Is this a perfect example of our misdirecting ourselves?

#1
I'm reading a periodical called Federal Computer Week, (July 30 2007), which has the cover story "IED's: Hidden Killers" and a picture of a large artillery shell with a cellphone wired in where the fuse goes.

Ok... That's all well and good but it has this sidebar that has the usual quotes etc. with the headline:-

DoD lags in developing information superiority
The text reads as follows:-

John Garstka, whose writings helped usher in a new era of network-centric capabilities at the Defense Department, said the war against insurgents in Iraq who are planting roadside bombs must be fought with information - for example, information about who the insurgents are.

"The core of any counterinsurgency is what's going on in the information domain" said Garstka, DoD's Director of force transformation.

However, he added, We have an ongoing conflict where we don't have information superiority."

Garstka said DoD should rethink it's fundamental approach to war.

"My sense is we don't have the principles right for this" he said. Our principles of war don't address information explicitly"
What I see here is someone that has sold the DoD a new catchphrase, "Information Superiority", at a time when they are grasping for straws.

Quite rightly attention must be paid to information/data acquisition and collation in a conflict against an information reliant enemy but to try to apply such principles to the insurgent foot soldier is a grave misdirection of resources. Yes, the insurgent on the ground may use "throwaway" cell phones to detonate his IEDs but he doesn't appear digitally, (and probably not on paper), in any ORBAT anywhere nor does he use computers on any scale and for any purpose sufficient to warrant addressing information "explicitly". Thus, trying to determine "who" he is is a simple waste of time - and therefore in Defense circles a waste of a colossal amount of money.

One might be able to gain "information superiority" in the upper echelons of the insurgency, (those who plan and direct but are not usually found dirtying their hands), but to think that Mohammed Jihad who moves the assets around etc. can be defeated with a bunch of high priced laptops and an even higher priced software package is proof that the powers that be like the idea of high tech but have got so high in the rank system they have forgotten what their enemy looks like.

Discuss.
 
#3
Airborne_Aircrew said:
What I see here is someone that has sold the DoD a new catchphrase, "Information Superiority", at a time when they are grasping for straws.

Quite rightly attention must be paid to information/data acquisition and collation in a conflict against an information reliant enemy but to try to apply such principles to the insurgent foot soldier is a grave misdirection of resources. Yes, the insurgent on the ground may use "throwaway" cell phones to detonate his IEDs but he doesn't appear digitally, (and probably not on paper), in any ORBAT anywhere nor does he use computers on any scale and for any purpose sufficient to warrant addressing information "explicitly". Thus, trying to determine "who" he is is a simple waste of time - and therefore in Defense circles a waste of a colossal amount of money.

One might be able to gain "information superiority" in the upper echelons of the insurgency, (those who plan and direct but are not usually found dirtying their hands), but to think that Mohammed Jihad who moves the assets around etc. can be defeated with a bunch of high priced laptops and an even higher priced software package is proof that the powers that be like the idea of high tech but have got so high in the rank system they have forgotten what their enemy looks like.

Discuss.
Oh dear. You're a bit thick really aren't you.

Why do you think we're going to all the trouble of trying to achieve NEC? It's not just about knowing the terrorist on the ground is called pete.

Why don't you go away, read JSP777 and come back when you know what you're talking about. Yet another example of people having a rant on a subject which they don't understand.
 
#4
StabTiffy2B said:
Airborne_Aircrew said:
What I see here is someone that has sold the DoD a new catchphrase, "Information Superiority", at a time when they are grasping for straws.

Quite rightly attention must be paid to information/data acquisition and collation in a conflict against an information reliant enemy but to try to apply such principles to the insurgent foot soldier is a grave misdirection of resources. Yes, the insurgent on the ground may use "throwaway" cell phones to detonate his IEDs but he doesn't appear digitally, (and probably not on paper), in any ORBAT anywhere nor does he use computers on any scale and for any purpose sufficient to warrant addressing information "explicitly". Thus, trying to determine "who" he is is a simple waste of time - and therefore in Defense circles a waste of a colossal amount of money.

