TCS Daily – Panoptic War

My latest for TCS Daily, “Panoptic War,” is up. Written before this morning’s news of Zarqawi’s killing, it’s even more apropos now.

Panoptic War This is an asymmetric war, with the world’s best military trying to contain a guerrilla force that, as Christopher Hitchens notes, is reduced to “the use of random murder to create a sectarian and ethnic civil war” and efforts “to alienate coalition soldiers from the population.”

Yet, the information war is asymmetric, too. The enemy can dominate media coverage by staging constant acts of mayhem. News about mundane affairs of state, like coalescing of democratic institutions, revitalization of the infrastructure, or even the relative peace and prosperity in most of Iraq is very much “dog bites man” when there’s gore to be shown.

Thankfully, we’ll have some good images for at least a while.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm veteran. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.