THE GIX BANG WORLD - 1991 Gulf War to 2011 Operation Geronimo
It is remarkable that three important violent events separated by two decades that ushered us to the new millennium have been the catalysts in defining and shaping the world that we have been calling globalization. When Iraq annexed Kuwait in August 1990, it was considered a defining moment of shift from cold war of bipolar era. January 1991 Gulf War – operation desert storm and unique ways in which it was conducted by the United States resulted in multiple experts proclaiming the start and application of a Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA). The unprecedented interplay and cohesion obtained by integration of precision technologies, networks, and information technologies was a remarkable demonstration of extent to which new military operations will depend upon knowledge and networking. This was a shocking surprise to military commanders who were still indoctrinated in the old ways of mass destruction and mass combat power to defeat massed armies.
Ten years later it was the turn of the have-nots to attack the very seat of economic power represented in the twin-towers of the world trade center thereby reducing it to rubble. The permanent etching that Osama Bin Laden has left in the world’s especially US psyche despite the powerful US defense forces perfecting the RMA’s that they created, once again reiterated the power of knowledge and networks. The way September 11, 2001, was executed against the most powerful nation of the world, speaks of three main capabilities – Globalization, Complexity and Innovation.
Ten years further down, in May 2011, US responded by not only finding the architect of 9/11 attacks, but also killing him in an unusually secure army area in Abbottabad, Pakistan. Operation codenamed Neptune Spear or Operation Geronimo was a culmination of search for Osama Bin Laden from 2002 onwards. This required a comprehensive amount of resources to search, track and then plan the operation in a manner that was to be hidden even from the local military and information gatherers who could have alerted the target. Once, again we witnessed three key capabilities – Globalization, Complexity and Innovation.
These three violent events are just a sample, albeit with very violent results, of the interplay of the three capabilities of the new world. This world is based on the ability of each one of us to leverage and exploit knowledge and connectivity. Success in this new world requires ability to search for knowledge, create new knowledge, identify the knowledge pieces, convert these pieces into creating new value in terms of solutions, and flow it through the networks of globalizing world in an efficient manner, so as it reaches the site of the problem in space and time in a least wasteful manner.