Phi Beta Iota: Laos was both an inspiring success story at the operational and tactical levels, and a massive strategic failure in context. On the one hand, a handful of CIA officers and a very modest amount of money kept entire divisions pinned down or occupied or distracted. On the other hand, in the words of Ted Shackley's deputy in Laos, we got a lot of people killed with nothing to show for it in the end. Today this would not be possible to achieve by kinetic means because it would be too easy to first spot with commercial imagery, and then cover all of the air strips with covert hides able to shoot down the light airplanes as they landed. However, today there are other means of empowering indigenous peoples, centered on Open Spectrum, Open Source Software, and Open Source Intelligence–the Open Tri-Fecta: Information Operations (Advanced).
Comment by Contributing Editor Tom Briggs:
Review: Cash on Delivery–CIA Special Operations During the Secret War in Laos
Review: Spymaster–My Life in the CIA
Review: The World Is Open–How Web Technology Is Revolutionizing Education
Review: Ideas and Integrities–A Spontaneous Autobiographical Disclosure
2006 INFORMATION OPERATIONS: All Information, All Languages, All the Time