Wednesday, September 21, 2011

"Killing Terrorists" by Chuck de Caro

Guest blogger Nicole Daddario on Chuck de Caro's (CEO of Aerobeureau Corp.) session on al Qaeda:

The aggressive nature of this session's title goes hand in hand with the passionate presentation given by Mr. Chuck de Caro, founder and CEO of Aerobureau Corporation and former CNN Special Assignments Correspondent. He preached about how we can defeat Al Qaeda through the use of his SOFTWAR theory. The definition of SOFTWAR is "the hostile use of global television and global media to shape another society's will by changing its view of reality". Mr. de Caro emphasizes that although Osama is dead, Al Qaeda is not; we need to kill the movement.

He also emphasized that "television transfers information through the PERCEPTION of images and sound rather than hard fact". He quoted Clausewitz: "War is violence to constrain the enemy to accomplish our will". My personal favorite part of Mr. de Caro's discussion was his SOFTWAR theory's focus on Cinematic Analysis, or CINAN. He showed videos that demonstrate the difference between the United States and Al Qaeda's use of video. From the comparison, we can conclude that video is Al Qaeda's primary strategic weapon. It creates an exciting recruiting tool, and improves morale among its supporters. Their videos show that they constantly repeat a tactical pattern in which the camera is slaved to the weapon. We observed that their videos show a sniper target at a close range, and they do not leave out any details. They don't seem to care about their locations being discovered, but do care more about having support from their followers. On the other hand, in the U.S.'s video Sniper video, the target is 800m away. It seems that our emphasis is more on the shooter's ability and skill with the weapon. The camera is not slaved to the camera, and the conclusion is not nearly as graphic.

I find Mr. de Caro's SOFTWAR theory interesting, and respect his ideas for a fundamental change and to plan an information operations war. He believes in a quote by Alvin Toffer: "Nations make more the way they make money". He argues that if we know how the enemy makes their money, then we should be able to beat them! We must overwhelm their propaganda efforts and use the SOFTWAR principles: Counter propaganda, counter programming, saturation, seduction, special means, and integration. According to him, we will crush Al Qaeda's information efforts to advance its cause, and come out on top.

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