Category Archives: IW

Arbakai Shake Down

An anonymous Afghan employee of The New York Slimes contributed reporting from Kunduz, Afghanistan in which the term for the traditional Pashtun tribal law enforcement arrangement is used synonymously with Afghan Local Police, who should not be referred to as Sons of Afghanistan.
If I was running this show I’d call ’em District Jezailchis.

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Filed under IW, The Forgotten War

Pajamas Media » (UPDATED) DOJ Source: Gov’t Muslim ‘Outreach’ Jeopardized Active Terror Investigations

Pajamas Media » (UPDATED) DOJ Source: Gov’t Muslim ‘Outreach’ Jeopardized Active Terror Investigations.

Look, I have to admit that these guys are evil, but they’re absolutely brilliant. They are so inside our decision-making process they will always be twenty steps ahead of us. I honestly think if we stopped doing counterterrorism altogether we would be better off. I really don’t mean that, but for us to return to some semblance of sanity we have got to stop relying on the bad guys to make our counterterrorism policy. And we damn well have to stop hiring these people and putting them in charge of outreach.

The enemy is not at the gates, he’s already inside.

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Filed under Idea War, IW, Lawfare, Morale Operations

Patriot Hacker The Jester’s Libyan Psyops Campaign

It appears as if the patriot hacker known as The Jester (th3j35t3r) may have embarked on his own psyops campaign aimed at breaking the spirit of the troops loyal to Libyan strongman Muammar Gaddafi.

Having conducted several interviews with the hacktivist, and spent dozens of hours in IM chats, I would venture to say that his motivation probably stems from his patriotism and oft expressed concern for the lives of European and American military personnel who may be in put harm’s way if the conflict in Libya persists.

Based on the contents of the planted articles, it seems the operation is intended to simply erode the morale of the Gaddafi loyalists and inspire some to either desert their posts or defect and join the opposition.

th3j35st3r is the proof of concept of the Civilian Irregular Information Operator.


Filed under CNA, Heroes, IW, PSYOP

Afghan Local Police vital to General Petraeus’ strategy – The Long War Journal

Afghan Local Police vital to General Petraeus’ strategy – The Long War Journal.

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Filed under IW, The Forgotten War

Anonymous Planning Media War in Support of Manning

Anonymous Planning Media War in Support of Manning.

“The Internet is a weapon. It’s already weaponized, and those of us who know how to use this weapon have the advantage. I know who else was involved in turning [Manning] in. I’m not sure what to do on that yet, but we’re speaking among ourselves abut [sic] that,” self-styled Anonymous spokesman Barrett Brown told Steve Ragan of The Tech Herald.

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Filed under G-2, Info Warriors, IW, Moonbats, Old Media

Civilian Irregular Computer Network Attackers Noticed by @Strategypage

Information Warfare: We Are Not Amused.

China [is] one of many nations taking advantage of the Internet to encourage, or even organize, patriotic Internet users to obtain hacking services. This enables the government to use (often informally) these thousands of hackers to attack targets (foreign or domestic.) These government organizations arrange training and mentoring to improve the skills of group members. Turkey has over 45,000 of hackers organized this way, Saudi Arabia has over 100,000, Iraq has over 40,000, Russia over 100,000 and China, over 400,000. While many of these Cyber Warriors are rank amateurs, even the least skilled can be given simple tasks. And out of their ranks will emerge more skilled hackers, who can do some real damage. These hacker militias have also led to the use of mercenary hacker groups, who will go looking for specific secrets, for a price. Chinese companies are apparently major users of such services, judging from the pattern of recent hacking activity, and the fact that Chinese firms don’t have to fear prosecution for using such methods.

