Diathetical Warfare

The power of diathetical (irregular)warfare increases as the means of mass communication expand. It is not limited to countries fighting each other, or to enemies of one another using it against each other.

This type of warfare indeed lends itself easily to the theatre of politics. T.E.Lawrence was one of the first commanders to realize: that “[t]he printing press is the greatest weapon in the armoury of the modern commander.” This was in 1918. Lawrence of Arabia famously defeated the much stronger Turkish army by convincing them through non traditional means, that they HAD lost.

Lawrence realIzed that he really didn’t need to actually win the war, but instead: “He just needed to decide he had won and convince the world. The struggle was to change the definition of victory, to change the meaning of the events rather than the events themselves.”

Jump ahead almost 100 years to New York City in 2001. Another person…this time named Osama bin Laden used Diathetical warfare, when he attacked the World Trade Center. Using the vastly expanded technology of the internet, he staged an attack on the most powerful country in the world which resonated across the entire world, because of the media coverage of the event. He lost his men, eventually lost his organization and then his life. But he won the battle. The first battle of the technological era of communications warfare.

One person in New York City that day looked at the flames, at the coverage they got, at the fame gained by that event. He decided he could adopt the developing technology of the internet, and then had social media fall into his hands as one of the most powerful weapons ever invented. His name is Donald Trump, and he is a master of diathetical political warfare. He started a long time ago in terms of the life span of social media.

Don’t underestimate him. The Turks underestimated T.E. Lawrence and lost a war. America underestimated Osama bin Laden and lost 3000 lives. We cannot underestimate our current leader, because the freedom of our country hangs in the balance.