Influence Warfare: How Terrorists and Governments Fight to Shape Perceptions in a War of Ideas

James J.F. Forest, Editor

Foreword by Bruce Hoffman



Foreword by Bruce Hoffman



1. Introduction
James J. F. Forest and Frank Honkus III


2. 2.0: The New Social Media and the Changing Dynamics of Mass Persuasion
Aidan Kirby and Vera Zakem

3. When Fatwas Clash Online: Terrorist Debates on the Internet
Gabriel Weimann

4. New Media's Influence on the Assessment of Publicly Communicated Terrorist Threats
M. Karen Walker

5. The Terrorist Spectacular and the Ladder of Terrorist Success
Cori E. Dauber


6. The Strategic Dimensions of Terrorism: Concepts, Countermeasures, and Conditions in the Search for Security
Frank L. Jones

7. The Strategic Influence Deficit of Terrorism
Max Abrahms

8. Challenges to Shaping Civilian Attitudes and Behaviors in a Theater of Operations
Christopher Paul, Todd C. Helmus, and Russell W. Glenn

9. The Nonkinetic Aspects of Kinetic Efforts
Joshua Alexander Geltzer

10. Online Recruitment, Radicalization, and Reconnaissance: Challenges for Law Enforcement
Simon O'Rourke

11. Who's Winning the Battle for Narrative? Al-Qaida versus the United States and its Allies
Sebastian Gorka and David Kilcullen

12. Using the Internet to Uncover Terrorism's Root Causes
Joshua Sinai


13. U.S. Strategic Communication Efforts During the Cold War
Daniel Baracskay

14. The Cook Report and Perceptions of Loyalists in Northern Ireland: Lessons for Counterterrorism
James Dingley

15. Al-Qaida's Strategy for Influencing Perceptions in the Muslim World
Sammy Salama and Joe-Ryan Bergoch

16. The Information Operations War Between Israel and Hizballah during the Summer of 2006
Guermantes E. Lailari

17. Strategic Uses of the Internet by Hizbut Tahrir-Indonesia
Frank Hairgrove, Douglas M. McLeod, and Dhavan V. Shah


18. Conclusion: Assessing the Conceptual Battlespace
Joshua Alexander Geltzer and James J. F. Forest



About the Contributors


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In an era where anyone can have access to the Internet or other media forms, it has created communication with complete freedom. Governments no longer have a strong hold on communication, which creates challenges for filtering information and security posed by terrorists and insurgents. Terrorists, insurgents, and criminals have become adept at shaping perceptions among multiple audiences, using an electronic communication infrastructure to reach the global community. These groups are competing against national governments for the power to gain influence in order to achieve their strategic objectives. In this technological age, media and the internet are becoming the battlefields for modern conflicts and are the key sources in capturing a global audience. This work focuses on the core of the ongoing struggle for strategic influence, and particularly, how states can counter the role that media and the Internet play in radicalizing new agents of terrorism.

This work provides a deeper understanding of the ongoing struggle for strategic influence, particularly how states can counter the roles and influence of terrorists. Governments need to find ways to effectively confront its non-state adversaries in all levels of the information domain and create an understanding of strategic communications within a broad range of technologies. In this work, an international group of authors describe how terrorists, insurgents, and nation-states compete for strategic influence. In addition to several critical essays, Information Warfare 2.0 also provides a set of case studies that illustrate how the means and methods of strategic influence can impact a nation's security.


Dr. James JF Forest is the Director of Terrorism Studies and an associate professor at the United States Military Academy, where he teaches courses on terrorism and counterterrorism, information warfare and foreign policy, and directs several research initiatives for the Combating Terrorism Center at West Point. He has published 11 books on a variety of topics, including Weapons of Mass Destruction and Terrorism (McGraw-Hill, 2007), Countering Terrorism and Insurgency in the 21st Century (Praeger, 2007), Teaching Terror: Strategic and Tactical Learning in the Terrorist World (Rowman & Littlefield, 2006), The Making of a Terrorist: Recruitment, Training and Root Causes (Praeger, 2005), and Homeland Security and Terrorism: Controlling the Security Environment (McGraw-Hill, 2005), as well as articles in the Cambridge Review of International Affairs, Democracy and Security and the Journal of Political Science Education. Dr. Forest also serves as a guest lecturer for several government agencies in the U.S. and Europe, and maintains a top secret security clearance. He holds degrees from De Anza College, Georgetown University, Stanford University, and Boston College.

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