Sword, double-edged, one-each

Bloody hell:

Google is talking with military agencies in Iraq after learning that terrorists attacking British bases in Basra appear to have been using aerial footage from Google Earth to pinpoint strikes … Among documents seized in raids on insurgents’ homes were printouts from photos taken from Google Earth that show the location of buildings, tents, latrines and lightly armored vehicles…

[…]

Royal Green Jackets soldiers based at Basra Palace base said they would consider suing Google if they were injured in any attacks in which Google Earth aerial shots were used.

That this is old news and of concern to militaries worldwide is little comfort to the RGJ troopers but that’s a tough break in the information age. I laughed at the idea of soldiers suing those who may have facilitated attacks, but then remembered that they let kooky things like that go on in the EU. Good luck with that, mate.

There was a time, when I was trying to work Iraqi sand out of my own crevasses, that Google Earth caliber imagery would have been pretty darn handy, because you’d have been hard pressed to get national-level assets to give you pictures with that kind of quality in a timely fashion. In the age of backpack UAVs I wonder if that is still the case. The skeptic in my thinks it probably is, in which case having access to Google Earth means units on the ground don’t have to rely on dated military maps and too-late satellite snapshots to get an aerial view of the AO that they can mash up with any first-hand info they gather on the ground. Borders, hidden alleys, safe houses, etc., etc.

Turn-about being fair play and all . . .