Monthly Archives: November 2006

Step To Victory No. 6

Major Egland’s last step of his Six Steps To Victory addresses what this blog is all about — countering the enemy psyops that are sapping our will, damaging our morale and clouding our judgement.

6. Accept the realities of warfare in the media age by decentralizing the sharing of information with both the Iraqi and the American public.

The government and military must better communicate its message–to both Iraqis and the American public. The hurdles posed by political correctness and self-imposed bureaucratic constraints must be cleared in order to balance the insurgents’ current control of the airwaves. Their “flaming car bomb-a-day” television propaganda campaign has dominated the media debate since late 2004, negating or neutralizing any reports of positive news.

The lack of reporting on the incredible progress being made in Iraq every day is the media equivalent of trees falling in the forest but no one hearing them. In today’s media environment,  progress only counts when it is filmed and reported.

Also, it is clear that “good news” must come directly from the units on the ground or the Iraqis themselves. Anything coming from higher headquarters or the Pentagon is dismissed, fairly or unfairly, as propaganda. Recent reports that the Pentagon is building its public relations efforts, including “message development” teams and “surrogate” spokesmen, demonstrate an awareness of the problem. More Pentagon talking heads, however, will have less impact on broadcasting a more balanced message than authentic reporting from the troops.

Some units have embraced the internet to communicate their message, even going so far as to promote soldiers blogging on a personal website to the unofficial position of “unit blogger.” In one case, this not only helped unit morale by keeping friends and family back home better informed, but it also improved local media coverage around that unit’s home base because there was more complete coverage of progress and setbacks, rather than just the “flaming car bomb-a-day.”

Thus, the Pentagon should abandon its reflexive instinct toward control of information that has led it to seek to ban personal cameras and blogs. Instead,  a “unit blogger” approach should be applied across Iraq, with appropriate guidance and training to preserve operational security. Tactical units should each have two members who are trained in public relations and equipped with high-quality cameras and laptops with video editing software, and offered incentives and rewards for effective reporting. They should record unit activities in writing and video, and share them with the American people via sites modeled on wildly successful pro-military websites, such as Blackfive.net and MoveAmericaForward.org.

Also, the embed process that helps journalists visit ground units must be streamlined. The general staff in Baghdad should measure the success of its public affairs effort by how many journos get out on the ground, in contrast to recent reports of the staff making life difficult for proven combat communicators like Michael Yon to embed with units. Yon, a former special operator, does so much to report an authoritative, balanced perspective from Iraq that the generals should instead assign him his own helicopter, and perhaps a limo.

Along with sharing more information with the American and Iraqi public, U.S. forces should also be empowered to share more information directly with locals in Iraq. The messages U.S. forces often share, however, are those that have been approved for nationwide dissemination by staffers in Baghdad and are therefore vague and generic.

Surprisingly, units are not permitted to create and distribute their own flyers without approval from the generals in Baghdad, which is a non-starter, because they are understandably concerned that troops would distribute inappropriate flyers that would end up on the news and create a public relations nightmare.

But, instead of solving that by banning the flyers, more effective leadership would give guidelines and provide samples of acceptable flyers. In short,  empower the units to develop and share a message that works in their neighborhoods. Better communication between tactical units and Iraqi locals will help to build on the existing success that has led to significant growth in the quantity of intelligence tips received per month from Iraqi locals, from about 400 in early 2005 to over 4,000 in 2006, according to the Brookings Institution’s Iraq Index.

While the U.S. stutters and stammers with the Iraqi and American people, the enemy waxes eloquent, masterfully sharing its message to the people of Iraq and the rest of the world. Specifically, the enemy maximizes the exploitation of their attacks for purposes of propaganda and recruitment. 

We must improve our ability to get our visual message out, while contesting the enemy’s current domination of the visual information environment. Recently, the Minnesota National Guard offered a striking example with their powerful visual rebuttal of a US senator’s slander of the troops.