The U.S. has one of the largest such informal militias, but there has been little government involvement. That is changing. The U.S. Department of Defense, increasingly under hacker attack, is now organizing to fight back, sort of. Taking a page from the corporate playbook, the Pentagon is sending off many of its programmers and Internet engineers to take classes in how to hack into the Pentagon. Not just the Pentagon, but any corporate, or private, network. It’s long been common for Internet security personnel to test their defenses by attacking them. Some “white hat hackers” (as opposed to the evil “black hat hackers”) made a very good living selling their attack skills, to reveal flaws, or confirm defenses. Seven years ago, this was standardized with the establishment of the EC (E Commerce Consultants) Council, which certified who were known and qualified white hat hackers. This made it easier for white hats to get work, and for companies to find qualified, and trustworthy, hackers to help with network security. Now the Department of Defense is paying to get members of its Internet security staff certified as white hats, or at least trained to be able to do what the black hats do, or recognize it. While many in the Department of Defense have been calling for a more attack-minded posture, when it comes to those who are constantly attacking Pentagon networks, the best that can be done right now is to train more insiders to think, and operate, like outsiders.

Sending a GS-11 dues paying member of the AFGE, AFL-CIO, off to hacker school ought to give them mad skilz, fer sure.

The Regulars recruit highly intelligent, physically fit, patriotic young people in to the Armed Forces. The recruiting standards are so high few young Americans can meet them. The stereotypical fat, dope-smoking, basement-dwelling script kiddie with Cheeto-stained fingers can’t be turned into a presentable facsimile of a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine in a reasonable amount of time in this all-volunteer Politically Correct era, and in this economy the Regulars’ ability to recruit credentialed IT professionals in to the Federal Civil Service is only as good as the budget the Republican Congress appropriates for them. That also impacts the Regular’s ability to hire Civilian Irregular Information Auxiliaries from Private Military Contractors.

Regular .gov/.mil information assurers/computer network defenders/information operators can’t be given enough autonomy from the bureaucracy to compete with all the cyber criminals and anti-American cyber patriots attacking our networks. The Bad Guys will always be more opportunistic, flexible, adaptable and imaginative than Regular Good Guys will ever be allowed to be.

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Filed under CNA, Info Warriors, IW

Cyberwar PsyOps: e-Activism and Social Media – SC Magazine US

An Amnesty International e-activist is an individual who uses information and communication tools – such as mobile phones, blogs, emails or social networking sites – to act for human rights. He or she may also organize, mobilize and inspire online communities of individuals to take action for human rights.

via Cyberwar PsyOps: e-Activism and Social Media – SC Magazine US.

Amnesty International probably would not recognize individuals who used information and communication tools – such as mobile phones, blogs, emails or social networking sites — to generate support for Operation Iraqi Freedom as having acted in support of the human rights of Iraqis persecuted by Saddam Hussein, his Former Regime Elements, Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, and the Iranian Quds Force-backed Shiite militias. 

American and Coalition soldiers, Marines, airmen and sailors were also human and had some rights  not to be lied about, slandered, libeled, misrepresented or similarly disrespected, and Counter Insurgent Supportive e-activists organized, mobilized and inspired online communities of milbloggers to take action.

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Filed under Idea War, Info Warriors, IW, PSYOP, PSYOP Auxiliaries

Afghan Local Police Program / Asia-Pacific / Afghanistan – FT interview transcript: Gen David Petraeus.

GEN Petraeus: . . . And the Afghan Local Police Programme in itself is another very important element in the way ahead. I think we’re up to nearly 60 sites identified, 17 of those already actually validated, officially in operation, and then the others are in various stages of Ministry of Interior approval. And there’s quite a rigorous process, these are not militias, as some journalists have characterised them. They’re not Arbakai [a form of tribal policing system or militia]. The members of these organisations are nominated by shuras [a council of elders] that have to be representative of the areas in which the ALP will be operating. They are vetted by the NDS [Afghanistan’s intelligence service], they have biometric data collected by MOI [Ministry of the Interior] and ISAF forces, they’re armed by the MOI, with distinct limits to what they’re allowed to do. They work for the district chief of police, not a local warlord or elder or power-broker.

