War & the Information Age

Adam's Apple

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Are we the Mongols of the Information Age?
By Max Boot, The Los Angeles Times
October 29, 2006

The future of U.S. power rests in its Industrial Age military adapting to decentralized adversaries.


...if history teaches any lesson, it is that no military lead is ever safe. Challengers will always find a way to copy or buy the best weapons systems or develop tactics that will offset their effect. Our most formidable enemies, Al Qaeda and its ilk, have done both. They are using relatively simple information technology — the Internet, satellite television, cellphones — to organize a global insurgency. By using such weapons as hijacked airliners and bombs detonated by garage-door openers, they are finding cracks in our defenses.

We have an insurmountable advantage in high-end military hardware. No other state is building nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, stealth fighters or unmanned aerial vehicles. In fact, we spend more on the development and testing of new weapons — $71 billion this year — than any other country spends on its entire defense. But all that spending produces weapons systems that aren't much good for pacifying Baghdad or Kandahar.

Technology isn't irrelevant to the global war on terror. We can use powerful surveillance systems to break up terrorist plots. And "smart bombs" can be invaluable for dealing with the perpetrators. But our enemies can stymie multibillion-dollar spy platforms by using couriers instead of satellite phones, which helps explain why Osama bin Laden remains on the loose.

for full article:
http://www.latimes.com/news/printed...ot29oct29,1,1714609.column?ctrack=1&cset=true
 

CSM

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Are we the Mongols of the Information Age?
By Max Boot, The Los Angeles Times
October 29, 2006

The future of U.S. power rests in its Industrial Age military adapting to decentralized adversaries.


...if history teaches any lesson, it is that no military lead is ever safe. Challengers will always find a way to copy or buy the best weapons systems or develop tactics that will offset their effect. Our most formidable enemies, Al Qaeda and its ilk, have done both. They are using relatively simple information technology — the Internet, satellite television, cellphones — to organize a global insurgency. By using such weapons as hijacked airliners and bombs detonated by garage-door openers, they are finding cracks in our defenses.

We have an insurmountable advantage in high-end military hardware. No other state is building nuclear-powered aircraft carriers, stealth fighters or unmanned aerial vehicles. In fact, we spend more on the development and testing of new weapons — $71 billion this year — than any other country spends on its entire defense. But all that spending produces weapons systems that aren't much good for pacifying Baghdad or Kandahar.

Technology isn't irrelevant to the global war on terror. We can use powerful surveillance systems to break up terrorist plots. And "smart bombs" can be invaluable for dealing with the perpetrators. But our enemies can stymie multibillion-dollar spy platforms by using couriers instead of satellite phones, which helps explain why Osama bin Laden remains on the loose.

for full article:
http://www.latimes.com/news/printed...ot29oct29,1,1714609.column?ctrack=1&cset=true
While there is some truth to the article, what is NOT being said is that the US has a tendency to handcuff itself. We have some of the best technology for gathering intelligence in the world but are not allowed to use it...even to the point of detecting couriers crossing from Pakistan into Afghanistan. The whole money tracking stuff that raised such a shriek from the libs as well as the whiining about monitoring phone calls form terrorists based overseas is an indication of the prevalent mind set. Our military is well beyond the "industrial age" but we refuse to let it do what it needs ot do.
 
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Adam's Apple

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Good points, and I agree that the pols should get out of the WOT and let the military and intel do what it takes to put the terrorists out of business. If we’d have killed al Sadr a few year ago when we had the opportunity, we wouldn’t be having the problems we're having today in Iraq. IMO, he's the agent for Iran and the militant Shiites in this war.
 

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