A new CNN report claims that both cell phone tracking, as well as human intelligence, helped lead to the U.S. strike that killed al-Zarqawi.

Again, this is interesting because the new conventional wisdom within the defense community that networked IT favors decentralized groups such as guerrillas, insurgents, and terrorists.  The U.S. has been criticized for being too hierarchical.  Terrorist network infrastructure has been said to provide a particular challenge to the U.S.  Beyond technical infrastructure, the social networks rooted in families, clans, tribes, or religious sects, are said to provide an even greater challenge for U.S. forces.

The recent strike against al-Zarqawi is an indication that success in both realms is possible, that we are not necessarily destined to incompetence and defeat as some critics have argued.  CNN reports:

Intelligence from cell phone technology
helped U.S. forces find and kill Abu Musab al-Zarqawi, said an Iraqi
army colonel Friday in an exclusive interview with CNN.

Dhiya Tamimi said he worked with U.S. forces to monitor al-Zarqawi and
his associates’ cell phones, helping to lead to Wednesday night’s
airstrike on a safe house near Baquba.

Authorities also relied on intelligence from Iraqi civilians and
information from al Zarqawi’s terrorist network, al Qaeda in Iraq.