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A farewell to arms john carlin A farewell to arms john carlin Document Transcript

  • John Carlin’s ArticuleA Farewell to ArmsBy John CarlinFor those on the ramparts of the worlds sole superpower, the digital windsare blowing an icy chill through the triumphant glow of the post-Cold War.People in Washington play lots of games, but none for higher stakes than The Day After. Theyplayed a version of it in the depths of the Cold War, hoping the exercise would shake loosesome bright ideas for a US response to nuclear attack. Theyre playing it again today, but thescenario has changed - now theyre preparing for information war.The game takes 50 people, in five teams of ten. To ensure a fair and fruitful contest, eachteam includes a cross-section of official Washington - CIA spooks, FBI agents, foreign policyexperts, Pentagon boffins, geopoliticos from the National Security Council - not the soldiersagainst the cops against the spies against the geeks against the wonks.The Day After starts in a Defense Department briefing room. The teams are presented with aseries of hypothetical incidents, said to have occurred during the preceding 24 hours.Georgias telecom system has gone down. The signals on Amtraks New York to Washingtonline have failed, precipitating a head-on collision. Air traffic control at LAX has collapsed. Abomb has exploded at an army base in Texas. And so forth.The teams fan out to separate rooms with one hour to prepare briefing papers for thepresident. "Not to worry - these are isolated incidents, an unfortunate set of coincidences" isone possible conclusion. Another might be "Someone - were still trying to determine who -appears to have the US under full-scale attack." Or maybe just "Round up the usual militiasuspects."The game resumes a couple of days later. Things have gone from bad to worse. The powersdown in four northeastern states, Denvers water supply has dried up, the US ambassador toEthiopia has been kidnapped, and terrorists have hijacked an American Airlines 747 en routefrom Rome. Meanwhile, in Tehran, the mullahs are stepping up their rhetoric against the"Great Satan": Iranian tanks are on the move toward Saudi Arabia. CNNs ChristianeAmanpour, in a flak jacket, is reporting live outside the US embassy in Addis Ababa. ABCsPeter Jennings is quizzing George Stephanopoulos on the presidents state of mind.When suddenly, the satellites over North America all go blind ...Transcrito Por: Javier Martinez ---- Sigueme: @sking102
  • John Carlin’s ArticuleGod, Voltaire said, is on the side of the big battalions. Not any more, He aint. Nor on theside of the richest or even - and this may surprise you - the most extravagantly well wired.Information technology is famously a great equalizer, a new hand that can tip the scales ofpower. And for those on the ramparts of the worlds sole superpower, the digital winds areblowing an icy chill through the post-Cold Wars triumphant glow.Consider this litany. From former National Security Agency director John McConnell: "Weremore vulnerable than any other nation on earth." Or former CIA deputy director WilliamStudeman: "Massive networking makes the US the worlds most vulnerable target" ("and themost inviting," he might have added). Or former US Deputy Attorney General Jaime Gorelick:"We will have a cyber equivalent of Pearl Harbor at some point, and we do not want to waitfor that wake-up call."And the Pentagon brass? They commissioned their old RAND think-tank friends, who combedthrough the Day After results and concluded, "The more time one spent on this subject, themore one saw tough problems lacking concrete solutions and, in some cases, lacking evengood ideas about where to start."Not that nothing is being done. On the contrary, theres been a frenzy of activity, most of itlittle noticed by Washington at large. A presidential commission has been established; theFBI, the CIA, and the NSA have created their own specialist I-war teams; interagency bodies,complete with newly minted acronyms like IPTF (Infrastructure Protection Task Force) andCIWG (Critical Infrastructure Working Group), have been set up; defense advisorycommittees have been submitting reports thick and fast, calling for bigger budgets, smarterbombs, more surveillance, still more commissions to combat the cyber peril.Yet, for all the bustle, theres no clear direction. For all the heat, there isnt a great deal oflight. For all the talk about new threats, theres a reflexive grasp for old responses - what wasgood enough to beat the Soviet Union and Saddam Hussein will be good enough to beat abunch of hackers. Smarter hardware, says the Pentagon. Bigger ears, says the NSA. Betterfiles, says the FBI. And meanwhile The Day Afters haunting refrain is playing over and over inthe back of everyones mind: What do we tell the White House?A little digitally induced confusion