Monthly Archives: July 2008

Domestic Cold War

Between those  generally satisfied with the imperfect America that is and those whose allegiance lies with the more perfect America that can be if only the right people are in charge.

Political Prisms

What’s going on today in our country isn’t normal politics. In normal politics honorable people will disagree, sometimes fiercely, about how best to deal with the issues that confront us – national security, border control, healthcare, education, energy, the environment, and all the rest. What’s going on today is a kind of domestic Cold War — a seemingly endless standoff, with the occasional hard skirmish — between those of us who see the US for what it really is, and those of us who are seeing the US through a prism. And remember, unlike real prisms these intellectual prisms — or, if you prefer, these political prisms — are invisible. If you’re looking at the US through a political prism, you don’t know you’re seeing through a prism and you won’t believe anyone who tries to tell you that you are.

This is why Americans who see our country and the world through a prism are impervious to facts.

Forty years of hard work by the Left have paid off. Our schools, our universities, and the mainstream media have successfully implanted political prisms into the minds of nearly half our population. That’s why so many of our elections are so close, why so many key Supreme Court cases are decided by five-to-four votes, and why we always seem to be split down the middle on whatever issue confronts us – the war, the economy, immigration, healthcare, energy, the environment, and all the rest.


Filed under Idea War, Morale Operations

Demolishing couple of planes would do a loads of good to calm the itchy and aggressive nerves of the US

So says Brigadier Zaman, over at The Pakistani Spectator, a Pakistani blog written in English which interviewed Gerald of Internet Anthropologist Think Tank.  I stumbled upon Brigadier Zaman’s entry while perusing the blog and he was feeling pretty froggy two weeks ago:

Where United States has decided to wage a war in the FATA area, the Pakistani security forces have also devised their strategy. All the supplies to the NATO and US forces go through the Pakistan all the way from Karachi port through G.T Road up to the Peshawar (which makes a distance of thousands of kilometers) and then enters the Afghanistan. US cannot afford suspension of these supplies, and that would be one of the powerful leverage in the hands of the Pakistani forces to leash the US forces.

Moreover, Pakistan could resume the support to Taliban in Afghanistan and could engage US and NATO forces pretty severely in the central and Northern Afghanistan. The attack of US on the tribal belt would certainly unite the different factions of Talibans, and then Pakistan could facilitate the militant coalition of Mangal Bagh, Maulana Fazlullah, Haji Namdar, Qazi Mehboob and Baitullah Mehsud against the US onslaught. This would give Pakistani government dual benefit of getting rid of the militants from their areas, while giving US a tough time in their yet another misadventure.

When US attack, Pakistan must not go against the Taliban, because then instead of striking at US, Talibans would start suiciding in the Pakistani cities, and then it would be an impossible situation for Pakistani forces to handle, and they would be hapless in front of the US led NATO forces.

And what should be done to the continuous violation by US aircrafts of Pakistani aerial space? Despite a strong protest lodged by Pakistan with the US-led Nato forces in Afghanistan over attack on the border town of Angoor Adda, a US fighter aircraft and pilotless spy planes again intruded into Pakistan’s airspace in Bajaur, and North and South Waziristan tribal agencies. And this practice has become a daily routine.

Demolishing couple of planes would do a loads of good to calm the itchy and aggressive nerves of the US, and that would teach them that Pakistan is not their Banana republic, and while Yousuf Raza Gillani, our puppet Prime Minister puked in front of Michael Mullen of US, the images of drones’ wreck would speak themselves.

They can’t make the writ of Islamabad run in the F.A.T.A., they can’t be bothered to do much to prevent hostile armed bands from leaving sanctuaries on their side of a boundary that really doesn’t make much sense, they can’t or won’t stop armed invasions of a friendly neighboring state launched from  territory they claim as theirs, and they can’t exercise  de facto and de jure sovereignty over what they claim is part of their national territory like other nuclear-armed Westphalian nation-states.  All these things they cannot do, but they can threaten to shoot down our Predators with the F-16’s we gave them.

Cooler heads will prevail.  Deals will be made.  The Great Game will go on.  Our English-speaking Pakistani “allies” perhaps are unfamiliar with the Jacksonian American concept of what goes around comes around.


Filed under The Forgotten War

Our Pakistani Allies

Don’t miss Bribing Pakistan.

July 29, 2008: The U.S. has agreed to play by local rules in Pakistan, in order to get the government to take stronger measures to prevent al Qaeda from setting up bases in the Afghan border areas. This involves a large bribe, in the form of allowing the Pakistanis to shift over $200 million from American aid for counter-terror operations, to a program for updating Pakistani F-16 fighters. The reasoning behind this is actually quite simple. While many (up to a third) of Pakistanis back Islamic radicals (like the Taliban and al Qaeda), nearly all Pakistanis fear an attack from India. There is good reason for this fear, as India has more than six times as many people, an even larger economy and 3-4 times the military power of Pakistan. But most importantly, the Pakistani government has been, for nearly three decades, been supporting Islamic terrorist groups that make attacks against Indians. This angers the Indians quite a bit, and most Pakistanis know it.

Read the whole thing.

I’m getting real tired of the Paks.

Comments Off on Our Pakistani Allies

Filed under The Forgotten War

Red Ball Express Rides Again?


Lifeline to Victory — The concern with logistics and supply can–in wartime–suddenly turn from exact numbers and cold calculations to chaos and hot, flying lead in combat. This scene features LTC Richard N Batchelder Chief Quartermaster for the Second Corps. The fierce Confederate raider John Mosby and his partisan rangers struck frequently and violently, but Batchelder personally commanded his men in fighting them off, insuring the constant delivery to the army of food for the men and forage for the animals. For his tireless actions and distinguished gallantry, LTC Batchelder was awarded the Medal of Honor.