The idea is that these actually mobilise not just individuals, but communities. They’re typically several different villages in a district that will provide these Afghan Local Police members. This is now the community defending itself against the Taliban, which in some cases they have actually thrown off themselves. As in, day, Gizab — in southern Daikundi [a province in southern Afghanistan].

So again that’s a very important element of the overall approach as well. there will be a slight increase in additional capability on the NATO-ISAF side as additional trainers and actually some additional combat battalions come in as part of constant force adjustments. But the real increase over the year that lies ahead will be in the Afghan security forces. We saw an increase of 70,000 this past year.

FT [Matthew Green]: Do you have a target for the end of this year?

GEN Petraeus: We have a target for the end of October and it is 304,500 total Afghan National Security Forces.

FT: But not including the Afghan Local Police?

GEN Petraeus: That’s a different structure, and that’s a relatively small structure, but frankly that’s an element that punches above its weight class. It’s literally only 3,100 or 3,200 right now for the 17 validated sites. Again, as I said, nearly 60 sites total have been identified, but by no means begun. There’s a very rigorous process that goes through, they have to be authorised by the ministry of the interior, that’s the first step. Then they have to start the process, there’s a visit during that process, there’s a final validation that takes place before they’re actually allowed to bear arms.

It’s almost the personification of counter-insurgency — because as we say in the field manual about counter-insurgency being 70 per cent political and 30 per cent military, that’s ALP. It really is quite substantially political community mobilisation. Elders support it. The elders also police it to a degree. If an ALP member gets out of line, the complainsts will be made to the elders who nominated these individuals and vouched fo rthem, and that’s a serious commitment on th epart of an elder. So the elders will actually then sit down with th eleaders and say “this is unacceptable, youve got to clean up your act.”

FT: Do you have a target for where you want to be by the end of the year in terms of how many you’ve got [Afghan Local Police]?

GEN Petraeus: No, it is difficult to say, because it depends on the pace of validation. President Karzai was very clear — this is his directive that guides this. He lays down very clear tasks that have to be performed before these sites are validated, and will only go as fast as the individual sites can go. This programme is so important that I actually attached a US Army conventional infantry battalion to the Special Forces command that supports this programme around the country. That has enable the Special Forces Green Beret teams — typically 12 man teams — in some cases to split in half, with the support of say an infantry squad or platoon, that thickens them. We may have to augment that further to enable this over the course of the year, and if so I’m prepared to do that.

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Filed under IW, The Forgotten War

Anonymous and Tunisia: A New Cyber Warfare?

Anonymous and Tunisia: A New Cyber Warfare?.

Anonymous certainly didn’t bring down the Tunisian government, and it may not have even altered the landscape of the Tunisian media. But its digital-collective involvement in an intrinsically domestic conflict was undeniably a first. Inspired by the struggles of a repressed Tunisian citizenry, a stateless, international group of free-speech advocates took it upon themselves to engage in a still-undefined form of guerilla warfare. Their tactics are unproven, and their success is undetermined.

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Filed under CNA, G-2, Info Warriors, IW, PSYOP

In the chatroom with the cyber guerrillas

In the chatroom with the cyber guerrillas

Global chaos is not Anonymous’ aim. As the WikiLeaks and Tunisia cases show, the group targets specific institutions and its attacks are designed to temporarily delay more than destroy. Think of them not as acts of cyber war but as high-profile guerrilla strikes.

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Filed under CNA, Cyber Guerrilla Chieftains, IW, PSYOP Auxiliaries

Afghan government turning to local militias – Army News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq – Army Times

Afghan government turning to local militias – Army News | News from Afghanistan & Iraq – Army Times.

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Filed under IW, The Forgotten War

We live in a world where a few top-quality hackers can accomplish a considerable amount of damage at the national and strategic level.