might be par for the course in, say, the telecom industry oreven on the global financial markets. But warfare is something else altogether. And while theold Washington wheels slowly turn, information technology is undermining most of the worldsaccumulated knowledge about armed conflict - since Sun Tzu, anyway.What is an act of war? What is an appropriate response? Whos the first line of defense?What does "civilian" infrastructure mean when 90 percent of the US militaryscommunications travel over public networks? Are we ready for a bonfire of civil liberties in thename of national security? Do we need an army? A navy? An air force? Does it matterwhether we have them? And how do you encourage free and informed debate about anissue of unimpeachable importance without setting off panic?Transcrito Por: Javier Martinez ---- Sigueme: @sking102
  • John Carlin’s ArticuleInteresting questions all, unless you happen to be the men and women who get paid to keepthe United States - or any other country - sleeping safe within its borders. In which case,those questions are a nightmare.For a crisp, succinct summary of I-war - not to mention a taste of the threats reality - youcould do worse than glance at the Chinese army newspaper, Jiefangjun Bao. The followingsummarizes speeches delivered at last Mays founding ceremony for Beijings new MilitaryStrategies Research Center:"After the Gulf War, when everyone was looking forward to eternal peace, a new militaryrevolution emerged. This revolution is essentially a transformation from the mechanizedwarfare of the industrial age to the information warfare of the information age. Informationwarfare is a war of decisions and control, a war of knowledge, and a war of intellect. Theaim of information warfare will be gradually changed from preserving oneself and wipingout the enemy to preserving oneself and controlling the opponent. Information warfareincludes electronic warfare, tactical deception, strategic deterrence, propaganda warfare,psychological warfare, network warfare, and structural sabotage."Under todays technological conditions," the summary continues, "the all conqueringstratagems of Sun Tzu more than two millennia ago - vanquishing the enemy withoutfighting and subduing the enemy by soft strike or soft destruction - could finally be trulyrealized."Please note that theres no namby-pambying about defending the motherland. A Chinesetake on the Critical Infrastructure Working Group this is not. The object is to vanquish,conquer, destroy - as deviously and pervasively as possible.Thats one of the factors that makes I-war discussions so fraught: Like the technology thatmakes it possible, the landscape is vast, hard to visualize, and infinitely flexible. I-war can bethe kind of neat, conceptually contained electronic Pearl Harbor scenario that Washingtonstrategists like - collapsing power grids, a stock market software bomb (Tom Clancys beenthere already), an electromagnetic pulse that takes the phone system out. Or it could besomething completely different: An unreachable, maybe even unknown, foe. Grinding youdown. Messing with your collective mind. Driving you slowly, gently nuts. Turning around yourhigh-powered, fully wired expeditionary force in Somalia with a single, 30-second videoclipof one of your boys being dragged behind a jeep. Weaponry by CNN.The question is whether the creaky old Cold War decision-making juggernaut is up to it. "Itsgone from think tank to commission to task force," says one Senate staffer, "and then theWhite House has put it back out for another commission. Nobody wants to get near it,because its being presented in such humongous terms." And because jumping in requireswrestling with some of the most contentious issues around, from civil liberties andcryptography to the size of the Pentagon budget - not to mention heavy doses of what stillremains, for most of area code 202, mind-bendingly impenetrable technology.Transcrito Por: Javier Martinez ---- Sigueme: @sking102
  • John Carlin’s ArticuleThe whole Washington mind-set may be part of the problem. "The threat is distributed," saysGeorgetown University computer science professor and crypto wars veteran DorothyDenning, "but the governments first response is, OK, whos going to be in charge? Its theage-old hierarchical approach, and Im not sure whether it will work this time." Denning isnotorious on the electronic privacy scene as a crypto hardliner, but on I war, she soundsalmost forlorn. "The problem is that the technology leaps ahead of the security, and thatsgoing to be with us forever. What we need to do is come to grips with our vulnerability anddo the best we can." Hardly a Churchillian call to fight them on the beaches, and not exactlythe kind of rhetoric that might get the blood stirring on Capitol Hill.Looking at I-war through the conventional military prism is scarcely more inspiring. Noweapons to stockpile. No