Wednesday, June 29, 2005
"Dan, thanks for responding...," by phil, tdaxp, 29 June 2005, http://tdaxp.blogspirit.com/archive/2005/06/26/introduction_to_modern_warfare_for_seth_of_cck.html#c152828.
An exceptionally brilliant comment by tdaxp reader Phil appears below. My comments, which add so little to his clean summary, and interspersed
We are in a 4GW war with Islamic fundamentalists.
True. The Global War on Terrorism -- or GWOT -- is partially a 4th Generation War. It also appears to be a Global Guerrillas War. Add to that Operation Iraqi Freedom I, which was a Network-Centric War.
The GWOT is a full-spectrum war.
This is a state vs. a non-state actor. And this is not only a war that involves violent action, but it's also a war of ideas.
True. And because a the purpose of 4GW is to erode an enemy's will to fight, instead of just his ability to fight, the Global War on Terrorism is primarily a war of ideas.
The challenge that we face is in providing an alternative vision to what the jihadists are providing.
True. Dr. Tom Barnett calls this a "future worth creating" or a "happy ending." The Enemy gives full spectrum happy-endings, from the individual mujahid ("you will go to Paradise, where beautiful virgins are waiting...") to benighted Muslims ("the corrupt rules and hypocrite mullahs will be overthrown...") to the grand idealists ("the Caliphate will unite all..."). We also need a full-spectrum response.
As I wrote before, the Neocons and Theocons may be the seeds of one...
Now there's been a lot of talk on blogs about the inadequacies of American public diplomacy. The reality is that we don't have time to wait for the politicians and bureaucrats in public diplomacy to get with the program.
Colonel John Boyd divided up action into the OODA loop -- Observe, Orient, Decide, Act. You can win if you get inside the enemy's OODA loop -- what people often call "getting into his head." If you can act while your enemy is orienting, you can move on to the next stage while the enemy needs to go back to observe. You can paralyze the enemy with doubt and confusion.
Politics has an extremely slow OODA loop. It is not fast enough.
So what if another level were created, another level made up of non-state actors within the US, that were designed to fight the ideological war (no violence that's the state's monopoly).
In a perfect world, organizations like Amnesty International and the International Committee of the Red Cross would be our non-state allies against the enemy. But they other objectives...
These organizations would not be subject to the political and bureaucratic labyrinths, but would pursue the ideological war independently.
MEMRI is an example of such an organization...
They would be entrepreneurial and able to adapt and respond quickly as circumstances changed. Al Qaeda has adapted itself to take advantage of the characteristics of our free society. What if we marshaled the characteristics of the free society to our benefit? The entrepreneurship, decentralization, the "chaos" of civil society.
Brilliant comment. Absolutely brilliant.
Sunday, June 26, 2005
"How Companies Cope," by Thomas Friedman, The World is Flat, 2005, pg 356.
From Friedman's thought-provoking work on globalization
"In the old days," said Vive Paul, the Wipro president, "when you started a company, 'Boy, in twenty years, I hope we will be a multinational company.' Today, you say to yourself that on day two I will be a multinational. Today, there are thirty-person companies starting out with twenty employees in Silicon Valley, and ten in India... And if you are a multiproduct company, you are probably going to have some manufacturing relationships in Malaysia and China, some design in Taiwan, some customer support in India and the Phippines, and possibly some engineering in Russia and the U.S." These are the so-called micromultinationals, and they are the wave of the future.
Is this change in business companies also relevant for terrorist networks? If a company can be a micromultinational in two days, can a terrorist organization?
First, let's diagram a simple 21-man micromultinational
Three Layers, Four Countries
Note that we don't know if the top level is "CEO" or "Emir," if the middle layer is "Manager" or "Sheik," or if the lowest level is "Knowledge Worker" or "Mujahid." We only know it is a relatively flat command-and-control network with operations in the United States, European Union, South Asia, and Middle East / North Africa.