One might be able to gain "information superiority" in the upper echelons of the insurgency, (those who plan and direct but are not usually found dirtying their hands), but to think that Mohammed Jihad who moves the assets around etc. can be defeated with a bunch of high priced laptops and an even higher priced software package is proof that the powers that be like the idea of high tech but have got so high in the rank system they have forgotten what their enemy looks like.

Discuss.
Oh dear. You're a bit thick really aren't you.

Why do you think we're going to all the trouble of trying to achieve NEC? It's not just about knowing the terrorist on the ground is called pete.

Why don't you go away, read JSP777 and come back when you know what you're talking about. Yet another example of people having a rant on a subject which they don't understand.
Which is all rather a bit rich coming from you. I thought you'd fcuked off for good, shame really we'd all be much better off for it.
 
#5
It must be a cultural thing. I seem to remember the CIA getting It in the neck because they did not have feet on the ground and relied on elint too much.

I am sure that the model and demo this charlatan is selling will look very good and work, but a year down the line there will still be two or three guys with a shovel in the dark digging wholes for large bangs that do not fit his model of the terrorist world.
 
#6
The technology for defeating a cell phone triggered IED is available, I know I've made one. The problem is selling it to a very closed group who only looks to specific companies to provide equipment.

"information superiority" is just another buzz word.
 
#7
Bravo2nothing said:
The technology for defeating a cell phone triggered IED is available, I know I've made one. The problem is selling it to a very closed group who only looks to specific companies to provide equipment.

"information superiority" is just another buzz word.
The technology to counter wireless command detonated IEDs has been around for a looooong time now.

Agreed on the buzz word theory. We need to do something - talking rubbish is something therefore we must do it. Same sh1te different day/war.
 
#8
I seem to remember the CIA getting It in the neck because they did not have feet on the ground and relied on elint too much.
Yep... That was during Clinton's First Dynasty. It was determined by the drooling libs that it wasn't right to be getting int from people who were not proud, upstanding members of their community. The rules basically made it such that if you aren't the pope himself, or at least his best buddy you could not be used for intelligence gathering by US int gatherers. This meant that the three people remaining in the world that the policy would allow to be used knew f$ck all of use to anyone. All they had left was elint... and the enemy don't make use of electronics like we do - but the assumption is that they do - because we do - there is little acceptance that they are different to us mainly because many of the policy makers here still seem to believe that the world ends at the left and right coast and Iraq is actually a suburb of Toledo.

Stabtiffy:

It appears that you are held in contempt here by others. Not one to rock the old boat I'll maintain the status quo.

The technology to counter wireless command detonated IEDs has been around for a looooong time now.
Yeah... We used to drive the lanny towards the building/whatever with the Clansman 353 on 50Hz(?) to see if the fatherless would go off. No Bang = No RCIED... :oops:
 
#9
Airborne_Aircrew said:
The technology to counter wireless command detonated IEDs has been around for a looooong time now.
Yeah... We used to drive the lanny towards the building/whatever with the Clansman 353 on 50Hz(?) to see if the fatherless would go off. No Bang = No RCIED... :oops:
Well the how and so on are not public domain as far as I know so best leave the details there, no point in making it any easier for the other side. Besides theres two blokes in a dark sedan parked outside.
 
#10
Ord_Sgt said:
Airborne_Aircrew said:
The technology to counter wireless command detonated IEDs has been around for a looooong time now.
Yeah... We used to drive the lanny towards the building/whatever with the Clansman 353 on 50Hz(?) to see if the fatherless would go off. No Bang = No RCIED... :oops:
Well the how and so on are not public domain as far as I know so best leave the details there, no point in making it any easier for the other side. Besides theres two blokes in a dark sedan parked outside.
AA, technology has certainly moved on since that was employed.......not much of it seems to have been delivered though.
 
#11
AA, technology has certainly moved on since that was employed
LOL... I'd hope so... That was early 80's... Hardly a major shocker to find that deliveries are delayed... It's just a variation of "The cheque's in the mail"...
 
#12
Airborne_Aircrew said:
AA, technology has certainly moved on since that was employed
LOL... I'd hope so... That was early 80's... Hardly a major shocker to find that deliveries are delayed... It's just a variation of "The cheque's in the mail"...
I meant there are several methods available and no matter how small or seemingly old ways of doing things, lets not give anyone inadvertantly a starter for ten.
 
