Tuesday, February 05, 2008

Nutwork-Centric Warfare

Much of the claims that our government can't successfully fight the "flat" and "networked" terrorists like al Qaeda who will get inside our decision-making loop are just horse manure as far as I'm concerned. We can beat them (link updated) and will:

Intelligence and covert operations are the first line of active defense and the first echelon of attack. The aerial suicide attacks on our people and the symbols of our power took enormous amounts of time to carry out. This is one weakness of our enemy. While they may carry out small attacks using small arms or small bombs at a moment's notice, truly horrific attacks require time because they must be planned in the shadows to avoid detection. We must increase our ability to detect such preparations and make sure the information is interpreted to provide timely and specific warnings. Then, the people who need this information must actually get the warning in time to take actions.

More importantly, we must exploit the fact that these attacks take time to organize. Intelligence must track the enemy terror cells in order to strike the enemy and disrupt them by keeping them on the move and by killing or arresting their operatives. We must sow confusion and paranoia in their ranks to slow them down and get them to fight each other. Our ability to use so many weapons is one advantage of being a powerful state. We may be a large target but we are not a helpless giant. America can direct precise or massive force quickly and globally as needed. Keeping the initiative is crucial. This will compel our enemies to start their preparation from scratch again and again. Giving the enemy time to prepare only guarantees that eventually they will be ready and will strike.

Our organization gives us great flexibility to use our power at several different levels. Many parts of our organization are faster than anything the enemy can put together.

But even better, these so-called next-generation fighters are just a bunch of bureaucrats processing their jihadis (tip to Called as Seen), as some captured documents about jihadis arriving in Iraq show:

Beyond their importance in understanding the big picture, the documents -- now posted in Arabic and English on the Combating Terrorism Center's Web site -- provide a riveting portrait of the people behind the numbers, and a window into the personnel practices of al-Qaeda in Iraq.

"These documents tell us more about AQI than they do about Iraq," said Brian Fishman, an associate at the West Point center and co-author of its Sinjar analysis. "When you've got hundreds . . . entering the country with different skill sets and different intentions, you have to build a bureaucracy to use your resources efficiently.

"I think we made a mistake in assuming that al-Qaeda, because it's a terrorist organization, doesn't need to organize itself the way other large organizations do. They have a human resources problem; they have to manage people."

We could probably destroy al Qaeda by translating into Arabic all those trendy business theory books that create new buzz words every few years and send people into boring seminars designed to get them to think above the line or like Sun Tsu. The jihadis would spend three years just arguing over their mission statement wording.

The terrorists are supposedly masters of "netwar." But they're just another bunch of terrorists and insurgents, but with Internet access and gullible Western academics willing to read deep thinking into their observed actions. I guess being "diffused" and "flat" isn't what Western theorists have it made out to be. Netwits.