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SteveMetz
02-25-2008, 01:20 PM
I'm really fascinated by the emergence of virtual militias which take on terrorists, insurgents, etc. in the virtual battlespace. Here's one example (http://cannoneerno4.wordpress.com/).

Thoughts on them?

slapout9
02-25-2008, 01:40 PM
The TV show 60 min. has done one or two shows about theses types of groups. One was actually the mother or sister or some relative of a service member. She kept finding things the pros could not find...had a few death threats sent her way to as I remember... but that didn't stop her. I agree with you Steve these groups could be a true 5th column. Acheiving effects far beyond there costs to support.

selil
02-25-2008, 02:26 PM
The costs are virtually nill, but there are issues. In a nutshell if you empower these groups that are working in the best interest of the nation state are you not also empowering the delegation of nation state powers? Thereby weakening the beneficiary of the volunteer effort? There are other issues, but as long as they remain in the soft power category and out of the kinetic business most treaties and laws don't apply.

I imagine Dr. Metz the fact they found your writing interesting helps a little.

SteveMetz
02-25-2008, 02:38 PM
The costs are virtually nill, but there are issues. In a nutshell if you empower these groups that are working in the best interest of the nation state are you not also empowering the delegation of nation state powers? Thereby weakening the beneficiary of the volunteer effort? There are other issues, but as long as they remain in the soft power category and out of the kinetic business most treaties and laws don't apply.

I imagine Dr. Metz the fact they found your writing interesting helps a little.


I sometimes resonate with unusual people.

http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Shadowlands/6583/project066.html

http://newdawnmagazine.com.au/Article/Brain_Zapping_Part_One.html

http://www.mindcontrolforums.com/lammer1.htm

wm
02-25-2008, 02:48 PM
I sometimes resonate with unusual people.

http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Shadowlands/6583/project066.html

http://newdawnmagazine.com.au/Article/Brain_Zapping_Part_One.html

http://www.mindcontrolforums.com/lammer1.htm

Steve,
Everyone needs a godfather, sometimes even one with a Gamecock banner at his back (especially if they aren't Clemson or Citadel alums).:D

marct
02-25-2008, 03:16 PM
Hi Sam,

The costs are virtually nill, but there are issues. In a nutshell if you empower these groups that are working in the best interest of the nation state are you not also empowering the delegation of nation state powers? Thereby weakening the beneficiary of the volunteer effort? There are other issues, but as long as they remain in the soft power category and out of the kinetic business most treaties and laws don't apply.

Good points, but I'm not sure how much delegation effect they are having. First off, the nation state has already "delegated" large amounts of sovereignty to trans-national bodies (including private firms). Historically, the US has also delegated an incredible number of sovereign powers to private groups as well (e.g. bounty hunters). I don't think that you an state that the sole beneficiary of the effort is the nation state (which you sort of implied above).

There's another factor playing out in this as well - put simply, nation states are increasingly incompetent at meeting the needs of their people, and many of these needs are now devolved and/or devolving to sub-state groups. This seems to be a fairly long standing trend going back to the late 1960's or so and it seems to be operating across the full spectrum of functions (think neo-tribalism in a globalized context). I think it is pretty much inevitable that groups like this will spring up.

Marc

slapout9
02-25-2008, 03:18 PM
There's another factor playing out in this as well - put simply, nation states are increasingly incompetent at meeting the needs of their people, and many of these needs are now devolved and/or devolving to sub-state groups. This seems to be a fairly long standing trend going back to the late 1960's or so and it seems to be operating across the full spectrum of functions (think neo-tribalism in a globalized context). I think it is pretty much inevitable that groups like this will spring up.

Marc


Marct, very important point.

wm
02-25-2008, 03:44 PM
Hi Sam,



Good points, but I'm not sure how much delegation effect they are having. First off, the nation state has already "delegated" large amounts of sovereignty to trans-national bodies (including private firms). Historically, the US has also delegated an incredible number of sovereign powers to private groups as well (e.g. bounty hunters). I don't think that you an state that the sole beneficiary of the effort is the nation state (which you sort of implied above).

There's another factor playing out in this as well - put simply, nation states are increasingly incompetent at meeting the needs of their people, and many of these needs are now devolved and/or devolving to sub-state groups. This seems to be a fairly long standing trend going back to the late 1960's or so and it seems to be operating across the full spectrum of functions (think neo-tribalism in a globalized context). I think it is pretty much inevitable that groups like this will spring up.

Marc
Marc,

A big difference historically was overt governmental recognition involved in the delegation, at least in the US--things like letters of marque and reprisal being granted to privateers, posses being sworn and issued badges come to mind. I believe that Neighborhood Watch organizations have to do some kind of registration with local law enforcement too. I'm not sure that the folks Selil has in mind have that same approval. In fact I seem to recall a case of a guy being fired from his job and prosecuted for overstepping in a "cyber-sleuthing" effort involving Chinese interests.

The issue raised in your second paragraph is one that I find much more important and see it as having a lot of explanatory power for the current "devolution" of large nation states, which is following a 350 year aggregation of smaller jurisdictions into the national "empires of the 20th Century--only a few (the US, China, India,)are now left and they actually came on to the scene as "nations" quite late after the process began in Europe. Kosovo splitting from Serbia, the Baltic states, White Russians, Ukrines, and the -Stans all splitting with Moscow, are part of the swing of the pendulum that moves between the extremes of centralization and decentralization as the "right" way to meet perceived human needs. Isn't Scotland trying to repudiate the Act of Union?

marct
02-25-2008, 04:00 PM
Hi Wayne,

A big difference historically was overt governmental recognition involved in the delegation, at least in the US--things like letters of marque and reprisal being granted to privateers, posses being sworn and issued badges come to mind. I believe that Neighborhood Watch organizations have to do some kind of registration with local law enforcement too. I'm not sure that the folks Selil has in mind have that same approval. In fact I seem to recall a case of a guy being fired from his job and prosecuted for overstepping in a "cyber-sleuthing" effort involving Chinese interests.

We had the same thing here, although the situation was compounded (possibly confounded ;)) by the traditional rights of the gentry and aristocracy (and boy does THAT sound weird coming from Canada!). Under a monarchy, the different classes had both rights and obligations - almost a form of shared sovereignty as it were. While the vast majority of that has disappeared, you can still see parts of it running around.

I would suspect that the crowd Selil is talking about don't have official recognition, but do have cultural recognition via your militia meme (i.e. self organization for self-defense as a recognized "right").

The issue raised in your second paragraph is one that I find much more important and see it as having a lot of explanatory power for the current "devolution" of large nation states, which is following a 350 year aggregation of smaller jurisdictions into the national "empires of the 20th Century--only a few (the US, China, India,)are now left and they actually came on to the scene as "nations" quite late after the process began in Europe. Kosovo splitting from Serbia, the Baltic states, White Russians, Ukrines, and the -Stans all splitting with Moscow, are part of the swing of the pendulum that moves between the extremes of centralization and decentralization as the "right" way to meet perceived human needs. Isn't Scotland trying to repudiate the Act of Union?

That's my guess also. I'm not sure how it will play out in the long run, but I have a suspicion that we will see some form of "Imperial" layer added on top of increasingly small nation states - probably a sub-set of the UN, but also larger than the EU. Then again, it is also possible that we could see a fragmentation into "Imperial" factions along the NAU, EU, ASEAN, China, etc. line - sort of a reversion to te organizational style and form of the last half of the 19th century. I wouldn't want to bet either way right now.

Ken White
02-25-2008, 04:23 PM
old wall for almost 100 years. The fact is that politicians have been seduced into attempting to provide all things to all people in order to protect their incumbency and feather their bank accounts. It's an appealing concept to many as it allows them to wander through life with no responsibilities and all can simply ask at every turn "What's the government going to do about this?" A worldwide culture of dependency has developed and is fostered by these same politicians who do not want people to think -- thinking people, after all, ask embarassing questions. Note the general decline in Education outcomes in teenagers worldwide...

Since it does possess some appeal it is a difficult concept for those that refuse to think past next week and the political and chattering classes shortsightedly continue to pursue the chimera of ever larger government that is all things to all people. That is patently impossible and, even were it possible, it is absolutely not affordable.

Thus, the Pols are in process of destroying the very thing that provides their livelihood. The result has been the trend noted by all above to smaller and hopefully more effective entities of governance and the fractures are quite predictably on cultural and ethnic lines.

Personally, I'm all for it. Want a Kurdistan? Good idea. Unfortunately, people do not like change and the Pols don't want to see their livelihood frittered away so much of the world will resist such fragmentation. Putin's (and others...) reaction to Kosovo is typical.

They probably ought to get over it. Confronted with devolution in all the places we have cited in this thread and looking at dozens of other places around the world, my suspicion is that the Stateus Giganticus will disappear and be replaced by dozens of Statelets and a series of Confederations as Marc posits (and which will, I'll bet, be somewhat xenophobic and disinclined toward 'multiculturalism') -- and, hopefully, that will happen before the World government fans can achieve their goal. Mankind will be much better off for that...

