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Information Technology and Military PowerInformation Technology and Military Power

Jon R. Lindsay

Narrated by Kelly Libatique

Available from Audible

Book published by Cornell University Press

Militaries with state-of-the-art information technology sometimes bog down in confusing conflicts. To understand why, it is important to understand the micro-foundations of military power in the information age, and this is exactly what Jon R. Lindsay's Information Technology and Military Power gives us. As Lindsay shows, digital systems now mediate almost every effort to gather, store, display, analyze, and communicate information in military organizations. He highlights how personnel now struggle with their own information systems as much as with the enemy.

Throughout this foray into networked technology in military operations, we see how information practice—the ways in which practitioners use technology in actual operations—shapes the effectiveness of military performance. The quality of information practice depends on the interaction between strategic problems and organizational solutions. Information Technology and Military Power explores information practice through a series of detailed historical cases and ethnographic studies of military organizations at war. Lindsay explains why the US military, despite all its technological advantages, has struggled for so long in unconventional conflicts against weaker adversaries. This same perspective suggests that the US retains important advantages against advanced competitors like China that are less prepared to cope with the complexity of information systems in wartime. Lindsay argues convincingly that a better understanding of how personnel actually use technology can inform the design of command and control, improve the net assessment of military power, and promote reforms to improve military performance. Warfighting problems and technical solutions keep on changing, but information practice is always stuck in between.


“This is an important book. Jon Lindsay exposes the conceit that advances in information technology will make future war easy, fast, cheap, and efficient. Information Technology and Military Power arrives just in time as some in the defense community, enamored with the promise of emerging technologies such as those associated with artificial intelligence, are considering neither human nor psychological complexities associated with the application of those technologies to war. Others are overlooking countermeasures to those technologies that future enemies are certain to develop. Information Technology and Military Power deserves wide attention not only among historians, military officers, and defense officials, but also citizens interested in national and international security.”

—H.R. McMaster, former National Security Advisor, author of Dereliction of Duty

“Lindsay offers richly detailed case studies that flesh out different parts of the information practice problem. Full of new insights, this book is a refreshing read as it builds understanding and synthesizes seemingly competing theoretical arguments about the relationship between information technology and military performance.”

—Emily Goldman, Combined Action Group, US Cyber Command, author of Power in Uncertain Times

“This is a deeply researched book that covers a tremendous amount of empirical terrain. Lindsay tackles an increasingly important set of issues—namely, information and technology, and their effects on fog and friction in war—that have far reaching implications in times of peace as well as war.”

—Kelly M. Greenhill, Tufts and Harvard Universities, author of Weapons of Mass Migration

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University Press Audiobooks
an imprint of Redwood Audiobooks

University Press Audiobooks