The Mesh and the Net: Speculations on Armed Conflict in a Time of Free Silicon

In This Review

The Mesh and the Net: Speculations on Armed Conflict in a Time of Free Silicon

By Martin C. Libicki
National Defense University/Government Printing Office, 1994
127 pp. $5.00
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The Institute for National Strategic Studies at the National Defense University has quietly become a center for innovative strategic thinking, as this and the next book reviewed here suggest. Libicki describes a world in which information technology will allow the creation of small "smart" sensors netted with killing or disabling devices that will put the large platforms (aircraft and tanks, for example) of contemporary warfare at considerable risk. The study has its weak points, including a lack of footnotes and a disregard for the existing histories of warfare. His proposed courses of action, the creation of a corps of information warriors, among others, make less sense than the author thinks. It would have made as much sense to create a corps of combustion engine warriors early in the twentieth century. But this is an original and creative consideration of the future of warfare, and hence well worth a look.

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