Saturday, December 20, 2008

The WARLOCK JAMMER Leak

There's a great story and debate over at the Wired Defense blog about the wikileak's publication of a classified report on the WARLOCK IED jamming system. I've written before about my view on publishing classified information, (it's wrong) so I won't go much into that here.

I would like to address the argument that Wikileak's editor, Julian Assange, makes in justifying his disclosure of classified information.

As for this document, U.S. Soldiers are not happy that literally billions have gone on these jammers, with apparently little thought going into how soldiers are going to communicate, after they have been turned on.

Unlike IED's, jamming and communications are something I do have some experience in. I can tell the editor, that a great deal of thought goes into the balance between jamming and communications. But the answer is simple, and almost always the same.

The position that the temporary advantage of communicating (or collecting intelligence from communications) outweighs advantages gained by jamming reflects a lack of mature thinking. Jamming jams weapons systems. That means jamming make the weapons systems unable to function. When weapons systems are unable to function, they can't kill you or your team.

Yes, for someone whose job it is to communicate it's frustrating as hell when the jammers are doing their work. Communications are important. But you can't communicate or complete the mission if you're dead.

Lots of good discussion in the Wired Blog comments

By the way, I could not bring myself to download and read the actual report. The wikileaks article says that it's classified SECRET. Publication does not make it unclassified. My home computer is not authorized to process classified information.

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