The beans and the bullets and the go-juice must get through.  Some times it has to be fought through. 

When I worked at KAF I responded to many a call around dark time at the Container Reception Point because the Romanians guarding the place had knocked off leaving a gaggle of unescorted Host Country National (usually Pashtun) and Third Country National (Pakistani passport-holding Pashtun and Punjabi) jingle truck drivers on our hands.  What I know about what goes on between Karachi and Kandahar I picked up during the interminable wait for the Base Defense Operations Center to get Force Protection out to come police these guys up.    Some of it I picked up from drivers, some from our guys in the yard, some from our terp, and the rest I’m guessing.  All anecdotal, but T.I.N.S.

Karachi is the Sea Port of Debarkation for Operation Enduring Freedom.  The place where they unload the boat. Karachi is for OEF what Shuaiba, Kuwait is for OIF, and the Main Supply Route, or OEF’s Route Tampa up from Karachi, is 759 klicks.  472 miles of bad road, shake down, extortion, break down and delay.  The drivers get jacked around at Karachi by Pakistani Customs, the Pakistani version of the Teamsters, the trucking company they contracted with, and all the various trolls setting up road blocks for the collection of protection money, and then they get to sit in a parking lot at Chaman waiting to cross over to Spin Boldak.  Things go boom in the night in that parking lot.  By the time they got to us, a lot of them were a bit testy. Some times they wanted to fuss at us over what ever shaft they had got or abuse they had suffered on the way. They exaggerate to pull on your heart strings with the most pitiable ordeals imaginable, but some of that was indeed happening. Neither the U. S. Army, Afghan National Army, Afghan National Police, Canadian Forces, British, Romanians or Dutch military escorted these jingle trucks until they got through Spin, and often not even then. Some times they weren’t even part of a convoy. Just a lone truck, a driver and his alternate lifestyle partner diddy-bopping on up the road.

This situation may be changing. The Bagram Regional Contracting Center, Bagram Airfield, Afghanistan seeks information pertaining to the availability of convoy support within the private industry. This would involve the capability to provide armed convoy protection that covers Afghanistan and Pakistan.

The contractor shall ensure that all convoys consist of at least one (1) English-speaking expatriate for every gun truck that will be used.

That won’t be a job.  That’ll be an adventure.

But where does the Red Ball Express fit in?  That’s what I was thinking of when I started this post.

These Private Military Company “mercenaries” lefties love to hate will be more like Merchant Mariners manning guns on Liberty Ships during the Battle of the Atlantic.

See also Listen to your Loggy Toads.


Filed under Logistics, The Forgotten War

the enemy had another weapon; the media and political opposition in their opponents homeland

Lessons Of The Iraq War

They knew they would be dealing with an unusual enemy, a stateless force based on ideology and religion based hatred. This foe was weak, in the conventional military sense, but was armed with two powerful weapons. First, there was the suicide bomber, and terrorism in general. Against civilian populations, this was a very effective weapon. Against a professional and resourceful military foe, it was much less so. But the enemy had another weapon; the media and political opposition in their opponents homeland. The media is eager to report real or imagined disasters and mistakes. This is how the news business has stayed solvent since the mass media first appeared in the mid 19th century. Al Qaeda was run by people who were aware of this, and knew how to exploit it, both among friendly (Moslem) populations, and in nations they had declared their enemy. This they did by exploiting the proclivities of the political oppositions in the West.

Many in the West considered terrorism a police matter. But al Qaeda believed that if they could turn it into a military campaign, by getting Western nations to use military force, they would trigger an angry reaction among Moslems. Al Qaeda had long preached that the West was the enemy of Islam, and a Western invasion of Moslem nations would prove this. They also knew that many in the West would not approve of military action. These politicians, and their followers, would continue to insist on treating Islamic terrorism as a police matter. This would cause political turmoil in the West, and weaken counter-terror operations.



< snip>

But al Qaeda still had a lot of Support in the West. The political opposition in the United States, true to form (as in all past American wars) found ways to criticize the Iraq operation without actually joining the enemy. The media in the West backed the opposition, as that’s where the headlines, and the profits, were.

Oppositional elements within the Counter Insurgent’s polity seek to de-legitimize the war effort, damage The People’s confidence in the government and military, and persuade The People that “The Loyal Opposition” has a better way.  The Insurgent seeks to do the same.  They are partners in regime change.  This partnership cannot really be dealt with decisively by a democratic Counter Insurgent lest they appear to be “repressive” and “authoritarian” and “illegitimate.”  Fear of embarrassment, ridicule and persuasive counter-argument by Counter Insurgent supportive citizens infuriated by “The Loyal Opposition’s”  enthusiastic collaboration with the Insurgent are the only brakes on sedition.


Filed under Idea War, Morale Operations, Old Media

Hey; it sucks to be there. You know what would suck worse? Having it be for nothing.

Old Blue’s pithy comments about media coverage of the Battle of Wanat  over at The Belmont Club are worthy of wider dissemination. 

First of all, anyone who views Iraq and Afghanistan as two separate wars is so far off point as to be immediately discredited in any further discussion. I have an Afghanistan Campaign Medal and a Global War on Terror Service Medal. Those who serve in Iraq have an Iraq Campaign Medal and a Global War on Terror Service Medal. Two campaigns; one war.

Many who have not qualified for a campaign medal still have the GWOT medal. One war. Why do we not grasp this?