US$50 billion panacea programs. No Ho Chi Minh Trails to bomb.No missiles to monitor. No rear bases - possibly no immediately definable enemy at all. TheI-war threat is, by definition, so overwhelmingly unstructured that any attempt at a top heavyresponse could actually be worse than doing nothing. Nor will expensive new toys help: asthe NSAs and the FBIs crypto warriors are already finding out, most of the technologyinvolved is simply software - easy to duplicate, hard to restrict, and often frustratingly dual-use, civilian or military. It doesnt take a nice, fat sitting duck of a factory to manufacturesoftware bombs; any PC anywhere will do.The writing on the wall? John Arquilla, a professor at the Naval Postgraduate School inMonterey, California, and a leading Pentagon I-war thinker, puts it bluntly: "We have spentbillions in the last few decades on large, expensive aircraft carriers, strategic bombers, andtanks. The information revolution suggests nothing less than that these assets have becomemuch more vulnerable and much less necessary." (See "Netwar and Peace in the GlobalVillage," page 52.)The Pentagons immediate response is among the hoariest in the military playbook: Coveryour ass. Its brand-new Defense Science Board Task Force, chaired by two former DODassistant secretaries, went out on a limb to recommend expanded I-war training (theresalready a School of Information Warfare and Strategy, part of the National DefenseUniversity, outside Washington) and tightened security for the US militarys informationsystems - the ever-expanding category now known as C4I (command, control,communications, computing, and intelligence). The report did include a provocative call forlegal authority to allow "DOD, law enforcement, and intelligence agencies to conductefficient, coordinated monitoring of attacks on the critical civilian information infrastructure."And for good measure, it recommended spending $240 million to establish a permanent RedTeam - a putative hostile foe, sort of a Day After team in reverse - to begin routinely probingkey US information systems for weak spots. Total price tag: $3 billion over five years, enoughto pay for a couple of B-1 bombers.Play Number Two: Pass the buck. Says John Petersen, president of The Arlington Institute anda regular Pentagon consultant, "Any time things start to smell like something other than killingpeople and breaking things, people in the military start pointing in other directions" - which inthis case means the intelligence community and law enforcement.Transcrito Por: Javier Martinez ---- Sigueme: @sking102
  • John Carlin’s ArticuleSpooks and cops may well be better suited to the task, at least for holding up the defensiveend of I-war. Butbetter is only relative. I-war trashes time-honored distinctions between lawenforcement and intelligence, between Americans and foreigners, between the kinds ofsurveillance permitted at home and what starts at the waters edge.Undaunted, the FBI has created a Computer Investigation and Infrastructure ThreatAssessment Center, expanding the bureaus three existing computer crime squads to 56nationwide - one in every major field office. More tellingly, an executive order signed byPresident Clinton last July created an interagency outfit called the Infrastructure ProtectionTask Force. Chaired by the FBI and including representatives from the DOD and the NSA, thetask force is charged with developing a "threat model" and "countermeasures." To theseends it is mightily empowered to demand "assistance, information, and advice" from "allexecutive departments and agencies." Says John Pike of the watchdog Federation ofAmerican Scientists, "The IPTF reeks of what everyone always worries about: the nebulouscontrol authority. There are people who were looking for a hunting license, and they seem tohave gotten it."One proposal quietly making the rounds on Capitol Hill is to let the NSA engage in domesticmonitoring, partly on the theory that digital technology makes distinctions between"domestic" and "foreign" artificial. Wheres the waters edge in cyberspace?Thats just one looming I-war flashpoint. Another is an adjunct to the raging crypto debate:despite broad-based encryptions obvious merit as part of an I-war defense, the NSA andthe FBI oppose it out of hand, on the grounds - not entirely unreasonable - that itmakes their mission of listening in on potential enemies more problematic. The NSA, inparticular, is looking on mournfully as encrypted communications spread around the world,obscuring its view even as the threat of I-war dramatically raises the stakes. In closed-doorhearings where "black" budgets are debated, a powerful collision looms. And your localrepresentatives may eventually be asked to ratify some tricky decisions - just as soon as theyfinish figuring out how to read their email.If youre looking for someone to talk to about the vulnerability