The Art of War in the 21st Century

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[This turnaround happened mostly thanks to CHAOS—a strategy of intermittent, unannounced strikes; as Nelson explained in a Jacobin interview, the basic thinking behind CHAOS is that “the strike is going to take any form and we are not going to give you any warning.” CHAOS is terrifying to management, and brutally effective; Alaska Airlines was so shaken by the tactic and so intimidated by the AFA-CWA bargaining committee that bosses settled the contract via fax—and inadvertently gave flight attendants a massive raise in the process.] [1]

[1] Sara Nelson’s Art of War –

This idea of CHAOS is an idea that I had formed over a decade ago, not having heard of this strategy, by the ASFA-CWA. In my terms having researched network modals, network stability & network phase changes, through my research on Complex Adaptive Systems [2].. Any organization is a network of relationships, some of which are fiscal. Identify the primary nodes or sub-networks (micro-networks) that connect the network together and craft a strategy of disruption to influence those primary network nodes and cause failures.

The best way to ‘combat’ a network is through the overloading of its capabilities & capacities. I termed this a strategy of network overcapacitation. There are two approaches that should be addressed together, which could be termed 1) event spiking & 2) network reduction.

Event Spiking (1) – The first approach is to increase the number of events. An example regarding the struggle against cash bonds and pretrial incarceration, as the system of justice affects the poor grievously. The strategy of event spikes in this context means as the number of people who request a jury trial increases it over-capacitizes the scheduling system and increases the number of pre-trial inmates to overcapacitize the jails.

Network Reduction (2) – The second approach is to reduce the network density. This is the strategy chosen by the Flight Attendants. By having recurring bouts of sick-calls, the network gets limited in how much capacity they can handle. The random nature of when these events may occur, adds to the system failing in scheduling activities.

Non-Violent Social Warfare (NVSW) – Traffic jams are a way to overcapacitize the road network, for instance accidents at critical nodes for the logistics of an industry would increase Time To Deliver. This is the target of NVSW! How to generate macro scope challenges with synchronized micro actions. I view this all as non-violent social warfare.

The coming target of this approach & strategy is the healthcare industry. How can we generate a macro scoped event in the national healthcare network? How might we overcapacitize the health insurance industry? How about the medical billing network? And hospitals overcharging? And let us not forget about the pharmaceutical industry! CHAOS!

Another facet of network stability is that any flow network, such as electricity or petrochemical or trucking logistics or airports or healthcare, they all have two network layers, joined at the hips: the flow network layer & the control network layer. Every network has a control layer. There is the actual flow network layer itself, that materially moves work items through the network system and then there is always a control network layer that manages scheduling and routing decisions in the underlying flow network layer. Therefore, the subjects of interest in any network are the critical nodes in the control network layer. Overcapacitization of the flow network affects the control network. Overcapacitization of the control network layer generates those macro failure events we are looking for.

So what sort of macro events in the control layer are of interest & achievable? If you have a strategy that repeatably and randomly activates the Emergency Management network phase mode, the network will start to degrade. This is especially true if the consistent activation of Emergency Management starts to cause exhaustion of the critical nodes involved in Emergency Management, then Emergency Management itself will become overcapacitized. Acting repeatably to phase change a network into Emergency Management mode, will over time cause network exhaustion and that will be the macro failure we are looking to generate.

All of this network warfare fits modern military doctrine through Computer Network Operations and Network Warfare Operations [3], although the military has restricted those definitions to be computer-centric. What we are discussing here is logistical network warfare, targeting any flow network that moves work items through different states til completion. The concepts are the same. Below are some definitions (NetA, NetD & NS), just bear in mind that these can apply to more types of networks than just computer networks.

Network attack (NetA) is employment of network-based capabilities to destroy, disrupt, corrupt, or usurp information resident in or transiting through networks. Networks include telephony and data services networks.

Network defense (NetD) is employment of network-based capabilities to defend friendly information resident in or transiting through networks against adversary efforts to destroy, disrupt, corrupt, or usurp it.

Network warfare support (NS) is the collection and production of network related data for immediate decisions involving NW Ops. NS is critical to NetA and NetD actions to find, fix, track, and assess both adversaries and friendly sources of access and vulnerability for the purpose of immediate defense, threat prediction and recognition, targeting, access and technique development, planning, and execution in NW Ops.

[Nelson continues, getting into the meat of her explanation of why women have emerged as the most effective leaders of today’s labor movement—and why flight attendants now find themselves on the organizing vanguard. “It’s now finally the day when we get to not just say that we have each other’s back, but that we can call upon the broader social discussion to say, ‘We’re not going to accept that as a society. No, we’re going to say that every woman and man is a feminist.’ And if we can hear each other’s stories, then it’s more likely that we’re going to find our common ground, and if we find our common ground, that is where our power lies, and that is where the change is effected. And that’s why I believe that women are going to lead the revitalizing of the labor movement.”]

Yes, I have long thought that women will come to govern the power structures and institutions of our nation. They can out-organize the men and the male power structure. That is called the OODA loop [4]. Women have organizational leverage!

[1] Sara Nelson’s Art of War –
[2] Complex Adaptive Systems –…/innovation-in-complex-adaptive-sy…
[3] Computer Network Operations and Network Warfare Operations –
[4] The Ultimate Guide to the OODA Loop –

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