We solve the mystery if we ask what enables the peaceful corporation to make itself a micromultinational in two days:
- Common language
- Communications technology
- Trust in contracts
Trust in contracts is vital to quickly build a micromultinational. In business, if your new European component doesn't do what you want, you can sue them and get your money back. You also know your workers are unlikely to kill you.
Trust is lacking when trying to quickly build terrorist micromultinationals. Not only may the jihadis you just gave money to run out and spend it in Bangkok, they may be Enemy agents trying to kill you.
This means corporations are more nimble than terrorists, no matter how much terrorists want to be entrepreneurs.
"I was wondering this morning...," by Seth, Clean Cut Kid, 26 June 2005, http://www.cleancutkid.com/2005/06/25/more-iraq-lies/.
CCK is an enjoyable South Dakota netroots site, and manages to have an even less functional comments page than tdaxp. So this post was originally written as a reply to a comment by Seth, one of the two CCK bloggers:
Fourth Generation War "4GW" was first defined by William Lind. I thank you for crediting mean with inventing it, but I am no Lind.
Interesting, while Lind is a well known cultural conservative, he has been been critical of the Iraq War since before it began.
Retired USMC Colonel TX Hammes deserves credit for spreading the doctrine within the military. While I am unsure of Hammes' personal views, the fact that the very high ranking military officers have publicly praised it would imply that he gives the War at least qualified support.
4GW is sometimes known as "netwar," because of its reliance on social networks. 4GW is basically a very-long-term violent ideological struggle.
Network-Centric Warfare is sometimes considered the "opposite" of 4GW, because NCW sees extremely fast high-tech blitzkrieg as the key to victory. An NCW may last six weeks, while a 4GW may last six decades, However, both rely on the works of the late USAF Colonel John Boyd, who is best known for his day-long presentation "Patterns of Conflict"
Operation Iraqi Freedom I was an NCW, while Operation Iraqi Freedom II is a 4GW. In the end, America has never lost an NCW. Every war we have lost (Vietnam, Lebanon, Somalia) has been a 4GW.
See Seth, if you would bother learning new things instead of mocking theory you could use these facts to help your case. You could say, "The very respected conservative thinker William Lind believes the war is already lost." Or you could say, "Like President Bush in 2000, I believe that America's core competency is NCW and we should not attempt to fight 4GW."
Instead, you decide to recycle stale talking points from 2003, which are much less effective. But I'm hopeful :)
I’m glad that the 4GWS1T92Q-5011 theorem you have invented says the insurgency is almost done.
Words are meaningless without context, and as I mentioned the Vice President's words were in the context of a 4th Generation struggle. The Viet Cong were lethally wounded by the failed Tet Offensive in 1968. The war was successfully "Vietnamized" in 1972. So from the final coherent action of the insurgent enemy to our withdrawal took about 4 years. In a 4GW, that's quick.
(I'll save a detailed discussion on the 1972-1975 nature of South Vietnam, as I don't think its relevant to the present discussion. But if you wish, I can talk about that too.)
So if we found weapons of mass destruction
Misdirection. In your last post you talked about "banned manufacturing devices or banned weapons." Now you mention WMDs. Not all illegal weapons are WMDs, and while Iraq had no WMDs they did possess illegal convention arms. In the link I provided, Bush was referencing illegal conventional arms.
Saturday, June 25, 2005
"Unveiling Iraq's teenage prostitutes," by Joshua Phillips, Salon, 24 June 2005, http://www.salon.com/news/feature/2005/06/24/prostitutes/ (from Informed Comment).
Lakotization is that type of network disintegration that can be used to destroy pre-modern networks.
In plain English: To destroy an enemy whose strength is his families, you must destroy his families.
This is happening in Iraq, which is good news. Earlier I blogged about how we have turned Fallujah into an open air prison. Now we are going to the next stage, and destroying the families of the Fallujin.
As we empty our bottle of champagne, Farah tells us her story. Like most of the girls at the Manara disco, she is an Iraqi, a Sunni from Fallujah, one of Iraq's most war-torn areas. She got married in the United Arab Emirates, divorced four months afterward, and found work at the disco through a cousin. She says she's working "just to make some money for my family," who also now live in Syria. Farah says she's the family's breadwinner.
