Tag Archives: counterinsurgency

Of Fabrication and Testing

JR of Edgewise sends in “Counterinsurgents Should Consider A ‘Fabrication Cell‘” from SWJ Blog. Another idea, given to me by Isaac at the Boyd Conference, is that we should begin testing, in realistic environments, devices that can be used in counterinsurgency. Some devices to test would be obvious: everything from $100 laptops to anti-IED tools can be used to build connectivity and defense the military.

What else should be tested? What novel devices should we use in counterinsurgency?

Gun Fights and Knife Fights

Nagl, J. (2007). Spilling soup on myself in al anbar. SWJ Blog. January 26, 2007. Available online: http://smallwarsjournal.com/blog/2007/01/spilling-soup-on-myself-in-al/ (from ZenPundit).

Foreign occupiers face a problem: they are foreign. The police don’t have this problem. Policemen and women are from the community, or at least the region. Their job, over the months and years and decades and generations from being a rookie to a grey-haired old coot, is to work the same beats solving the same problems. Foreign occupiers can be induced to leave, by convincing them that the utility they gain from a region is exceeded by the costs involved in handling the region. However, policing is a logical function of any local government. The only way a local government can be turned from policing is if it gives up on being a government (which happens sometimes, but only rarely).

With that in mind, I read Colonel John Nagel’s post over at the Small Wars Journal Blog:

Always consider the long-term effects of operations in a counterinsurgency environment. Killing an insurgent today may be satisfying, but if in doing so you convince all the members of his clan to fight you to the death, you’ve actually taken three steps backwards.

This is wise thinking for a foreign occupier under certain situations. But it would be insane for police. Foreign occupiers nearly always face long-term strategic despair, as they know they will eventually leave. But local forces don’t plan to leave, local forces will be there win or lose, and so local forces have a greater incentive for winning. Foreign occupiers worry about angering their enemies. Local police focus on making their enemies (criminals) fear the law.

Colonel Nagl described counterinsurgency as learning to eat soup with a knife, but it may be thought of as trying to win a shoot-out with a knife. The weapon is inappropriate. Knives are best used in knife-words, at the short-range, close-in fighting that defines insurgencies. We have biggest gun in the world. We should use our guns to blow away our enemies, and find men good with knives to leave in their place.

The solution for Iraq is clear: stop making Iraq a case where foreign forces fight terrorists, and start making it a case where local police fight terrorists. Instead of US Marines and Soldiers fighting in Anbar and Baghdad against Sunni Baathists, let the police, national guard, and army of Iraq.

When the terrorists find themselves trapped, they should not delight in our fear of angering them. They should look out their windows and see the security forces of the Supreme Council for the Islamic Revolution in Iraq, or the Dawa Party, or the Patriotic Union, or the Kurdish Democrats.

When we leave, we take away the hope and safety of our enemies. And in return, we will give them fear.

Terrorize terrorists. Leave Iraq Now.

Model Law for Anti-Insurgency in Iraq (Ethics of PMW/4GW Fusion Takedown)

This (DoS) sounds like Richard Thieme’s suggestion…,” by Stuart Berman, tdaxp, 18 May 2005, http://www.tdaxp.com/archive/2005/05/17/pmw_4gw_fusion_ending_the_insurgency.html.

To my post on the hybrid nature of family (“pre modern”) ideological (“4GW”) networks in Iraq, and my suggestion that the most influential single males in a family network be indefinitely held or humiliated to break the insurgency, Stuart Berman writes

So what are the ethical considerations with DoS [Isolation attacks on individual family members]. How do you target the ‘right’ people if you are in essence destroying their reputations?

I’m not sure about ethics, but Stuart’s comment made me think of the importance of doing this legally. Failing to have a legal structure leads to moral isolation of Coalition and Iraqi forces, which would be a significant insurgent victory. But how would a law that enables the destruction of reputations of potentially innocent single males, just because someone in their family is a known insurgent.

It might look something like this

A Person is Guilty of Conspiracy to Insurgency If

  • The person does not have dependent children, and
  • the person is a male at least 16 years old, and
  • the person is of the same House as an active insurgent, and
  • the person should have known of the active insurgent’s activities

Every clause is important. In order,

  • The first clause enables the targeted denial of service attack, distinguishing this from a broader anti-family attack. Anti-family attacks work well in traditional insurgency (Pre-Modern War), but backfire in either 4GW or PMW/4GW hybrids. The law is silent on whether biological children not dependent on the accused should count — that is open to interpretation.
  • The second clause further narrows the scope. Especially in traditional societies, women and children do not possess independent agency. A crime of a woman or a child is presumed to be caused by her male guardian.
  • The third clause is a flexible way of applying the law to kin relations, either of the same house, tribe, or clan, as appropriate. “House” should correspond to how the accused sees themselves in a kinship network. Additionally, by making “House” a criteria of the law it allows flexible interpretation, as appropriate.
  • The fourth clause likewise is open to interpretation. During a very active insurgency, there may be an absolute presumption that the accused should have known — similar to how some American states have an absolute presumption that a child born to a married woman is the rightful child of her husband, regardless of biological evidence. For a very low level Ulster-style situation, “should have known” can be interested much more strictly.