Secondly, do not be so quick to declare victory and let’s all leave Iraq. The nature of insurgents is that they don’t hang around where you are. The tactics employed in the surge were sound counterinsurgency tactics, including “be a little of everywhere.” In order to leave, the local government must be strong enough to handle what amounts to criminal activity on its own.

Galula’s primer on counterinsurgency warfare described the effect of going into an area in force as stepping into a puddle. The water (insurgents) splashes out, but when the foot is removed, it rushes back in to fill the void. The other work of establishing the governmental functions, such as the police, seems to be going well; but if we leave too soon, we will find ourselves in another surge or leaving a huge mess to destabilize the entire region. Don’t leave a void for the water to rush back into. Simple idea, complicated but not impossible in practice. So difficult, not even all generals can get it right.

Don’t be so quick to criticize; this shit is HARD to do right.

Lastly, I’ve looked back over the last discussion (including mine) on this subject. We all pontificated, based on what was reported in the media, about an engagement vastly different from the one that actually occurred. Personally, I’m embarrassed that I did not heed my own counsel and wait for the real picture to emerge. I should have known better, because I’ve been involved in both tactical situations.

I also know better than to go along with thinking that an outgoing unit would begin the establishment of a COP, Firebase, or FOB in the middle of a RIP/TOA. The incoming unit would make those kinds of decisions, because the establishment of a permanent site is not taken lightly. It’s a huge IO coup if the next unit in can’t support it and it is left to the enemy.

A year or so ago there were Taliban pictures released of them “overrunning” an abandoned FOB in the 205th Corps area.

I lived for a month out of hasty VPB’s in the Tag Ab Valley. We had two American gun trucks, a couple of ANA armored personnel carriers (side note: seeing a BMP-1 next to an M-113 in the same livery is just plain weird to an old cold warrior like me,) and a bunch of ANA and ANP LTV’s (four door Ford Ranger diesels with pintle mounts for machine guns above and behind the cab.) Being attacked en mass was our worst nightmare.

We were also there when they started to build what is now Firebase Kutschbach by Tag Ab Village. It started as a VPB and grew quickly into a full-fledged firebase.

Those young men from the 173rd lived our nightmare scenario. Afghanistan is like a box of chocolates; you just never know. Those young men occupied a VPB in bad guy country and the nightmare happened. My heart goes out to them in complete empathy, and I am awestruck by their actions in the midst of that nightmare.

The “incompetent” Lieutenant died reinforcing his OP, leaving the larger perimeter to go to where his men were in the most peril. I believe that incompetent little bastard may just have qualified himself for a Silver Star or possibly The Medal. A week ago today he was declared an idiot, though, based on a map recon and an opinion.

This is just one clear example of how f-’ed up our press is in the coverage of this war. They don’t know what they are talking about because they have not bothered to become subject matter experts on what the hell they are talking about. They bandy about words that mean something, like COP or FOB, without using them in the proper context. It is to the point that a guy who was THERE not long ago can’t get a clear picture of what happened. How can an American citizen, whose job is not to become an expert in the lexicon of war, possibly understand the situation? How can an American citizen, OUR center of gravity, support what is nebulous and so poorly reported that he/she cannot make any reasonable sense of it?

One clear example in so many fuzzy ones that they can never be counted. When I was boots on the ground, we knew. We saw the myriad of inaccuracies. Little things. A million holes in a blanket make it a net; not good for keeping you warm, but it might keep the flies out if you cover the window with it.

Lots of little examples. Do you remember the helicopter that made an emergency landing in Parwan Province last year with two senators on board? The ground force that reached them and brought them in was reported to be the DSTB, 82nd Airborne. What was not reported was that it was Co B, 1-158 Infantry, Arizona and Hawaii National Guard who were attached to the DSTB. Small fact, but just another little hole in the blanket-become-mosquito net.

When I talk about IO, IO is not just aimed at the enemy; it is also for the benefit of the people back here upon whose support we soldiers depend. Nobody believes the Army when it says something… or when it is silent out of respect for the process of notification of loved ones. So we depend on our media to have the sense that God gave a rabbit and not do a half-assed job of reporting it.

Our IO is so poor, and OUR press such a non-help in making sense of all of this that we have mis-educated the public to the point that one our PRESIDENTIAL CANDIDATES doesn’t understand about the idea that it’s ONE WAR on terror. How can anyone solve a problem that they don’t see clearly? How can a public support a war that they can’t see clearly?

Whose job is it to help them understand?

I feel like an idiot for having bought into this one. The AP sucks, the NYT is practically criminal, and while people have somehow found it in themselves to “support the troops but not support the war,” a lot of us troops are fed up with not having what we sacrifice to do truly understood.

You want to see a pissed-off soldier? Go ahead and let everything that we have worked for, sweated for, and bled for go for naught because it has become “fashionable” to “support the troops” by bringing them home before the job is done. Hey; it sucks to be there. You know what would suck worse? Having it be for nothing. You asked us to do a job. After 9/11 everyone had veins in their teeth and a taste for blood. Now that taste has turned to shit because the American public cannot make any sense of the crap that they are fed every day, but they are still asked to form an opinion.

Garbage in, garbage out.

Pyhrric victory, my ass; and COL Preysler is right; they won.

Those guys don’t need to be compared to John Wayne. They have built their own legend. John Wayne would have happily taken a check to play one of those guys in a movie.

We all need to take a look at ourselves. Myself included.

Jul 21, 2008 – 7:39 am

Bolding added by me.  See also On the Pakistani border, comments at Jul 14, 2008 – 9:36 am, Jul 14, 2008 – 12:41 pm, Jul 14, 2008 – 6:00 pm, Jul 15, 2008 – 6:38 am, Jul 15, 2008 – 1:23 pm, and Jul 15, 2008 – 3:14 pm.

