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Chechnya: A Glimpse of Future Conflict?

NCJ Number
Studies in Conflict & Terrorism Volume: 22 Issue: 3 Dated: July-September 1999 Pages: 207-229
John Arquilla; Theodore Karasik
Date Published
September 1999
23 pages
Netwar can manifest itself in highly militarized settings, particularly in the context of ethnonationalist conflict; the recent war in Chechnya provides a good example of how netwar can be used in extremely violent ways to confront and overcome the much larger conventional forces of nation-states.
Netwar is an emerging mode of conflict engaged in by networked, primarily non-state actors. In the Chechnya conflict, a network of clan-based fighters has organized in closely linked, small fighting cells and has been able to defeat the hierarchical, more balky Russian Army in the field. The Chechnya case is especially important because the Chechens use a wide range of netwar-oriented activities, from social activism to terror and strategic crime, to complement their military netwar. The Chechnya conflict is analyzed in terms of both urban and rural environments, psychological operations and other forms of information warfare, hijackings, assassinations, and nuclear terrorism. 92 notes