• Terrorism

    Federal or Islamic United States of Iraq?

    The politics of security in an area that has shattered as predictably as Iraq — yes, predictably if you look at the failure to plan for post-"major hostilities" and failures to hold the reconstruction effort (er, friends of the Administration) accountable — has now induced an artificial deadline to create a state similar to the US. How again did the US get to be the US and not these United States? It wasn’t overnight, and apparently the Administration is starting to realize this.

  • War

    Dual Use Skills

    There must be concern about teaching (former) Afghan fighters how to get around some of the hightest mountains in the world better than they already can. This dual use technology, personal skill + equipment, is potentially a great recruiting tool. Transforming the Afghan economy from poppy farmers to tourist haven and economic cross roads is in the interest of most people, with the obvious exception of Taliban and other extremists.

  • ICT

    The Net and Terrorists

    Collaborative methodologies take hold when users understand and demand, are heard, and are responded to. A flatter organization, like AQ, with its transforming entrepreneurs will continue to evolve into a more formidable enemy because of reduced bureaucratic drag.

  • ICT

    CBT for Terrorists

    Computer games are actively deployed in the training, debriefing, and counseling forces. The US, for example, is using computer-based training (CBT) in the form of a computer game to reduce post-traumatic stress disorder, PTSD. On the other hand, terrorists and insurgents (or freedom fighter, depending on whose side you sit) are using CBT too. ABC News ran an item about Iraqi insurgents providing online sniper training. Knowledge sharing is what the internet is based on, as is filesharing. Defense and National Interest translated and posted the  powerpoints of training exercises   Other technology is of course used by the modern collaborative terrorist: CD and DVD media. MSNBC reported on this…

  • Africa,  China,  Peacekeeping,  Public Diplomacy,  War

    Chinese Peace Corps + Energy Exploitation

    In the spirit of challenges of securing energy sources and "hearts and minds" comes an article in the People’s Daily Online: The 12 young volunteers from places such as Beijing, Sichuan and Yunnanwere going to Ethiopia in Africa to begin a six-month service work in methane exploitation, Chinese-language teaching, physical education, health care and information technology. This Chinese Peace Corps is now in competition to win the hearts and minds with a Peace Corps perceived to be co-opted by the Defense Department. The long term goal for China is clearly cultural and technological imperialism as they seek to recreate a multi-polar world. From the recent UNOCAL take-over attempt by CNOOC…

  • War

    Electronic Extortion

    I recently became hooked on the TV series 24. Unfortunately, through Netflix we were able to watch the three seasons prior to the one that just ended. The point is CTU’s (Counter Terrorism Unit) utilization of technology is impressive and indicative of where things can go. It also demonstrated the reliance on technology and also where things can go. Heavy reliance on technology for voting, combat, or security can easily lead to over-reliance. Once "over" happens, a weak link can be targeted.