There was no fog of war over Basra on the seventh day of the invasion of Iraq. Instead of operating in an information vacuum like U.S. Civil War soldiers firing into a smoke-filled field, the American pilots of two A-10 Thunderbolts flying a mission to destroy Iraqi rocket launchers on March 28, 2003, were bathed in a sea of information as dense as the Mesopotamian sunlight. Supporting them were at least three Marine Corps forward air controllers attached to British units on the ground, an AWACS control ship called Sky Chief, a nearby British pilot, and a theater commander called Twin Act.1

“Hey, I got a four ship,” called POPOV36, one of the A-10 pilots, spotting a suspicious convoy below. “Looks ...

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