Rethinking Conflict

Coming conflicts will be won by those who can most effectively, efficiently, continuously and adaptively rebuild themselves and their ways of life through successful negotiation and engagement with the recombinatory logical evolution of information and energy from which biology, humanity, technology and civilisation have emerged.

There is a recurring theme in academia, across government and at the pointy end of the digital stick concerning the significance of reconceptualising warfare, perhaps also conflict and – by logical extension – politics itself. In a Global information environment undergoing the relentless paroxysms of accelerating technological hyper-inflation, the facts of constant change and uncertainty have a tendency to overwrite, overflow and utterly redefine material borders, conceptual boundaries and the normative values and methods by which both adversaries and adversarial competition are conducted.

We will find ourselves in just a few short years inhabiting a world in which a mastery of warfare becomes a matter of who most successfully (and continuously) redefines their own conceptual vocabulary and cognitive grammar of conflict as much as who presents the most persuasive kinetic presence? We are perhaps already in that world and, for participant observers in the cyber domain (as we all ultimately are), we should already know that contemporary information-processing and communications systems have radically altered traditional ontologies of time and space, duration and distance, narrative and identity; as a result – the longer-term strategic and political effects are likely to be insidiously difficult to forecast.

2 replies on “Rethinking Conflict”

Cyber-warfare and cyber-defense have already changed the rules of warfare and engagement. Response times are already inhumanly fast. Whoever doesn’t perceive information on the march, from any and all possible dimensions, will be over-run. Cyber-security is not yet-another-anti-virus or firewall. Look to the military for a more relevant doctrine. You certainly have a knack for choosing fatefully interesting subjects to write about, Mike!

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Hi, thanks for your words. Expect more posts on this general topic. It is fascinating, if unfortunate – and also quite probably inevitable, that conflict holds the historical and political high-ground in the aggregate Set of all human activities and behaviours. It is worth exploring further.

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