01/02/2014

Agile Democracy against the elimination of the dangers posed by newly empowered individuals


Excerpts from the 08/2013 article "War on Terror Is not the Only Threat" by Harlan Ullman, author of the infamous and shameful doctrine "Shock and Awe" (emphasis mine):
"Hence, the counter-terrorism responses [...] aren't addressing the forces that are dramatically altering the nature of international politics. [...] 
The major enemy and adversary are no longer states bent on disrupting or dominating the system despite those who see China as a future foe. 
Instead, the more immediate danger rests in the dramatic empowerment of individuals and groups, for good and sadly evil, often lumped together as "non-state actors." 
Edward Snowden, Bradley Manning, countless "hackers" and anonymous people [...] whose actions have indeed constituted real threats and systemic disruptions are among the former. Al-Qaida and other radical groups reflect the latter. 
In essence, the 365 year-old Westphalian system that placed sovereign states as the centerpieces of international politics is being tested and in some cases made obsolete by the empowerment of individuals and non-state actors. As former national security adviser Brent Scowcroft observes, global politics has entered a post-Westphalian era. But very few have taken note and fewer have acted on this realization. 
The fundamental cause of this empowerment is the diffusion of all forms of power writ large commonly called "globalization," accelerated by the information revolution and instantaneous global communications and the real and perceived fragilities and weaknesses of states to intervention, interference and disruption by non-traditional actors. 
September 11th could become the demarcation point of this new era much as 1648 and the Treaty of Westphalia marked the beginning of the state-centric system of the international order. 
While the analogy is loose, it won't take centuries for the effects of globalization and the end or at least the transition of the Westphalian era to take hold. 
Beyond this inflection point in international politics, still unabsorbed and misunderstood by most governments and people, a second reality complicates taking effective action in what could truly be a "new world order," the description coined by U.S. President George H.W. Bush after the implosion of the Soviet Union more than two decades ago. 
Failed and failing government from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe with Brussels and Washington in between is the largest collective impediment to the betterment of mankind. 
Without an extraordinary crisis, little is likely to be done to reverse or limit the damage imposed by failed or failing governance. The United States is Exhibit A although there are far too many competitors for that title. 
However, the changing Westphalian system can and must be addressed if there is to be any chance of success in containing, reducing and eliminating the dangers posed by newly empowered non-state actors. 
We have been here before. Sixty-eight years ago this month, the nuclear age dawned over Hiroshima. Over time as nuclear and especially thermonuclear weapons were seen as more than just extensions of conventional munitions and potentially existential, a theory of deterrence emerged. We are at similar juncture regarding cyber where we lack an overarching understanding of the implications and possible consequences of this domain. 
The first step as the Westphalian system faces profound redefinition is understanding and recognizing that these shifts are under way. From that appreciation, specific concepts and ideas can be fashioned to help guide us on this journey.
The path will be difficult and tortuous. Politics and ideological preferences will confuse and distort clear vision. The tendency to overreact, as occurred after September 11th and the Snowden and Manning leaks, will collide with budget realities in which a great deal less will be spent on national security. And because of the pernicious nature of the U.S. system of government, finding institutions with the objectivity, courage and perseverance to chart this new unknown won't be easy. 
Yet this must be done."
You read correctly: Ullman promotes nothing less than an 'overreaction' of the cyber-command organization to "protect" the failing US state, at the expense of the citizens, specifically targeting then eliminating the empowered ones. 

The idea expressed here is to perform an 'Hiroshima' like extraordinary event in or using the Cyber domain and infrastructure, and then make 'deterrence' to emerge. This means all others sheepsuuh..citizens have to fear once for all that the threat from the rulers over them is absolutely real, and that the current State actors will never accept any change in the governance.

Ullman is saying that the infrastructure for such an event is ready, but the government is only lacking a 'clear vision' to fashion new 'national security' concepts, and to allocate new budgets to a 'courageous' security agency. 

If we recognize the failing statist governance and the inevitable emergence of the empowered citizen, Ullman's 'vision' of Will to Order is nothing different than the death of democracy. Americans, first among many others people, needs a Monitory Democracy. The principles of Agile Democracy can help and guide them.

Traité de Westphalie publié le 24/10/1648



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