Monthly Archives: December 2008

Public Affairs and Information Operations

Virtual War Lord John of Argghhh! made a post based on comments Jack Holt, Chief, New Media Operations, DoD New Media, Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Public Affairs and I made on a previous post which included a press release from CJTF-101 that starts out like this:

16 Afghans dead, 58 Afghans wounded in Khowst province suicide attack Sunday

KABUL, Afghanistan – One of Public Affairs’ primary responsibilities is to ensure factual reporting of events to the public and to counter enemy propaganda.

which caused my ears to perk up and motivated me to ask in John’s comment section

if counterpropaganda is a pa primary responsibilty, do we get to bust on pa when we see it uncountered in our own media? a big stink was made recently over colocating pa with io at isaf so they backed off of that. who does counterprop for the domestic ta?

So go on over to The Castle and enter the melee. [As you were. Comments closed. You snooze, you loose.  Try SWJ, or comment here.]

Love this:

PA, while jealously guarding their virginity, are in danger of becoming pinch-faced old maids with little legacy other than a good name and societal irrelevancy – vice figuring out how to be, for lack of a better analogy, a Mother Theresa of Information – chaste, but willing to go out and get things done.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, I have expended a fair amount of key strokes on this topic over the last couple years:

Which side is the national media on?

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?

Who can do it, legally?

The Civilian Irregular Information Defense Group volunteer cyber militia can do it. Think Minutemen.

The PAO Conversation

Who does domestic counter-PSYOPS? Hostile media are the enemy’s psywar operator’s, but the PA side won’t engage them as such. The center of gravity of this war is the will of the American people, half of whom are ready to quit right now.

The terrorist goal of winning through the media has worked

. . . an unconscionable amount of what we in the press have been feeding the American public regarding the war in Iraq is fashioned by the propaganda arms of our enemies.

Never Again

The MSM and the Jihadis are in it together.  One needs bleeding and leading, the other needs publicity.  This mutualism makes the American MSM a willing purveyor of Jihadi propaganda and Democrat defeatism.  They are protected from prosecution because the Bush Administration and the Gonzales Justice Department chooses not to expend the political capital and endure the pain to fight that battle.  But they are not protected from us.

Getting Past the Propaganda Barrier

The usual suspects won’t let us use it and they don’t want us to counter it.  But they don’t mind disseminating the enemy’s.

“Blitzkrieg of the Mind”

The Propaganda Advantage: Why the Terrorists Still Have It

The word itself has become a perjorative and negatively blocks our thinking on what is is, how to use it, and how to defend against it. The word “propaganda” stimulates a Pavlovian response in Americans to disbelieve and distrust any overt use of it, particularly by the American government or military. That’s a psychological warfare coup the Nazis and Soviets bequeathed to the Islamicists.

School of the Counterpropagandist — What Is Propaganda?

What’s in a Name?

Why do Americans Hate the Word Propaganda?

Reuters Perception Management Anonymously-Sourced Hit Piece

PA Won’t Play


Filed under PSYOP

Cynthia McKinney, Blockade Runner

I was all set to blog on this, but Burkhart beat me to it.

I get some Atlanta stations and know what a flake she is.  Having failed at blockade running, perhaps she’ll take up filibustering next.

UPDATE 200812311456: “We see all these ships as pure propaganda, they have journalists on them and all kinds of other people who are coming basically to provoke.” — Israeli Embassy in Washington spokesman Jonathan Peled

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Filed under Moonbats

“The war has gone on longer than a lot of news organizations’ ability or appetite to cover it,”

Deebow sez:

“Ability” most likely means, with viewer-ship continuing to drop like a stone and Advert revenue being spent in markets and on media that people actually watch and see; the Old Media likely have a great deal less money to spend to cover the bar tabs and security details for the propagandists who run around Iraq looking for the next “victim” of US Forces.

“Appetite” turns out to mean that without car bombs going off every hour, or any operations where US Forces can be shown “oppressing” the populace; that they have no “appetite” to broadcast anything related to the Victory narrative.

The “profession” of journalism has earned the contempt in which it is now held by so many.

Relentless, destructive critique of MSM persons and publications is among the most important tasks of bloggers, commenters, and tipsters of the Resistance.


Filed under Old Media

R.P.P. W.P.F.

Those initials stamped into the trunnion of that piece tell a story you might like to hear.  Clicken sie hier, bitte fur die neu SERVIAM.