That of course ties into Steve's basic question and much of the comment above -- if the Guvmint is perceived as not doing something well (or even as some would prefer) then people will react in conglomerations to fill that vacuum. Good for them.

Shame the ruling milieus can't realize that...

wm
02-25-2008, 04:32 PM
I have a suspicion that we will see some form of "Imperial" layer added on top of increasingly small nation states - probably a sub-set of the UN, but also larger than the EU. Then again, it is also possible that we could see a fragmentation into "Imperial" factions along the NAU, EU, ASEAN, China, etc. line - sort of a reversion to te organizational style and form of the last half of the 19th century. I wouldn't want to bet either way right now.

I don't doubt that something along the lines of the latter will eventually come along. However, my crystal ball says that we will need some pretty serious multi-regional, if not global, anarchy, of at least an economics/trade sort. When folks start hijacking petroleum and/or food shipments, the pendulum should swing back towards recentralizing power. Wait until the piracy off Somalia starts occurring near Venezuela or at the mouth of the St Lawrence.

marct
02-25-2008, 04:45 PM
Hi Wayne,

I don't doubt that something along the lines of the latter will eventually come along. However, my crystal ball says that we will need some pretty serious multi-regional, if not global, anarchy, of at least an economics/trade sort. When folks start hijacking petroleum and/or food shipments, the pendulum should swing back towards recentralizing power. Wait until the piracy off Somalia starts occurring near Venezuela or at the mouth of the St Lawrence.

I'd say we already have a "pretty serious multi-regional, if not global, anarchy, of at least an economics/trade sort." :wry: As to it swinging back to centralization over a little piracy, nah, I doubt it. Resource theft by pirates can't even come close to resource losses imposed by inefficient bureaucrats ;). I am expecting that we will see a rise in KYFHO (http://www.paganvigil.com/C1252147800/E1585240526/index.html)esque philosophies that will drive certain neo-tribes to act as strange attractors agains such a resurgence.

Hacksaw
02-25-2008, 05:53 PM
Taken from the back cover of "An Empire Wilderness"...

"Everywhere Kaplan travels - from St Louis to Portland, from the fouty-ninth parallel to the banks of the Rio Grande - he finds an America ever more fragmented along lines of race, class, education and geography. An America whose wealthy communities become wealthier and more fortress-like as they become more closely linked to the world's business capitals than to the desolate ghettoes next door. An America where the political boundaries between the states - and between the US and Canada and Mexico - are becoming increasingly blurred, betokening a vast open zone for trade, commerce, and cultural interaction, the nexus of tomorrow's transnational world..."



This was written 10 years ago.

Live well and row

Ken White
02-25-2008, 06:48 PM
or most of it anyway (Gated communities were rare...) over 30 years ago. A lot was written on that wall in the 1965-75 time frame. Including AQ (generic version) et.al. and todays hot spots. Anyone who paid attention picked up on it. I sure wasn't alone in seeing that at the time, I can recall a number of others who spotted those sorts of things before I did.

Perhaps surprisingly, the US did pick up on it. State informed Nixon after the Munich Olympics in 1972 that terrorism was going to be a problem. Nixon set up both the National Intelligence Council and the Cabinet Committee on Terrorism which in 1977 produced a report that was highly predictive of the coming fragmentation of States, notably, IIRC, predicting the demise of Yugoslavia -- not much was done about it. Carter figured out that oil dependency needed to go due to potential fragmentation in the ME. There were others over in many fields the years, mostly ignored due to domestic politics. So a lot of people realized what was coming -- even before Kaplan wrote that. :wry:

A massive number of folks can spot trends; not all of them are academics, writers, pundits or politicians. ;)

Only politicians seem to diligently ignore said trends... :mad:

And I suspect I and some others also beat Kaplan in 1979 when the Tehran Embassy was seized or in 1982 when all the bad stuff happened in Beirut and we agreed that bad things would come of those events and our failure to respond...

wm
02-25-2008, 08:31 PM
Marc,

I'd say we already have a "pretty serious multi-regional, if not global, anarchy, of at least an economics/trade sort."

The level of serious acts of anarchy I have in mind are something like blocking the St Lawrence Seaway by blowing an oil tanker in the Eisenhower Lock, taking out the Robert Moses Dam and generating plant at the same time, for example.

How about these as possible news stories:
Hijackers holding a few trainloads of grain headed across the the US and Canadian wheat belt (CN or UP trains maybe both) and holding their contents for ransom--"ship them to the people starving in "pick your locale" or we detonate the nuke/dirty bomb we have strapped to the train."
"And in Germany for the third time this week, crowds refusing to pay rising food prices have stormed into a BMA warehouse and taken what they wanted."
This is more what I mean by serious economic anarchy. Of course it would have to be more than just one or two isolated incidents like this.

marct
02-25-2008, 09:10 PM
Hi Wayne

How about these as possible news stories:
Hijackers holding a few trainloads of grain headed across the the US and Canadian wheat belt (CN or UP trains maybe both) and holding their contents for ransom--"ship them to the people starving in "pick your locale" or we detonate the nuke/dirty bomb we have strapped to the train."
"And in Germany for the third time this week, crowds refusing to pay rising food prices have stormed into a BMA warehouse and taken what they wanted."
This is more what I mean by serious economic anarchy. Of course it would have to be more than just one or two isolated incidents like this.

Sounds like Paris :D. No, I understand what you mean by serious acts; I just take the position that they are already happening in some locales and may well spread. They don't really happen in North America yet (barring the mortgage "fun" right now ;)).

Anyway, I don't think "anarchy" is a necessary precondition to te breakdown of nation state sovereignty. Any sub-state (or trans-national organization) can produce a breakdown in national sovereignty and often has. To my mind, it doesn't have to be rioting in the streets per se; it could be the complete de facto rewrite of state economic policy by multi-national corporations or organizations such as GATT and the WTO.

Ken White
02-25-2008, 09:18 PM
consistently promise more than they can deliver and refuse through political cowardice to lead instead of following the pleas of squeaking wheels. Said rejection by people who have just developed a really significant antipathy to the government of the place at the time, no anarchy or global corporations involved.

A not unheard of series of events...

marct
02-25-2008, 09:21 PM
..........

wm
02-26-2008, 11:30 AM
Anyway, I don't think "anarchy" is a necessary precondition to te breakdown of nation state sovereignty. Any sub-state (or trans-national organization) can produce a breakdown in national sovereignty and often has. To my mind, it doesn't have to be rioting in the streets per se; it could be the complete de facto rewrite of state economic policy by multi-national corporations or organizations such as GATT and the WTO.

My point about significant anarchy was not to identify when nation states would start to break down. It was rather to identify when we might start to see the pendulum start to move back towards reaggregation of smaller units into regional cooperative organizations or governmental units.

I concur that the world is already witnessing the rise of intranational breakdowns. However it is still trying to manage that with international conglomerations (the EU, NATO, ASEAN, etc.), but even those are now starting to get frayed at the edges, as we see with national lelvel debates over such things as continued involvement in NATO ISAF missions. Gaining international consensus has started to become ever more difficult as the centralizing tendency is questioned even more by those "have nots" who see themselves as bill-payers for the excesses of the "haves."

marct
02-26-2008, 02:44 PM
Hi Wayne,

My point about significant anarchy was not to identify when nation states would start to break down. It was rather to identify when we might start to see the pendulum start to move back towards reaggregation of smaller units into regional cooperative organizations or governmental units.

This may just be another case of us saying the same, or similar, things with different languages ;). I'm just not sure when it will happen or if it will happen. The historical analogs were all predicated on low speed communications and fairly low technology, both of which make a major difference.

wm
02-26-2008, 03:04 PM
This may just be another case of us saying the same, or similar, things with different languages ;). I'm just not sure when it will happen or if it will happen. The historical analogs were all predicated on low speed communications and fairly low technology, both of which make a major difference.
Marc,
I don't doubt that we are experiencing one of those instances of "two people divided by a common language." :D
I believe that speed of communications and level of technology will impact primarily by shortening the pendulum's period of oscillation. In other words, the swings between aggregation of power and disaggregation of power will occur more rapidly, hence more social turbulence will arise. Technological advances allow people to see much more rapidly that they are not alone in their dissatisfaction with the status quo, which makes them more likely to band together to change (the "madness of crowds" phenomenon or what was called a "right on" movement in the '60s). Technology does not, however, provide us with a silver bullet to get past the emotional (and therefore not rationally considered) knee jerk solutions that the dissatisfaction will engender. Of course, I am viewing this as a Westerner, with typical Western lack of patience.

J Wolfsberger
02-26-2008, 03:29 PM
I'm really fascinated by the emergence of virtual militias which take on terrorists, insurgents, etc. in the virtual battlespace. Here's one example (http://cannoneerno4.wordpress.com/).

Thoughts on them?

I think it is an insurgent counterinsurgency.

(And my tongue was not in my cheek as I wrote this.)

