There were three large distinct periods or waves in the human history: primitive, agrarian and industrial. Today we are entering a post-modern, or post-industrial, phase, and like any other phase the new one will have its peculiar social, economic, and technological characteristics. Applied to the concept of war, this means the following. In the traditional (agrarian) society wars were waged by trained warriors. The modern society saw development of all sorts of weapons, including weapons of mass destruction, brought about by the industrial revolution. Today, however, the information age transforms the whole notion of classical wars into information wars. Some of the unique features of information wars as compared to traditional wars are the following.
|Wave||Physical Security by||War Characterized by||Destructive Capability|
|Agrarian||Warrior class, mercenaries||Representational conflict||Gunpowder|
|Industrial||Professional citizens||Mass armies, high casualties||Mass destruction (nuclear, chemical, etc.)|
|Information||Information knowledgeable leaders||Information attacks, minimal casualties||Disinformation, critical data deletion|
The three waves of warfare
A distinctive characteristic of contemporary geopolitics is thus waging information wars in support of the traditional warfare. Information wars do not completely replace traditional warfare, like the post-industrial society does not completely replace the industrial one, but it is rather constructed on top of it (not to mention that different parts of the world are at the different stages of development). Still, in the new times the use of raw military power and weaponry will be limited. Cleaning up the grounds will be (and already is) carried out by financial, economic, and information-psychological technologies with the participation of weak and corrupted governments.
A paradigmatic example of an information war was made by the 2012 war in Libya, where each real combat was accompanied by a powerful wave of disinformation generated by mass media. The most recent conflict between Ukraine and Russia originated from the civil protest known as Euromaidan is another excellent case study proving that a powerful disinformation and propaganda campaign can be rather effective in the pursuit of certain military and political objectives.