Filed under G-2

Plagiarized and Unsourced

So I’m trolling for something to blog about and end up on some lefty Canadian site that links me to a site I have already called for shutting down, and they in their infinite wisdom have leaked an unclassified Field Manual.  I check it out.  Interesting stuff.  Whoever leaked it to the people who uploaded it to the Web violated the distribution restrictions and the destruction notice instructions.  That’s bad.  The leaked document is unclassified, not even For Official Use Only, and looks to be accessible to anybody with an Army Knowledge Online account so the leaked information does not represent a security breach.  That’s good.  The people who uploaded this document have their own agenda for discrediting its proponent.  That’s bad.  I have my own agenda for highlighting selected paragraphs out of the FM relevant to the subject matter of this blog.  That’s good, to me anyway.  If you really want links they’re not that hard to find on your own.

What follows is my modified and edited versions of selected paragraphs from the leaked FM, presented in the order I came across them.   

The United States possesses overwhelming conventional military superiority, and other nation-states recognize that a direct military threat to the United States is a losing proposition. Therefore, large-scale and direct conventional war against the United States is increasingly unlikely. Competition in the international environment using all instruments of power, however, remains timeless and continuous. Competitors now concentrate on the nonmilitary instruments of power in the natural intercourse between nations. Most such intercourse remains peaceful and routine. Enemy competitors, however, use the instruments of power as weapons. Moreover, not all modern enemy competitors are synonymous with nation-states.

International actors in the current era have awakened to the potential of such “unconventional” methods for compelling an enemy to do one’s will. Avoiding the advantages of U.S. military power, these international actors seek to erode the ability of the United States to employ that comparative advantage.
Using the other instruments of power—especially the informational—they seek to employ what is variably referred to as “irregular,” “asymmetric,” or “unrestricted” warfare. Even when violence is joined, direct methods are generally avoided for the classic techniques of guerrilla warfare, terrorism, sabotage, subversion, and insurgency.

The current definition of Unconventional Warfare is as follows:
Operations conducted by, with, or through irregular forces in support of a resistance movement, an insurgency, or conventional military operations.

This definition reflects two essential criteria: UW must be conducted by, with, or through surrogates; and
such surrogates must be irregular forces.

Irregulars, or irregular forces, are individuals or groups of individuals who are not members of a regular armed force, police, or other internal security force. They are usually nonstate-sponsored and unconstrained by sovereign nation legalities and boundaries. These forces may include, but are not limited to, specific paramilitary forces, contractors, individuals, businesses, foreign political organizations, resistance or insurgent organizations, expatriates, transnational terrorism adversaries, disillusioned transnational terrorism members, black marketeers, and other social or political “undesirables.”

Irregular Warfare is “a violent struggle among state and nonstate actors for legitimacy and influence over the relevant populations. IW favors indirect and asymmetric approaches, though it may employ the full range of military and other capacities in order to erode an adversary’s power, influence, and will.” IW is inherently a protracted conflict that will test the resolve of the United States and its partners.
Adversaries will pursue IW strategies, employing a hybrid of irregular, disruptive, traditional, and catastrophic capabilities to undermine and erode the influence and will of the United States and its strategic
partners. Meeting these challenges and combating this approach will require the concerted efforts of all instruments of U.S. national power.

IW is about people, not platforms. IW does not depend on military prowess alone. It also relies on the understanding of such social dynamics as tribal politics, social networks, religious influences, and
cultural mores. Although IW is a violent struggle, not all participating irregulars or irregular forces are necessarily armed. People, more so than weaponry, platforms, and advanced technology, will be the key to success in IW. Successful IW relies on building relationships and partnerships at the local level. It takes patient, persistent, and culturally savvy people within the joint force to execute IW.

What makes IW different from conventional warfare is the focus of its operations—a relevant population—and its strategic purpose to gain or maintain control or influence over the population and to support that population through political, psychological, and economic methods. IW is marked by a struggle among state and
nonstate actors for legitimacy and influence over the relevant population; it primarily involves an indirect approach to erode power, influence, and will; and that it is determined by the characteristics of the adversary and is not, as such, a new or independent type of warfare.

UW is a component and method of prosecuting IW, but UW and IW are each distinct. Both IW and UW focus on influencing relevant populations. However, whereas IW does not necessarily require
operations with irregular forces, UW is always conducted by, with, or through irregular forces.

By definition, UW consists of operations conducted by, with, or through irregular forces. Such engagement with the “human terrain” is fundamentally a conflict of ideas.

In both the foreign and domestic arenas, planners should continuously monitor adversary attempts to deliberately mislead foreign and domestic audiences. Planners must employ responsive friendly information surrogates to counteract misinformation. Domestically, “misinformation” is a politically contentious concept.

I added the word surrogates to the above paragraph and deleted the word foreign.

The manipulation of information can be an
effective weapon that can shape Target Audiences’ perceptions. The calculated and integrated use of specific messages is a component of attempts to persuade or dissuade certain behaviors in the context of a UW campaign. PSYOP units are specifically designed to execute such efforts. However, the variety of information capable of affecting human perception is enormous; only a tiny percentage of such information sources resides within the military’s direct ability to wield.

