Sunday, July 1, 2012
What reforms needed for an AL Qaeda in decline Part 4
Qualified Human Resources for enhanced performances
What makes up an organization is neither the brand nor the product, it is foremost the quality of its working force despite its size and proportions. Many would argue that the Al Qaeda network should concentrate its resources on upgrading its recruitment process, yet I argue, along line Bruce Hoffman, that quantity is a negligible factor in the working mechanisms of militant groups. Focusing instead on qualifying the members of the network and recruiting selectively skilled individuals will enhance beyond proportions the reach and impact of Al Qaeda.
"Terrorism is not a numbers game," says Bruce Hoffman, director of Georgetown University's Center for Peace and Security Studies. "That is the point of terrorism: A small number of dedicated, well-trained, and highly motivated individuals can have a disproportionate impact on any society's sense of security and profoundly affect government policies."
It is indeed clear to the public opinion, as it is for policy makers, that skilled militants who can hack into GPS navigation systems, perform high profile assassinations, assemble explosive devices and sabotage nuclear stations are far more dangerous than individuals with lite weaponry in the middle of the Afghan chain mountains.
It is indeed precarious for the network survival to uphold the philosophy it instated at its beginnings, a philosophy which imposes on the group a volatile chain of commands with no specification of long term targets. As al-Hammadi, Khalid points out in his series of articles in Al Quds Al Arabi: Al-Qaeda's management philosophy has been described as "centralization of decision and decentralization of execution.
The decentralization of execution puts forwards numerous risks and imposes a specific modus operandi. As restraints are loose on the command execution of the group’s operational units, the necessity to achieve successful attacks in the shortest delays overturns the need to secure an elaborate and impactful strategy with low costs and high gains.
The comparison drawn between the attacks of Madrid, the 9/11 and other major accomplishments of Al Qaeda, and the seeming less assaults and suicide bombings executed in Afghanistan and Iraq points the importance of carrying on elaborate missions with skilled executives instead of rushed strikes.
Investing in human resources should become the driving motives of Al Qaeda, and securing recruits with college and university degrees in Engineering, Computer sciences and military specializations will allow the network to move from decentralized anarchic execution to focal and high precision missions of the scale of the 9/11.
An example of such investments Al Qaeda should start engaging on is of the caliber of high tech research on communication and networks breaching. The latest news in BBC of the researchers who used spoofing to hack into a flying drone shows the possibility to use knowledgeable university students to deviate flying targets using GPS navigation systems and use them as projectiles or intelligence sources.
These are the 21st century new challenges of Al Qaeda, and in a world of rapid change an exponential advance, catching up with the drastic improvements in the different vital sectors in the military field or civilian sectors is a necessity for survival. The working mechanisms of the past have succeeded in securing a temporary expansion of the network, but since the post-soviet era, Al Qaeda has only receded from the field of action and from the minds and hearts of its supporters. A visionary leadership, under the command of a young generation of executives with appropriate knowledge and qualifications to meet the ever improving counter-terrorism techniques and policies worldwide is more pressing than ever.
Mohamed Amine Belarbi