The bolding is mine.  This is profound IO the good Major is preaching, and if enough of US act on his words WE can make it happen whether the petty dictators in Washington and Baghdad like it or not. 

Decentralization. Distributed Public Affairs/Information Operations from the company-level. You and I can help push this. We can join this effort as auxiliaries. We can tell the people we interact with about this. We can blog about it. We can call in to talk radio shows and mention it. We can write letters to the editor in our hometown fish wrappers. We can enable the good guys by aiding and abetting their efforts until a tipping point is reached and the bureaucrats are presented with a fait accompli and they decide they like decentralized, distributed IO after all.

The military has no monopoly on information, and you don’t have to wear a uniform to be an information operator. All you need is some very basic literacy and an internet connection and you, too can be a force multiplier for the good guys.   You can be a civilian irregular information group IO auxiliary.

Now doesn’t that give you more warm and fuzzies than watching Dances With the Stars?

Everybody in theater with something to say ought to have an auxiliary back in the rear.

H/t: Blackfive

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Victory, Step 3

Major Eric Egland’s Six Steps To Victory  is good stuff, but I am particularly interested in Steps 3 and 6. I’ll get to No. 6 later.
 

Nationalize the war effort by connecting the American public with the troops and their mission. 

A major problem with Operation Iraqi Freedom, and Operation Enduring Freedom in Afghanistan as well, is that the American people, while supporting the troops with prayers and bumper stickers, do not feel connected to the effort because they do not know what they can do to help. They must be given more opportunities to directly support the troops on the ground–as the unmatched generosity of the American people remains a highly underutilized resource in this conflict.We need to establish sister city relationships between battalions that are preparing to deploy or are already in Iraq and American cities–not just the towns around military bases. The Pentagon should expand on the success of existing grass-roots organizations such as AnySoldier.com and SoldiersAngels.org  that allow private citizens and organizations to send the troops the items they need, whether for themselves or for the Iraqi people.

Just as an engaged couple sets up a wedding registry for loved ones to buy them what they need, so the relationship should be between deployed units and Americans back home, using places like Wal-Mart, Ebay, Radio Shack and Target. Added elements that could make the program even more effective could be: competition between cities to see who can marshal the most support per capita, broadcasting the results, and awarding tangible recognition for cities that exceed certain thresholds.

A group of spouses of deployed Minnesota National Guard soldiers set up a program to make and ship dolls to Iraq so the unit could give them to the Iraqi girls in the neighborhoods they patrolled. One soldier explained, “We tried candy and toys, but found that dolls are the only thing that the Iraqi boys won’t steal from the Iraqi girls.” As part of a broader effort to build relationships with locals, this unit was able to tap civilian resources and support and saw a significant decrease in insurgent activity in their area as a result.

Truly supporting the warfighter means more than lip service. It requires listening to the needs of the ground units, then doing everything possible–as a nation–to deliver.

Less than 1% of 300,000,000 are fighting this war. People wonder why we are fighting with one hand tied behind our back? Hell, we’re fighting with BOTH hands and BOTH feet tied behind our backs trying to bite these donkey-rapin’, medievel sickos to death, and mostly because millions of Americans do not support politically incorrect, kinetic violence that might violate the poor jihadis’ civil rights. If more Americans personally knew more soldiers, Marines, sailors and airmen in harm’s way, there would be less sympathy for those who try to kill them, less lawfare, and fewer takers for al Jazeerah/CNN/al Qaeda propaganda.

Back in my youth America had strong civic and church groups who could take on these kinds of projects. Now people go bowling by themselves. But ever since Al Gore invented the internet, like-minded people can congregate online and organize and accomplish good things.

So what’s YOUR excuse?

H/t: Blackfive

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The DC BUG OUT

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What was America Thinking?

I’m the kind of girl who see the world as a glass half full.  Cannoneer sees the world as a glass half empty.  That’s alright we work very well together.  This past election has really gotten him down.  So I have been trying my best to find the silver lining in the big rain cloud. 

