And Happy Easter everybody.
I started this blog 365 days ago to keep from going crazy while recuperating from an illness and trying to line up another gig. I got another gig and have had a helluva time trying to provide content that would attract readers while doing my day job and trying to blog from MWR Internet cafes in Anbar province. If it weren’t for the efforts of the lovely and talented Cannonette, this blog would have gone Tango Uniform last August. Thank you, baby. And thanks to the 9,841 visitors who have stopped by so far. Many is the time I have almost pulled the plug on this blog, but each time a commenter makes me think better of giving up.
I thought then that there was a role for concerned citizens to play in Information Operations and domestic counter propaganda.
Governments jealously guard their prerogatives as the only legitimate purveyors of deadly force, and strive mightily to absorb armed citizens, militias, and any other groups that threaten their monopoly. Government has no such monopoly on information. Anybody with a computer can enter the fray.
. . . the solution to our information war and public diplomacy problems lie outside of government. We have seen how effective the liberal dominated news and entertainment media in the US is at disseminating its message globally. There is no way that a government agency operating within the political, bureaucratic and financial limitations inherent in any gov’t program can successfully compete against private media.
PSYOPS are being run on the American domestic target audience. Hostile media are IO operators for the enemy. DoD IO and PAO are not allowed to target domestic audiences. So who does domestic counter-PSYOPS?
The blogosphere is a virtual battlespace for the will of the American people. Pro-military bloggers could be organized to function as auxiliaries, legally permitted to target domestic audiences in ways prohibited to active duty bloggers.
Many people are coming to the realization that our soldiers, sailors, airmen, Marines, and Coast Guardsmen can’t win this war without help. Technology and imagination allows people who can’t pass a PT test to contribute to the war effort. Blogging is one way to participate. Enemy psychological operations are sapping the will of the American people to stay the course. An Army of bloggers, can do something about that.
Counter propaganda is a legitimate task for Psychological Operations, unfortunately strategic counter-propaganda to mitigate the effects of the enemy’s propaganda on the American domestic target audience is beyond the capabilities of regular US Government military or intelligence psychological operators, because they are prohibited by law from targeting the domestic audience. We are the only country in the world that has voluntarily hamstrung itself in that way. We are losing the infowar to Lawfare. Our PSYOPS people are afraid to conduct robust counter propaganda because it would it would get back to the domestic audience in the States and offend the usual suspects. The Smith-Mundt Act of 1948 never envisioned the internet, but the partial regime change in America has given us a majority party that WANTS our operator’s hands tied.
Some people might think changing the law to enable our operators to fight back would solve that problem, but the political facts on the ground are that the current majority party in Congress is never going to repeal Smith-Mundt. But only government operators are subject to Smith-Mundt. Civilian irregular volunteers can do counter propaganda for the domestic target audience.
Either we grab our ankles and just take the steady stream of unchallenged enemy propaganda, or We The People exercise our rights under the First Amendment to refute it, condition our fellow citizens to resist it, minimize its effects and mitigate the damage it does to our morale and will.
What the regulars are not allowed to do must be accomplished by irregulars.