Cyberwar Case Study: Georgia 2008 ( )

Read the whole thing, then come back and think about:

. . . There was another historically unique and critical aspect to the fighting – the emergence of synchronized cyberspace domain actions as an intelligence indicator for strategic, operational, and tactical level military operations. Unlike the (alleged) Russian cyberattack upon Estonia in 2007, the (alleged) Russian cyberattack on Georgia was accompanied by physical domain combat between Russian and Georgian military forces. The (alleged) Russian network attack operations in virtual cyberspace occurred prior to hostilities and later mirrored (apparently synchronized with) Russian combat operations in the land warfighting domain.7 These attacks included various distributed denial of service (DDOS) attacks to deny/disrupt communications and information exfiltration activities conducted to accumulate military and political intelligence from Georgian networks. These attacks also included web site defacement for Russian propaganda purposes.8 One of the first elements of Georgian society that were attacked was a popular hacker forum – by attempting to take out Georgian hackers, Russian-supported hacker militia preemptively tried to forestall or mitigate a counter-attack (or returning fire) from Georgian hackers.9 What is not widely known is that pro-Georgian hackers made limited but successful network counter-attacks against Russian targets.10 Hacker wars between (often quite talented) patriotic amateur hackers, cyber militias, and organized criminal gangs have become a widely accepted de facto form of nation-state conflict over the past twenty years (for example: Israeli vs Arab/Muslim (Sept 2000), India vs Pakistan, US vs China (April-May 2001), Russian vs Estonia (April-May 2007), etc…). These non-governmental national assets are generally used for the traditional purposes of imposing one nation’s will and conditions upon another.

Two and a half years later and we can only allege? That’s the plausible deniability irregular information operators offer.

One of the first targets of enemy Civilian Irregular Information Operators will be friendly Civilian Irregular Information Operators.

What are some of the operational and intelligence lessons that can be drawn from these conclusions? First, for Russia or China to employ their people’s patriotic ‘hacker militia’ to conduct a network attack against a target nation-state, they must engage them first – to motivate and ‘sell’ them on the concept; steer them toward appropriate targets; synchronize those cyberspace operations with combat activity in the physical realm; and discuss the most effective cyberspace tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) to be used. The patriotic hackers and cyber militias need to be focused by the aggressor government against the opponent‟s center of gravity and their activities to be synchronized with attacks against that center of gravity from the other domains. These hackers and cyber militias need to understand the opponent‟s center of gravity in order to develop cyberspace domain approaches and techniques to effectively attack it. These preliminary cyberspace activities often create an identifiable signature that can be tracked and monitored in advance of combat operations. Nations need to monitor hacker chat rooms and communications of potential aggressor nations in order to intercept and understand this activity.

How would the United States employ our people’s patriotic ‘hacker militia’?
What arm of the octopus could engage them, motivate and ‘sell’ them on the concept, steer them toward appropriate targets; synchronize those cyberspace operations with combat activity in the physical realm; and discuss the most effective cyberspace tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) to be used?

Nobody in our .gov/.mil could overtly engage them without suffering political retribution from Legislative/Executive branch elements that do not want American patriotic hacker militias engaged. That leaves former or retired .gov/.mil beyond the reach of retribution, and contractors that don’t get much political oversight.

Russian-oriented hackers/militia took out news and local government web sites specifically in the areas that the Russian military intended to attack in the ground and air domains. The Federal and local Georgian governments, military, and local news agencies were unable to communicate with Georgian citizens that were directly affected by the fighting. This provided an intelligence indicator of the ground and air attack locations. It created panic and confusion in the local populace, further hindering Georgian military response. This effect also provides a future aggressor nation with an opportunity to conduct military deception operations via feints and ruses to mislead the target nation population, government, and military. A sudden „blackout’ of cyberspace activities in a specific region may provide an indicator of a tactical or operational level conventional attack. Or it could be used as a sophisticated cyberspace operation as part of a larger deception plan, creating a feint in the cyberspace domain to lure opposing forces into believing an attack is imminent in another warfighting domain. Use of patriotic hackers and cyberspace militia themselves might be a deception effort to attract the target nation‟s attention away from the aggressor nation‟s top-quality military and intelligence community cyberspace operators that quietly conduct the main effort in the overall cyberspace domain operation.