We can be glad that Bill or Hillary aren’t in the White House.   The Dems will be so worried about the ’08 elections they won’t have time to mess up too much.  So far that’s all I could come up with.

I have a question for all those who vote Dem? Do you not read? Watch the History Channel?  What does it say about us when Al Qaeda says “Thank you America”  for voting Democrat?  The Dems were in charge in 1975, look what happen to Vietnam, a Dem was president when The Iranians took over the US Embassy in Tehran, when they almost sank the Cole, when they blew up Khobar Towers,  when we cut and ran from Somalia.   All these defeats while Dems in were in power. What makes Americans think that we won’t just repeat the same lame excused crap as we did when they were in power before.? The Dems have proven to the most corrupt, lazy do nothing except line their own pockets and their friends’ pockets,  group ever.   Yet millions of people voted for them?  What were you thinking America?  I fear for the safety of my boys, all 4 of them, I have 2 in Iraq, 1 in Kuwait and 1 who just finished Basic Training.  What is going to happen to them when the Dems cut all funding?  Or Bug out?  Doesn’t America remember how terrible it was for all the GI’s and their families when all GI’s were labeled “Baby killers” ,”Rapist” and worse?  Our GI’s are good, loyal, hard working people who truly believe they are doing what is right.  And Thank God they (for the most part) do not listen to all the Crap the MSM is spreading. 

MI5 has been reporting how the bad guys are going to try to do something over the Holidays.  I pray they don’t succeed! For I truly believe that the  Democrats  in charge will blame Bush for it and nothing will get done but pointing fingers and blame others.

WE still have work to do!  Don’t be disheartened!  The MSM has won this battle.   They have yet to win the war.  We need to keep on fighting (I know this is silly) for Truth, Justice and the American way.   As Cannoneer will tell you and he has told everyone he knows I’m a old fashion girl, who believes that the world is really a good and wonderful place and if we just try really hard good things will happen.  He calls me Miss Suzy Sunshine! 

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The End of the Beginning

Saw this on Free Republic and was so impressed (and DE-pressed) I asked Flame Thrower for permission to repost it here:

If it’s any consolation, this is not the beginning of the end of Western civilization. It is the end of the beginning… of the end of Western civilization.

Three years ago, I wrote a screed called Tet II in which I predicted that American liberals would once again turn victory into defeat – this time in Iraq.

But Bush did not crack, and I found myself actually daring to hope that our Captain MacWhirr would, out of sheer unimaginative stubbornness, tame the coolies in the hold and outlast the typhoon.

Oddly, it was a storm that dashed that hope. Not a typhoon, but a hurricane. Katrina. The delayed result of those breached levies: we will soon enter the new Dark Ages.

I am not blaming this election. It is a result more than a cause. But there are irreversible moments in history, moments after which the toothpaste cannot ever be put back into the tube. We are in such a moment.

Bush seemed about to confront the crisis five years ago. But the war – not the war in Iraq, but the war here over Iraq – undermined his efforts and distracted him from the task. He must take some of the blame for that. Now, we have just elected the team least likely to tackle the job and instituted policy gridlock where we need urgent action. Looking back it was probably all inevitable. It is about who we are. Our failings as a people.

Let me assert a couple of simple facts. I will not try to prove them. They are self evident to reasonable people. Unreasonable people are not my audience, and no proof would suffice for them, anyway.

First assertion: In the modern world of porous borders, massively destructive and easily secreted weaponry, huge concentrations of exposed economic value and apocalyptic religious fundamentalism, preemption is the only viable strategy for combating an implacable terrorist enemy bent solely on destruction. The Maginot Line did not work in two dimensions; it certainly will not in four.

Second assertion, to misquote Captain Segura (Ernie Kovacs): “There are two classes of people: those who can be [terrorized] and those who can’t”. Terrorism only works with the consent of the terrorized. If you refuse to be terrorized, terrorism does not work. If it does not work, it will, eventually, not happen. To allow it to work is to invite it to happen. The successfully terrorized victim serves as accomplice to the terrorist.

