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Information warfare in the 21st century: Ideas are sometimes stronger than bombs
Date:3/18/2009

Terrorist organizations sometimes have an advantage in the media. A new study by Dr. Yaniv Levyatan of the University of Haifa, published in the journal of Israel's National Security College, describes how our side can regain the advantage in this arena too.

"Information warfare" plays a crucial role in the struggle against terrorist organizations, sometimes more so than conventional weapons. Therefore, the information warfare against terrorist organizations ought to be instigated and on the attack, and should continue even when military warring has ended. Thus concludes a new study by Dr. Yaniv Levyatan of the Ezri Center for the Study of Iran and the Gulf at the University of Haifa, which was published in the National Security College's Bitachon Leumi journal.

According to Dr. Levyatan, in the modern field of struggle between a sovereign country and a terrorist organization it is also necessary to relate to the information warfare that is taking place in the new and traditional media as well as other technological platforms, from the Internet to computer games. "The terrorist organizations invest efforts in information warfare tools, which enables them to bridge the physical gap between them and their conventional fighting forces. Today, these organizations frequently hold an advantageous stance in this field," he points out.

The study also shows that terrorist organizations have created built-in advantages in the information warfare. For example, one of the conclusions of the Second Lebanon War is that one of Hezbollah's targets was to drag Israel into a disproportionate response so that it would be able to exhibit Israel in the Western and Arab media as a brutal country. Hezbollah's and Hamas's use of citizen populations as human shields is also intended to display Israel in the media as an inhumane country.

In order to counter the terrorist organizations' advantages, Dr. Levyatan presents strategies that Isr
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Contact: Rachel Feldman
rfeldman@univ.haifa.ac.il
University of Haifa
Source:Eurekalert

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