Here’s an epilogue/postscript to my initial (August 13) post for this roundtable:
The dozen BOIDS — small ultra-quiet stealthy long-range aerial DIY drones designed to swarm against an adversary’s OODA loops — idled in range of the target, undetected, waiting for a signal that the first stone was being cast. Ten of the drones were piloted remotely by individuals who had paid large sums to train and participate in what they were about to do: stone the stoners. The other two were for tactical topsight and command (TTC, the new C4ISR) and were operated by a unit of HubrisNemesis, the secretive ethicalist netfirm whose lineage included Sea Shepherd.* This unit and a few of the attack pilots were aboard a ship in the Indian Ocean; most of the pilots were in other locations, even at home in North America, Europe, and South Asia. While each had his/her own motivation for joining in, they all shared disgust and despair at how, once again, a great religion was being subjected to a vain tribalism. Public stoning rarely occured anymore, and international efforts had been made for months to halt this instance. But dark local forces had prevailed, and the stoning was supposed to proceed a few minutes from now in the sun-baked arena — with no outside media or foreign observers present. HubrisNemesis and the BOIDistas hoped that Operation StoneCold would save the condemned trio’s life. But even if that proved a false hope, at least their operation would generate video for global viewing of the ugly event’s proponents being routed as the BOIDS “stoned” them from above for the next hour or so. But unlike the people at the event, the BOIDistas would not launch real stones aimed to maim and kill; no, their weaponry was mainly metaphorical, even nonviolent, but still powerful enough to frighten and disperse a crowd — e.g., plastic meshes filled with choice liquids, gases, and powders. And if the surprise attack could be sustained long enough, nearby police and military would show up and cancel the event. And then the ripple effects would start to unfold. . . .
* See here for a fine post about Sea Shepherd and its implications.
3 thoughts on “Afghanistan 2050: Tribes vs. Networks, cont.”
I ilke this.
About three or four years ago, some sections of the .mil blogosphere were heavily discussing 5GW and superempowerment. The DIY movement combined with high tech sectors like desktop manufacturing and nanotechnology are going to permit ppl and small groups to have their own capacity for military intervention. Maybe not on the scale of a true superempowered individual causing a cataclysmic shock to a global or national system, but at a minimum they will be “empowered” to take action.
thanks, mark. and yes, the notions behind my scenario post have been in play for many years, among a once-small but ever-growing number of theorists, strategists, and futurists. i just thought a version of it should be fielded for this roundtable. i’d be delighted if others would field other versions and variants.
I find the scenario highly unlikely. More likely the report would be: ‘International outrage is winding down after a group of juvenile American geeks disturbed a wedding solidating peace between two rival tribes. What the Americans claimed was a stoning is described by eye witnesses as an age-old religious ritual where flowers are thrown in this exclusive footage obtained by stringer cameraman M (who mainly works for Iranian state television). Given the danger of the area no other camera teams could be sent there. A local police spokesman confirmed the story, adding that the police force in each area is formed from local tribesman to ensure maximum cultural understanding. The head of the foreign press agency XX (the third in recent years after the previous two have been killed in car bombs by splinter cells) said the story was in line with what his sources told him while nervously eyeing his car. Michel Moore, son of the famous filmmaker, has arranged Hollywood funding for a movie on the tragedy, while the UN has called for an international body regulating all air traffic so further unfortunate incidents can be avoided (a position long favored by the Europeans, but rejected by the USA).’
Re: Sea Shepherd. Their habit of firing chemicals at whaling ships clearly places them in the ‘terrorist endangering life of sailors’ category. Although most official editorials condemned the sinking of the Ady Gil, a lot of comment sections held widespread cheering. Note the lack of furor when a Russian patrol caught some Somali pirates, which ‘were released in a boat, but must have gotten lost when they motored home’. The Japanese could well hire some Russians with orders to keep Sea Shepherd away, and afterwards ‘regret the unfortunate incident’.
Force, or the threat thereof, is still king, as proven by CNN reporting favorbly on Saddam in order to avoid risking their ‘access’, or Hezbollahs/Hamas’ largely succesful policies of filtering out hostile journalists.
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