The range of adversaries capable of threatening the United States, its allies, and its interests include states, nonstate organizations, and individuals. Some states with traditional military forces and advanced systems, including cruise and ballistic missiles, could seek to control key regions of the world. A few of these states are “rogues” that violate treaties, secretly pursue and proliferate WMD, reject peaceful resolution of disputes, and display callous disregard for their citizens. Some of these states sponsor terrorists, providing them financial support, sanctuary, and access to dangerous capabilities. Some nonstate actors, such as terrorist networks, international criminal organizations, and illegal armed groups, menace stability and security. Even some individuals may have the means and will to disrupt international order. Some of these adversaries are not politically constrained. This makes these adversaries, particularly nonstate actors, less susceptible to traditional means of deterrence. Adversaries are increasingly seeking
asymmetric capabilities and are using them in innovative ways. They avoid U.S. strengths, such as precision strikes, and seek to counter U.S. power projection capabilities by creating antiaccess environments. Such adversaries will target civilian populations, economic centers, and symbolic locations as a way to attack U.S. political will and resolve.

The purpose of perseverance is to ensure the commitment necessary to attain the national strategic end state. Some joint operations may require years to reach the termination criteria, and operations may be both measured and protracted. The underlying causes of the crisis may be elusive, making the achievement of decisive resolution difficult. The patient, resolute, and persistent pursuit of national goals and objectives is often a requirement for success. This effort frequently involves measures from all instruments of U.S. national power to supplement military efforts.

The purpose of legitimacy is to develop and maintain the will necessary to attain the national strategic end state. The basis for legitimacy is the legality, morality, and rightness of the actions
undertaken, as well as the will of the U.S. public to support the actions. Legitimacy is frequently a decisive element. The perception of legitimacy by the U.S. public is strengthened if obvious national or
humanitarian interests are at stake and American lives are not being needlessly or carelessly placed at risk.

Even my eyes are beginning to glaze over by now. We’ll come back to this later.

Nobody said being a volunteer civilian irregular auxiliary counterpropagandist was going to be easy.

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Filed under IW

Does your conscience bother you? Tell the truth

Much of what you think you know to be true is not.  Your perceptions have been managed by people who work very hard at getting you to think and feel and believe in ways favorable to their objectives.  This has been going on in an organized, scientific fashion since WWI, but in 1973 they stepped it up several notches, and overthrew a sitting President.  Watergate was a coup d’etat.  Woodward and Bernstein became the heroes that all the journos wanted to grow up to be.  But they were chumps. I never did like those guys. Even as a teenager the jackals pulling down Nixon failed to impress me.

George Friedman at Stratfor, on  The Death of Deep Throat and the Crisis of Journalism

Mark Felt died last week at the age of 95. For those who don’t recognize that name, Felt was the “Deep Throat” of Watergate fame. It was Felt who provided Bob Woodward and Carl Bernstein of The Washington Post with a flow of leaks about what had happened, how it happened and where to look for further corroboration on the break-in, the cover-up, and the financing of wrongdoing in the Nixon administration. Woodward and Bernstein’s exposé of Watergate has been seen as a high point of journalism, and their unwillingness to reveal Felt’s identity until he revealed it himself three years ago has been seen as symbolic of the moral rectitude demanded of journalists.

In reality, the revelation of who Felt was raised serious questions about the accomplishments of Woodward and Bernstein, the actual price we all pay for journalistic ethics, and how for many years we did not know a critical dimension of the Watergate crisis. At a time when newspapers are in financial crisis and journalism is facing serious existential issues, Watergate always has been held up as a symbol of what journalism means for a democracy, revealing truths that others were unwilling to uncover and grapple with. There is truth to this vision of journalism, but there is also a deep ambiguity, all built around Felt’s role. This is therefore not an excursion into ancient history, but a consideration of two things. The first is how journalists become tools of various factions in political disputes. The second is the relationship between security and intelligence organizations and governments in a Democratic society.

Watergate was about the break-in at the Democratic National Committee headquarters in Washington. The break-in was carried out by a group of former CIA operatives controlled by individuals leading back to the White House. It was never proven that then-U.S. President Richard Nixon knew of the break-in, but we find it difficult to imagine that he didn’t. In any case, the issue went beyond the break-in. It went to the cover-up of the break-in and, more importantly, to the uses of money that financed the break-in and other activities. Numerous aides, including the attorney general of the United States, went to prison. Woodward and Bernstein, and their newspaper, The Washington Post, aggressively pursued the story from the summer of 1972 until Nixon’s resignation. The episode has been seen as one of journalism’s finest moments. It may have been, but that cannot be concluded until we consider Deep Throat more carefully.