The persons targeted for denial-of-service attack do not have to be found guilty of anything more than this, though that is a post for another time…

Like Macromedia, I Hereby Patent Anti-Insurgency in Iraq

Interdiction of unauthorized copying in a decentralized network,” by James Moore, US Patent & Trademark Office, 28 April 2005, http://appft1.uspto.gov/netacgi/nph-Parser?Sect1=PTO2&Sect2=HITOFF&p=1&u=%2Fnetahtml%2FPTO%2Fsearch-bool.html&r=3&f=G&l=50&co1=AND&d=PG01&s1=Macrovision&OS=Macrovision&RS=Macrovision%22.

This is actual text from a Macromedia patent application, with the following changes

  • “software agents” with “secret police”
  • “query matcher” with “detective agency”
  • “search results” with “intelligence”
  • “decentralized” with “insurgent”
  • “nodes” with “terrorists”
  • “file” with “materiel”
  • “computer” with “safe house”
  • “copy” with “activities”
  • “ports” with “communication media”
  • “IP address” with “physical locations”
  • “hash” with “identifiable attribute”

These are not arbitrary replacements. In every case computer jargon has been replaced by appropriate common English. While there are a few clauses that are technology-specific, even there real-world analogs could be found.

The theories that run the internet are very similar to the theories that run the Iraq War. This demonstrates that:

Abstract

An interdiction system includes secret police masquerading as terrorists in a insurgent network, a detective agency that receives intelligence captured by the secret police and reports matches with protected materiels back to the secret police, and a central coordinating authority that coordinates activities of the secret police by sending instructions to the secret police specifying actions to be taken. Possible activities and related interdicting methods include manipulating intelligence before forwarding them on in the network, quarantining selected terrorists in the network, performing materiel impersonations such as transferring synthesized decoys, performing materiel transfer attenuation, and identifiable attribute spoofing.

Claims

We claim:

1. A system for interdicting unauthorized copying in a insurgent network comprising: a plurality of secret police masquerading as terrorists in a insurgent network; and a detective agency that receives intelligence from the plurality of secret police, and reports matches of the intelligence with protected materiels back to the plurality of secret police so that the secret police can interdict unauthorized copying of the protected materiels in the insurgent network.

2. The system according to claim 1, wherein the plurality of secret police reside on one or more safe houses while communicating to the insurgent network through individually assigned communication media.

3. The system according to claim 2, wherein the assigned communication media have corresponding physical locations that change in a manner so that detection of the plurality of secret police as unauthorized masqueraders of terrorists in the insurgent network is made difficult.

4. The system according to claim 2, wherein the number and geographical locations of the one or more safe houses is determined by the number and geographical distribution of terrorists in the insurgent network.

5. The system according to claim 1, wherein the detective agency has a database including metadata for the protected materiels.

6. The system according to claim 1, further comprising a central coordinating authority coordinating activities of the plurality of secret police so as to interdict unauthorized copying in the insurgent network.

7. The system according to claim 6, wherein the central coordinating authority sends instructions to the plurality of secret police specifying actions to be taken when the plurality of secret police receive matches of the intelligence with protected materiels back from the detective agency.

8. The system according to claim 7, wherein the instructions sent by the central coordinating authority include an instruction to generate modified intelligence by deleting at least a subset of references corresponding to the matches of the intelligence, and forward the modified intelligence through the insurgent network.

9. The system according to claim 7, wherein the instructions sent by the central coordinating authority include an instruction to generate modified intelligence by modifying at least a subset of references corresponding to the matches of the intelligence so as to point to one or more physical locations that are invalid, and forward the modified intelligence through the insurgent network.

10. The system according to claim 7, wherein the instructions sent by the central coordinating authority include an instruction to generate modified intelligence by modifying at least a subset of references corresponding to the matches of the intelligence so as to point to one or more physical locations of terrorists that do not have copies of the subset of references, and forward the modified intelligence through the insurgent network.

11. The system according to claim 7, wherein the instructions sent by the central coordinating authority include an instruction to generate modified intelligence by modifying at least a subset of references corresponding to the matches of the intelligence so as to point to one or more physical locations of terrorists that are not connected to the insurgent network, and forward the modified intelligence through the insurgent network.

12. The system according to claim 7, wherein the instructions sent by the central coordinating authority include an instruction to generate modified intelligence by modifying at least a subset of references corresponding to the matches of the intelligence so as to point to alternative materiels, and forward the modified intelligence through the insurgent network.

It goes on like this for eighteen pages.