Furthermore, I think they have a critical role to play. A great deal of what has been published in the MSM has been propoganda. It is impossible for the US Government to effectively counter it. That is the role these groups can fill.

marct
02-26-2008, 03:43 PM
Hi Wayne,

I don't doubt that we are experiencing one of those instances of "two people divided by a common language." :D

LOLOL - too true!

I believe that speed of communications and level of technology will impact primarily by shortening the pendulum's period of oscillation. In other words, the swings between aggregation of power and disaggregation of power will occur more rapidly, hence more social turbulence will arise.

I think that is one possible solution, but I have a suspicion that centralized aggregation will be on the decrease. My gut is telling me that we are in a period of increasing neo-tribalism where there will be an increasing demand for "governments" to pull back. The flip side, of course, is that the increasing turbulence makes it much more probable that there will be more and more "revitalization movements" appearing selling the glories of a Golden Age that never existed (usually a variant of a centralized government).

Technological advances allow people to see much more rapidly that they are not alone in their dissatisfaction with the status quo, which makes them more likely to band together to change (the "madness of crowds" phenomenon or what was called a "right on" movement in the '60s). Technology does not, however, provide us with a silver bullet to get past the emotional (and therefore not rationally considered) knee jerk solutions that the dissatisfaction will engender. Of course, I am viewing this as a Westerner, with typical Western lack of patience.

Yup - it's one of the reasons why I decided to specialize in sense-making and symbolism; I wanted to get a handle on my world :wry:. Personally, I blame Descarte for most of this since we in the West have pretty much abandoned everything but the material world and, as a result, left us without a) the "technologies" to handle rapid shifts in reality, and b) our collective sense of wonder. Then again, as Stan notes with almost depressing regularity, I am a hopeless romantic :D.

Hacksaw
02-26-2008, 04:23 PM
WM,

I caveat the following in saying that the following is based on anecdotal evidence and intuition (thus I have violating rule #1 of effective communication - never put the disclaimer in front) :o....

I would argue that the impact of an omni -present info sphere is less upheaval as opppsed to more. I will use an econ example as an anecdotal piece of evidence... During the Clinton years our economy enjoyed unprescedented growth, low unemployment AND LOW INFLATION. This made teaching MACRO ECONA at USMA, a little dicey.

How can it be so? My feeble thought on the matter is that developed economies (to include our own) still suffer the same cyclical periods of "recession" and "inflation" (I do "this" because I'm not sure the definitions still hold true based on time period), the difference is that the flucuation and magnitude of the sine curve is far less pronounced. Why? A possible explaination is that near-perfect information results in a far more optimized investment decisions from the collective whole. In other words, the reduction in lag time between reality and knowledge of that same reality reduces the flucuation/upheaval of the past. Money chases high returns, regardless of locale

Might this translate to other areas of social activity. I think its likely based on the premise behind the ideas of Adam Smith. It is human nature to act in self-interest. In the example we discussed, I may have more knowledge of those with more, but I also have more knowledge of the impact of social upheaval. Hence, societies will likely reach a stasis and then as a matter of course make rapid minor corrections that result in little "mass upheaval". Of course, getting to that stasis is likely to be a b1tch or this example might not translate. I certainly can't point to any rigorous academic analysis of my premise, but then again it makes sense in the vacuum between my ears.

Now for my final disclaimer... I apologize for the typical stream of consciousness (& poor spelling) that characterize all my postings :)

Live Well and Row

marct
02-26-2008, 04:47 PM
Hi Hacksaw,

Don't know when WM will respond but I just had to jump in <evil grin>.

I would argue that the impact of an omni -present info sphere is less upheaval as opppsed to more. ....

How can it be so? My feeble thought on the matter is that developed economies (to include our own) still suffer the same cyclical periods of "recession" and "inflation" (I do "this" because I'm not sure the definitions still hold true based on time period), the difference is that the flucuation and magnitude of the sine curve is far less pronounced. Why? A possible explaination is that near-perfect information results in a far more optimized investment decisions from the collective whole. In other words, the reduction in lag time between reality and knowledge of that same reality reduces the flucuation/upheaval of the past. Money chases high returns, regardless of locale

I think it is important to distinguish between "information", "noise" and "knowledge" here. Information, and I use Bateson's definition as "a difference that makes a difference", does not automatically translate to perception or use of information. You mention the financial markets, but i would suggest to you that they are actually more unstable now than they were 40 years ago due to the proliferation of automation and expert systems as well as massive over production capacities. Like you, I'm only able to toss out anecdotal points, but I think things like Nick Leeson and the Bearings Bank fiasco illustrate some of the problems.

Might this translate to other areas of social activity. I think its likely based on the premise behind the ideas of Adam Smith. It is human nature to act in self-interest. In the example we discussed, I may have more knowledge of those with more, but I also have more knowledge of the impact of social upheaval. Hence, societies will likely reach a stasis and then as a matter of course make rapid minor corrections that result in little "mass upheaval". Of course, getting to that stasis is likely to be a b1tch or this example might not translate. I certainly can't point to any rigorous academic analysis of my premise, but then again it makes sense in the vacuum between my ears.

Personally, I don't think it translates. Smith's premise is too focused on a singular facet of human nature and way too "rational". And, while self interest is a motivator, it is not the only one by a long shot. For example, there has been an incredible amount of work done looking at altruism, or at least the ability to fake it in social settings, as a requirement for a society to function.

Second, as a species, we've been on a roller coaster ride for at least 12,000 years ever since some twit decided to settle down and get into horticulture. We have had quasi-stable periods and, as long as change has been fairly slow, say over a 100 year period, we tends to not perceive that change too much. However, every major change in communications technology has also been matched with a fairly major change in social organization and instability. Sure, it tapers off for a while but that is because the technology matures and is absorbed in the culture. At the same time, that technology also acts as a catalyst to produce new communications technologies as it reaches its limits which, in turn, sets off more instabilities.

Personally, I don't think we will see a "stasis" period for a while, but, hey, I could easily be wrong :D.

Marc

wm
02-26-2008, 05:51 PM
I would argue that the impact of an omni -present info sphere is less upheaval as opppsed to more. I will use an econ example as an anecdotal piece of evidence... During the Clinton years our economy enjoyed unprescedented growth, low unemployment AND LOW INFLATION. This made teaching MACRO ECONA at USMA, a little dicey.

How can it be so? My feeble thought on the matter is that developed economies (to include our own) still suffer the same cyclical periods of "recession" and "inflation" (I do "this" because I'm not sure the definitions still hold true based on time period), the difference is that the flucuation and magnitude of the sine curve is far less pronounced. Why? A possible explaination is that near-perfect information results in a far more optimized investment decisions from the collective whole. In other words, the reduction in lag time between reality and knowledge of that same reality reduces the flucuation/upheaval of the past. Money chases high returns, regardless of locale

Might this translate to other areas of social activity. I think its likely based on the premise behind the ideas of Adam Smith. It is human nature to act in self-interest. In the example we discussed, I may have more knowledge of those with more, but I also have more knowledge of the impact of social upheaval. Hence, societies will likely reach a stasis and then as a matter of course make rapid minor corrections that result in little "mass upheaval". Of course, getting to that stasis is likely to be a b1tch or this example might not translate. I certainly can't point to any rigorous academic analysis of my premise, but then again it makes sense in the vacuum between my ears.

Now for my final disclaimer... I apologize for the typical stream of consciousness (& poor spelling) that characterize all my postings :)

Live Well and Row

I would agree with you if I accepted that we operate in perfection, rational conformance to an informed choice model. But, I am inclined to believe, and that belief is, like yours, based on anecdotal evidence not what would pass for rigorous quantitiative analysis among academic economists, that the more we know, the more we dither about what we will do next and the greater the turbulence. Unfortunately, I doubt that we are like the archangel that R.M. Hare uses to justify utilitarian ethical thinking. As to your anecdote about the Clinton years, I think that is best explained by overt interference by Greenspan and the FED, not an Adam Smith inspired hidden hand in the market.

I hope you remembered your disclaimer about stream-of-consciousness rambling as you tried to fight through the above. PM coming as well.

wm
02-26-2008, 06:42 PM
Smith's premise is too focused on a singular facet of human nature and way too "rational". And, while self interest is a motivator, it is not the only one by a long shot. For example, there has been an incredible amount of work done looking at altruism, or at least the ability to fake it in social settings, as a requirement for a society to function.

Second, as a species, we've been on a roller coaster ride for at least 12,000 years ever since some twit decided to settle down and get into horticulture. We have had quasi-stable periods and, as long as change has been fairly slow, say over a 100 year period, we tends to not perceive that change too much. However, every major change in communications technology has also been matched with a fairly major change in social organization and instability. Sure, it tapers off for a while but that is because the technology matures and is absorbed in the culture. At the same time, that technology also acts as a catalyst to produce new communications technologies as it reaches its limits which, in turn, sets off more instabilities.

Personally, I don't think we will see a "stasis" period for a while, but, hey, I could easily be wrong :D.