#13
Ord_Sgt said:
Airborne_Aircrew said:
AA, technology has certainly moved on since that was employed
LOL... I'd hope so... That was early 80's... Hardly a major shocker to find that deliveries are delayed... It's just a variation of "The cheque's in the mail"...
I meant there are several methods available and no matter how small or seemingly old ways of doing things, lets not give anyone inadvertantly a starter for ten.
Agreed. Sounds as if you know your stuff OS. Interested in some consultancy??
 
#14
Bravo2nothing said:
Ord_Sgt said:
Airborne_Aircrew said:
AA, technology has certainly moved on since that was employed
LOL... I'd hope so... That was early 80's... Hardly a major shocker to find that deliveries are delayed... It's just a variation of "The cheque's in the mail"...
I meant there are several methods available and no matter how small or seemingly old ways of doing things, lets not give anyone inadvertantly a starter for ten.
Agreed. Sounds as if you know your stuff OS. Interested in some consultancy??
Thanks but I've been out for a while and while the principles probably haven't changed much I'm pretty sure the equipment and procedures have.

Besides I prefer the safety of my armchair these days - its a young mans world and sadly that aint me anymore. :cry:
 
#15
Ord_Sgt said:
I meant there are several methods available and no matter how small or seemingly old ways of doing things, lets not give anyone inadvertantly a starter for ten.
Prefer letting the OC drive in the vehicle in front :wink:
 
#16
Information superiority is not a buzzword. It describes, in much the same way air superiority does, a recognised state. It is jargon possibly but it has a standard definition and can be assessed against generally agreed criteria - as StabTiffy points out are laid down in JSP777.
 
#17
Information superiority is not a buzzword. It describes, in much the same way air superiority does, a recognised state. It is jargon possibly but it has a standard definition and can be assessed against generally agreed criteria - as StabTiffy points out are laid down in JSP777.
Which really confirms my premise. The premise being that the resources are misdirected and irrelevant in a counterinsurgency except in a very small scope. While the upper echelons might like high tech stuff and can have "generally agreed criteria" the issue is a non-issue when dealing with people who do not place the same value in information as you do, with information being operational data in the form of plans and ORBAT.

The insurgents, by their nature, do not have a firm command structure that passes information up and down in order to carry out day to day operations. Generally, an edict is disseminated by the leaders, often publicly, and the "foot soldiers", without much use of technology or sophisticated communications carry out the attacks with a broad amount of autonomy.

Mr. Garstka's phrase "The core of any counterinsurgency is what's going on in the information domain" is a sales pitch - pure and simple. I know from experience how much information we had in NI. There was reams and reams of it. All nicely acquired and collated. But how many times did we get actionable information that led to the successful intervention in/prevention of an attack? Rarely, certainly not enough to claim that the "core of the counterinsurgency" counted on the information systems. The PIRA/INLA etc. were far more conventionally organized, had a more rigid structure that required information to be passed up and down and therefore was a far more relevant to the kind of warfare Garstka alludes to than the average insurgent in Iraq and A'stan today.

It's his inherent misunderstanding of the way the enemy is functioning in the field and the way he uses, (and more importantly the way information can be passed amongst cells using the internet without detection), technology that the current insurgent therefore fails to fit into the "criteria". At the level the insurgents are using the internet the only information that passes around regularly is the "how". Passing the "how" on the internet is very easy to do anonymously and it is very easy to collect it anonymously too - (I won't go into this in detail for obvious reasons - suffice it to say that computer/internet security is a large part of my business). The who, where and when, (which is the data he needs before he can state that the "core of the counterinsurgency" lies in the Information Systems), are almost never passed because the insurgents are aware of the risk of being traced on the net and, more importantly, the fact that access to the net may be unavailable at any moment and for long periods in the theater of operations.

He, falsely, assumes that an information gathering and collation system that can successfully give one a tactical or even strategic advantage over a country that utilizes information similarly and as prolifically as most western powers do is equally appropriate for use against an enemy that, in general, operates more commonly in the 16th century.
 

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