I am late to the party that Crispin Burke has started again, but I have a valid excuse--looking for sponsors for the good Captain's Balling out of Control Center of Excellence. Now that JFCOM is closing, we might have to consult a NATO partner and two former adversaries for assistance. We might even get the Israelis and the Chinese on board, and finally end the Korean war while we're at it. In any event, when in doubt consult Silvio Berlusconi for the importance of Balling Out of Control for a nation's national security.
But I digress. Burke and a heavily armed panda have teamed up to dump on an attempt by a man best known for Bat Nipples to single-handedly revive the "vulgar" version of Network-Centric Warfare (NCW)'s hubristic view that C4ISR will lead to decisive political-military dominance. Only this time, it is expected to work as a means of monitoring the border between North Sudan and the emerging South Sudanese state.
Conflict Early Warning and Response is a growing topic of importance, indeed there is an excellent blog by that very name. What emerges from reading the blogger's survey of professional technical attempts and the scholarly literature is an extremely complex effort to integrate all kinds of technological and human sensors, historical and context-specific data, and develop methods for structuring analysis and creating effective systems for managing information.
Needless to say, such a process requires a lot more than satellites and volunteers.