Marc

I suspect that if we believe that the second law of thermodynamics applies to human actiivity, then Hacksaw is right about a stasis--we will lose our impetus to change. In other words, our "get up and go" will get up and go. But, I'm not sure that I want to map the laws of Thermo onto human behavior.
However, another result of applying the 2nd law is that random, chaotic behavior in a closed system must increase over time. I guess the question becomes whether human life on Earth constititues a closed system.

selil
02-26-2008, 07:36 PM
I tried to capture the idea of the pendulum swinging between individualism and nationalism as actor capability and ability. Technology does appear to speed the swing, but it also empowers both the national actor and non-state actor. The US government has used technology substantially to strengthen it's hold. I added a line of perceived corporatism's rise within this system of struggle. Starting with the Renaissance business just keeps getting stronger. I'll do just about anything to not have to read anymore sociology today.

marct
02-26-2008, 08:01 PM
I tried to capture the idea of the pendulum swinging between individualism and nationalism as actor capability and ability. Technology does appear to speed the swing, but it also empowers both the national actor and non-state actor. The US government has used technology substantially to strengthen it's hold. I added a line of perceived corporatism's rise within this system of struggle. Starting with the Renaissance business just keeps getting stronger. I'll do just about anything to not have to read anymore sociology today.

Interesting little chart, Sam :D. Still and all, you should drop out feudalism since the rest of your data points are based on the US and, outside of a few Golden Age myths about Virginia I don't think you folks had a feudalism.

Marc

Tom Odom
02-26-2008, 08:11 PM
feudalism.

I dunno 'bout that...

We fight an awful lot down here...

Ken White
02-26-2008, 08:21 PM
feudalists. Several of 'em, in fact -- both sides of the family... :D

wm
02-26-2008, 08:42 PM
feudalists. Several of 'em, in fact -- both sides of the family... :D
So Ken, would Hatfield be your mother's maiden name or was it McCoy? I know it can't go back to generations any earlier than that, given your longevity. :D

selil
02-26-2008, 09:56 PM
I thought about putting in "rednecks" but being a denizen of the northern woods where we eat smoked spotted owl and cut down trees so you can have a real view us "logger necks" know our southern brethren are just misunderstood.

Ken White
02-26-2008, 11:02 PM
Redneck is no insult, Sam. I've been all over this country and they're in every State, only the accents differ. We-elll, those down here are a little more polite. Sometimes... ;)

Rank amateur
02-27-2008, 01:25 AM
During the Clinton years

near-perfect information results in a far more optimized investment decisions from the collective whole.

If this were true, I wouldn't have lost so much money when the tech bubble burst. :mad:

I would, however, suggest that BS - people are going to buy everything over the Internet - gets spread more widely, causing bigger bubbles, faster corrections.

J Wolfsberger
02-27-2008, 01:41 PM
I thought about putting in "rednecks" but being a denizen of the northern woods where we eat smoked spotted owl and cut down trees so you can have a real view us "logger necks" know our southern brethren are just misunderstood.

You eat smoked spotted owl?!!

Shouldn't they be fried? Or is that just the (Southern) redneck in me coming out?

selil
02-27-2008, 01:45 PM
You eat smoked spotted owl?!!

Shouldn't they be fried? Or is that just the (Southern) redneck in me coming out?

And you probably think okra is edible too.

Tom Odom
02-27-2008, 02:03 PM
And you probably think okra is edible too.

okra is OK, even superb when fried or added to gumbo

boiled it alone it leaves a slime trail like a snail

SteveMetz
02-27-2008, 02:26 PM
okra is OK, even superb when fried or added to gumbo

boiled it alone it leaves a slime trail like a snail

Like OSD, okra can be de-slimed with the proper technique.

Tom Odom
02-27-2008, 02:30 PM
Like OSD, okra can be de-slimed with the proper technique.

you mean it can be...

transformed? :D

Hacksaw
02-27-2008, 04:57 PM
All,

I readily except all criticisms regarding my "construct". Words are important, so the use of "stasis" and near-perfect" information is dubious for supporting rigorous evaluation. I just lack the vocabulary/time to communicate clearly.:(

I would like to clarify that I have no illusion whether this model, if applied to a single actor, would necessarily predict behavior in a micro sense. "Rational" behavior is in the eye of the beholder, but at a Huntington-civilization level I propose that the effect of an ever-present info-sphere will dampen radical upheavals/flucuations if for no other reason that it becomes damn difficult for any single actor/group to maintain the illusion of an alternative "reality". Even the super-powered individual will have difficulties with "staying power"

I suppose we'll just have to agree that the mob is right and I'll wallow in my ignorance:o

Live well and row

Cannoneer No. 4
03-11-2010, 11:52 PM
Jihad Jane thread over at The Whole News
http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=9957

Cannoneer No. 4
04-28-2010, 02:32 AM
http://ndupress.blogspot.com/2010/04/deterring-chinese-cyber-militias-with.html

US defenses are insufficient to stop Chinese cyber attacks. The US-China Economic and Security Review Commission estimates that Chinese cyber attacks cost the US hundreds of billions of dollars annually. By way of comparison, this is substantially more than the entire Chinese military budget.

What is needed is a threat that is both capable of forcing China to take notice and that it will believe the United States would execute. Such a threat exists. While China's regime does not appear willing to be deterred by conventional diplomatic or legal complaints, it has demonstrated considerable concern about threats to its censorship apparatus.

The most effective way to threaten Chinese censorship would be for US and partner nations to develop their own cyber militias. Rather than stealing intellectual property and disabling public institutions, however, Western militias would aim at finding ways to bypass Chinese firewalls to spread internet freedom.

From National Defense University Press Blog

America already has cyber militias doing PSYOP, and this is a call for cyber militia CNA.

Cannoneer No. 4
01-04-2011, 07:17 PM
Saw this on Twitter this morning. Some of you may have heard it.

http://www.npr.org/2011/01/04/132634099/in-estonia-volunteer-cyber-army-defends-nation?sc=tw#commentBlock

In the years since that cyberassault, Estonia has distinguished itself once again: Now it is a model for how a country might defend itself during a cyberwar. The responsibility would fall to a force of programmers, computer scientists and software engineers who make up a Cyber Defense League, a volunteer organization that in wartime would function under a unified military command.

"[Our] league brings together specialists in cyberdefense who work in the private sector as well as in different government agencies," Defense Minister Jaak Aaviksoo says. The force carries out regular weekend exercises, Aaviksoo says, "to prepare for possible cyber contingencies."

The unit is but one division of Estonia's Total Defense League, an all-volunteer paramilitary force dedicated to maintaining the country's security and preserving its independence.

What lessons can an Estonian Civilian Irregular Information Defense Group, or Cyber Defense League within the Estonian Total Defense League, teach American Computer Network Defenders?

selil
01-04-2011, 07:37 PM
I met last June with the CO of the Estonian Defence League (actually had dinner with him and his XO). I also met with the Defence Minister at a meet and greet. While I was in Estonian I was giving a presentation titled "Cyber warfare: As a form of low-intensity conflict and insurgency" which definitely plays out similar to what is discussed in the article. Rain Ottis gave a similar talk titled "From Pitchforks to laptops: Volunteers in cyber conflicts".

Many ideas of the concepts of levee' en masse are present in the European strategy to solve issues in cyberspace. Whereas, here in the United States I can't even think of talking to the bastion of cyber wizardry known as the NSA (now bow towards Ft. Meade). I can discuss with a much wider group of talented individuals options and success strategies in Europe. The European model though flawed in many ways is much more a distributed capability thereby giving much more power to the individual and empowering the state through resilience.

I gave credit to Small Wars Journal in my talk and several members of the council. There is a severe disconnect between the study of conflict and the study of cyber capability. I need schooled on the conflict, but understand the cyber quite well. Bringing together these two populations you would think would be easy. Not so much.

Cannoneer No. 4
01-04-2011, 08:01 PM
Conscripting Cyber Experts to Protect IT Infrastructure

http://blogs.govinfosecurity.com/posts.php?postID=840

Defense Minister Jaak Aaviksoo says it's so important for Estonia to have a skilled cyber army that the authorities may institute a draft to assure every IT expert is available in a national emergency:

"We are thinking of introducing this conscript service, a cyber service. This is an idea that we've been playing around [with]. We don't have the mechanism or laws in place, but it might be one option."

Estonian CND is pretty cool, but how much of what they do in Estonia could Americans do in America?

Our new Civilian National Security Force that's just as big and just as well funded as our military might consider drafting all the skiddies who signed up for Low Orbit Ion Cannon.

Stan
01-04-2011, 08:05 PM
Sam,
Sadly we couldn't get together during your stay (being made aware of your visit from our SWC agent in Sweden (M1) :D

One of the things with conflict and cyber wizardry in Estonia is a serious generation gap. The older folks spend an enormous amount of time and energy preparing for Russia's return and the youth behind a monitor. Trying to teach someone how to use a spreadsheet is just as challenging to explain and employ as is emergency preparedness to teenagers.

