affairs (RMA) will unfold, and how the next war may wellbe quite different from the last. Whether the focus is warfare, terrorism,crime, or social conflict, we have striven to anticipate what thespectrum of future wars and other types of conflicts will look like. If our approach proves correct, then perhaps this volume can help defense planners prepare for the next war instead of the last. We hope that our own and our contributors' views are largely correct, and that our collective insights will prove useful to those, both civilians and military personnel, who are entrusted with developing and implementing national security strategy. We also hope that the studies in this volume are clear and compelling enough to attract a broad, general readership, since, without greater public understanding and support, all efforts to prepare effectively for conflict in the information age could go astray. The preparation of this volume has been supported by RAND and by the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense (Command, Control, Communications, and Intelligence) and was carried out in the Acquisition Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Joint Staff, and the defense agencies.