Chatham House: Independent thinking on international affairs

The World Today

Security and the Internet: Barbarians at the gate

Paul Cornish, February 2001
The World Today, Volume 57, Number 2
Over the last decade, the study of security has been affected by two revolutions: the ending of the Cold War in Europe; and the growth of the internet. The first removed the adversarial rationale which had underpinned defence and security thinking and practice since 1945. The physical manifestations of the Cold War - massive military research and development projects, conscript armies, vast surface and submarine fleets - all became obsolete in an instant. Defence would now be but one item in a new agenda which would include human, environmental and economic security. Defence institutions and the defence mind-set have been shaped by this political revolution, but have so far not been overwhelmed by it. The internet revolution, however, represents an altogether greater, more fundamental challenge; this, at least, is the claim of the revolutionaries.
Moore Wilson Digital Agency London