Deep Throat Reconsidered

Mark Felt was deputy associate director of the FBI (No. 3 in bureau hierarchy) in May 1972, when longtime FBI Director J. Edgar Hoover died. Upon Hoover’s death, Felt was second to Clyde Tolson, the longtime deputy and close friend to Hoover who by then was in failing health himself. Days after Hoover’s death, Tolson left the bureau.

Felt expected to be named Hoover’s successor, but Nixon passed him over, appointing L. Patrick Gray instead. In selecting Gray, Nixon was reaching outside the FBI for the first time in the 48 years since Hoover had taken over. But while Gray was formally acting director, the Senate never confirmed him, and as an outsider, he never really took effective control of the FBI. In a practical sense, Felt was in operational control of the FBI from the break-in at the Watergate in August 1972 until June 1973.

Nixon’s motives in appointing Gray certainly involved increasing his control of the FBI, but several presidents before him had wanted this, too, including John F. Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson. Both of these presidents wanted Hoover gone for the same reason they were afraid to remove him: He knew too much. In Washington, as in every capital, knowing the weaknesses of powerful people is itself power — and Hoover made it a point to know the weaknesses of everyone. He also made it a point to be useful to the powerful, increasing his overall value and his knowledge of the vulnerabilities of the powerful.

Hoover’s death achieved what Kennedy and Johnson couldn’t do. Nixon had no intention of allowing the FBI to continue as a self-enclosed organization outside the control of the presidency and everyone else. Thus, the idea that Mark Felt, a man completely loyal to Hoover and his legacy, would be selected to succeed Hoover is in retrospect the most unlikely outcome imaginable.

Felt saw Gray’s selection as an unwelcome politicization of the FBI (by placing it under direct presidential control), an assault on the traditions created by Hoover and an insult to his memory, and a massive personal disappointment. Felt was thus a disgruntled employee at the highest level. He was also a senior official in an organization that traditionally had protected its interests in predictable ways. (By then formally the No. 2 figure in FBI, Felt effectively controlled the agency given Gray’s inexperience and outsider status.) The FBI identified its enemies, then used its vast knowledge of its enemies’ wrongdoings in press leaks designed to be as devastating as possible. While carefully hiding the source of the information, it then watched the victim — who was usually guilty as sin — crumble. Felt, who himself was later convicted and pardoned for illegal wiretaps and break-ins, was not nearly as appalled by Nixon’s crimes as by Nixon’s decision to pass him over as head of the FBI. He merely set Hoover’s playbook in motion.

Woodward and Bernstein were on the city desk of The Washington Post at the time. They were young (29 and 28), inexperienced and hungry. We do not know why Felt decided to use them as his conduit for leaks, but we would guess he sought these three characteristics — as well as a newspaper with sufficient gravitas to gain notice. Felt obviously knew the two had been assigned to a local burglary, and he decided to leak what he knew to lead them where he wanted them to go. He used his knowledge to guide, and therefore control, their investigation.

Systematic Spying on the President

And now we come to the major point. For Felt to have been able to guide and control the young reporters’ investigation, he needed to know a great deal of what the White House had done, going back quite far. He could not possibly have known all this simply through his personal investigations. His knowledge covered too many people, too many operations, and too much money in too many places simply to have been the product of one of his side hobbies. The only way Felt could have the knowledge he did was if the FBI had been systematically spying on the White House, on the Committee to Re-elect the President and on all of the other elements involved in Watergate. Felt was not simply feeding information to Woodward and Bernstein; he was using the intelligence product emanating from a section of the FBI to shape The Washington Post’s coverage.

Instead of passing what he knew to professional prosecutors at the Justice Department — or if he did not trust them, to the House Judiciary Committee charged with investigating presidential wrongdoing — Felt chose to leak the information to The Washington Post. He bet, or knew, that Post editor Ben Bradlee would allow Woodward and Bernstein to play the role Felt had selected for them. Woodward, Bernstein and Bradlee all knew who Deep Throat was. They worked with the operational head of the FBI to destroy Nixon, and then protected Felt and the FBI until Felt came forward.

In our view, Nixon was as guilty as sin of more things than were ever proven. Nevertheless, there is another side to this story. The FBI was carrying out espionage against the president of the United States, not for any later prosecution of Nixon for a specific crime (the spying had to have been going on well before the break-in), but to increase the FBI’s control over Nixon. Woodward, Bernstein and above all, Bradlee, knew what was going on. Woodward and Bernstein might have been young and naive, but Bradlee was an old Washington hand who knew exactly who Felt was, knew the FBI playbook and understood that Felt could not have played the role he did without a focused FBI operation against the president. Bradlee knew perfectly well that Woodward and Bernstein were not breaking the story, but were having it spoon-fed to them by a master. He knew that the president of the United States, guilty or not, was being destroyed by Hoover’s jilted heir.