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Filed under Morale Operations, Old Media, PSYOP, The Forgotten War

“Any U.S. plan to combat Islamist extremism that relies on effective ground action from the Pakistani Army, the FC, or the Khasadars will fail.”

Propaganda and Peace Deals: The Taliban’s Information War in Pakistan


U.S. Assistance Unlikely to Make Impact

Although the United States declared it will invest $400 million to train and equip FC troops to combat the Pakistani Taliban and slow cross-border attacks into Afghanistan, even in the best of circumstances it would be hard to get FC troops to actively engage the Taliban; in fact, many of the FC troops are related to Taliban members.

After factoring in the FC’s demoralization, it becomes evident that no amount of training and equipment will likely be able to overcome the pull of local ties, when combined with the fear and guilt engendered by the Taliban’s intimidation tactics and propaganda. Marksmanship classes or Kevlar vests will not change the social realities on the ground, or the near total information dominance of the Taliban in FATA. The likelihood of a return on the $400 million investment is low.



Between the ISI, the ethnic Pashtun Taliban sympathizers at all levels of the Pakistani Armed Forces, and the Taliban’s highly successful Psychological Operations, the Paks aren’t much of an ally. But somehow the jingle trucks from Karachi and tankers from Rawalpindi keep getting through. When they stop getting through, there won’t be much reason left to worry about pissing off the Paks.

The nuclear Westphalian nation-state of Pakistan is incapable of exercising sovereignty over the tribal areas. Can they do much about cross-border raids?

Comments Off on “Any U.S. plan to combat Islamist extremism that relies on effective ground action from the Pakistani Army, the FC, or the Khasadars will fail.”

Filed under Morale Operations, PSYOP, The Forgotten War

The Truth Comes Out About the Battle of Patrol Base Wanat

UPDATE:  David Tate scores the 15-6 Report.

Commander: Media reports on Afghanistan outpost battle were exaggerated

The battle occurred just after dawn at a temporary vehicle patrol base called Bella. A platoon-sized element of Chosen Company, 2nd Battalion, 503rd Infantry Regiment (Airborne) soldiers and a smaller Afghan National Army force were occupying a hastily built area as they had done many times over the 15 months they’d been in country, Preysler said. The soldiers were there on a reconnaissance mission to establish a presence and find a good location to connect with the local government, populace and Afghan National Police, he said.

The small outpost had been built just days before the attack and consisted of protective wire and observation posts surrounding strategically placed vehicles. “That’s all it was, a series of vehicles that went out there,” Preysler said, adding that Bella had no road access, was difficult to resupply, difficult to reinforce and difficult to defend.

“People are saying that this was a full-up [forward operating base]/combat outpost, and that is absolutely false and not true. There were no walls,” Preysler said, latter adding, “FOB denotes that there are walls and perimeters and all that. It’s a vehicle patrol base, temporary in nature.”

But that doesn’t mean the soldiers were not prepared to take on the enemy, he said.

“Now, obviously when you halt, you start prepping your defenses, and in this case we had [observation posts] and protective wire, we had the vehicles deployed properly to take advantage of their fields of fire, and we set up like that all over the place, and we do it routinely,” he said.

The Army did not “abandon” the base after the attack, as many media reporters have suggested, Preysler said.

He said the decision to move from the location following the attack was to reposition, which his men have done countless times throughout their tour, and to move closer to the local seat of government.

“If there’s no combat outpost to abandon, there’s no position to abandon,” he said. “It’s a bunch of vehicles like we do on patrol anywhere and we hold up for a night and pick up any tactical positions that we have with vehicle patrol bases.

“We do that routinely…. We’re always doing that when go out and stay in an area for longer then a few hours, and that’s what it is. So there is nothing to abandon. There was no structures, there was no COP or FOB or anything like that to even abandon. So, from the get-go, that is just [expletive], and it’s not right.”

He also didn’t like the media’s characterization that his men were “overrun.”

“As far as I know, and I know a lot, it was not overrun in any shape, manner or form,” an emotional Preysler said. “It was close combat to be sure — hand grenade range. The enemy never got into the main position. As a matter of fact, it was, I think, the bravery of our soldiers reinforcing the hard-pressed observation post, or OP, that turned the tide to defeat the enemy attack.”

So this “military installation” was nothing like a Combat Out Post or Joint Security Station or Foward Operating Base as those term are understood in Iraq.  It sounds more like what an old tanker would call a laager, maybe an assembly area.  And it wasn’t “abandoned” after the battle.  The mobile unit that occupied the position got up and left.  Mobile units do that.

First reports are always wrong.  Remember that.

1LT Jonathan P. Brostrom
SGT Israel Garcia
CPL Jonathan R. Ayers
CPL Jason M. Bogar
CPL Jason D. Hovater
CPL Matthew B. Phillips
CPL Pruitt A. Rainey
CPL Gunnar W. Zwilling
PFC Sergio S. Abad














   ” . . . regardless of what the media makes it look like, we are not getting beaten.”

UPDATE: MaryAnn of Soldier’s Angels Germany comments over at Blackfive

The FOB and the OP were at the same location. Wanat was intended to replace nearby Bella and was still being set up. It wasn’t much more than c-wire around some vehicles and fortified fighting positions. It can be set up again at the time and place of our choosing.

After spending the past few days at the hospital with these guys, I was dismayed to come back to “reality” and discover this fight has been portrayed back home as “the FOB which got overrun/abandoned”.

Instead of “45 badass paratroopers hold off organized attack by hundreds of heavily-armed Taliban/AQ.”