I hope they start concentrating on internet fraud before someone slips in the back door and takes all our Euros :rolleyes:

Cannoneer No. 4
01-04-2011, 08:10 PM
Happy New Year!

What does SWC's man in Estonia care to share about the Total Defense League?

Kaitseliit (http://www.kaitseliit.ee/index.php?op=body&cat_id=288)

Stan
01-04-2011, 09:02 PM
Happy New Year!

What does SWC's man in Estonia care to share about the Total Defense League?

Kaitseliit (http://www.kaitseliit.ee/index.php?op=body&cat_id=288)

Happy New Year to you too !

There are actually two SWC men in Estonia (Kaur is lurking about or back to his real job east of here :cool: )

That's a difficult question. My previous experience with the Defense League in 95 was mixed. Kind of reminded me of an extremely under-financed militia (some Estonians reminisced of the 1940s and called them the Forest Brothers). Back in 95 (similar to 1940) they were poorly equipped and disorganized as the country was trying hard to concentrate on active duty forces, leaving their national guardsmen to hover for funding. But that didn't stop the League from training and maneuvers where possible. I would later learn that many of my friends and associates were reserve members and were quite active within their assigned units.

In the 1940s the so-called Forest Brothers were responsible for more Russian officer (single shot) kills than any other military unit to include SS death squads. They couldn't afford to squander ammo nor spend too much time in the AO. They adapted well to both the terrain and their own shortcomings (Estonian's rarely whine when the chips are down).

Although they financially fair much better today, most of the older folks tend to hang onto their tried-and-true traditions.

I can't comment much on the Cyber Defense League - just not my background nor interest.

selil
01-04-2011, 10:55 PM
Happy New Year!

What does SWC's man in Estonia care to share about the Total Defense League?

Kaitseliit (http://www.kaitseliit.ee/index.php?op=body&cat_id=288)

I talked to them about their training. While I was there they were getting top notch training from SANS and others. They are also tied in with NSA, DOD directly, NATO, and a few other organizations around Europe. They have CCD COE there that is a government group, and several of their members are highly regarded here in the United States.

To quote the famous M1, Estonia is a small country with hot chicks. No wonder Stan and Kaur live there.

Cannoneer No. 4
01-04-2011, 11:30 PM
In the 1940s the so-called Forest Brothers were responsible for more Russian officer (single shot) kills than any other military unit to include SS death squads.

The Forest Brothers and the Selbschutz, Schuma Battalions, and the 20th Waffen Grenadier Division der SS (Estnische Nr. 1) whacked a lot of Sovs during the Great Patriotic War. Great Irregular Warfare stuff for a different thread.

Estonian Exceptionalists have forgiven themselves for their Nazi past and convinced their countrymen that Estonia is a force for good in the world and deserves to survive.

Stan
01-05-2011, 06:09 PM
Hey Cannoneer !

The Forest Brothers and the Selbschutz, Schuma Battalions, and the 20th Waffen Grenadier Division der SS (Estnische Nr. 1) whacked a lot of Sovs during the Great Patriotic War. Great Irregular Warfare stuff for a different thread.

Hmm, just so some folks don’t get the wrong idea thinking the Forest Brothers were Nazis or Nazi sympathizers, I need to clear this one up a smiggin.

Generally speaking the Forest Brothers limited their activities to supporting Estonian and Finnish soldiers and were at one time something of a myth or legend when soldiers returning from the front recanted stories of “Forest Brothers” disrupting flanking enemy fire and saving their butts. They however were not an elite SS unit hangin’ out in the trees and Bogs. One very old dude told me “how easy it was to pick off Russian officers” as they always paraded around in class A’s with all the glittering accoutrements glaring you in the face. :rolleyes:

Estonian Exceptionalists have forgiven themselves for their Nazi past and convinced their countrymen that Estonia is a force for good in the world and deserves to survive.

Most Estonians agree that Estonia was occupied both by the Germans and Russians (they were in fact occupied not less than 15 times, but we’ll stick with the 1900s for now). What one doesn’t hear too often when speaking to people over 50 are bad stories about the Germans raping and pillaging. The Russian-related stories run the gamut between freedom fighters and nearly “African Style” animals (unless of course you’re speaking to an ethnic Russian :D).

I know of only one or two ethnic Russians in the Defense League today and they were born to either an Estonian father or mother (which statistically speaking doesn’t count as a Russian). So, IMO, the Defense League will continue its tradition and the Cyber Defense Unit is simply reflective of the League’s newest and youngest patriotic members. I’m reminded that the next war will not include firearms, and keyboards will soon be a thing of the past (jeez, why did I ever learn to type in the first place ?).

Regards, Stan

Old Eagle
01-05-2011, 09:07 PM
I absolutely do not want to hijack this thread because the concept of a cyber militia is intriguing in many aspects.

Piggybacking on what Stan wrote, however --

One of the most fascinating evenings I spent in Tallinn was with two WWII vets. During the German occupation, draft age males were swooped up into the Wehrmacht. During the Soviet occupation, they were spirited away into the Red Army. These two ancients lived only a couple of blocks apart and were close to the same age. One had been forced into the Red Army and the other into the Luftwaffe two years later. The Soviet had become an officer and rode with the armored columns that "liberated" his homeland. He eventually rose to the rank of LTG. Just listening to them talk about their experiences hour upon hour made the headache the next morning worth it.

Kaitseliit -- in the early days of post-Soviet independence, they were absolutely scary. Like 14 - 80 yr old Boy Scouts with guns (and booze).

anonamatic
01-08-2011, 09:18 AM
The US has a need for people but isn't in a position to do a draft, even for this. The idea has been raised, but I don't think it is being looked at as seriously as it should be. In lieu of that, there is a lot of effort being put in to developing those skills from the private sector as well as internally in the services.

People making the observations that this is a hard area to bridge are really making better observations than it might seem. While it's sometimes hard to articulate what is an attack and what's a protest at a very basic level, it's even more difficult to deal with some of the strategic field as it exists. You can for instance harm a country, and potentially kill people in active attacks, while completely ignoring their military assets. If enough disruption is created for a long enough time, commerce & services get hurt. That's operations that are only taking place inside a civilian realm too. When you start chucking operations against military assets into the mix, well things get a lot more wicked, a lot quicker.

There are a lot of instances of cross-domain activity between technical means and more purely kinetic means of disrupting enemy activity. Those types, the use of tech in insurgencies, rebellions, & by state sponsored types are probably one of the hardest to cope with. When I first started trying to learn more & get current with COIN concepts to work with them as they related to technical domain problems, I really questioned myself a hell of a lot. It took me a long time to really understand how hard dealing with those issues really is, and that absent any wirehead geekery at all.

Somewhere between turning off all the lights in a city, and helping the strategic captain figure out how to make stuff happen in IO with the strategic printer lies a huge variety of problems.

To think about a draft, you have to think about what for. There's also a lot of distance between growing in house information warfare skills inside a service (something I firmly believe in), and being able to expect to buy them like a COTS purchase of MS Word. Dealing in the private sector, and this is I think broadly true of more than the US, one encounters capacity issues no matter where you turn. Often enough it's the private sector that's in need of either protection or attack depending on ones goals. The issues they face are different than some of the boots on the ground issues that come up. The two intersect however, and that's the part that gets rough on everyone...

If instead of blowing up a radio tower to shut off the radio station, I'm turning the thing off, & subverting the cellphone base station that's using the same mast, and keeping the ability to reuse both for my own ends, well that's more useful than making craters in a lot of instances. In many however, that's not going to be an option. Do you want your forces to be able to finesse those situations? Hell yes whenever possible. That's a capacity built with some bricks of knowledge though. Training people to know what to look for, know how to cope with tech they find, not to freak out at piles of wires in some cases, and in others to run the hell away, well every service is dealing with those sorts of issues today.

So, I don't think it's enough to talk about a draft. The idea of a national guard, or some sort of technical reserve probably has a lot of merit in many instances. In smaller countries I think such a thing may become essential. In larger ones, assuming a larger capacity, logistics will probably end up creating situations where capacities are concentrated, but there are limits to scale there too.

I do think in the US at an industrial level mere voluntarism is not enough. That's been tried, and it doesn't work nearly as well as anyone wants. I'm not sure what's in between a draft and some ridiculous notion of buying talent & services like it's some standard purchase, this is not stuff that comes off the shelf, as has been amply demonstrated.

I'm fairly good at protecting computers & capable of no end of nasty in adversarial situations, but that feeping geekery is completely useless without understanding domain issues. Warfare has entirely different problems than making sure a web coupon application creates a proper expiry date for example, or any of the 'how do I make this work' tasks that go with information system creation & modification.