The Left invites terrorism. Partly because they are weak in the face of life’s adversities. Partly, here and now, because it suits their tactical political agendas. They are the coolies in the hold, rioting over gold – aboard a ship about to founder.

Our enemy knew that this sort of mutiny is the inescapable curse of the American psyche. That they could call and raise, again and again, in Iraq – backing an obviously losing hand. Inevitably, America would fold.

This knowledge emboldened them to launch, and then to persevere in their insurgency – which grew as the anti-war movement gained strength. And vice versa.

The Left, by sensitizing themselves and us to the terror, became an accomplice – a catalyst in the killing and maiming of thousands of American servicemen. The Left, in turn, directly benefited. The more they could make it appear that our policy in Iraq was “Bush’s failed policy” – even at the cost of causing it to fail – the better their political fortunes, as the election proved.

This is not about incrimination – although it does sound like it, I admit. It is too late for that now. And we can’t, ultimately, blame the Left and its chief weapon, the Media. The failure is ours, the American people’s. With popular sovereignty comes responsibility. We have been tested; and found wanting. Now we will face the consequences. And they will bring us, all of us, more than enough penance.

The impending crisis involves nukes. They are paradigm-shifting weapons that invalidate Segura’s Law. You can maintain a stiff upper lip to the occasional terror bombing, but stoical detachment cannot withstand nuclear attack.

If Iraq had succeeded, it might have aborted this future. Brought Western values to the Middle East and disarmed Iran and North Korea. But now, other radical States will actively seek nuclear technology. Iran will not be disarmed. North Korea will, eventually, dispense its weapons.

In a couple of years, we will have passed the point of no return. The toothpaste will be out of the tube. Terrorists will have nukes. And, inevitably, terrorists will use those nukes on us.

Bush’s strategy was preemption: to attach and destroy the terrorist in their homes before they could muster an attack. To eliminate the festering failed States that sustained them.

We will soon adopt a new course: we will “redeploy” out of Iraq – tail between our legs. And the terrorist will follow us home. The nuclear attacks will be random, unstoppable and devastating.

The British could ignore the destruction of the old Commercial Union Building in London a generation ago. America ultimately shrugged off the Twin Towers five years ago. But New York, Chicago, London, Paris… The loss of entire cities will cripple Western economies and traumatize all civilized peoples. We will be locked in an unwinable asymmetrical war of attrition: our landmark cities for their caves and mud-huts.

The only way to fight terrorism, if you cannot prevent the attacks, is to ignore the effects. – as the British tried to ignore the IRA bombings. The only way to ignore nuclear terrorism is to preemptively “redeploy out of the crosshairs. The great city is the emblem of Western Civilization. Within years they will die – abandoned or incinerated.

But the “redeployment” will not be fast enough, or thorough enough. When the strikes come, the toll will be staggering. A thousand fold or more what we have lost in Iraq. Or on 9/11. Then more millions will die of disease and famine.

The great things we have, as a civilization, built on the Earth over one thousand years will evaporate. We will be left, some of us, to scrape out our bitter existence amidst the ruble in what were the suburbs.

But at least the Left will have succeeded in one thing: eliminating the root cause of Islamic radicalism. The gulf that divides Christendom and the Caliphate. The gulf that energizes their hatred for us. For we and our works will have been laid low.

And then…. Who knows? One guess: dung beetles, muttering “Allah Akbar”, feasting on the remains of Western Civilization.

 by FlameThrower

 

I’m the one who added the bold type to emphasis some points with which I very strongly agree.   You people think the casualties we have suffered in Operations Enduring and Iraqi Freedom are heavy?  You ain’t seen nothing, yet.

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America Has Spoken

And half of us are oxygen thieves who have been watching too much of That ’70’s Show.

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