of computer networks, it wouldhave to be Howard Frank, director of Darpas Information Technology Office. Frank was onthe team that 25 years ago invented the Internet - Doctor Frankenstein, if you will, nowquietly trying to protect his creation from hostile new forces swarming around it.Frank, an amiable, courteous man, patiently answers questions and puts things inperspective. The Internet, he says, was never designed to survive a nuclear war. Claims that itwas designed to be invulnerable are urban myth, hes happy to tell you.Frank is a Day After veteran; he even supervised one of the sessions. But at one point in ourinterview, he lets slip a remark so melodramatic that we can confidently expect it to bewritten into a Hollywood I-war blockbuster. Were chatting about last summers big WestCoast power outages, when suddenly he exclaims, "Each time I hear about one of thesethings, I say to myself, OK, its started! And when I find out it really didnt, I just think wevebought some additional time. But it will start."Transcrito Por: Javier Martinez ---- Sigueme: @sking102
  • John Carlin’s ArticuleSo what do we do? "Weve created a technology over a period of 20 or 30 years. Its goingto take 10, 20 years to create an alternative technology that allows us a more sophisticatedset of defenses."That long? Who knows? Its like the drug war, or urban dwellers perennial battles againstroaches. Its not hard to grasp the problem, but solutions remain evasive, slippery, beyondreach.Not that no ones looking. Darpa, for instance, is actively soliciting proposals for "researchand new technology development related to the survivability of large-scale informationsystems whose continuous operation is critical to the defense and well-being of the nation."Theyre talking serious business here. Theyre talking survivability. And what they have inmind is not just any infrastructure "hardening"; this is cutting-edge stuff, grounded in the latesttheories of ecological computing - digital versions of genetic variation and immune response."There are naturally occurring models of survivable systems provided by biologicalorganisms, populations, and societies," declares Darpas request for proposals. "Thisresearch program uses these examples for metaphors and guidance about how to designsurvivable information systems."Well, good luck to them. In the shorter term, more immediately practical ideas are also beingpursued. The Defense Science Board estimates that to harden up US information networks willrange from $3 billion for a so called Minimal Essential Information Infrastructure - a dedicatedemergency system to keep necessary services running - to a pie-in-the sky $250 billion(roughly the Pentagons annual budget) to globally secure everything to top-of-the-line DOD"Orange Book" standards. But the latter figure is vague, to say the least: from a technicalpoint of view, it is essentially impossible to distinguish between the global telecom net, the USnational network, and a single-purpose military one. Worse, nearly all those cables andswitches belong not to Uncle Sam, but to highly competitive, deeply cost-averse privatecompanies still glowing with satisfaction after their escape from Washingtons regulatoryshackles. A White House staffer whos been working on the issue puts it this way: "Its onething to say to the private sector, You have a responsibility to defend yourself againsthackers. Fine, everyones in favor. But if you suddenly say the threat is a foreign governmentor a terrorist group, theres no way in hell theyre going to want to pay for that. They look atus and say, Isnt that your job?"The most concerted attempt to sort out those issues is being made by the Commission onCritical Infrastructure Protection, established by Clintons executive order last July. FormerDeputy Attorney General Gorelick described it in a Senate hearing as "the equivalent of theManhattan Project." Chaired by Robert "Tom"Marsh, a retired US Air Force general withlong-standing military-industrial ties, the commission is charged with acting as a liaisonbetween the government - all the usual-suspect agencies are involved - and the private-sector companies that own and operate "critical infrastructure," from TV broadcastingtransmitters to long distance phone and data lines. Public hearings are being held around thecountry; the ultimate aim is a report evaluating the scope of the threat and recommendingstrategies to counter it.Transcrito Por: Javier Martinez ---- Sigueme: @sking102