So our attack on the Islamic City-State of Fallujah is the gift that keeps giving
- By divorcing, the woman weakens all the family's bonds
- By becoming a whore, she weakens the family's "morals"
- By becoming the family's breadwinner, she disrupts the power-dynamic of the household
Sunni Arab Iraq is a perfect candidate for lakotization because of its strict taboos. The Sunni Arab Iraq rule-set is brittle, meaning it is easy to shatter.
That Iraqi girls and women are selling sex may not seem shocking, but prostitution is especially taboo for Arab women. "In this culture, to allow your daughter to become a prostitute means you've hit dirt bottom," says Joshua Landis, an American professor from the University of Oklahoma, presently living in Syria. "None of your sisters can get married if it's known that one of them is a prostitute. If there's any public knowledge of this, it's a shame on the whole family." The shame can even lead to "honor killings," in which women are slain by their husbands or relatives for tainting the family name.
In other words, let them pimp their daughters and the family network collapses and turns on itself.
And of all of Sunni Arab Iraq, Fallujah is the best city for lakotization
Hustling has a particularly violent legacy in Iraq. In 2000, Saddam Hussein publicly executed 200 women convicted of prostitution. Prostitution would be especially shameful in Farah's hometown, as Fallujah is considered one of Iraq's more tribal, religiously conservative cities. "Yes, even Sunnis from Fallujah are doing this kind of work, and it reflects the drama of the situation," El Ouali says. "It's provoked by misery and precariousness."
Amazingly, the Syrians are helping us:
But with the exception of Palestinians, refugees are not officially allowed to hold jobs in Syria. For the most part, Iraqi refugees are living off their savings, which are drained by daily expenses. Many are stuck in Syria, as few Western embassies are now granting visas, claiming that Iraq has become a liberated country following the fall of Saddam. With economic conditions worsening all the time for refugees, officials say, it's no surprise that Syria is seeing a rise in child exploitation and prostitution.
The article ends on a happy note for proponents of lakotization
"Every social convention is splitting at the seams because of the implosion of Iraqi society," Landis says. "That place has been blown apart, so all the social barriers have collapsed."
Around the blogosphere: Lakotization gives Echidne of the Snakes shivers. Last Liberal in Central Florida is dismayed. Hijabi Madness gives just the facts.
"The Strategic Corporal: Leadership in the Three Block War," by Charles Krulak, Marines Magazine, January 1999, http://www.au.af.mil/au/awc/awcgate/usmc/strategic_corporal.htm.
"This Is Not A Test," by Thomas Friedman, The World is Flat, 2005, pg 282-283.
In ancient times, the Scythian sheik system created super-empowered managers. One man out of five was a sheik, a lowest-level manager with very broad authority. Being a sheik meant expert knowledge of warfare, equestrianism, and herding. It meant being charged with rapidly adapting to changing circumstances for the good of the larger network.
In modern warfare, this is the doctrine of the strategic corporal:
Leadership, of course, remains the hard currency of the Corps, and its development and sustainment is the third and final step in the creation of the Strategic Corporal. For two hundred and twenty-three years, on battlefields strewn across the globe, Marines have set the highest standard of combat leadership. We are inspired by their example and confident that today's Marines and those of tomorrow will rise to the same great heights. The clear lesson of our past is that success in combat, and in the barracks for that matter, rests with our most junior leaders. Over the years, however, a perception has grown that the authority of our NCO's has been eroded. Some believe that we have slowly stripped from them the latitude, the discretion, and the authority necessary to do their job. That perception must be stamped out. The remaining vestiges of the "zero defects mentality" must be exchanged for an environment in which all Marines are afforded the "freedom to fail" and with it, the opportunity to succeed. Micro-management must become a thing of the past and supervision -- that double-edged sword -- must be complemented by proactive mentoring. Most importantly, we must aggressively empower our NCO's, hold them strictly accountable for their actions, and allow the leadership potential within each of them to flourish. This philosophy, reflected in a recent Navy Times interview as "Power Down," is central to our efforts to sustain the transformation that begins with the first meeting with a Marine recruiter. Every opportunity must be seized to contribute to the growth of character and leadership within every Marine. We must remember that simple fact, and also remember that leaders are judged, ultimately, by the quality of the leadership reflected in their subordinates. We must also remember that the Strategic Corporal will be, above all else ... a leader of Marines.