This was enormously important news. The Washington Post decided not to report it. The story of Deep Throat was well-known, but what lurked behind the identity of Deep Throat was not. This was not a lone whistle-blower being protected by a courageous news organization; rather, it was a news organization being used by the FBI against the president, and a news organization that knew perfectly well that it was being used against the president. Protecting Deep Throat concealed not only an individual, but also the story of the FBI’s role in destroying Nixon.

Again, Nixon’s guilt is not in question. And the argument can be made that given John Mitchell’s control of the Justice Department, Felt thought that going through channels was impossible (although the FBI was more intimidating to Mitchell than the other way around). But the fact remains that Deep Throat was the heir apparent to Hoover — a man not averse to breaking the law in covert operations — and Deep Throat clearly was drawing on broader resources in the FBI, resources that had to have been in place before Hoover’s death and continued operating afterward.

Burying a Story to Get a Story

Until Felt came forward in 2005, not only were these things unknown, but The Washington Post was protecting them. Admittedly, the Post was in a difficult position. Without Felt’s help, it would not have gotten the story. But the terms Felt set required that a huge piece of the story not be told. The Washington Post created a morality play about an out-of-control government brought to heel by two young, enterprising journalists and a courageous newspaper. That simply wasn’t what happened. Instead, it was about the FBI using The Washington Post to leak information to destroy the president, and The Washington Post willingly serving as the conduit for that information while withholding an essential dimension of the story by concealing Deep Throat’s identity.

Journalists have celebrated the Post’s role in bringing down the president for a generation. Even after the revelation of Deep Throat’s identity in 2005, there was no serious soul-searching on the omission from the historical record. Without understanding the role played by Felt and the FBI in bringing Nixon down, Watergate cannot be understood completely. Woodward, Bernstein and Bradlee were willingly used by Felt to destroy Nixon. The three acknowledged a secret source, but they did not reveal that the secret source was in operational control of the FBI. They did not reveal that the FBI was passing on the fruits of surveillance of the White House. They did not reveal the genesis of the fall of Nixon. They accepted the accolades while withholding an extraordinarily important fact, elevating their own role in the episode while distorting the actual dynamic of Nixon’s fall.

Absent any widespread reconsideration of the Post’s actions during Watergate in the three years since Felt’s identity became known, the press in Washington continues to serve as a conduit for leaks of secret information. They publish this information while protecting the leakers, and therefore the leakers’ motives. Rather than being a venue for the neutral reporting of events, journalism thus becomes the arena in which political power plays are executed. What appears to be enterprising journalism is in fact a symbiotic relationship between journalists and government factions. It may be the best path journalists have for acquiring secrets, but it creates a very partial record of events — especially since the origin of a leak frequently is much more important to the public than the leak itself.

The Felt experience is part of an ongoing story in which journalists’ guarantees of anonymity to sources allow leakers to control the news process. Protecting Deep Throat’s identity kept us from understanding the full dynamic of Watergate. We did not know that Deep Throat was running the FBI, we did not know the FBI was conducting surveillance on the White House, and we did not know that the Watergate scandal emerged not by dint of enterprising journalism, but because Felt had selected Woodward and Bernstein as his vehicle to bring Nixon down. And we did not know that the editor of The Washington Post allowed this to happen. We had a profoundly defective picture of the situation, as defective as the idea that Bob Woodward looks like Robert Redford.

Finding the truth of events containing secrets is always difficult, as we know all too well. There is no simple solution to this quandary. In intelligence, we dream of the well-placed source who will reveal important things to us. But we also are aware that the information provided is only the beginning of the story. The rest of the story involves the source’s motivation, and frequently that motivation is more important than the information provided. Understanding a source’s motivation is essential both to good intelligence and to journalism. In this case, keeping secret the source kept an entire — and critical — dimension of Watergate hidden for a generation. Whatever crimes Nixon committed, the FBI had spied on the president and leaked what it knew to The Washington Post in order to destroy him. The editor of The Washington Post knew that, as did Woodward and Bernstein. We do not begrudge them their prizes and accolades, but it would have been useful to know who handed them the story. In many ways, that story is as interesting as the one about all the president’s men.

Consider some alternate history.  What would 2008 be like had Nixon served out his second term?  Saigon wouldn’t have fallen.  No Killing Fields of Cambodia.  No Jimmy Carter.  Maybe no Ronald Reagan, either.  No two decade recovery from defeat.  No Powell Doctrine.  No Soviet invasion of Afghanistan.  No mujahadeen.  No Osama bin Laden.  No Al Qaeda.   Thanks, Main Stream Media.  I hope when the Washington Post dies  they leave some headstone or monument upon which I can gleefully void my bladder.

