Information Warfare is a poorly written text that has no practical value for guiding information operations today.
***** Information Warfare. By Daniel Ventre; published by Wiley/ISTE; available from ASIS, item #1884, 703/519-6200, www.asisonline.org; 320 pages; $79 (ASIS members), $87 (nonmembers).
Take a complicated technical topic with dozens of conflicting definitions, add excerpts of government papers from around the world, mix in a bit of history, and you get Daniel Ventre’s Information Warfare. Numerous grammar mistakes, odd word usage, and abundant repetitive filler make this book a labored read.
Each chapter is devoted to a different country. The first takes up a sizable portion of the book covering the United States’ history of waging and defending against information warfare. The material, however, is quite outdated and the reader is hard-pressed to find much more than a regurgitation of dozens of Department of Defense memorandums. While the scope of research is impressive, less so is the absence of any analysis or insight into how information warfare actually works.
Additionally, readers new to the subject may be confused by the semantics of this book. Admittedly, the topic is complex and ever-changing, and the definitions given for key terms seem to be technically correct, but even Ventre admits that most of the terms he defines are outdated and no longer used in their respective countries, which makes one wonder why he included them.
At best, this poorly written text is good for a historical lesson on information warfare in the United States, China, Russia, and other countries, but it is of no use as a practical guide for information operations as they are conducted today.
Reviewer: David Morgan, CFE (Certified Fraud Examiner), is an associate at Booz Allen Hamilton, assigned to a cyber intrusion analysis project for a major federal law enforcment agency. He has spent 14 years in the U.S. Army and reserves as a counterintelligence special agent. He is a member of the ASIS International Information Technology Security Council.