What Counterterror Strategists Can Learn from Political Strategists
Constant observation of the foe. Unrelenting surveillance. Every gaffe exposed and then run ad nauseum on the web. His ability to orient himself as desired in the race is disrupted.
Conrad Burns, the incumbent, is trailed everywhere on the campaign by a young operative for the Dems who videotapes him non-stop every chance he gets, waiting for the screw-up.
Former Navy Secretary James Webb is doing the same thing, with spectacular success (i.e., the Macaca flap), in his campaign against George Allen.
Barnett argues that this is an application of “5th Generation Warfare” and believes it is the key to defeating the Islamists: “[E]xtending the net is everything in the Long War, because ubiquitous transparency is our calling-card 5GW weapon.”
Thus far, it is the enemy who has used this weapon most effectively, posting beheading videos and other propaganda on the Web to demoralize their foes and recruit future terrorists. They’ve had plenty of help from willing accomplices like Al Jazeera and even neutral Western media who gladly publicize anything bloody or scandalous.
I don’t know exactly we turn the tide in this battle for net supremacy but agree with Barnett that doing so is critical.