Hey Mark, I don't think I'm getting the discussion of JRObb's latest. I just keep hitting a wall. If social networks are so resilient that the PAtraeus strategy is doomed to fail,JRobbs position, how can any order work?
Note: I'm way out of my element with this networks and resiliency thing. ry
I'm not sure that John is saying they can't ever work so much as the complexity and density of social networks in Baghdad will make it very difficult relative to the resources committed.
This of course hinges on the subjective political question of whether or not the Iraqi networks on the ground want the surge to succeed or fail because that will determine the amount of friction they will create.
social networks, BTW, will spontaneously generate their own, mostly implicit, "rule-sets" in the course of emerging.
Okay, let me be more clear here. JRObb says that the order was done wrong but that there is a proper order.
I don't get how he gets there(though you apparently do). I keep mashing up against the 'well, if they don't want to, what difference does the order in which you take down neighborhoods matter/" question.
Somehow you see a way around it. I don't. Care to share? ry
"Here's a recommendation for future efforts to secure modern cities beset by open source insurgencies. The order of the areas in which you sequentially apply force matters. The primary goal should be to focus efforts on a footprint of viable connectivity that can be isolated from the whole and still operate"
My read on Robb's statement is that within the extent of the networks that exist in a city there are multiple centers of gravity that while interconnected, represent potentially autonomous subsystems of connectivity. Call them wards, or neighborhoods or whatever you like, there is a recurring pattern of positive social and economic activity that can be identified that is present that you'd be best off not disrupting.
So first, you interdict and monitor flows between the subsystems to contain insurgents and shrink their area of action. Then you tackle one subsystem at a time, surgically, picking your starting point for the greatest systemic advantage before moving on to the next.