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Virtual Non-State Actors as Clausewitzian Centers of Gravity: An Examination for Sensemaking, Elaboration and Discussion

ABSTRACT

Against traditional interpretations of Clausewitzian centers of gravity, we examine the characteristics and behaviors of Non-State Actors (NSAs) operating in virtual space. Possessing disparate aims; ‘virtual NSAs’ (VNSAs) increasingly affect the geopolitical battle-space from diplomacy to kinetic warfare. This paper examines the ways in which VNSAs create spheres of influence, manipulate publics, and form a hardened constraints-set for strategic and operational planning. What are some functional categories that may be applied to the creation of taxonomy when examining VNSAs? This paper examines the qualities of VNSAs themselves so that Center of Gravity (COG) analysis, when relevant, is accurately applied.

YouTube Wars: In and Out of Control

ABSTRACT

Communication technology has altered the ways states and people communicate in peace and war. This article uses Manuel Castells’ theory of communication power to analyse the nature of control in social media communication. Particular focus lies on studying how virtual and physical violence are created and controlled in a communication environment that includes mass self-communication alongside traditional media. The article concludes with a discussion on how a new era of decentralized control has begun with the introduction of social media, highlighting how large non-state actors, empowered by popularity, may come to play a significant role in future conflicts.

Journal of Information Warfare

The definitive publication for the best and latest research and analysis on information warfare, information operations, and cyber crime. Available in traditional hard copy or online.

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The definitive publication for the best and latest research and analysis on information warfare, information operations, and cyber crime. Available in traditional hard copy or online.

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