Sky Soldiers! Airborne!

UPDATE: Report Alleges Police Aided Taliban in Attack that Killed Nine

UPDATE 200812191817:  Dire sunrise at Wanat

UPDATE 20110101:  Final Report on Battle of Wanat- A victory with a high cost


Filed under Heroes, Old Media, The Forgotten War

One poster is worth 1000 bombs

Battle to break the grip of Taliban terror in Musa Qala

Everything from free radios to new schools, roads and water wells, cinema nights and tree-planting projects is being used to bind the people of Musa Qala into a new way of thinking about themselves.

Paid employment is being offered as an alternative to life as a Talib fighter. Every single project sends the key message that the Afghans are better off with the British.

Captain Christian Howard is in charge of delivering these messages and is head of psychological operations – “psyops” – at Musa Qala district centre.

“In terms of hearts and minds, you will only truly win an insurgency by bringing the people on side with what is good,” he said.

“We don’t want to change the Afghans. We want them to carry on with who they are and what they are. But we want them to be good to each other.”

The first results of a survey to discover the attitudes of the people of Musa Qala were delivered back to Army commanders last week. While they showed growing approval for building projects in the town, the people showed less support for the town’s governance. The British Army has a key role in shaping this governance, but how far the Musa Qala people link the two is unclear.

Walking through the streets of Musa Qala on Army patrol, it is apparent that the British are on a major charm offensive, albeit a heavily armed one.

The town bazaar falls strangely silent as the soldiers move through. Trading comes to a halt and the townspeople retreat under the canopies of their open-fronted shops. The stares are mainly hard and hostile, but the soldiers manage to juggle their security operation with an amiable show, waving and calling “salaam alaikum” (may peace be with you) and handing out sweets to some of the children. Some do wave and smile back.

Judging the “atmospherics” of the bazaar is a key purpose of the patrol. Today the hostility was judged to be about normal, with some signs of improvement.

Communicating with the Musa Qala people is difficult. Most have no basic literacy. Musa Qala FM has been set up to deliver news on Army activities and anti-Taliban messages. It is basically a propaganda machine, Captain Howard said, but is also one of a few tools available to reach out to the townspeople.

He wants people to get more involved, even get them requesting their favourite Islamic songs. He wants suggestions on what movies should be screened on film nights, but this is behaviour massively at odds with the core orthodox beliefs of the town, which for many years abided by the Taliban ban on entertainment.

“The films are mostly Bollywood, but watching people dancing is like watching porn to them. Musa Qala is as hardline as it gets.”

Needing another tool of communication, Captain Howard, who has a masters degree in military psychology, came up with a most British solution – a parish notice board placed in the heart of the town.

“Yes we have control of the airwaves, but not control of the bazaar where all the talking is done. I thought let’s do a newspaper’, but the thing is, everyone is pretty much illiterate.

“I have lived in villages nearly all my life and every one of them had a parish notice board.

“Obviously we don’t mention the word parish, as it is linked to Christianity, but using the board means that we can hit two senses, the visual with the board and the aural with the radio station.

“The Taliban are brilliant at creating rumours, but here we can start our own spread of information.”

A suggestion box is to be fitted to the notice board to give people the chance to offer their ideas and opinion, but it is early days. Such notions are alien to the Afghans. When the Afghan National Army first put up the board, they stuck the posters up on its roof leaving townspeople unable to read them. They did not quite grasp its purpose.

“There is nothing I would like to do more than some clever advertising, but it’s not like we are advertising alcopops. Somehow we need to achieve this psychological reach using very simple messages. It is a big challenge.”

The British Army has, however, found one fundamental emotion to mine – the Afghans’ deep respect for family life. Family is often referred to in the posters that are pinned up on the notice board. Slogans include: “My family loves Musa Qala FM.”

A poster designed shortly after a suicide bomber struck the town in April shows a picture of an injured child being comforted by a soldier and the town governor. It reads: “The Taliban tried to hurt your family.”

“We are trying to reach a deeper sense of identity and a sense of purpose. Look at the emotional environment. The only thing they really trust is the family. We need them to bring that same trust into a wider community,” Captain Howard said.

Captain Howard hopes to expand his operation with a £25,000 budget to buy laptops, Dictaphones and printers and create an “information cell”.

“How important will that be? I would say that one poster is worth 1000 bombs,” he said.

Captain Howard’s methods have merit.  But Subadar Prag Tewarri’s methods should not be totally forgotten.


Filed under PSYOP

If the new media is about anything, it is about discovering, highlighting, and promulgating the things that we’re not supposed to know, the stories we’re not supposed to think about, the events that are supposed to be forgotten.

Memory and the Left

The American left has not missed the unfolding victory in Iraq, nor are they ignoring it. They have forgotten it. They have taken it in, analyzed it, weighed the results, and then flushed it from memory as completely and brutally as a Ministry of Truth goon from 1984.

The process of selective amnesia is an important and often overlooked aspect of the left-wing mentality. It’s a direct inheritance from the communists, for whom the capacity to self-edit was often a matter of life and death. In Stalin’s Soviet Union, honored heroes of the Revolution could suddenly turn into traitors to the Worker’s Paradise and just as suddenly into nonentities on a day-to-day, if not an hour-to-hour basis. Among survivors, the capacity to manipulate memory was honed to a fine instinct. Mentioning the name of a nonperson could get you put on a list, if not shoved aboard the next cattle train headed for the Arctic. Soon, people would be forgetting about you.



The American Left would rather you not know about their Communist  connection.