My respects to Cyber Guerilla Chieftain Richard Fernandez, whose comments section brings me half the hits this obscure little blog ever gets. 

UPDATE 200812300444: All the FBI’s Men

This is a perfect example of how a narrative can arise and influence our interpretation of history and inspire people to act. Woodward/Bernstein became the archetype of the modern journalist. The noble investigative journalists pursuing the truth and bringing down a corrupt president. How many people became journalists to live out their “All The President’s Men” fantasy? How many times have we heard journalists lecture us on how important they are because they are holding public officials accountable and speaking truth to power? Journalists have used Watergate as a justification for publishing leaks, including classified information while keeping sources secret from the public. Knowing that Mark Felt was Deep Throat reveals the Woodward and Bernstein legend to be a lie. Contrary to what we have believed for several decades, this was a story about how Woodward, Bernstein and Bradlee knowingly participated in a black ops mission to bring down a president. Woodward and Bernstein owe their fame and careers to the fact they they were chosen by the secret policeman to play a role in his operation.


Filed under Idea War, Morale Operations, Old Media

Wardak Awakening

U.S. to Fund Afghan Militias, Applying Iraq Tactic

The first militias will be established in Wardak Province, in eastern Afghanistan, in coming weeks,

“This will be a grass-roots, community-defense layer against the Taliban,” Wardak Gov. Mohammed Halim Fidai said in an interview. “We believe that the more people you involve in security, the greater the impact.”

In the first phase of the pilot program, villages throughout Wardak will convene “shura” meetings of local tribal, religious and political figures. The community elders will then be responsible for recruiting the local militias and overseeing their conduct.

As in Iraq, the new Afghan militias will be paid by the U.S.

The Canadians don’t like it. But is somebody forcing them to do this in RC South? The Canadians may be right that tribal forces aren’t such a great idea in RC South. Tribal structures have been undermined and deteriorating since the Soviets invaded, and I know around Kandahar members of different tribes live in mixed neighborhoods and villages. There is no Alokazai Reservation in Arghandab District of Kandahar Province where Alokazai tribal police enforce the laws made by the elders.

But there are districts in the provinces of RC East where one tribe dominates, and some of these tribes have retained the old ways.

We need Afghan feet in boots or sandals or tennis shoes on the ground. Not just Tajik, Uzbek and Hazara feet, but Pashtun feet. The various Armed Opposition Groups American and Canadian forces face are almost entirely ethnic Pashtun. We need our own Pashtun Scouts to help us fight Pashtun hostiles.  The British had them on the east side of the Durand Line, and there are Chitral, South Waziristan, Tochi, Mahsud, Swat, Orakzai, Khushal Khan, Dir, Bajaur, Thal, Sibi, Kalat, Pishin, Ghazaband, Loralai, and Bolan Scouts in the Frontier Corps to this day.  We need Ruff Puffs, Kit Carson Scouts and chieu hois.  We need Pashtun Regulars in the ANA, Pashtun cops in the ANP, and Pashtun Irregulars in local, district, and provincial forces.  The professional, trained, competent Army and Police capable of independent operations we want has taken too long to create.  We don’t have time for Focused District Development.

UPDATE 200812230910:  Command Changes Hands for Afghan Security Forces Training

UPDATE 200812240830:  Afghan and U.S. Officials Plan to Recruit Local Militias

“We don’t have enough police,” said Maj. Gen. Michael S. Tucker, the deputy commander of American forces in the country. “We don’t have time to get the police ready.”

UPDATE 200812281020: Everyone Plays The Taliban

The anti-militia crowd will lose this argument, but you’ll see a lot about it in the media. Allies squabbling, whether real or imagined, makes for exciting news.


Filed under IW, The Forgotten War

The cold warriors in Washington continue their great game in the Hindu Kush

Us Cold Warriors aren’t always the clueless, out of touch dinosaurs we’re misunderestimated as.  M K Bhadrakumar has a very interesting piece over at Asia Times which you should read all of, especially this:

 US’s Caucasian thrust
Thus, the US has begun developing an altogether new land route through the southern Caucasus to Afghanistan, which doesn’t exist at present. The US is working on the idea of ferrying cargo for Afghanistan via the Black Sea to the port of Poti in Georgia and then dispatching it through the territories of Georgia, Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan. A branch line could also go from Georgia via Azerbaijan to the Turkmen-Afghan border.

The project, if it materializes, will be a geopolitical coup – the biggest ever that Washington would have swung in post-Soviet Central Asia and the Caucasus. At one stroke, the US will be tying up military cooperation at the bilateral level with Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan and Turkmenistan.

