View Full Version : The Transparent Battlefield

02-12-2015, 01:42 PM
This week MountainRunner gave a local talk on the information age and referred to the new factor 'transparency of the battlefield'. I know there are several, if not many threads, on transparency, but the phrase "struck a cord".

Access to the skirmish or battlefield is not universal.

Compare the openess documented here by Outlaw09 on the war in the Ukraine, which is mainly open source generated by non-state sources and of course the combabatants themselves recording events. Then there is the very limited information on the LRA in the jungles of central Africa, an almost unseen, let alone recorded combatant.

What is different now? Recording is so much easier, if you have a mobile phone with a camera and to my surprise still the ability to forward this footage beyond the combat zone. Is everyone a potential reporter? Have a peek at this reflective article by a reporter on their role:https://medium.com/@Storyful/the-journalism-of-terror-how-do-we-bear-witness-when-everybody-is-a-witness-749344c7a45a

In the West media access to the battlefield - assuming it is for now a fixed concept and fact - has been variable. Few expat journalists in either Afghanistan or Iraq appear to have ventured far from their "safe houses", 'minders' and Western armies.

MountainRunner made the point that one big difference was not access, nor information gathering, it was the speed of transmission and IMHO the possibility it grabs attention.

Anyway that's all for now from my "armchair".

12-18-2015, 01:50 PM
... or Episode #345b "This is why we can't have nice missions".

Note: article should be reposted in several related threads.

A secret US commando mission to Libya has been revealed after photographs of a special forces unit were posted on the Facebook page of the country’s air force.

Libya’s air force said 20 US soldiers arrived at Libya’s Wattiya airbase on Monday, but left soon after local commanders asked them to go because they had no permission to be at the base. It was unclear if another branch of the Libyan military had authorized the mission.

Pentagon sources confirmed to US media that the special forces unit was part of a mission sent this week, but it was unclear if the soldiers had left the country.


03-06-2016, 11:18 AM
Catching up I found this article a few days ago and was reminded by a photo of embesded US SOF advisers with Kurdish elements in Syria yesterday. It ends with:
While itís nothing new that a Russian military intelligence unit could complete a comprehensive study of a Syrian airstrip, it is novel that a supporter of the self-declared Islamic State could use open-source information to perform this type of analysis full time. They could now purchase satellite images to track similar scenarios and to inform grand strategy and prioritize targets. A radical jihadist version of Elliott Higgins, the British citizen journalist who has exposed Russian actions in Ukraine and Syria [/URL]using open-source intelligence, would be a prized asset for any extremist group.
Link:[URL="http://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2016/02/look-out-special-operators-syria-internet-has-spotted-you-and-s-problem/126065/?oref=site-defenseone-flyin-sailthru"]http://www.defenseone.com/ideas/2016/02/look-out-special-operators-syria-internet-has-spotted-you-and-s-problem/126065/? (http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/11/18/eliot-higgins-syria_n_4269417.html)