This is a difficult problem, and I think it's a set of issues that have moved beyond trendyness to being real problems that forces have to cope with. There is a lot of that reflected in the infrastructure related aspects of various COIN doctrine. What's changed is that technology of all sorts has become far more ubiquitous than anyone foresaw.

selil
01-08-2011, 05:01 PM
This is a difficult problem, and I think it's a set of issues that have moved beyond trendyness to being real problems that forces have to cope with. There is a lot of that reflected in the infrastructure related aspects of various COIN doctrine. What's changed is that technology of all sorts has become far more ubiquitous than anyone foresaw.

There are numerous other issues as you stumbled across a few times in your previous post. The mixture of IO with cyber warfare. Information operations assists the "strategic captain" but are by definition not kinetic operations. Whereas, cyber warfare most assuredly can be a kinetic operation.

Part of the issue is that there are different technocracies that are involved and they each have specific view points, expectations, and valuations of capabilities.

The technical network sophisticate will use specific language to express capabilities to inflict damage on the adversary. The social network sophisticate will likely use similar language to express inflicting damage on an adversary. Yet they will be talking about two dissimilar goals and assumptions of ability.

When we talk about technical sophistication across the broader domain of cyber warfare it is important to understand that all capabilities found in other domains of warfare must be found in cyber warfare. There must also be some special operational characteristic. Land, sea and air all have specific properties that are inherent in all of the domains as regards conflict. And, each also has a specific attribute.

As we see in land warfare the armor officer is going to see specific attributes of his weapons platform as requirements for land offense. The artillery officer will also see specific missions and roles for his offensive weaponry. There will always be the infantry who will say that wars are won by them and others are merely supporting roles.

It is imperative that the roles of cyber warfare specialists be addressed from a holistic view point showing what the specific platforms, weapons, roles, and tactics are before engaging in strategic discussions. Who would you draft may be an easier question to answer than what would you have them do.

Having technical sophistication in moving from analysis through vulnerability to exploitation may seem necessary but it a small part of the cyber warfare strategic landscape. Supply chain hacking, exploitation of the design and prototyping process, reverse engineering, post retirement exploitation, and many other venues of intelligence gathering and attack are also available.

The current information technology sophisticate is going to look at the network as the domain and be horribly misguided. The air-gap will stymie them, but when looked at in a broader context be negligible. There is a myopia found in most discussions of network exploitation that simply has to be addressed. There is a small group of authors who have looked at this topic and come up with some answers.

The small wars community and specifically counter insurgency community have documented many lessons that can be transferred to the cyber realm. Remember from earlier we should find this as a possibility if the domain actually exists. Using the tools and weapons of an adversary against them, using their infrastructure as a weapon, finding safe havens within the adversary population, interdicting the supply chain, and much more all possible within cyber warfare.

There is a lot more to cyber warfare than the global information grid, and there is much more than the limitations of information operations doctrine. The key is that all domains and militaries operate on information. A scholar of cyber warfare has to be able to point at ancient wars and find the patterns of cyber warfare inherent in the previous conflicts. Cyber as a word to often to too many people is synonymous with Internet. This is similar to the problem of information technology meaning computers. Neither is true, but both are neither false. A pencil is a piece of information technology the same as the filing cabinet. Finding those patterns in cyber warfare is important.

Why are the patterns so important? Because, they inform you on the why you need cyber experts and who you need.

anonamatic
01-09-2011, 11:33 AM
There are numerous other issues as you stumbled across a few times in your previous post.

You'll have to forgive some of what I said in that I have constraints on talking about this subject. I tend to be a bit generic about some things in an effort to be disciplined about discussion because of that. I didn't post here at all for a very long time for that same reason, & skipped introducing myself too due to similar motivations.

You said "Who would you draft may be an easier question to answer than what would you have them do." and I think that's very true. Bridging the gap of being able to tell people what to do involves them having some understanding of what & why, then they can put together how. Going the other direction is often equally difficult, the parable of the 'horseshoe nail' or whatever the lost messages tale is called is a good example of that with low-tech. Explaining to people why an easily overlooked nail can be important can be a lot like trying to explain how the Death Star has only one miraculously overlooked twisty path to being blown up that no one thought of. As an aside, notice how for that operation Obi-Wan used the Star Wars equivalent of PowerPoint... Darth Vader was not the only grim thing about that future...

In any case, I agree broadly with the things you said. I'd add that I think there's been some really dramatic evolution that's pushed technical aspects of conflict in their current direction. I can say with absolute certainty for instance that some of what was in the Hollis paper will come as a real surprise to a lot of geeks when they're confronted with aspects of the changing terrain.

selil
01-09-2011, 05:18 PM
You'll have to forgive some of what I said in that I have constraints on talking about this subject. I tend to be a bit generic about some things in an effort to be disciplined about discussion because of that. I didn't post here at all for a very long time for that same reason, & skipped introducing myself too due to similar motivations.

Totally understood and I'll keep that in mind. Participate as you are able and it is welcome. As you might guess I'm an open book, unconstrained at this time, by any government or business entity. You can go to my website, see my complete CV so you can determine if I have any credibility in my statements.

I am currently preparing a large scale project in targeting and weaponization across the totality of the cyber domain. The bones of the argument are that cyber has the following traits.

cognition -> technology -> cognition

or

cognition -> technology -> heart beats

or

cognition -> technology -> technology

We always start with intent and our overall targeting goal is a change in attitude, living status, or breaking stuff.

Explaining that concept to a information technology professional who has limited understanding of conflict and even less of weaponization of their platforms is difficult. Utilizing strategies and cultural clues as the Estonian forces are attempting are good strategies of levee' en masse. Selection of weapons and strategies that are conceptually taking into account perfidy and law of war are also anathema to most technocrats.

Add to this mix the multiplicity of domains, the myriad complexities of signals versus EM, versus IO communities and you have no structure to plug a volunteer force into.

Cannoneer No. 4
01-10-2011, 06:08 AM
davidbfpo has thoughtfully started a new thread, Small, Forgotten Small Wars (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?p=113486#post113486), where Estonian Operations Other Than Information are being discussed.

Discussion of Estonian IO, CND, CNA, PSYOP, MILDEC, OPSEC & EW is what I had in mind for this thread.

anonamatic
01-10-2011, 09:02 AM
Totally understood and I'll keep that in mind. Participate as you are able and it is welcome. As you might guess I'm an open book, unconstrained at this time, by any government or business entity. You can go to my website, see my complete CV so you can determine if I have any credibility in my statements.


Thank you, this is a low-BS site overall but I did already go take some look at your site, I think you're doing good work. The site admins have my name, mail, & I'm not bouncing around any. I'm open to more privately than publicly, but I need the tripwires of pseudo-anonymity too. With a lot of what I do if you know who I am then I'm doing it wrong, so it's something of a habit too.

In your earlier post, when you said "technology -> technology" can you clarify what you meant by that? I'm not sure quite what you mean there, although I follow the earlier synopsis a bit better.

Quite frequently even today when you talk about destroying either a piece of tech, or a system that relies on it, technologists greet the idea with surprise. There are two types of surprise that come up, one is surprise at a method, the other more common one is surprise at the possibility of doing such a thing. That latter one I encounter the most. I encounter it a lot less frequently in any discussions with military people, but it still happens because everyone has a tendency to take technology for granted until it's gone. Figuring out the implications is difficult a lot of the time too, and it's taught me to be able to feel very comfortable listening to someone & then saying "I did not know that".

I think that an awful lot, and not all, but very many technocrats do not understand warfare, and very little of war. A lot of them don't understand government, or that order & anarchy can both be extraordinarily destructive when they are taken to extremes of implementation. It would be very easy for me to go off on a long, long & detailed rant about all the ways that's true, but I'll just add that it's the same problem as seen between civilians & their governments & their military in most countries. Technology people, & geeks of all flavors, can be personally abstracted from basic hygiene so I think it helps to keep in mind sometimes that their limitations in those areas can cause a wide variety of understanding problems, & military matters are part of the pile, not an exception.

anonamatic
01-10-2011, 10:11 AM
I think that some of the arguments that Clauser makes in the paper published on the site about 'drafting the US civil service' might apply to tech domain stuff, and apply outside the US.

I'm of the opinion that in smaller states especially with technology there needs to be a fairly holistic approach that can draft people when necessary & put in place organization to deal with digital conflict. It's a mistake to rely on technology people to solve problems on their own, and that was shown in this conflict. One of the constant themes of any complex forensic examination is the amount of 'didn't know' that pops up. The US grapples with that to this day, but with smaller states, less is more. That extends to impacts, as well as to the people involved in dealing with the effects of conflicts on systems. The larger an IT infrastructure a country has going on, the more technology ubiquity, the more they can muddle along. There are problems of symmetry for attackers that are usually overlooked when discussing technology operations too. Attackers face disadvantages, and there being an awful lot of technology out there is one of them.

One other thing that has a bearing is that there are usually somewhat fewer layers of everything in a smaller state, so that creates more organizational pressure to cope with these problems.

