Crowdsourced insurgency 101: monetizing the local network

US soldiers in AfghanistanIt’s not been mentioned much on this side of the pond, but I imagine Stateside readers will have already heard about the US soldier allegedly “sold” to a militant Afghani clan by local-level insurgents. Here’s hoping he gets hauled out of there sooner rather than later. [image by Soldier’s Media Centre]

John Robb points out the marked difference in military networking that this sort of action represents; the Haqqanis are leveraging an entrepreneurial instinct in their local supporters, a sort of monetized and crowdsourced insurgency that relies less on having a standing army and more on rewarding local people for doing things your way.

As Fourth Generation Warfare becomes increasingly prevalent, perhaps the military forces of the West should take a page or two from the playbooks of their opponents – maybe wallets and billfolds are better targets than hearts and minds. After all, if your country is being torn apart economically by a war you don’t understand, who are you going to support – the alien invaders with expensive military hardware who blow a lot of stuff up in the name of political concepts that you don’t fully understand, or the guys who reward you for easily accomplished favours on your home turf?

2 thoughts on “Crowdsourced insurgency 101: monetizing the local network”

  1. Sorry, but I find it a little condescending to suggest that Afghanis don’t understand the causes and political concepts which impelled us to blow seven shades of manure out of their country.

    I’d suggest rather that they don’t trust ‘alien invaders with expensive military hardware’ and either don’t believe our claims of <sarcasm>furthering the march of democracy</sarcasm> or just don’t agree with it.

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