We went to Afghanistan to get Osama bin Laden, but that’s not why we stayed. We are still there for a number of good reasons, some of which are difficult to strategically communicate, especially to those elements within our own polity who hate that we’re the Global Hegemon and seek to undermine every effort to keep us at the top of the food chain.   The Himalayas, Pamirs and Hindu Kush are Heartland‘s high ground. Lily pads on the roof of the World-Island are clue bats focusing the attention of regional powers and aspiring challengers on our presence in their back yards, and on our capabilities to project pain on to regimes which allow nonstate actors  to plot and launch attacks on us from areas these regimes claim to exercise sovereignty over. 

I think the United States reacted to the Russo-Georgian War  the way we did because we had plans for Georgia.

I think my concerns over OEF logistics are being addressed. 

Maybe our senior leadership was smarter than I gave them credit for.  Smarter than their replacements will ever give them credit for.

If there’s going to be a LOGCAP V along that new Cracker Line, send me.  What’s the uplift for BF Kazakhstan?

H/T: Amy Zalman


Filed under Logistics, The Forgotten War

Violent, Strategic Dislocation Inside the United States


Violent, Strategic Dislocation Inside the United States

As a community, the defense establishment swears to protect and defend the constitution against all enemies foreign and domestic. DoD’s role in combating “domestic enemies” has never been thoughtfully examined. Thus, there is perhaps no greater source of strategic shock for DoD than operationalizing that component of the oath of service in a widespread domestic emergency that entails rapid dissolution of public order in all or significant parts of the United States.

While likely not an immediate prospect, this is clearly a “Black Swan” that merits some visibility inside DoD and the Department of Homeland Security. To the extent events like this involve organized violence against local, state, and national authorities and exceed the capacity of the former two to restore public order and protect vulnerable populations, DoD would be required to fill the gap. This is largely uncharted strategic territory.

Widespread civil violence inside the United States would force the defense establishment to reorient priorities in extremis to defend basic domestic order and human security. Deliberate employment of weapons of mass destruction or other catastrophic capabilities, unforeseen economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order, purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency, pervasive public health emergencies, and catastrophic natural and human disasters are all paths to disruptive domestic shock.

An American government and defense establishment lulled into complacency by a long-secure domestic order would be forced to rapidly divest some or most external security commitments in order to address rapidly expanding human insecurity at home. Already predisposed to defer to the primacy of civilian authorities in instances of domestic security and divest all but the most extreme demands in areas like civil support and consequence management, DoD might be forced by circumstances to put its broad resources at the disposal of civil authorities to contain and reverse violent threats to domestic tranquility. Under the most extreme circumstances, this might include use of military force against hostile groups inside the United States. Further, DoD would be, by necessity, an essential enabling hub for the continuity of political authority in a multi-state or nationwide civil conflict or disturbance.

A whole host of long-standing defense conventions would be severely tested. Under these conditions and at their most violent extreme, civilian authorities, on advice of the defense establishment, would need to rapidly determine the parameters defining the legitimate use of military force inside the United States. Further still, the whole concept of conflict termination and/or transition to the primacy of civilian security institutions would be uncharted ground. DoD is already challenged by stabilization abroad. Imagine the challenges associated with doing so on a massive scale at home. 

Most Americans are too squeamish to admit the validity or legitimacy of ever hitting the reset button on the Constitution. Most, but not all.

These sentences just jump out of the screen at me:

DoD’s role in combating “domestic enemies” has never been thoughtfully examined.  —  Who in DoD has the political immunity to thoughtfully examine such a taboo subject?  Our nonpartisan military has a cherished tradition of faithfully serving the whole Republic, under whatever political leadership We The People choose to saddle them.  They have no authority or desire to identify, designate and engage domestic enemies.  As individual citizens, the three percent of us fit to serve as Soldiers,  Sailors, Airmen, Marines and Coast Guardsmen can see who the domestic enemies of their missions, their leaders, and their claim upon the public treasury are as well as anybody.  As military professionals, they cannot treat domestic enemies as such until set loose upon them by higher authority.   As individual citizens, they may harbor doubts about the illegitimate, unpatriotic nature of duly designated domestic enemies, perhaps even secretly sympathize with them.  As military professionals, they will carry out lawful orders or leave the profession.  The Regulars don’t have the stomach for recognizing that they even have domestic enemies, because that would force them to do something about it.  American irregular, nonstate actor, Hybrid Warriors could very well be the duly designated domestic enemies.