  • John Carlin’s ArticuleThere are plenty of bright ideas out in the freelance I-war market. In fact, theres a wholecottage industry, starting with Infowar.com, a sprawling commercial Web site run bylongtime I-war enthusiast Winn Schwartau (see "Information Warrior," Wired 4.08, page136). William Church, editor of the London-based Journal of Infrastructural Warfare(www.iwar.org/), proposes I-war "Special Operations Squads" with "one goal, and onlyone goal: go out and patrol for the enemy" - on the networks. ("It is a very small flick of theswitch to go offensive with these teams," Church notes helpfully.)More out-of-the-box thinking comes from Robert Steele, a retired US Marine and former CIAintelligence officer who heads a consulting firm called Open Source Solutions Inc. Steeleargues for what he calls "SmartNation," a sort of electronic Neighborhood Watch in which"each individual node - each individual citizen - is educated, responsible, alert, and able tojoin in a networked security chain."Michael Wilson, a shadowy "OpFor" (thats "opposition forces") consultant and frequentcontributor to online I-war debates, argues for universal strong cryptography. "While wereat it, who knows that there isnt something even better at the NSA?" Wilson asks. "Open thetechnology up - get out the strong crypto, security, authentication, et cetera. Ship thescientists out from Fort Meade to computer hardware and software developers. Think of it asinvesting the Cold War peace dividend, to help strengthen the society to weather the nextwars."The idea of confronting the threat of I-war by, in effect, opening up national security doeshave its appeal. Marc Rotenberg, director of the Washington-based Electronic PrivacyInformation Center, sees the I-war debate as a possible doorway to a full-scalereexamination of national security and the institutions devoted to guarding it. "Nows the timeto bring more of the NSAs activities into the public light. If there are these looming threats,you dont want to keep the debate locked up in the White House basement or the back roomsof the Pentagon."In the strange-bedfellows way of so many information revolution debates, thats not aproblem for an I-war insider like John Arquilla. "Unless we grapple with the problem thatinformation warfare is not simply a military problem," he says, "we wont be able to grapplewith I-war at all."Downsize the Pentagon? Fund cheap I-warriors instead, to fight in the electronic shadows?Arquilla again: "Clearly there is an institutional concern about making radical shifts awayfrom a hardware-heavy military. Nevertheless, budgetary constraints will ultimately drive usin this direction." He wont be drawn on specifics, but the possibilities are obvious enough -halve the Pentagon budget, for instance, and put the savings toward a massive upgrade ofthe countrys networks, using tax breaks and other incentives as a lure. "What will make itpossible will be someone pointing out the savings that could be realized,"Arquilla says."Institutional redesign is hot, politically, and this needs to be an issue in the next presidentialcycle." Calling Al Gore.Transcrito Por: Javier Martinez ---- Sigueme: @sking102
  • John Carlin’s ArticuleThe good news is that we have been down this path already: in government as in industry,downsizing and efficiency go with the territory. The bad news is that the magic of themarketplace isnt very reassuring protection against, say, a team of underemployedBulgarian computer scientists working for Saddam Hussein.But it is a fair bet that, sooner or later, we will find ourselves stumbling toward a genuinenational debate - not, one hopes, in the wake of a real electronic Pearl Harbor. Certainly noelected official is likely to challenge the plausibility of the I-war threat, so long as the riskexists that events might spectacularly contradict him. The issues will be how to go aboutcountering the danger, and how to do so without setting off a mêlée over hot-button issueslike domestic spying, privacy rights, "hidden" enemies, and official regulation of privatelyowned networks.Thats not just a tactical problem: when the FBI, the NSA, the CIA, and the Pentagon gettogether to talk about national security, a lot of people start reaching for their copies of theBill of Rights. And when the threat everyones talking about is from faceless foreign hackers,terrorists, and bomb makers - why not throw in a few child pornographers - it is a fair bet thatparanoid demagoguery will not be absent. Its happened before: look at the 1950s. The bestwill lack all conviction, the worst will be full of passionate intensity, and the political fabric willstart to fray.All of which, of course, could sound a lot like what our Chinese friends call "soft destruction."As William Church says, "The most damaging form of I-war is political war or psychologicalwar." And pretty much anything can be part of it: power outages, network breakdowns,clever disinformation campaigns - anything "to get the populace to feel that the country isgoing to hell."Those whom the I-war gods would destroy, they first make mad.__________________Netwar and Peace in the Global VillageThe future of armed conflict is not smart battlefields, its networks and information being usedto defeat uniformed forces. An interview with John Arquilla.By Ashley CraddockPentagon adviser John Arquilla has a name for low tech responses to high tech warfare:netwar. And he believes that future conflicts will be dominated not by superpowers andnation-states but by small, distributed groups - ranging from criminal gangs to rebels likethose in Chechnya and Chiapas - who can exploit information technology.Known in some Washington circles as the "Dark Prince" for advocating a radically leaner,less hierarchical US military, Arquilla is a professor of information warfare and specialoperations at the Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. His new book, InTranscrito Por: Javier Martinez ---- Sigueme: @sking102