Filed under Idea War

These Aren’t the Irregulars I Had in Mind

Mobilization of We The People in support of our military is a frequent theme on this blog.  Mobilization of an an ideologically driven political counterforce to our military along the lines of a Sturmabteilung  or Leibstandarte Barack Obama  will become yet another battle in the not-so-Cold Civil War.

 “Loving your country shouldn’t just mean watching fireworks on the 4th of July,”

“Loving your country must mean accepting your responsibility to do your part to change it. If you do, your life will be richer, our country will be stronger.”

“I won’t just ask for your vote as a candidate,”

“I will ask for your service and your active citizenship when I’m president of the United States. This won’t be a call issued in one speech or one program. I want this to be a central cause of my presidency. We will ask Americans to serve. We will create new opportunities for Americans to serve.”

Obama said he would boost the size of the active military, but that the nation’s future depends on more than just additional soldiers.

“It also depends on the teacher in East L.A., or the nurse in Appalachia, the after-school working in New Orleans, the Peace Corps volunteer in Africa, the Foreign Service officer in Indonesia,” he said.

“We cannot continue to rely only on our military in order to achieve the national security objectives we’ve set,” he said. “We’ve got to have a civilian national security force that’s just as powerful, just as strong, just as well funded.”

A civilian national security force just as powerful, strong and well-funded as the United States Armed Forces sounds damn expensive to me.  Scary as hell, too.  Will this CNSF have nukes?  Maybe the Air Force will quit hassling the Army over UAV’s and start worrying about the DNCFK.

Merci Beaucoup Chief Glenn, The Swamp, Lonewacko,  and Protein Wisdom.

Propaganda is also a frequent topic of discussion here, and inkling provides us with a good old-fashioned poster:


UPDATE: Herschel Smith has questions about the CNSF.


Filed under Idea War, IW, PSYOP

B. Hussein O. and Private Military Contractors

Maybe he will learn something on his trip.

This is July 2nd, eight days ago out in Colorado Springs. Obama is speaking to the editorial board of the Military Times. There’s no teleprompter out there and no little wireless mike from campaign headquarters telling him what to say.  The editor here says, “The size of our military has really been built on the military’s ability to be effective. It’s built very heavily on National Guard, very heavily on private contractors to provide everything from food service to aircraft service and gun-toting security.  What are the proper rules for those different pieces and how should that change?” 

OBAMA:  When it comes to private contractors, there is room for private contractors working a mess hall, you know, providing basic supplies and — and doing some, uh, logistical work that might have been done in house in the past.  I am troubled by the use of private contractors when it comes to, uh, potential armed engagement.  I think it puts our troops at harm’s way, I think it creates some difficult morale issues when you’ve got private contractors who are getting paid ten times what an Army private is getting paid for work that is as risk — carries similar risk, when it comes to our Special Forces, what we’ve seen as a potential drain of — of our — some of our best trained Special Forces, and you can’t blame them if they can make so much more working for Blackwater than they can working as, uh, as a master sergeant.  So the — you know, that, I think, is — that, I think, is a problem.

So then the unidentified editor says, “Well, Blackwater would argue that they’re a bargain, that you get a higher level of ability, they can put people there. They can keep top level talent there perpetually.”

OBAMA:  I’m not arguing that there are never going to be uses for private contractors in some circumstances.  What I am saying is if you start building a military premised on the use of private contractors, and you start making decisions about armed engaged based on the availability of private contractors to fill holes in gaps, that over time you are, I believe, eroding the core of our military’s relationship to the nation and how accountability is structured.

OBAMA:  You are privatizing something that is what essentially sets a nation state apart, which is the monopoly on — on violence, uh, and to set those kinds of precedents I think will lead us over the long term into, uh, some troubled waters.

When you strip out the higher echelon Combat Service Support units from the force structure, as was done to the Army during the Clinton administration, and you find out to your embarrassment that you can’t even logistically support the deployment of one Attack Aviation Task Force from central Europe to southeastern Europe without the assistance of Logistics Civilan Augmentees, you end up going to war with the Army you have left and contract out the rest.  The armed Personal Security Detail contractors don’t engage in offensive operations.  They try hard to avoid getting shot at, return fire as hard as they can when they do get shot at, and run like hell as fast as they can to get away from the people shooting at them.  And if their job is to escort you  they probably won’t be pulled off in the middle of the trip to attend to a higher priority mission, leaving you on your own.

General Odierno wouldn’t give The Messiah a detail of all PV2’s, would he? 


Filed under G-2

The One Who Could

Is the  one on the left.

An administration’s freedom of action is as wide or as narrow as it’s strategic communicators can make it.  If The People grant legitimacy to the administration’s actions, all the oppositional elements can do is carp.  If the administration allows oppositional media to manage the perception of The People such that legitimacy is denied, every action an admistration tries to take is blocked, delayed, emasculated or vetoed altogether. 

One of the men in this picture understood this.  He pledged his Life, his Fortune and his sacred Honor, expending vital life force countering the negative psychic energy and palpable hatred of millions who wished him ill.  I’m sure they are rejoicing in the proggosphere today.

UPDATE:  As expected, the classy commenters at Huffington Post pay their respects:

wmbear See Profile I’m a Fan of wmbear

We’ll miss ya, Tony…


My reaction to the death of Tony Snow is about on par with my reaction to William Buckley’s death a few months ago. As J.R.R. Tolkein might have put it, a pernicious influence has passed from the Earth.

Unless you were a personal friend of Tony Snow’s (god help you), what’s to mourn.

(And by the way, I make no apologies for the tone of this post. Do people whose scope has allowed them to do great damage — or in Snow’s case, enable it — deserve our tears?)

