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Network conflict is really an interesting concept. The RAND Corporation, though they be all about the military complex, have a book that explores the concept and how it can be used not only in military campaigns, but protests, such as the Free Burma campaign or the WTO riots in Seattle.

Posted by Jaye | December 10, 2007 9:01 AM

No, the network lovers were right. They did lead to swift military victories that minimized civilian casualties and the number of troops required to conquer a country. What they didn't do was transform the needs of an occupying force. If our goal is to destroy an opposing military, we are set. It's just everything that comes after that's still hard.

Posted by Gitai | December 10, 2007 9:05 AM

off topic:

Thank you for mentioning the wonderful poet Anthony Hecht, a fellow sufferer in the tradition of stridency.

Posted by Simone Weil's Ghost | December 10, 2007 9:21 AM

Gital is absolutely correct.

Much as we all love to tease our idiot president for declaring victory several years ago, he was actually right. We did win the initial war, quite quickly, decisively, and easily. We marched our army right to Baghdad with minimal casualties in less than 2 weeks. That part of the war went spectacularly. And all that high tech gear and networking were a big part of it.

The problem is that we are still calling it a war. We are not at war any longer. We won years ago. We are now occupying a country that largely doesn't want us. That's where it all falls apart. All our high tech gear and networking is of limited usefulness in an occupation.

Networking can be a very effective tool on the battlefield when fighting a large army. It has very little use when occupying a hostile country after the invasion has been won.

Posted by SDA in SEA | December 10, 2007 9:29 AM

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