How do we apply the sheik system, the strategic corporal doctrine, to business and education? First, remember in economics that capital substitutes for labor. In other words, the more machines and computers and software programs you have, the less workers you need. So in many ways every office worker is a strategic corporal, with his own type-setter, copyist, courier, and other assistants in his computer. Every office worker is a sheik.
When IBM brought in Lou Gerstner to save the company....
one of the first things he did was replace the notion of lifetime employment with the nation of lifetime employability. A friend of mine, Alex Attal, a French-born software engineer who was working for IBM at the time, described the shift this way: "Instead of IBM giving you a guarantee that you will eb employed, you had to guarantee that you could stay employable. The company would give you the framework, but you had to build it yourself. It's all about adapting [all about being a good sheik -- tdaxp]. I was head of sales for IBM France at the time. It was the mid-nineties. I told my people that in the old days [the concept of] lifetime employment was only a company's responsibility, not a personal responsibility. The company will give you access to knowledge, but you have to take advantage of it... You have to build the skills because it will be you against a lot of other people.
And the geogreen energy-independence project is a perfect way to encourage every American to be a sheik:
To be sure, it is not easy to get people passionate about the flat world. It takes some imagination. President Kennedy understood that the competition with the Soviet Union was not a space race but a science race, which was really an education race [in other words, the "space race" was cover for the real war of educating Americans -- tdaxp]. Yet the way he chose to get Americans excited about sacrificing and buckling down to do what it took to win the Cold War -- which required a large-scale push in science and engineering -- was by laying out the vision of putting a man on the moon, not a missile into Moscow. If President Bush is looking for a similar legacy project, there is one just crying out -- a national science initiative that would be our generation's moon shot: a crash program for alternative energy and conservation to make America energy-independent in ten years. If President Bush made energy independence his moon shot, in one fele swoop eh would dry up revenue for terrorism, force Iran, Russia, Venezuela, and Saudi Arabia onto the path of reform -- which they will never do with $50-a-barrel oil -- strengthen the dollar, and improve his own standing in Europe by doing something huge to reduce global warming. He would also create a real magnate to inspire young people to contribute to both the war on terrorism and America's future by again becoming scientists, engineers, and mathematicians. "This is not just a win-win," said Michael Mandelbaum. "This is a win-win-win-win-win-win."
As Tom Friedman says, we must train more Americans to be strategic corporals -- to be adaptable experts ("strategic scientists") to maximize our competitive advantages.
Through this plan, we can seize the highground in the flat world. We should do it.
Thursday, June 23, 2005
"Rhetoric Takes Nasty Turn in Congress," by Jim Abrams, Associated Press, 21 June 2005, http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2005/06/21/AR2005062101034_pf.html (from South Dakota Politics).
A good AP story that illustrates the difference between swarm attacks and opportunity attacks in politics
A Republican accuses Democrats of demonizing Christians. A Democrat talks of Nazis in connection with the treatment of terror suspects. Both sides cry foul, and apologies are hard to come by.
It's just another day of vitriolic gotchas at the Capitol.
House Republicans on Tuesday were all over Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois, the Senate's second-ranking Democrat, because of recent comments in which he referred to Nazis, Soviets and Cambodia's Pol Pot in describing the treatment of prisoners at Guantanamo Bay.
On Monday, House Democrats stopped debate on a defense spending bill to protest a comment by Rep. John Hostettler, R-Ind., that, "like moths to a flame, Democrats can't help themselves when it comes to denigrating and demonizing Christians."
Swarms are pulsing like a heartbeat or a lighthouse -- the intensity rises and falls. Think of swarming like the hydrological cycle, with warms "raining" (condescending from vapor to water) and evaporating (dispersing from water back to vapor) over and over again.
