chapter  1
10 Pages

Introduction

War is an extremely complex activity, and is made all the more so by the continual advancement of technology. Throughout history, technological innovation has had the effect of producing new and more sophisticated instruments for the conduct of war. At the dawn of the twenty-first century, in an era that has come to be known as the “Information Age,” technological advancement is again bearing its mark upon the most violent of human endeavours. In what has been characterised as an ongoing “Revolution in Military Affairs” (RMA), many government officials, industry experts and academics have declared that rapid advances in information and communications technologies are changing the very nature of war.3 Increasingly, voices of opposition are rising to challenge those assumptions underlying the current American way of war. While varied in scale and pitch, the growing sentiment in America seems to be that in war generally – and in Iraq particularly – success cannot be achieved without reaching a political solution. Such an important discovery should also have been an obvious one. The condition of war remains today what it was yesterday and will persist through tomorrow – a human social institution. In fact, war has always been an essential part of man’s social existence. The very mention of the word “war” evokes fear and loathing, passion and excitement. Wars have been waged out of honour, anger, greed, and religious principle. They have resulted in empires being built or lost; peoples being freed or enslaved; and entire civilisations being protected, disrupted, or even destroyed.