Feeds

War, Web 2.0 and the Fail Loop

From Hezbollah to Twitter

5 things you didn’t know about cloud backup

Network-centric warfare

Take the American and Israeli militaries, which since the late 1990's have been seduced by successive iterations of the cybernetic conceit of "network-centric warfare".

The idea, rooted directly in cybernetic principles, was that tying together all the different nodes in the military's network in a single information loop would give troops the clearest possible picture of the battlefield, allowing everyone to act in concert and making the enemy's communications seem primitive in comparison. The plan was nothing less than to eliminate "the fog of war", and to replace it with "complete situational awareness" – to make sure everyone knew what everyone else was doing and what was going on all of the time.

Only, it didn't quite work out as planned.

The IDF's attempts to co-ordinate human activity via a high-tech electronic information loop can help to explain why, when asked to stage a full-scale military operation during the Israeli-Hezbollah conflict of 2006, they failed rather spectacularly.

In July 2006, after Hezbollah fighters seized two Israeli soldiers and stole them back across the border into Lebanon, the IDF invaded Southern Lebanon. The invasion, however, did not progress as they had expected. For a start, the Israeli Army seems to have become so convinced of its own military and technological superiority that it didn't think it would have to fight any "real" wars anymore. The IDF, as a result, relied too heavily on its air force to wipe out South Lebanon's infrastructure – its telecommunications networks, for example - in the vain hope that Hezbollah's guerrillas would simply cave in.

IDF soldiers went into battle armed with high-tech communications; many were also allowed to hang on to their mobile phones. During the ensuing ground war, "small but smart" mobile units of Israeli soldiers, which were supposed to use high-tech communications systems to "swarm" around the enemy, seemed unsure of what their aims were and where they were headed.

In the official inquests into the war which followed the five-week invasion, military officials blamed the complicated operational jargon of one of its think-tanks, the OTRI, whose staff had been greatly influenced by cybernetics and network-centric warfare. During a meeting of the heads of Israeli military intelligence just prior to the incursion into Lebanon, for example, there were complaints that the army had stopped relying on Hebrew for its operational instructions, and that the dominant language was now "gibberish".

But what do we know about the other side?

Secure remote control for conventional and virtual desktops

More from The Register

next story
6 Obvious Reasons Why Facebook Will Ban This Article (Thank God)
Clampdown on clickbait ... and El Reg is OK with this
No, thank you. I will not code for the Caliphate
Some assignments, even the Bongster decline must
Kaspersky backpedals on 'done nothing wrong, nothing to fear' blather
Founder (and internet passport fan) now says privacy is precious
TROLL SLAYER Google grabs $1.3 MEEELLION in patent counter-suit
Chocolate Factory hits back at firm for suing customers
Mozilla's 'Tiles' ads debut in new Firefox nightlies
You can try turning them off and on again
Facebook, Google and Instagram 'worse than drugs' says Miley Cyrus
Italian boffins agree with popette's theory that haters are the real wrecking balls
Sit tight, fanbois. Apple's '$400' wearable release slips into early 2015
Sources: time to put in plenty of clock-watching for' iWatch
Facebook to let stalkers unearth buried posts with mobe search
Prepare to HAUNT your pal's back catalogue
prev story

Whitepapers

Endpoint data privacy in the cloud is easier than you think
Innovations in encryption and storage resolve issues of data privacy and key requirements for companies to look for in a solution.
Implementing global e-invoicing with guaranteed legal certainty
Explaining the role local tax compliance plays in successful supply chain management and e-business and how leading global brands are addressing this.
Advanced data protection for your virtualized environments
Find a natural fit for optimizing protection for the often resource-constrained data protection process found in virtual environments.
Boost IT visibility and business value
How building a great service catalog relieves pressure points and demonstrates the value of IT service management.
Next gen security for virtualised datacentres
Legacy security solutions are inefficient due to the architectural differences between physical and virtual environments.