Saturday, May 05, 2012

Critical communication . . .

MIT'S TECHNOLOGY REVIEW is a wonderful site for looking at what's coming down the pike at ya. John Pollock has a great article, worthy of your perusal, "People Power 2.0  How civilians helped win the Libyan information war."

Information is power: How ad-hoc nets helped off Daffy Duck.

After weeks of skirmishes in the Nafusa Mountains southwest of Tripoli, Sifaw Twawa and his brigade of freedom fighters are at a standstill. It's a mid-April night in 2011, and Twawa's men are frightened. Lightly armed and hidden only by trees, they are a stone's throw from one of four Grad 122-millimeter multiple-rocket launchers laying down a barrage on Yefren, their besieged hometown. These weapons can fire up to 40 unguided rockets in 20 seconds. Each round carries a high-explosive fragmentation warhead weighing 40 pounds. They urgently need to know how to deal with this, or they will have to pull back. Twawa's cell phone rings.

The force of laughter: Graffiti on a wall in Tripoli
represents the Libyan leader, Colonel Qadaffi,
as a fleeing rat. Credit: John Pollock
Two friends are on the line, via a Skype conference call. Nureddin Ashammakhi is in Finland, where he heads a research team developing biomaterials technology, and Khalid Hatashe, a medical doctor, is in the United Kingdom. The Qaddafi regime trained Hatashe on Grads during his compulsory military service. He explains that Twawa's katiba—brigade—is well short of the Grad's minimum range: at this distance, any rockets fired would shoot past them. Hatashe adds that the launcher can be triggered from several hundred feet away using an electric cable, so the enemy may not be in or near the launch vehicle. Twawa's men successfully attack the Grad—all because two civilians briefed their leader, over Skype, in a battlefield a continent away.

Indeed, civilians have "rushed the field," says David Kilcullen, author of The Accidental Guerrilla, a renowned expert on counterinsurgency and a former special advisor to General David Petraeus during the Iraq War. Their communications can now directly affect a military operation's dynamics. "Information networks," he says, "will define the future of conflicts." That future started unfurling when Libyan networks—and a long list of global activists—began an information war against Qaddafi. Thousands of civilians took part, but one of the most important was a man who, to paraphrase Woodrow Wilson, used not only all the brains he had but all the brains he could borrow.

So, why should YOU care? Simply, offing Stevie is going to take concerted creative effort. They may be neo-fascists, but Stevie's CONS aren't stupid, they can see that middle-of-the-road Canadians are starting to get nervous and upset. So, they are going to fight, and it will be nasty. I don't see how the next election could be postponed — but these are psychopathically ruthless people, and when they see the end of their folly, desperation could make Stevie very dangerous. Remember, Stevie's the Pro Rogue.


sunsin said...

I'm a bit surprised to see anything in Libya mentioned in a positive light in a progressive blog, but heartened nevertheless. Too many "progressives" made the immediate and automatic assumption that the anti-Quadafi forces must be evil simply because the West supported them. I'm sure that most of them would have flipped sides overnight if the Americans had decided to support Quadafi. Sheeple are sheeple, whether they're in the left pasture or the right pasture.

Kevin Wood said...

I'm sorry Sunsin, you've got me completely confused - I'm sure its my fault, but which side did all of us progressive take? I know there was some sort of talking point about it from George Soros I was supposed to repeat but I've forgotten it.