Congress isn't that advanced in its thinking yet, perhaps because the Congressional environment doesn't support the coordination and medium-term thinking swarming needs. Instead, Congressman fight like regular guerrillas, with little thought of the big picture.
Tuesday, June 21, 2005
"The Scheme to Discredit BitTorrent," by John Dvorak, PC Magazine, 20 June 2005, http://www.pcmag.com/article2/0,1759,1829684,00.asp (from Slashdot).
Following up on a 4GPS2 network-on-network attack...
Swarms. What Bram managed to figure out was a way to maximize throughput on P2P file distribution that went beyond server-centric methods, multicasting, edge buffering and all the other schemes that have come and gone. Moreover, this idea ends up not costing the person distributing the file a lot of bandwidth [what else besides "files" can be distributed in a physical person-to-person P2P network? -- tdaxp[, because the file itself goes into the Net, becomes what is called a swarm, then uploads and downloads itself all over the place in bits and pieces from machine to machine. When you begin to download a file using BitTorrent, your machine immediately starts uploading the exact same file to someone else. This process is kind of like the fission demonstration with the mousetraps and the ping-pong balls, since your download becomes enhanced by others and you get multiple download streams. Meanwhile, you are still delivering bits from your file. Data is flying every which way and higher demand makes it work better!
Mr. Bram invented bittorrent, a popular tool for trading files. It is easy to see how the same concepts could be applied to war, and how is "bittorrents" could be applied as "wartorrents."
Not all swarms are friendly. Or even non-deadly.
Monday, June 20, 2005
"Concerning the Way in Which Princes Should Keep Faith," by Nicolo Machiavelli, The Prince, AD 1513, http://www.fordham.edu/halsall/basis/machiavelli-prince.html#CHAPTER%20XVIII[*].
"Clinton adds voice to criticism of Guantánamo," by Lionel Barber and Paul Taylor, Financial Times, 19 June 2005, http://news.ft.com/cms/s/9189fb54-e0f1-11d9-a3fb-00000e2511c8.html (from Drudge Report).
Moral Isolation is an important part of victory. Once you morally isolate the Enemy, you take away his friends and his ability to easily find more help. Every warrior in a drawn-out struggle should try to morally isolate his nemesis. Likewise, the warrior must avoid being morally isolated himself.
Former President Bill Clinton has a suggestion on how to do this
Bill Clinton has become the most prominent figure so far to add his voice to criticisms of the US prison camp at Guantánamo Bay in Cuba.
In an interview with the Financial Times, the former president called for the camp, set up to hold suspected terrorists, to “be closed down or cleaned up”.
Mr Clinton joined critics at home and abroad who have singled out the indefinite detention of prisoners without trial and widespread reports of human rights violations at Guantánamo. “It is time that there are no more stories coming out of there about people being abused,” he said.
Mr Clinton said the test for judging whether harsh treatment of terrorist suspects was justified was whether it challenged the “fundamental nature” [read: "fundamental appearance" -- tdaxp] of American society. If the answer is Yes, you have already given the terrorists a profound victory.”
WWCD: What Would Clinton Do?
He would appear to change while not changing -- he would be slick.
Bush should be slick. Let us avoid moral isolation and appear to be with our friends. As Machiavelli wrote,
Every one admits how praiseworthy it is in a prince to keep faith, and to live with integrity and not with craft. Nevertheless our experience has been that those princes who have done great things have held good faith of little account, and have known how to circumvent the intellect of men by craft, and in the end have overcome those who have relied on their word. You must know there are two ways of contesting,[ the one by the law, the other by force; the first method is proper to men, the second to beasts; but because the first is frequently not sufficient, it is necessary to have recourse to the second...
But it is necessary to know well how to disguise this characteristic, and to be a great pretender and dissembler; and men are so simple, and so subject to present necessities, that he who seeks to deceive will always find someone who will allow himself to be deceived. One recent example I cannot pass over in silence. Alexander the Sixth did nothing else but deceive men, nor ever thought of doing otherwise, and he always found victims; for there never was a man who had greater power in asserting, or who with greater oaths would affirm a thing, yet would observe it less; nevertheless his deceits always succeeded according to his wishes, because he well understood this side of mankind.
