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In Athena's Camp: Preparing for Conflict in the Information Age Paperback – October 27, 1997

ISBN-13: 978-0833025142 ISBN-10: 0833025147 Edition: First Edition

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 525 pages
  • Publisher: RAND Corporation; First Edition edition (October 27, 1997)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0833025147
  • ISBN-13: 978-0833025142
  • Product Dimensions: 6.5 x 1.3 x 8.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.8 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,194,094 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews


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 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.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

10 of 10 people found the following review helpful By G. Mitchell on August 6, 2000
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
This book tackles international computer system threats that face nations and corporations head on. It presents a theoretical framework for action and will be a valuable resource for the next decade.
Athena was also a serious topic in ancient times when she was the Greek god with a sword and shield, the one who thought up the first Trojan horse... a legacy that connects well with today's netwars.
The authors of each chapter address different issues. Most are from the perspective of military issues. Many use clear historic perspectives to show how one side or the other lost conflicts, for example, the use of smart networks by Mongols to defeat Muslims and by Ho Chi Minh against Lyndon Johnson. Other examples are drawn from the gulf war; the chief of which is that the next opponent will likely not be as dumb as Saddam.
Oddly there isn't much in the book about China and Russia, the cyber-bullies of today's world. Even if one did want to look up material on these countries the missing index prevents it. With a new abbreviation on every page it would also be helpful to have a Rosetta stone inside the back cover.
The example of the wild west is used and very applicable here. There are only isolated pockets of law and order. Good and bad guys are hard to distinguish. Outside occasional enclaves good guys can only trust their resources and a few friends. This high level discussion can be directly translated to domains, firewalls, and virtual private networks. It argues against lowest-bidder security implementations.
Computer network managers will understand diminishing role of government in the direction of commercial systems. This means less traditional compliance-driven security technology will be available.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful By John William Daly ( on April 23, 1998
Format: Paperback
In Athena's Camp is, in my eyes, one of the most important books in the area of security policy at the given momnent, alongside 'Sources of Conflict', which has been published by Rand, too. I used the book in a term paper I wrote for political sciences, in which I examined the coming threats in context with the momentary policy of the german government (as I am German and studying here). The book was of utmost importance to me in this case, as it is, as far as I know, the only book covering this topic on such a high level of quality at the moment. Further research also revealed to me, that the momentary german policy is utmost abysmal, and that, surprisingly, the German Green Party, Bündnis 90/ Die Grünen, would maintain the best policy in case of election (just for your information). To all students of political sciences worldwide who love researching the field of global and societal change through the information revolution, get it.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book may be a little old but the concepts are well thought out and totally relevant. It deals with the whole range of informational warfare issues. Some of which may not occur to the average reader. Be aware this is not for the casual reader.
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11 of 17 people found the following review helpful By Mike Coleman on May 28, 2000
Format: Paperback
This collection of sentences and catch phrases is VERY weak on technical details and VERY heavy on the diatribe. In several instances, it is down right incorrect when referencing history. This book may fit the needs of a poli. sci. type, but it is less than a dust collector when it comes to those working in the fields of IT/IW/IA. As a 2 decade professional in the field, take my recommendation and avoid this book if you are looking for anything beyond recycled political phrases related to IW.
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