19 April 2009

Leeroy Jenkins to Battle Taliban?

In December, we discussed the fact that terror networks will often use the tools of globalization to communicate amongst themselves in a covert fashion.

Modern terror and insurgent networks use the Internet, chat rooms and other social networking features in order to communicate just as we do in the West--there's even talk of these groups using MMORPGs like Second Life or World of Warcraft to interact with one another, recruit, and even give classes in bomb-making. I keep having this image of a Middle Eastern Leeroy Jenkins running into a room and blowing himself up, but that's neither here nor there.

One of the interesting things about this is that there's vast regions of the Internet known as the "Deep Web" and "Dark Web" that are virtually unknown to most of us. It is for this reason that the US military has created a completely new cyberspace command in order to deal with this threat.

Today, it looks like it's in use. The Wall Street Journal just reported that the US is beginning an information operation campaign designed to, among other things, shut down Taliban chat rooms. While not as good as infiltrating them directly, this is certainly an interesting development.

Whether or not it is effective remains to be seen, but take not of this paradox that is modern hybrid war--an enemy can communicate via satellite phone, but travel by horse.

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