Saturday, January 13, 2007

Pajama Wars

I wrote about how non-state war is hardly a monopoly of the jihadis and that an infrastructure in the West could arise to support Westerners who wish to fight back against the jihadis.

Intelligence is one aspect of such a war that is necessary to have in order to wage private war. Twenty-four hour news channels provide a lot of what spies of old provided. And the Internet provides a lot of other information that was once the sole realm of spies.

One other thing needed is the ability to find targets for your private military effort.

Technology has provided that missing link:

In the last 18 months, Google Earth ( has revolutionized military intelligence, but the military doesn't like to admit it. By putting so much satellite photography at the disposal of so many people, in such an easy- to- use fashion, much more information has been made available to a lot more people. That includes people in the military, and those they fight.

Now non-state actors have access to information that only rich countries had. And the article highlights that even our troops find this publicly available tool more useful than our government's "better" satellite imagery that never seems to make it through the distribution system to our troops.

High quality pictures that don't get to the troops until they are writing their memoirs aren't really better than lower resolution pictures you can get on the Internet before you go out on patrol.

So even private individuals have better satellite recon capability than the governments of the world.

With the ability to find out about enemies, target enemies, the money from a rich economy, the ability for like-minded individuals to network on the Web, and the opportunity to hire military assets to go after those enemies, the pieces are coming together for small numbers of Westerners to independently fight jihadis as non-state actors.

If so-called compassionate progressives in the West prevent us from defeating the jihadis in a reasonable amount of time (and I have no idea what that might be), there will be Westerners who will tire of the constraints these anti-war progressives put on our government's war effort.

And then we will get that clash of civilizations. If that happens, don't assume we will be the first targets of nuclear terrorism.