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Their Kung Fu is Strong

“It takes a network to defeat a network,” (Army BG Mark] Kimmitt, U.S. Central Command’s deputy director for plans and strategy, said at a State Department Foreign Press Center briefing. “To defeat this organization we must have a network that is more adept, more capable and more lithe.”

Reason #197 why I need to start trade marking my catch phrases. That’s been my line for the better half of a decade. Originally it was “fight a network with a network, not an org chart” but everyone up the hierarchy thought I was taking a shot at them (which I was) so I tweeked it a bit for my sig block. Everyone I worked with liked it, my division chief liked it, my office chief liked it, my group chief liked it . . . the latter liked it so much he started using it in briefs and VTCs with people like oh, CENTCOM and SOCOM and ISG generals. I want my $.05.

Because al Qaeda uses technology to its advantage, the Long War must be fought in both the geographical and virtual domain, he said.

“This is a group (al Qaeda) that advertises on the Internet, finances on the Internet, proselytizes on the Internet,” he said. “It also uses international criminal networks in many ways – smuggling, in some cases drug money to finance its efforts.”

He added that al Qaeda also has command and control elements online.

He recognizes the key points, but does he realize what has to be done to overcome the hurdles? Is he – and his superiors – prepared to do what is necessary? The magic eight ball doesn’t think so. Where is the call to expand the JWRAC concept? Dust off Forno’s Info Corps paper? Here is a more fundamental idea: organize our IW resources in a fashion that actually reflects doctrine. Here is a better one: recognize this as a discipline, not an extra duty. Better still: don’t take four years to come up with a strategy. All the FFRDC studies in the world are not going to help you if you are not prepared to execute. We solved a lot of this in the 90s . . . but still the calendar keeps moving and scumbags with laptops keep eating larger portions of our lunch.

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji

Michael Tanji spent nearly 20 years in the US intelligence community. Trained in both SIGINT and HUMINT disciplines he has worked at the Defense Intelligence Agency, the National Security Agency, and the National Reconnaissance Office. At various points in his career he served as an expert in information warfare, computer network operations, computer forensics, and indications and warning. A veteran of the US Army, Michael has served in both strategic and tactical assignments in the Pacific Theater, the Balkans, and the Middle East.