Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Burn the boats

Hugh MacLeod's great work available at www.gapingvoid.com

Naval Postgraduate School
Article By: Amanda D. Stein

Clouds of smoke billowed from the beaches of Veracruz as hundreds of men faced the uncertainty of their fate. Outnumbered 300 to one and facing a long, difficult battle with the Aztecs, Spanish explorer Hernán Cortés ordered his men to burn their ships. Eliminating any chance they had of retreat, Cortés had left his crew with only two options – succeed or die.

The year was 1518, and the battle to secure the territories of what is now Mexico waged vehemently. With a courageous, resolute leader and almost certain death if they were defeated, Cortés’ men accepted his challenge, and conquered the Aztecs against immeasurable odds.

Today, the U.S., if not the world, is facing a different kind of adversary – one that has no single identity and outnumbers us at equally staggering odds. It is the war over information and it requires bold leadership and an unwavering approach. The Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) has referenced Cortés’ brave mentality, even echoed it in his battle to secure and obtain information – a field that has come to be known as Information Dominance.


Anonymous said...

To put this into modern terms, it is like a shore command with an absolute requirement to receive, process, analyze, comment and disseminate information when faced with the overwhelming problem of securing the data, deciding to disconnect from the world wide web, disable all built-in machine capabilities to record or store data and then telling the users to get on with their work.

1518 wasn't so long ago and Cortez was a piker.

Anonymous said...

'cryptology' has been burned. Move on.

Mike Lambert said...

Au contrair, mon ami. Read my article in USNI Proceedings about the 'cryptologic phoenix'.

Mike Lambert said...

Rising from the ash.

Anonymous said...

Link please.

Mike Lambert said...

October 2005 Proceedings Magazine Vol. 132/10/1,232
NSG-The Cryptologic Community—A Transformational Phoenix? Captain Mike Lambert, USN


Anonymous said...

Sorry. Not a member and I prefer open forums to 'pay for access'.

Care to share publically? Or at least provide a gist explaining why even the term 'cryptology' is relevent?

If your point is that "IDC" is the phoenix I'll concede. Regardless, 'cryptology' has gone the way of 'paper tape'.

Mike Lambert said...

Anon @ 12:57 PM

I respect your preferences.

Anonymous said...

Ahem...Cortes did not actually burn his ships. Check it out.

Mike Lambert said...

Anon @ 2:20 AM,

We know. He actually scuttled those ships. For story telling purpose, "Burn the ships" is more exciting than "Scuttle the ships".