By Bruce Schneier | On 60 Minutes, in an interview with Scott Pelley, reporter Bob Woodward claimed that the U.S. military has a new secret technique that’s so revolutionary, it’s on par with the tank and the airplane:
Woodward: This is very sensitive and very top secret, but there are secret operational capabilities that have been developed by the military to locate, target, and kill leaders of al Qaeda in Iraq, insurgent leaders, renegade militia leaders, that is one of the true breakthroughs.Pelley: What are we talking about here? Some kind of surveillance, some kind of targeted way of taking out just the people that you’re looking for, the leadership of the enemy?
Woodward: It is the stuff of which military novels are written.
Pelley: Do you mean to say that this special capability is such an advance in military technique and technology that it reminds you of the advent of the tank and the airplane?
It’s here, 7 minutes and 55 seconds in.
Anyone have any ideas?
EDITED TO ADD (9/11): One idea:
I’m going to make a wager about what I think Woodward is talking about, and I’ll be curious to see what Danger Room readers have to say. I believe he is talking about the much ballyhooed (in defense geek circles) “Tagging, Tracking and Locating” program; here’s a briefing on it from Special Operations Command. These are newfangled technologies designed to track people from long distances, without the targeted people realizing they are being tracked. That can theoretically include thermal signatures, or some sort of “taggant” placed on a person. Think Will Smith in Enemy of the State. Well, not so many cameras, maybe.