The Race Between the U.S., Russia, and China to Understand and Exploit Networks, Misinformation, and Artificial Intelligence to Enhance Government Surveillance, State Security, and National Stability
Anthony Ambrosius Aurelius
“When the U.S. invaded Iraq in 2003, the U.S. military quickly learned that the hierarchical structure which they expected of the enemy, and were used to, did not exist within the terrorist network which was continuing to grow which meant that taking out specific targets did not affect the overall group because of its decentralized nature and structure which did not demonstrate coherence.
The Joint Special Operations Command, often abbreviated as “JSOC”, combatted this spreading network which continued gaining momentum even when strategic targets were eliminated by rearranging its top down command structure to replicate the enemy’s dispersion, flexibility, and speed. The enemy networks great strength was that members could inform other members at high speed, adapt to this information, and react extraordinarily quickly to cause things to occur before the U.S. military had a chance to react.
The mantra inside the Joint Special Operations Command became, “it takes a network to destroy a network”. After the defeat of al-Qaeda (pronounced “al-kai-dah”) in Iraq, and its network destroyed, the U.S. military rapidly withdrew out of Iraq with new deployments placed in Afghanistan, with this vacuum permitting the remnants of al-Qaeda to become an even larger, more powerful network referred to as the “Islamic State of Iraq and Syria”, often abbreviated as “ISIS”.
The term “al-Qaeda” means “the base” in Arabic and the group was founded in 1988 by Osama bin Laden and Abdullah Azzam, alongside several other Arab volunteers during the Soviet Afghan War. Both al-Qaeda and the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria initially recruited technologically inclined members who and understood the use of new technologies. Originally the intent was to develop cyber warfare strategies like the U.S. had done for quite some time (e.g. hacking into infrastructure of enemies to disable, disrupt, or cause havoc to these systems etc.) but this strategy quickly changed to develop informational warfare tactics, recruiting multilingual members who understood the use of unregulated social networking platforms (e.g. Facebook, Twitter, YouTube etc.). At the peak of their power, the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria had 700,000″