Businesses have a very long history of trying to ignore the constraints of nation for profit, & they can not be relied on to safeguard their own best interests quite frequently, much less the interests of countries they're from or operating in. They just aren't focused on that, and I suspect rarely if ever will be. This gets reflected in government standards for tech, but that doesn't work at all for people & organizations so something different is needed. Structurally, I'm not sure that there aren't various ways of coping with these problems without a `draft', but when it comes to making sure things function, and making sure that the right people are talking to each other in the event of some attack or disaster, that's somewhat non-optional. It's a baseline requirement of disaster planning in a lot of respects.

I think it's particularly important for Estonia not to adopt a position of not going back to business as usual. The more they can do to reduce vulnerability to attack, the less they will be attacked. The less that happens, the less conflict is fueled. So it's well worth the effort & investment on the part of everyone to invest organized effort in this. It's been demonstrated that `getting away with it' is not a viable strategy because it will not work. People and overhead in technical security is commonly a skimped-on technology aspect for a lot of reasons, some of them quite good, but many are not because of the downplayed risks.

One of the characteristics of the Estonian conflict was attrition, and it's quite obvious that it had an effect over time. This offers some explanation how cumulative small risks can contribute to large structural failings too, and it's really one of the best modern examples of that around.

selil
01-10-2011, 04:07 PM
In your earlier post, when you said "technology -> technology" can you clarify what you meant by that? I'm not sure quite what you mean there, although I follow the earlier synopsis a bit better.


Cognition -> technology -> technology

Synopsis: With intent "I" can use technology to "disrupt, degrade, and destroy" other forms of technology.

Evidence point 1: Stuxnet
Evidence point 2: DHS Aurora project to destroy generator

In Verton's book Black Ice he discusses Blue Cascades which was an effort (previously classified and covered by NDA's) by the Seattle CIO to evaluate and test whether hackers could destroy or cause a mass casualty event. The result was suggested that engineers had designed the systems in such a way that a cyber event could not be translated into a major engineering failure. What was missing was a collective understanding of systems and a self imposed limitation of technocratic/network centric thinking.

In Schniers recent book Beyond Fear he discusses the ramifications of systemic design and brings up Admiral Grace Hoppers contention about post world war 2 excess in complexity. Complexity of systems is often fixed through the use of information technology and "modernization" through automation. The Bhopal India Union Carbide plant relied on workers instead of automation and that led to a major accident. Cultural and background understanding absence of the indigenous population helped create the release of poisonous gas. The way to solve that currently is modernize and automate the industrial processes remotely and have "experts" watch those systems.

Now we come to breaking things and killing people.

Assumption 1: Military targets are often industrial in nature
Assumption 2: Valid military targets include soldiers
Assumption 3: In escalating wars the niceties of small wars, brush fire conflicts, and restricted engagement through proxies is no longer an issue.

Premise: The most elite hack is the utilization of a system or process in a new and unexpected way. Thereby bypassing the security and safeguards that were never expecting the sideways attack.

(Obfuscation and generalization purposefully inflicted sorry)

A target worthy of military intervention and targeting is going to likely be of such size as requiring industrial processes and automation. As the system size and increasing complexity of the system grows so does the vulnerability matrix. The vulnerability matrix and opportunity of attacks is an infamous hockey stick graph. With y being vulnerabilities available, and x being system size + complexity. Since industrial processes are well documented inserting and implementing substantial counter-intuitive and sometimes resulting in violent failures.

Examples (that actually won't work but for imaginary purposes)

Example 1: Shutting off the blow off valve (http://www.esquire.com/blogs/politics/bp-oil-refinery-explosion-062810) (electronically operated) of an oil refinery during the refining process resulting in an epic explosion.
Example 2: Dump cleaning water into an electric arc furnace (http://www.forensic.cc/non-fire/machinery-breakdown/furnaces,-heaters-&-boilers/electric-arc-steelmaking-furnace-accidents) during a melt. The explosion would destroy the entire facility (there is no such thing as cleaning water but scrap drums filled with water have filled the same purpose).

While talking around the issue and actual evidence it becomes apparent that network intrusions and jumping air gaps is fully possible (SIPR net attack, STUXnet attack, Syrian Radars). The actual attack vector may not even be a cyber attack but a hostile insider that uses cyber to enhance the effect. We can research significant industrial system failures and then engineer solutions that arrive at the same result by violating the right rules of correct conduct.

Hope that answers the question in a round-about way.

anonamatic
01-12-2011, 09:35 AM
Yea, it does answer that for me. That's along the lines I thought you were expressing, but I appreciate the elaboration.

I can say that I'm broadly in agreement with what you wrote. I think you put that very well & accurately. I wish I could elaborate some on what you've said, but well you hit more than one wall for me with that. There are a few exceptions though as follows.

Both of your examples were completely valid, the former one was quite good. There was initial speculation that the Deepwater Horizon disaster was the result of a hostile attack. When that occurred I started looking for known events that would disprove the idea & found some quickly. However it was worth examining for sure. Later though, & this has been very true with the NYT articles about what happened to all the systems on board, it was apparent there was a lot of intentional system isolation going on for reasons of structural safety. Those structural safety precautions also created systems protection through isolation. These were there because they wanted to literally firewall systems off from each other. That made it very unlikely that it was an attack. In fact had their systems been working the way they should have, they'd have prevented a number of back of the napkin attacks from doing any serious damage. In your other example dumping a cleaning system was an off the top of the head fiction, however if there was one it would be interesting. It doesn't matter though because it's a certainty that there would be something else.

A lot of what goes into serious hacks are serious logical contortions. It's why it's not an easily taught subject. Pile on that the more complex a system is, the more research that is needed to understand the target, and the obstacle pile starts to grow a great deal. When it comes to military systems, and how the military uses them, and how civilian infrastructure works with defense industries that work with armed forces, well that's not exactly whipping up a game of Pong or writing some "Hello World" code either.

selil
01-12-2011, 02:15 PM
A lot of what goes into serious hacks are serious logical contortions. It's why it's not an easily taught subject. Pile on that the more complex a system is, the more research that is needed to understand the target, and the obstacle pile starts to grow a great deal. When it comes to military systems, and how the military uses them, and how civilian infrastructure works with defense industries that work with armed forces, well that's not exactly whipping up a game of Pong or writing some "Hello World" code either.

A big part of my current research is into targeting in cyber warfare. I'm currently working on a set of techniques and tactics that allow for a structured assessment process for targeting. The tool set removes a lot of the traditional hacking but is better at capability enhancement. It has attack vectors, strategic paths, operational capabilities, across the entirety of the domain of cyber warfare. Basically you can give a commander a effects based outcome on a specific target with a high level of specificity. It is a multi-dimensional model that can be automated.

Basically answering the issue of how military and civilian systems are integrated.

Oh, did I mention the model can be reversed and allow detection of the holy grail of vulnerabilities that haven't previously been detected? Not specifically but it can tell you where to look.

Cannoneer No. 4
01-15-2011, 06:36 PM
IPT News
January 14, 2010

In the ever-changing conflict between the West and Islamist radicals, one front – the Internet – has emerged as a major battlefield. And, while in many areas of this frontier the Islamists strut about unchecked, one man, code-name th3j35t3r ("The Jester"), has made it his point to strike back with (cyber) force. As first reported by the security blog ThreatChaos, "The Jester" made a different kind of New Year's resolution than most: to wage war on jihadist and pro-Islamist websites and forums by systematically disrupting their servers via denial-of-service (DoS) attacks.

Also unlike most, he has made good on his promise thus far – and there is no sign that he will let up.



. . . Wherever one may stand on the issue of cyber-vigilantism – independent citizens taking matters into their own hands without the requisite knowledge of ongoing investigations utilizing that open-source data – it is clear that matters are shaping up just as Dorothy Denning predicted in an August 2008 article in Scientific American: "Soon, every interstate conflict, however minor, may be accompanied by some form of hacker war that is beyond the control of ruling governments."

Read more at: http://www.investigativeproject.org/1660/fr0m-th3-cyb3r-battle-l1nes-who-should-lead

Is The Jester a Virtual Militia (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=4961) of One, or is he the Public Affairs/Psychological Operations face of a much larger Information Operation?

anonamatic
01-16-2011, 03:45 AM
He's at best himself and a few others, & apparently a non-state actor. Sadly if this were anything more official it'd look more like bird watching than hunting.

Cannoneer No. 4
01-18-2011, 04:16 PM
http://th3j35t3r.wordpress.com/2011/01/18/for-the-record/?utm_source=Jester%27s+Court+Blog&utm_medium=twitter

Before he came to Anonymous' attention he mostly applied Restrictive Measures to jihadi propaganda sites.

Cannoneer No. 4
01-21-2011, 03:30 AM
http://www.reuters.com/assets/print?aid=USTRE70I2DW20110119

FIRE YOUR CANNON

All you need to wage cyber war is a fast-paced internet forum packed with hundreds of determined activists and a simple piece of software called a Low Orbit Ion Cannon. Activists download the LOIC -- initially developed to help internet security experts test website vulnerability to DDoS attacks -- and start firing packets of data at the targeted website.

If enough people join in, a DDoS attack prevents the overloaded server from responding to legitimate requests and slows the website to a crawl or shuts it down totally.

