Given the recent panic over "information war" as a dishonorable import from the "East," perhaps tied to some congenital tendency in non-Western epistemology,

it's useful to revisit the origins of that strategic concept in the collapse of the US-Soviet "balance of terror" and the subsequent American rejection of disarmament as a blueprint for unipolarity. Paul Virillio was on the scene in 1999:

"With its progress blocked by the increasingly extreme nature of the atom bomb and its destructive capacities . . . American logistics set about to research and develop a new type of arsenal in which the precipitation of accidents of all kinds was soon to take precedence over the destroying or killing of people . . . . With the Pentagon's [1990s] revolution in military affairs, the strategy of accidents will . . . generate the utmost confusion between the official declaration of objectives (whether or not they are achieved) and the semi-official, discreet determination to cause systemic accidents and other 'chain reactions' in the enemy. Here, the model of viral contamination and . . . irradiation [reasserts itself but in a purer form]: the aim is no longer so much to blow up a structure as to neutralize the enemy's infrastructure by spreading breakdown and panic in his ranks and all around him by the sudden interruption of all coherent, co-ordinated activity. It would seem, in fact, to be less a question of pursuing victory or peace as of the United States relentlessly pursing the passivity both of its opponents and its competitors. Thus, the conquest of ubiquity would lead to the conquest of passivity, with populations not so much going down to military defeat, as in the past, but succumbing to mental confusion. Where once the defeated were reduced to slavery, now their public opinion is simply thrown into disarray by technical chaos. . . . [I]nformation war is the beneficiary in this subtle development of battlefield disorganization. . . . With the information bomb now complementing the apocalyptic threat of the atomic bomb with a strictly cybernetic danger of its own, we can better guess at the use to be made of the hackers . . . recently engaged by [the Pentagon], and the apparent or simulated concern of the US Defense Department at the possibility of an electronic Pearl Harbor, with future conflicts ending not so much in defeat or victory for one of the protagonists, as in chaos -- the transpolitical chaos of nations."

-- Strategy of Deception, 53-56 (Verso 2000)

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