  • John Carlin’s ArticuleAthenas Camp: Preparing for Conflict in the Information Age , coauthored with former RANDcolleague David Ronfeldt, will be published this summer.Wired: What forms will future conflicts take?Arquilla: The Gulf War has been heralded as the first information-age war, but I see very fewnew Gulf Wars. What I do see are many netwars, fought by networks. Thats not simplyarmed battles between uniformed forces; its the kind of conflict waged by terrorists andcriminal organizations and revolutionaries - even by social activists. Its a very different kindof conflict; in fact, its sometimes quite hard to call it war anymore. And yet it is, because it isa form of conflict and often has military elements.Whats so new about that?Its all-channel interconnectivity that distinguishes the true modern network - each node canconnect quite directly with any other. Whats fascinating is that smugglers, pirates, otherforms of criminals, revolutionaries, and terrorists have always organized along networkedlines. Now they are marrying up with the information revolution, and its giving them vast newcapabilities.Were also going to see more netwar because one can wage this kind of conflict withoutlarge field armies - and indeed without sophisticated technologies. In the wake of the GulfWar, it doesnt make a great deal of sense to challenge the United States directly orconventionally. Only a few armies - quite advanced ones - will engage in the high tech warsof the future. Instead, there will be a profusion of challenges to American interests. And itsthis kind of conflict for which we are not prepared.Is the US military willing to move away from traditional strategies?Every serious thinker about the future of the American military is considering that. The basicunits of maneuver no longer have to be large battle groups - mechanized divisions or full airwings - because another trend in the information age is the growing lethality of even verysmall formations of men and machines. What we may see is far smaller units - between 500and 700 troops. A squad of infantry can call in a tremendous amount of accurate firepowertoday, and this is made possible precisely because of the information revolution.At the same time, if the battlefield is going to be sharply diminished in terms of the units ofmaneuver and their size, then the need for hierarchy is much less. Hierarchies were designedto deal with mass armies, to control hundreds of thousands, even millions, of troops. In fact,the traditional hierarchical structure designed to control a mass army may simply limit thecapabilities of these new forces. And the military is sensitive to this.Is the Pentagon learning its lessons?My greatest concern is that the emphasis is too technological in nature - we tend to think ofinformation war as cybernetic, as unmanned systems. And this is simply not the case. Wecould well find ourselves up against opponents who use other means of spreadinginformation and other forms of organization. The military is quintessentially hierarchical.Someone has to be in command - that will never go away. But we mustnt forget thatnonstate actors dont have any such constraints.Transcrito Por: Javier Martinez ---- Sigueme: @sking102
  • John Carlin’s ArticuleWhat can the Pentagon do to deal with those kinds of mismatches?Nation-states and their hierarchical administrations are extremely ill suited to dealing withvery nimble networked opponents confronting us. The information age implies generalship bythe many, the decentralization of authority. This is highly inimical to traditional militarystrategy. As Napoleon said, Better to have one bad general than two good ones.Nevertheless, in the American military, efforts are being made to create hybrid forms oforganization, in which the commander in chief has what in the business world is called topsight: he knows the big picture but allows a great devolution of authority, with subordinateswaging the campaigns.Has that worked?Our early efforts have not been fruitful. Were facing a variety of networked opponents evenas we speak: the transnational criminal organizations - drug cartels, for example - and thevarious proliferator networks that are spreading weapons of mass destruction