Attackers can even listen to a dedicated internet radio station, Radiopayback, during attacks.

A quarter of a million copies of the LOIC software have been downloaded from sourceforge.net so far, more than half of them since November when Web hosting and banking organizations began withdrawing support from WikiLeaks.

LOIC (http://cannoneerno4.wordpress.com/2010/12/09/low-orbit-ion-cannon/) is a volunteer botnet and psychological operation that gives large numbers of unsophisticated wannabe hackers the feeling that they're Information Operators, too.

Meanwhile, an individual or group calling himself or themselves th3j35t3 (https://www.infosecisland.com/blogview/11140-Hacktivist-Confirms-Infecting-Anonymous-DHNzip-File.html)r has been doing Cyber COIN and counterpropaganda.

AdamG
01-21-2011, 04:39 PM
The year 2010 was a hugely significant one for computing criminality and could turn out to mark the beginning of a ‘third era’ of cybercrime, security expert Graham Cluley of Sophos has said in advance of the company's latest threat review of the year.

http://news.techworld.com/security/3257316/world-now-in-third-era-of-cybercrime-says-report/

Cannoneer No. 4
01-25-2011, 02:54 PM
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hDLsLv31w1TBNtRcRHbIedezediQ?docId=CNG.8c7c2 d37b80a7efbfd66908fa452bb99.451

TALLINN — Estonia said Friday it plans to lend its IT expertise to help exiled Belarussians who have taken to cyber-space to oppose their homeland's President Alexander Lukashenko.

"Estonia is planning IT training for members of the Belarussian opposition, teaching them how to manage their websites and protect them from cyber-attacks," foreign ministry spokeswoman Mariann Sudakov told AFP.

"We have also offered scholarship programmes in Estonian universities for Belarussian students whose have been kicked out of Belarussian universities for political reasons," she added.

Pavel Morozau, an anti-Lukashenko campaigner exiled in Estonia since 2006, said the Internet was a crucial tool.

"Activists from the Belarussian community in Estonia have created and managed websites in Estonia and elsewhere to support our friends in the Belarussian opposition and promote democracy in our fatherland," Morozau told AFP.

Stan
01-25-2011, 04:01 PM
http://www.google.com/hostednews/afp/article/ALeqM5hDLsLv31w1TBNtRcRHbIedezediQ?docId=CNG.8c7c2 d37b80a7efbfd66908fa452bb99.451

Sure hope this doesn't come back to bite Estonia and traveling Estonians later. Lukashenko tends to deal with opposition Soviet-style, and it wasn't long ago that his opponents simply disappeared.

Poland has been spearheading the democratic parade and I recon it's time for Estonia to pony up with good deeds.

Cannoneer No. 4
01-25-2011, 11:24 PM
http://i.imgur.com/LfLhN.png

Using Civilian Irregular PSYOP to encourage Civilian Irregular CNA, this time against the Mubarak regime.

For discussion purposes only.

Notice the .ru

Stan
01-26-2011, 03:18 PM
Estonia to launch internet police unit (http://bnn-news.com/2011/01/26/other-news/estonia-launch-internet-police-unit/)

Initially one to two people will be employed, but the unit can be expanded in the future, if the project turns out to be successful.

The police have to be where people are to work efficiently, which is why policemen patrol in the streets. Since people spend a lot of time surfing on the Internet, it is important the police are there as well, according to the Estonian Police and Border Guard Board.

AdamG
01-28-2011, 07:12 PM
Tunisian and Egyptian political activists used Facebook and Twitter to organize protests and publicize breaking news. Harvard's Jillian York discusses the use of social media platforms for digital activism, and cases in which governments have blocked the services or compromised user privacy.

http://www.npr.org/2011/01/28/133306336/Twitter-Facebook-As-Political-Tools-In-Arab-World

Cannoneer No. 4
02-16-2011, 01:01 PM
http://arstechnica.com/tech-policy/news/2011/02/anonymous-speaks-the-inside-story-of-the-hbgary-hack.ars/3

Anonymous is a virtual militia.
HBGaryFederal is a DOD Contractor.
Information Assurance & Computer Network Attack/Defense cautionary tale.

AdamG
02-23-2011, 01:42 AM
An Iranian government official on Tuesday claimed the Islamic Revolutionary Guards Corps was behind a recent computer attack that disrupted Voice of America Internet programming.

Iran‘s state-controlled Press TV quoted an IRGC official, Ali Saeedi Shahroodi, as saying the cyber-attack was the work of the Corps, the Iranian Islamic regime’s shock troops.

“The hacking of a VOA home page by the Iranian Cyber Army and leaving a message on the site for the U.S. secretary of state shows the power and capability of the [Islamic Revolution Guards] Corps in the cyber arena,” Mr. Saeedi Shahroodi, an IRGC spokesman for Ayatollah Ali Khamenei, told the official IRNA news agency.

http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/feb/22/iran-militia-claims-credit-for-voa-cyberstrike/

Extra happy funtime quote

The Iranian IRGC spokesman said the hacking showed Iran‘s sophistication in developing cyberweapons.

“The U.S. enjoys high capabilities in missile technology, including cruise missiles, nuclear arms and other weapons, but this is not the case when it comes to software and cybertechnology,” Mr. Saeedi Shahroodi added.

anonamatic
03-02-2011, 10:55 AM
http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2011/feb/22/iran-militia-claims-credit-for-voa-cyberstrike/

Extra happy funtime quote:

“The U.S. enjoys high capabilities in missile technology, including cruise missiles, nuclear arms and other weapons, but this is not the case when it comes to software and cybertechnology,” Mr. Saeedi Shahroodi added.

This speaks to the point I made elsewhere about too much talking and not enough doing. The whole temple model that has accompanied US strategy in this domain has been an abject failure in many respects. Clearly it's created weaknesses when the Iranians find themselves so emboldened as to make statements like this.

Cannoneer No. 4
03-19-2011, 12:49 AM
Civilian Irregular Information Operator / cybervigilante known as th3j35t3r (http://twitter.com/th3j35t3r/) attacks Libyan dictator's website.

http://a3.twimg.com/profile_images/582808122/jester.jpg
www.algathafi.org - TANGO DOWN. Temporarily. For using military force on protesters. Kudos 3 AWOL pilots. #chatta #libya
12 minutes ago via XerXeS Attack Platform V3.17


An Irregular's Denial of Service attack on the personal website of the acknowledged leader of a sovereign Westphalian nation-state combines Computer Network Attack with Psychological Operations and Irregular Warfare.

Would Military Information Support Operations conducted by non-military entities be properly referred to as Paramilitary Information Support Operations?

anonamatic
03-19-2011, 11:10 PM
It's back up, I suppose he did a DDoS attack but wasn't able to sustain it. I'm not sure what a good term for this would be aside from hacktivist (and I have some bias towards the term too), perhaps para-militia? The `patriotic hacker' notion doesn't translate too well into English, & doesn't work quite as clearly outside of politically primitive mono-culture states.

Cannoneer No. 4
03-20-2011, 01:38 AM
He did a DOS attack and didn't try to sustain it. Intended to be temporary Restrictive Measure against KaDaffy's propaganda site.

Now that the shooting has started it will be interesting to see what Regular counterpropagandists of many nations do.

Rex Brynen
03-20-2011, 02:59 PM
Given the ridiculously counter-productive propaganda on that website--at the moment, one leading articles warns "Let everyone understand that the North Pole does not belong to anyone; it is the property of all the peoples of the earth and all the continents."--it is probably left alone for everyone to see.

Cannoneer No. 4
03-30-2011, 03:57 PM
https://www.infosecisland.com/blogview/12745-Patriot-Hacker-The-Jesters-Libyan-Psyops-Campaign.html

Civilian Irregular Psychological Operator at work.

AdamG
06-30-2011, 04:43 AM
Place your bets : who done it?

WASHINGTON — Computer hackers shut down al-Qaida's ability to communicate its messages to the world through the Internet, interrupting the group's flow of videos and communiqués, according to a terrorism expert.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/43584213/ns/us_news-security/

GeorgePBurdell
06-30-2011, 06:43 PM
coordinated across multiple agencies with the hackers out of NSA doing the heavy lifting

Rex Brynen
06-30-2011, 11:33 PM
There's a big debate in the IC as to whether these sorts of attacks are useful (in that they briefly suppress some AQ public relations) or counterproductive (in that if you can access the server, as this attack apparently could, you can use that access to collect very useful intel).

To date, the general opinion has been that such cyberattacks to more harm than good, unless harnessed to a specific purpose.

anonamatic
07-02-2011, 10:55 AM
I totally support this type of effort. I think it's a really good idea to be active about dealing with terrorists & other evil types online. I'm not saying don't do observation, but they aren't the sort of endangered species we want to preserve either, so the whole 'leave no footprints' approach is of limited value. Besides crushing their efforts to wreck more havoc in the real world, poking the maggots is a good way of making them move & learning more about them.