What Krepenevich once described as the ’10th military revolution’ is what we know as the computerization of warfare. However, in a certain way it is very different from other revolutions in warfare. Working on my definition of cyber warfare, I cam across this more or less interesting fact.
Krepenevich lists other revolutions such as the longbow revolution. Of course, having longbows revolutionized warfare because it was a long-range weapon which allowed some new maneuvers and tactics. It lasted for quite some time and also kind of forced armies to adapt this new weapon and form of warfare in order to stay competitive. What about the computerization?
Well, no one would come up with the idea to throw laptops at someone else in order to defeat his army. The computerization led to what we know as ‘cyber warfare’. While similar forms of warfare such as media warfare or information warfare would have been feasible even before the computer introduction, cyber warfare was not. So the tenth revolution in warfare (RMA) brought a new kind of warfare similiar to nuclear weapons, ships and airplanes. However, computer are als used throughout every kind of modern warfare. They are installed in vessels, fighters, helicopters, headquarters, nuclear silos and even ground forces make use of them. So basically it is more than just one revolution. One being cyber warfare and one being the computerization of warfare in general.
In my opinion, this is also a very crucial point. People get confused with the terms media warfare, information warfare, electronic warfare, cyber warfare, digital warfare and what not. Distinctions are not made in terms of relying on hardware (electronic warfare) or software (cyber warfare), using computers as support for traditional warfare or for hacking and therefore the main component of warfare and so on. Media warfare might involve computerization only so much that the information used are acquired by a computer hack. I think, people have to be more careful when throwing all these things together and hope then follow the ‘they will get what I mean’ strategy. Definitions and paying attention to what others already wrote plays a crucial role in not getting lost in a maze of jargon. I am currently cutting through that Gordian Knot and it is not easy.
Keep It Short and Simple (KISS)!