Are we even allowed to use MILDEC anymore? Could any U. S. MILDEC’ers work by, with and through American patriotic hackers and cyberspace militia?

In future combat, aggressor nation patriotic hacker militia can be called upon to conduct cyberspace fire & maneuver operations performed directly in support of forces in other domains, They could also be extensively utilized to conduct deception efforts in cyberspace in support of operations in the other domains or to act as a distraction for other cyberspace operations conducted by government professionals against target nation high value targets (HVT).

UPDATE 012911: This Week at War: Lessons from Cyberwar I


Filed under CNA, CND, Info Warriors, IW, PSYOP Auxiliaries

The Border War: Into The Valley Of Death, USA

BigPeace The Border War: Into The Valley Of Death, USA.

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Filed under BorderOps, IW



Defence League (Kaitseliit)

The Defence League is a voluntary military national defence organisation, which acts in the area of government of the Ministry of Defence. The Defence League possesses arms and engages in military exercises. The main goal of the Defence League is, on the basis of the citizens’ free will and initiative, to enhance the readiness of the nation to defend its independence and its constitutional order, including in the event of military threat.


The organisation is divided into 15 Defence League regional units whose areas of responsibility mostly coincide with the borders of Estonia’s counties. Today, the Defence League has over 12,000 members. The affi liated organisations of the Defence League combine more than 19,000 volunteers, in all, and include the Estonian Defence League’s women’s corps Naiskodukaitse, the Estonian Defence League’s boys’ corps Noored Kotkad, and the Estonian Defence League’s girls’ corps Kodutütred.


The Defence League plays an important role in supporting the civil structures. Its members aid in putting out wildfires, volunteer as assistant police members, and ensure safety at various events. Units, consisting of voluntary members of the Defence League, also participate in international peace support operations such as in the Balkan states. The Defence League and its affiliated organisations have positive relations with partner organisations in the Nordic countries, the United States and the United Kingdom.


The Defence League’s women’s corps also co-operates with other organisations and associations, including the Police Board, the Rescue Board, the Erna Society, the Society for Civil Protection and local governments.


The Defence League’s girls’ corps was established to increase patriotic feelings and readiness to defend the independence of Estonia among young girls; to enhance the love for home and fatherland; to encourage respect for the Estonian language and ways of thinking; to be honest, enterprising, responsible, and capable of decision-making; to respect nature; and to respect one’s parents and others.

The Defence League’s boys’ corps comprises approximately 3,500 young men from all over Estonia. The objective of the organisation is to raise these young people as good citizens with healthy bodies and minds. In addition to numerous interesting activities, such as parachute jumping, flying gliders, orienteering, shooting weapons, etc., the boys’ corps also participates in numerous events, the most popular but also the most difficult being the Mini-Erna 35 km reconnaissance competition.

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Filed under IW, Resisters

Estonian Civilian Irregular Information Defense Group

Volunteer Cyber Army Emerges In Estonia

Maybe it won’t be an all-volunteer Cyber Army.

Conscripting Cyber Experts to Protect IT Infrastructure

There is enough national unity in Estonia to have a Cyber Defense League. In America, the usual suspects would beat it to death through PSYOP in the media and LAWFARE in the courts.

Small Wars Council discussion here.

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Filed under CND, Info Warriors, IW, Lawfare, PSYOP

Become A Cyber-Scout, Clean Up Thailand’s Internet! (via Saiyasombut)

H/T: Evgeny Morozov

Originally published at Siam Voices on December 17, 2010 In an everlasting attempt to uphold its image as a fierce defender of the royal institution and thus effectively controlling a national narrative the Thai government now sets its aims into the online world. The ministry of justice, where the Democrat party is in charge, has set up a so-called ‘Cyber Scout’ training programme for next week December 20-21 at Kasetsart University. On their web … Read More

via Saiyasombut

See also Cyber Scout: Thailand’s internet police?