Therefore it is unnecessary for a prince to have all the good qualities I have enumerated, but it is very necessary to appear to have them. And I shall dare to say this also, that to have them and always to observe them is injurious, and that to appear to have them is useful; to appear merciful, faithful, humane, religious, upright, and to be so, but with a mind so framed that should you require not to be so, you may be able and know how to change to the opposite.
Let us appear to be kind to the terrorists. Just as long as we secretly send them to Uzbekistan or someplace similarly awful.
The terrorists do not deserve honor or humanity. And our enemies do not deserve honesty.
From Around the Blogosphere: Egypt News, Snoofle, and Moon Buggy report it straight, Whittling Wood ignores the fact the prisoners were captured on the battlefield, California Yankee, In the Bullpen, and niTworks don't give Clinton enough credit. California Conservatives ties it back to the high cost of Amnesty International's moral Isolation attack.
Sunday, June 19, 2005
"The Insecurity of Security Software," by Zonk, Slashdot, 19 June 2005, http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/06/19/1718222.
"Hunting for Botnet Command and Controls," by Zonk, Slashdot, 19 June 2005, http://it.slashdot.org/article.pl?sid=05/06/19/1858233.
Network-Centric Operations calls for high-tech computer-to-computer networked systems to rapidly destroy the enemy in a decisive battle. Global guerrillas and other forms of irregular struggle call for using networks to make human-to-human social networks more powerful in a long process of wearing down the enemy.
I've written before on blitzkrieg v. erosion and the dangers of Net-Centric thinking. Now two stories about how human networks defeat computer networks.
Human-to-human networked "Good" Hackers defeat anti-Hacker computer-to-computer network
Uky writes "Convinced that the recent upswing in virus and Trojan attacks is directly linked to the creation of botnets for nefarious purposes, a group of high-profile security researchers is fighting back, vigilante-style. The objective of the group, which operates on closed, invite-only mailing lists, is to pinpoint and ultimately disable the C&C (command-and-control) infrastructure that sends instructions to millions of zombie drone machines hijacked by malicious hackers." From the article: "Using data from IP flows passing through routers and reverse-engineering tools to peek under the hood of new Trojans [classic erosion , no decisive battle -- tdaxp], Thompson said the researchers are able to figure out how the botnet owner sends instructions to the compromised machines."
Human-to-human networked "Bad" Hackers defeat anti-Hacker computer-to-computer network
H316 writes "BusinessWeek is reporting that, despite a number of software products meant to safeguard Windows PCs from harm, a rising number of them endanger their hosts because of poor design and flaws ["flaws" meaning networked machines were not able to achieve full spectrum technological dominance, which should be expected -- tdaxp]. From the article: 'A new Yankee Group report, to be released June 20, shows the number of vulnerabilities found in security products increasing sharply for the third straight year -- and for the first time surpassing those found in all Microsoft products.'"
When there's no decisive battle -- when men have time to think and plan -- men always beat machines.
If you're going to use technology (a knife, a gun, or an anti-hacker net), make it quick, or get out of the way.
Thursday, June 16, 2005
Manual labored 'em up Jackson today, so I am quite tired. There's a bunch of good articles on /. about network attacks, so I am presenting them by their Three Stages and PISRR orders, like in Civilian Network Attack Roundup. Enjoy!
Stage 1 / Penetration
Microsoft prepares its own P2P (peer-to-peer) service. Something of a waterfall attack, as it is leveraging success in other areas into this new battlespace.
Stage 1 / Isolation
Paul Graham spreads anti-blacklist agitation-propaganda.
Stage 2 / Subversion
Hackers lure an unsuspecting Windows laptop onto a malicious wireless network.
Zombie Networks attack the internet. I've blogged on zombies before.
Direct Revenue LLC tries to hijack BitTorrent networks to spread spyware.