Civilian Irregular Market-State National Security Operators

The new SERVIAM is out. Commander Joseph A. Gattuso, USN (Ret.) has an article in it entitled Trading Places:
How and Why National Security Roles Are Changing
which fits in nicely with recent discussions on this blog and elsewhere of non-military, non-governmental responses to threats to the security of the United States. Don’t agree with all of it, but here are the good parts. Bolding added by me.

. . . the nation-state (1860–1990), which had as its legitimizing basis welfare of every individual. This is the form of governance with which most are familiar. In the nation-state, a collection of individuals gives the governing entity power to govern; in turn, the governing entity agrees to ensure the material well-being of the governed.
Like the state-nation before it, the nation-state form of governance is rapidly losing its legitimacy because it can no longer execute its fundamental purpose: to assure the material well-being and security of those it governs.

What he calls a nation-state sounds like a welfare-state to me.

There are many reasons for this erosion of the nation-state’s ability to keep its people either safe or prosperous: the ubiquitous nature of information; the ease with which money, culture, and disease cross national borders; the increase in transnational threats such as famine, migration, environmental problems, and weapons of mass destruction; a globalized economy eroding middle-tier wages; and the concept that human rights transcend a nation’s sovereignty and that human values are best determined by the calculus of apportioned economic advantage. The nation-state form of governance is disappearing, and a new form is emerging.

The welfare-state promised more than it could deliver. Life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness is the bargain. The welfare-state implies actually obtaining happiness is something the state should guarantee.

This new kind of governance is known as a market-state, described fully in Philip Bobbitt’s The Shield of Achilles: War, Peace, and the Course of History. Where the nation-state derived its legitimacy from an agreement to provide for the material well-being of its constituents, the market-state derives its legitimacy from an agreement that it will maximize opportunity for its citizens.

Because of computers, communications, and weapons of mass destruction, the enemies of our civilization live in the private sector. They express their anger and frustration in the private sector, against private citizens, and against our civil infrastructure, most of which is now in the hands of the private sector. When attacking those in the public sector— for instance, attacks against coalition soldiers in Iraq—they attack while swimming in Mao’s private sector sea. They do not attack on a conventional battlefield in ranks with tanks; they shoot from houses, rooftops, or alleys, or they fire mortars from the midst of martyr-minded women and children, all within the private sector. If Iran or North Korea attacks us, do we seriously think they will attack our military? National security has been removed from the unambiguous, ordered realm of governments and thrown squarely into the bitter, bloody, goldfish-bowl arena of the private sector.

For example, within hours of a surgical Israeli airstrike, Hezbollah knows which families need blankets, food, power, water, or medical attention and supplies. Hezbollah faithful are on the ground immediately, distributing $100 bills to families (in the private sector) who have suffered loss or damage. Hezbollah will race in with dead bodies of women and children in an ambulance, demolish the structure to make it appear as though there was wanton destruction, remove the bodies from the ambulance, place them dramatically in the rubble, invite the media in to film the scene, and then gather their grisly props and race to another media opportunity. The world gasps.

With significant hesitation, most market-state nations, the United States and Britain as the main examples, have decided that they will conduct a proxy fight, using private sector elements to outsource the fight against their private sector enemies. Times have changed: assuring national security requires fighting for it in the private sector, with the force most suited to that battlespace.

That’s us, people. We are the Civilian Irregular Information Operators we have been waiting for.

Market-state entities are operating according to their (new) nature. Elected representatives of the people have made a market in which solutions to national security issues are the products, and an enterprising, entrepreneurial, ambitious, patriotic private sector has responded to provide those products and services.

Consider that the warrior in this new era may be motivated by something that is not attached to the uniform—maybe it is something that does not disappear when the warrior steps across a thin border into civilian life. Maybe that which motivates warriors to do what they do has little to do with the size or source of their paycheck and everything to do with the ultimate purpose and characteristics of their activity. Consider that maybe the true warriors—the professional, altruistically motivated warriors for whom the profession of battling evil is a calling—are warriors regardless of the sector in which they serve. If what they do is altruistic, if it serves or benefits their fellow man, if it defends the defenseless, protects the innocent, and pursues and punishes the guilty, then it will be an acceptable occupation. The public sector must find ways to leverage this national resource, regardless of the sector in which these warriors serve.

There is more at this link. Read the whole thing.

See also about the for-profit private sector role in Information Operations/Computer Network Defense/Information Assurance.

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One response to “Civilian Irregular Market-State National Security Operators

  1. The Thunder Run has linked to this post in the – Web Reconnaissance for 06/03/2008 A short recon of what’s out there that might draw your attention, updated throughout the day…so check back often.