Not the best title for my blog. You might observe, but the terrorists don’t have hearts. Be that as it may, they are afraid. They are not sure. There is chaos inside their rigid structure.
The goal of terrorists is to create fear, challenge the sense of well-being and security in common man (or woman) so that the way of life as we know in the free world is disturbed. For doing this they need to continually grab media attention. Also the acts of terror attract attention of the followers. The most important goal for Al-queda is causing panic and chaos in countries that are pro-democratic.
An organization like Al-queda requires a charismatic leader who inspires them and continues to show them how they are succeeding in whatever twisted causes they have. They also require other “generals” who actually manage the projects and execute them. More on the “generals” later.
US Seals entering Osama-Bin-Laden’s (OBL) hide out and killing him in combat is a fantastic victory for the war on terror. Why is that?
Clearly OBL fits the “Charismatic Leader” role very well and that he is gone is a blow to the organization. However, new leaders may emerge or may have already been positioned to succeed. This is not as easy as it sounds. Succession planning is not an easy task. Great organization, even organizations with very positive outlook find it very hard. The leaders are driven by their inner most passion and that also makes them very self-driven and egotistic. This itself prevents them from electing successor as long as they are in power. They like to think that they are indispensable. US should feel very confident and that’s another reason for optimism in the war on terror.
But the most important reason for this is breaking the chaos that Al-queda wants to create.
Their goal is to create a chaotic system on the one hand (in the free world) but keep their world organized (Taliban was an example of such organization. A lot of the countries where Al-queda has the upper hand has rigid hierarchical structure). Al-queda’s very survival depends on these two systems being in existence. Attacking with force on a well structured system is hard. But the best way to deal with a system like this is to break the well-organized structure. To do this you have to get in side the system and introduce chaos. This is exactly what killing OBL accomplished. It must clearly put fear in their leadership.
This is the phase transition we have all been waiting for the last 30 years. This phase transition coupled with the revolutions going on in Arab world might be an opportunity for America to finish the job and make the world a safer place. Phase transitions reveal that we are operating at the edge of chaos. We can drive this by making us more organized or driving chaotic signals into their organization. Driving chaos with perturbation at the right local points is the right method.
When your body is fighting flu infection, a similar war happens. The chaos caused by the virus makes our immune system declare a war and start attacking indiscriminately. We experience cough, cold, breathing trouble and fever. However, once the immune system finds the magic key the virus is defenseless. It’s a question of how long it will be before the key is found. If the body can withstand, the attacks from the virus and sustain the war without damaging the very body it’s trying to protect, long enough the war is going to be won. The finding of the key is the phase transition that’s got to take place for the victory to be ascertained.
This paper covers how synchronized chaotic systems work. This requires a drive system and response system. Most of the synchronized chaotic systems proposed in the literature consist of two parts: a drive system which generates the chaotic signals, and a response system. Some signals called drive signals are generated by the drive system and are used in the response system to synchronize the common signals of both systems.
There is a lot of good research and mathematical treatment done on chaotic systems and how to bring order in such systems, how to induce phase transitions etc. To bring about transformation, the signal has to be the right amount. See this article to appreciate this fact. Qualitatively and analytically, the latest victory of US (killing of OBL) seems to fit the signal that will cause the phase transition in the chaotic system. However, a full mathematical treatment is needed (beyond my ability).
Talking about the general in Al-queda, they suddenly are leaderless and view the enemy in a new light. The generals know now, America is capable of covert action and can take out their top leaders as we see fit. Their well structured organization is in chaos. The systems are switched. Phase transition is in place.
It’s easy to catch (take them down if we have to but catch them and bring them to justice if we can. As democratic nation we would like and should follow the democratic process) the other generals who are in key positions.
Democracy by its very nature is not as stable as organization. Companies tend to be more stable because they are rigid in their organization. Same way with dictatorship or totalitarian organizations. Al-queda, like the Mafia, is organized crime that relies on democracy and causing chaos within that democracy to thrive. It’s the signal that fuels it’s engine. Introduce instability into a rigidly structured organization, it collapses completely. Whereas a loosely organized structure that democracy is, is able to respond to chaotic signals much better and instability is temporary. The war on terror needs to be appreciated as operating on the edge of chaos.