    Reply   Posted 02:43 PM on 07/12/2008


When the Cold Civil War turns hot, people like wmbear better stay out of my reticule.

And over at DU:

Faith No More

71. I didn’t like him when he was alive, why should I feel differently now that he’s dead?

Edited on Sat Jul-12-08 10:00 AM by Faith No More
Sympathy for his family??? How much sympathy do think they felt for all the sons and daughters that returned from Iraq in body bags? This man’s lies helped to perpetuate this shameful, illegal war and I think it’s high time those on the conservative side get to experience a little grief. I don’t feel any sympathy for them because they don’t give a tinker’s damn for us.


Filed under Heroes, Idea War, Info Warriors, Old Media



Filed under PSYOP

There Won’t Always be an England

Half of all British servicemen say they want to quit


I’ve been a student of military history since I learned to read.  The Rat Patrol is the reason I gravitate towards deserts in my old age.  Pinky Pinkerton  was my introduction to the British fighting man.  I was around 9 or so when I figured out that the Redcoats who chased the Swamp Fox had turned in to Good Guys and helped us to kill Krauts.  The Phantom Major was the first grown up book I ever read. 

I probably know more about British military history than the average Brit.  That bloomin’ red rag overhead was a force for good in the world.

Tragic to see a once mighty nation brought so low.  Pray God America profits from their example.

Comments Off on There Won’t Always be an England

Filed under Morale Operations

Russian and Chinese Irregular Information Operators

Mercenaries Gone Wild

Cyber War waged by non-government groups is becoming more frequent. In some cases, when specific, and highly classified, data is taken, mercenary hackers are believed to be responsible (at least in some cases), and carrying out attacks paid for by a foreign government. It’s better to use mercs, as that makes a nasty diplomatic situation, not to mention retaliation, less likely. But there are lots of skilled freelancers out there, who do not hesitate to make war on their own.

I’m not smart enough to hack.  Computer Network Attack is beyond my technical expertise.  I’m more of an amateur persuader changer influencer type, mostly focused on national will, morale, and counterpropaganda.  A wannabe self-appointed Psychological Operations auxiliary trying as best I can with the time and tools available to me to do for the domestic target audience what military and other government agency psychological operations can’t, won’t, or don’t want to do. 

But I pay attention to Computer Network Operations, as much of it as I can understand.  I don’t know of any way unorganized civilian volunteers can do anything worthwhile along the lines of Electronic Warfare, Military Deception and Operations Security, but the PSYOP and CNO portions of IO most definitely have untapped amateur talent in the civilian population just waiting for somebody on the inside of our favorite Westphalian nation-state’s military/intelligence apparat to ask for help.



Filed under Info Warriors

Triumph of the Shill

The Messiah’s PSYOP on the American people looks to be kicking into high gear.

Axelrod’s Fall Reifenstahl Strategy

. . . when he delivers his acceptance speech at Denver’s Invesco Field before tens of thousands of adoring, cheering fans on the anniversary of Dr. Martin Luther King’s “I Have A Dream” speech.

At that event, the partisan nominee will be transformed into the Chosen One of the nation. He will no longer just belong to Democrats, but to all America. Some of us will watch with alarm. Others will feel their spirits lifted.   

The camera will pan the stands — old and young, white and black and brown. Families will hold up small children to see him from afar. Variable camera angles will capture his profiles, his smile, his gestures.  Michelle and the girls will thrill the crowd with a wave projected on the large stadium screen. In response, the crowd will lift a collective cheer.

Someone close to the mike will shout, “We love you, Obama.”  He will echo, “I love you back.”  The camera will focus close on one, perhaps two, with hankies held to their eyes. Tears because he has come, and they are the ones for whom they’ve waited.

The historically ignorant will fall for this because it will be new to them.

Clarice Feldman recommends they call this spectacle Democratischeparteitag der Einheit und Starke


Filed under PSYOP

It is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it


IN CONGRESS, July 4, 1776.

The unanimous Declaration of the thirteen united States of America,

When in the Course of human events, it becomes necessary for one people to dissolve the political bands which have connected them with another, and to assume among the powers of the earth, the separate and equal station to which the Laws of Nature and of Nature’s God entitle them, a decent respect to the opinions of mankind requires that they should declare the causes which impel them to the separation.

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.–That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed,That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn, that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable, than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.–Such has been the patient sufferance of these Colonies; and such is now the necessity which constrains them to alter their former Systems of Government. The history of the present King of Great Britain is a history of repeated injuries and usurpations, all having in direct object the establishment of an absolute Tyranny over these States. To prove this, let Facts be submitted to a candid world.