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Filed under G-2, IW, PSYOP Auxiliaries

Concerned net users scouring the net for possible examples of crime and reporting it

EU could turn to ‘crowd sourcing’ in cyber crime fight

Don’t know much about “crowd sourcing.” Sounds more like a a Neighborhood Watch for the internet. The tipsters would be Civilian Irregular Information Operators, of a kind, lower-level volunteers for the “virtual militia.”

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Filed under Info Warriors, IW

Cyber guerrillas can help US

Evgeny Morozov’s “cyber guerrillas” are referred to as Civilian Irregular Information Operators on this blog, but we are both talking about non-state actors. 

Morozov essentially wants somebody to persuade, change and influence the sophomoric Julian Assange to collaborate with traditional media, redact sensitive files, and offer those in a position to know about potential victims of releases the chance to vet the data and turn Wikileaks into a new Transparency International.

I want him dead.

Morozov thinks that would create a global movement of anti-American politicised geeks clamouring for revenge.


Are there enough pro-American politicised geeks to counter vengeful anti-American politicised geeks?

Are there any U. S. .mil /.gov Information Operators capable of  countering vengeful anti-American politicised geeks working by, with and through pro-American politicised geeks?  No real way of knowing.  Bound to be some who are capable of it, but of those, how many are willing to risk their careers associating with politically incorrect  pro-American politicised geeks?


Filed under CNA, CND, IA, Idea War, IW, Morale Operations, PSYOP Auxiliaries, Resisters

Red Hackers Alliance

CHICOM Civilian Irregular Information Operators Harnessing Hacker Hatred.

The RHA has a paid staff, including university trained network security experts. Officially, the RHA provides training and advice about network security. But the RHA has also apparently absorbed the thousands of Chinese hackers who used to belong to informal hacker organizations. These groups often openly launched Cyber War attacks against foreign targets. One of the more notorious examples of this was in the Spring of 2001, when outraged Chinese hackers went after American targets in the wake of a Chinese fighter crashing, after colliding with an American P-3 patrol aircraft. American hackers fought back, and apparently there was more damage on the Chinese side. This offended the Chinese hackers a great deal, and they vowed to not fail in the future.

American hackers prevailed 9 years ago. Will anything useful be accomplished by them next time?

By, With, and Through, you Regulars. Plausible Deniability.

Does the TEA Party have sympathetic hackers on their side? Democrats did two years ago, now, not so much. Do the RINO’s have any Cyber capability at all?

China’s Restless Hackers, 2006/04/18

Red Chinese Cyber-Militia, 2008/05/29

Chinese Cyber Warriors, 2008/08/18

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Filed under CNA, Info Warriors, IW

Had Enough Yet?

The Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration cause more Americans to question the competence and legitimacy of their government’s antiterrorism functionaries than any successful terrorist kinetic operation ever has.

After nine years, pretty much all the frogs have begun to notice that the water in their pot is too damn hot, but few can now muster the energy to hop out, let alone turn the stove off and fire the cook.

DEFENSE of the Continental United States used to be a military mission.  The United States Air Force failed on 9/11 to defend New York City and the Pentagon from attack by enemy aircraft.   The Unorganized Militia of  Flight 93 succeeded in defending The Whitehouse that day, a Pyrhhic victory with 100% casualties to attackers, defenders and everyone on board.  The American people, their elected representatives, and the chain of command  failed to correctly interpret those events,  failed to hold those most responsible for failure accountable, and worst of  all failed to learn the lessons Al Qaeda taught that day. 

 All those cumulative failures bring us to where we are today.   And too many of the over-heated frogs  still think our Federalized, professionalized airport security force is only doing what is best for us.

Thanks to Boquisucio, Denizen of Castle Argghhh!, for the graphic.


Filed under Idea War, IW, Lawfare, PSYOP