Some Rays of Hope in Recent Operations
By Douglas Farah
I have been rightly described as extremely pessimistic about the way our intelligence and law enforcement communities-with the exception of isolated pockets-are facing (or not) the challenges I see as most pressing for the 21st century.
These include the growing and spreading threat of non-state armed actors, the criminal-terrorist nexus, the spreading narco mini-states across Central and northern South America, and the world of shadow facilitators that tie disparate networks together.
In my experience, most of the problems center on a lack of understanding of how the world really operates, and a distinct inability to see things beyond how we have experienced them for ourselves, meaning the world is often viewed as operating according to our cultural and political experience, rather than operating as it operates.
But a string of recent successes (two by the Drug Enforcement Administration and one by the Colombian army with U.S. military support) show rays of hope. Some of the risk-aversion is being overcome, creative thinking is being more welcomed and human intelligence is again the key.
What these cases have in common is the creativity with which the operations were conceived, the flexibility in the implementation of them, the correct identification of high-value targets, and the extensive use of human intelligence to develop the operations and carry them out successfully. My full blog is here.......the DEA targeted what they call "shadow facilitators," a concept and strategy that acknowledges the growing relationship between terrorist and criminal organizations.
Both of these groups need to rely on the same cadre of document forgerers, money launderers and movers, weapons traffickers etc. to stay in business. They overlap in the world of the facilitators like al-Kassar and Bout, which is why taking out those pieces of the enterprise hurts more than one organization in a significant way.
Excellent points, but "they" operate on the Internet.
The Internet the most feared domain by the USA military and Intelligence Agencys.
- How a Classic Man-in-the-Middle Attack Saved Colombian HostagesInfoSec News: How a Classic Man-in-the-Middle Attack Saved Colombian Hostages: http://www.wired.com/politics/security/commentary/securitymatters/2008/07/securitymatters_0710
By Bruce Schneier Security Matters Wired.com July 9, 2008
Last week's dramatic rescue of 15 hostages held by the gue
Winning the War of Ideas
By Matthew Levitt
Engagement in the battle of ideas and strategic communication has long been the missing ingredient in the government-wide effort to combat terrorism. Now, with a restructured public diplomacy bureaucracy at the State Department and elsewhere in the interagency process, engaging foreign publics has formally and strategically become part of the toolkit to combat radical extremist ideologies. Today, in his first major public address in his new position in Washington, Under Secretary of State for Public Diplomacy and Public Affairs James Glassman addressed The Washington Institute for Near East Policy's Special Policy Forum on "Winning the War of Ideas." The prepared text of his remarks is available here.July 8, 2008 02:54 PM Link
Tie the State Dept efforts into the data from the Human Terrain loop.
Where are the US Armys 30,000 bloggers.
Missing weapon on the GWOT: SCE