He has refused his Assent to Laws, the most wholesome and necessary for the public good.
He has forbidden his Governors to pass Laws of immediate and pressing importance, unless suspended in their operation till his Assent should be obtained; and when so suspended, he has utterly neglected to attend to them.
He has refused to pass other Laws for the accommodation of large districts of people, unless those people would relinquish the right of Representation in the Legislature, a right inestimable to them and formidable to tyrants only.
He has called together legislative bodies at places unusual, uncomfortable, and distant from the depository of their public Records, for the sole purpose of fatiguing them into compliance with his measures.
He has dissolved Representative Houses repeatedly, for opposing with manly firmness his invasions on the rights of the people.
He has refused for a long time, after such dissolutions, to cause others to be elected; whereby the Legislative powers, incapable of Annihilation, have returned to the People at large for their exercise; the State remaining in the mean time exposed to all the dangers of invasion from without, and convulsions within.
He has endeavoured to prevent the population of these States; for that purpose obstructing the Laws for Naturalization of Foreigners; refusing to pass others to encourage their migrations hither, and raising the conditions of new Appropriations of Lands.
He has obstructed the Administration of Justice, by refusing his Assent to Laws for establishing Judiciary powers.
He has made Judges dependent on his Will alone, for the tenure of their offices, and the amount and payment of their salaries.
He has erected a multitude of New Offices, and sent hither swarms of Officers to harrass our people, and eat out their substance.
He has kept among us, in times of peace, Standing Armies without the Consent of our legislatures.
He has affected to render the Military independent of and superior to the Civil power.
He has combined with others to subject us to a jurisdiction foreign to our constitution, and unacknowledged by our laws; giving his Assent to their Acts of pretended Legislation:
For Quartering large bodies of armed troops among us:
For protecting them, by a mock Trial, from punishment for any Murders which they should commit on the Inhabitants of these States:
For cutting off our Trade with all parts of the world:
For imposing Taxes on us without our Consent:
For depriving us in many cases, of the benefits of Trial by Jury:
For transporting us beyond Seas to be tried for pretended offences
For abolishing the free System of English Laws in a neighbouring Province, establishing therein an Arbitrary government, and enlarging its Boundaries so as to render it at once an example and fit instrument for introducing the same absolute rule into these Colonies:
For taking away our Charters, abolishing our most valuable Laws, and altering fundamentally the Forms of our Governments:
For suspending our own Legislatures, and declaring themselves invested with power to legislate for us in all cases whatsoever.
He has abdicated Government here, by declaring us out of his Protection and waging War against us.
He has plundered our seas, ravaged our Coasts, burnt our towns, and destroyed the lives of our people.
He is at this time transporting large Armies of foreign Mercenaries to compleat the works of death, desolation and tyranny, already begun with circumstances of Cruelty & perfidy scarcely paralleled in the most barbarous ages, and totally unworthy the Head of a civilized nation.
He has constrained our fellow Citizens taken Captive on the high Seas to bear Arms against their Country, to become the executioners of their friends and Brethren, or to fall themselves by their Hands.
He has excited domestic insurrections amongst us, and has endeavoured to bring on the inhabitants of our frontiers, the merciless Indian Savages, whose known rule of warfare, is an undistinguished destruction of all ages, sexes and conditions.

In every stage of these Oppressions We have Petitioned for Redress in the most humble terms: Our repeated Petitions have been answered only by repeated injury. A Prince whose character is thus marked by every act which may define a Tyrant, is unfit to be the ruler of a free people.

Nor have We been wanting in attentions to our Brittish brethren. We have warned them from time to time of attempts by their legislature to extend an unwarrantable jurisdiction over us. We have reminded them of the circumstances of our emigration and settlement here. We have appealed to their native justice and magnanimity, and we have conjured them by the ties of our common kindred to disavow these usurpations, which, would inevitably interrupt our connections and correspondence. They too have been deaf to the voice of justice and of consanguinity. We must, therefore, acquiesce in the necessity, which denounces our Separation, and hold them, as we hold the rest of mankind, Enemies in War, in Peace Friends.

We, therefore, the Representatives of the united States of America, in General Congress, Assembled, appealing to the Supreme Judge of the world for the rectitude of our intentions, do, in the Name, and by Authority of the good People of these Colonies, solemnly publish and declare, That these United Colonies are, and of Right ought to be Free and Independent States; that they are Absolved from all Allegiance to the British Crown, and that all political connection between them and the State of Great Britain, is and ought to be totally dissolved; and that as Free and Independent States, they have full Power to levy War, conclude Peace, contract Alliances, establish Commerce, and to do all other Acts and Things which Independent States may of right do. And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our Lives, our Fortunes and our sacred Honor.

Josiah Bartlett, William Whipple, Matthew Thornton, Samuel Adams, John Adams, Robert Treat Paine, Elbridge Gerry,  Stephen Hopkins, William Ellery,  Roger Sherman, Samuel Huntington, William Williams, Oliver Wolcott, William Floyd, Philip Livingston, Francis Lewis, Lewis Morris,  Richard Stockton, John Witherspoon, Francis Hopkinson, John Hart, Abraham Clark,  Robert Morris, Benjamin Rush, Benjamin Franklin, John Morton, George Clymer, James Smith, George Taylor, James Wilson, George Ross, Caesar Rodney, George Read, Thomas McKean, Samuel Chase, William Paca, Thomas Stone, Charles Carroll of Carrollton,  George Wythe, Richard Henry Lee, Thomas Jefferson, Benjamin Harrison, Thomas Nelson, Jr., Francis Lightfoot Lee, Carter Braxton,  William Hooper, Joseph Hewes, John Penn,  Edward Rutledge, Thomas Heyward, Jr., Thomas Lynch, Jr., Arthur Middleton,  Button Gwinnett, Lyman Hall, George Walton     


Filed under Heroes, Info Warriors

Volunteer Internet Awareness Services

Interesting request for proposal here.  US Army Contracting Command Europe Wiesbaden Contracting Center wants to pay people to do things some of us have been doing for free.

identify and assess stated and implied threat, antipathy, unrest, and other contextual data relating to selected internet domains.

analyze various web pages, chat rooms, blogs and other internet domains to aggregate and assess data of interest

a principle cyber investigator, a locally specialized threat analyst, a foreign speaking analyst with cyber investigative skills, and a constant watch team.

Not much in that RFP beyond the capability of the Unorganized Cyber Militia of the United States.




Filed under PSYOP Auxiliaries

Enemies — domestic

Matthew Rothschild and Chris Satullo.

I concede that douchbags like these two have the right to spew such bilge.  I do not concede that they have the right to spew it without personal consequences. 


Filed under Morale Operations, PSYOP