throughout theworld. These are just a few examples of the types of opponents we face, and yet as we lookat the American governments approach, we still see an extremely hierarchical, centrallycontrolled effort, whether to fight a drug war or counter weapons proliferation.Do things look any better for dealing with more conventional threats?There is not a lot of evidence that we have understood the implications of smaller armies, ofless linear fighting, or indeed of the notion that the context of conflict is much different. Forinstance, the DOD has a policy of being able to wage two conventional wars nearlysimultaneously. And whenever a crisis arises, the question asked is: How soon can we get afield army - between 300,000 and 400,000 troops - to some location to fight Desert Storm-style? But the fact is that those occasions will probably not arise.But arent new information capabilities one of the reasons the United States won the Gulf Warso quickly?The direction the military seems to be heading - grafting these new information technologiesonto our existing understanding of warfare and our existing structures - is a big mistake. Aninstructive example is the Franco-Prussian War. In 1870, France had a machine gun, reallythe first effective one in the world. But because it was mounted on a gun carriage like anartillery piece, it was kept back with the long-range artillery. What would have been anabsolutely winning advantage very seldom came into play. The effects were catastrophic.If the US military simply grafts new information technologies onto existing structures, it risksbeing defeated in a major conflict of the future. Keeping large formations of massed forces,for example, simply creates large targets.So have we seen the last wars involving massed armies?I dont think so. If both sides enjoy similar levels of technology and fight with equal skill, whatwell see is the inability of either side to gain control and a return to the emphasis on attritionand maneuver. My hope is that prior to the outbreak of these conflicts, we will raise up ageneration of officers who realize that, above all else, the information age speaks to thevalue of human capital in war, as well as the fact that we cannot always count on fighting anopponent with extremely rudimentary information capabilities, like the Iraqis. We have toTranscrito Por: Javier Martinez ---- Sigueme: @sking102
  • John Carlin’s Articulethink about the possibility of fighting opponents who are as well armed and well informed aswe are.What stands in the way of serious change?Militaries that change are usually militaries that have been defeated. And so this is a verydifficult time for the United States. We have a formula that has worked. We won the ColdWar. We won the Gulf War. Doing things this way is costly - a quarter of a trillion dollarsspent on defense each year. Do we want to take a chance on a new way of fighting solelybecause it may mean well be able to do it less expensively? I would say that we must,because we have economic constraints to which we must respond. But we also have todecentralize our military for the same reasons that businesses are decentralizing.How will this affect the global power structure?Theres been a long debate about whether information technologies tend toward good orevil. My greatest fear is the rising capabilities of states and nonstate actors who would useinformation technology to spread traditional forms of influence and power. A kind ofinformation-supported imperialism may emerge. And a form of criminal mercantilism may beenabled, practiced by various pirate organizations around the world.That doesnt sound particularly cheerful.The darkest possibility is that states, realizing the power of networks, will align themselveswith transnational criminal organizations, which will serve as their proxies as they wage anunending low-intensity netwar.But theres another hypothesis: Because free flows of information vastly increase the costs ofrepression, authoritarian and totalitarian states will find themselves having greater andgreater difficulty maintaining control. My greatest hope is that the information revolutionraises the possibility of globally disseminating a set of common values and agreements aboutthe nature of human rights. Interconnectivity - and the social, political, and sometimes militarycapabilities that come with this interconnectedness - can help to break the chains of thosearound the world who remain under authoritarian control. It is possible that new informationtechnologies portend the rise of a global civil society that will be self-governing and morepeaceful.John Carlin is a Washington correspondent for The Independent newspaper of London.Copyright © 1993-2004 The Condé Nast Publications Inc. All rights reserved.Copyright © 1994-2003 Wired Digital, Inc. All rights reserved.Transcrito Por: Javier Martinez ---- Sigueme: @sking102