Deliberate employment of weapons of mass destruction or other catastrophic capabilities, unforeseen economic collapse, loss of functioning political and legal order, purposeful domestic resistance or insurgency, pervasive public health emergencies, and catastrophic natural and human disasters are all paths to disruptive domestic shock.  —  The aftermath of a nuclear 9/11 would likely include all of the above.  Politically incorrect as my opinion may be, I think the politicians who have the power to prevent mass casualty events and fail to exercise due diligence because they’re owned by the House of Saud or beholden to the Nation of Islam or ate up with multiculturalism should suffer for their failures with their lives, or at the very least fear that probable outcome, and act accordingly.  Let the fates of Mussolini and  Ceausescu encourager les autres.  It has been too long since the elites have feared the wrath of  The People.   

Under the most extreme circumstances, this might include use of military force against hostile groups inside the United States.  — I hope that their sight picture will be as blurry as mine.  Brother has fought brother before.  There are counties an hour’s drive north of me that haven’t recovered from the last time after 144 years.  War is Hell, and Civil War is worse than Hell, and few Americans are capable of clear-eyed, unemotional, objective reasoning about it.   How we got that way was a massive psychological operation.

H/T:  angkor


Filed under IW, PSYOP, Resisters

Al Qaeda Terrorist Forum Admits Defeat Against Operation YouTube Smackdown

FR thread here.  Freeper jveritas is Joseph Shahda, one of the early Civilian Irregular Information Operator counterpropagandists that inspired this blog. StarCMC, you have done well, blogdaughter. Congratulations, Smackdowners!


Filed under Heroes, Info Warriors, PSYOP Auxiliaries

Good Guy Militias — ‘community based local defence forces’

It appears RC East is finally going to try Tribal Ruff Puffs.  The commander of Joint Task Force Afghanistan / Task Force Kandahar let that slip to The Canadian Press.  He also mentioned the KAU of the Popalzai tribe and the Senjeray community based local defense force.

I try to pay attention to such goings on, but this is news to me.  Sounds like Commander Matiullah went out of the war lord business and  got into the security business.  That’s the big fear Kabul and CSTC-A have of Afghan irregulars.  Armed bands of Hilux-mounted motorized security contractors look and act a whole lot like armed bands of Ford Ranger-mounted motorized ANA infantry or ANP cops, who when seen from a Predator look a lot like a motorized horde of Mad Max Taliban banditos.  Give the ones on our payroll blaze orange road guard vests or something and get ’em out there.  Focused District Development takes too damn long.

UPDATE 200812161840: U.S. Military to Launch Pilot Program to Recruit New Local Afghan Militias




Filed under IW, The Forgotten War

PA Won’t Play

And they have sympathetic friends in Old Media to publicize obscure IG reports for them. 

Public Affairs “should only perform strategic communications responsibilities related to its public affairs mission,”

So pound sand, IO. We don’t have to participate in your information engagement and you can’t make us, nanny nanny boo boo.

This is the same kind of media manipulation the same kind of pogues pulled in Afghanistan.

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Filed under Old Media, PSYOP

Resisters: Entrepreneurial Frontiersmen Fort Up

Productive people in ever growing numbers are making plans now to reduce their vulnerabilities to redistribution of their wealth, many by simply refusing to create any more wealth to be expropriated.  Entrepreneurial frontiersmen will be valuable members of the Resistance, along with Cultural Revolutionaries, American Exceptionalists, libertarians, people who want to be left the hell alone,  Gulchers, Constitutionalists, Appleseeds, bitter clingers, Christians, Patriots, and others who intend to make things difficult for the new Powers That Be. 

Over at American Thinker, Mr. C. Edmund Wright explains why business leaders are laying off workers and hunkering down, and a commenter over there ( Not_Paying, Dec 10, 11:38 PM) said something that I think will become important in future histories of this era:

You are far from the only business owner shutting down. We are much smaller with our custom woodworking, wood turning and sculpting business, but we started scaling back months ago when the proverbial writing on the political wall grew clearer and clearer, day by day. Now, we will shutter our small business at noon, December 31st, and our small group of loyal, long-time employees, to whom we gave almost 4 months notice, will be out of work. Several will be able to retire, all are stellar master artists and craftspeople and we have been working with them to advocate on their behalf for gainful employment elsewhere, assuming of course there are any “elsewheres” left to be gainfully employed a few months hence.


I will continue to provide custom orders for turned and sculpted artistic pieces to the galleries to whom I am under contract personally … although with the flagging economy, I do not expect the usual volume of orders to come rolling in since I produce art, which is purchased with disposable income … something incoming Prez Obama is going to attempt to relieve us of ASAP in the form of higher taxes.

Here’s what I wish for the 52 million azzhats who voted with the new “Americana”, the “me and mine” first, Socialistic form of government: I wish you as much misery, in triplicate, as the proud, hard-working Americans who will become jobless because of YOUR vote last November … not jobless by choice, mind you, but solely because YOU wanted “change”, YOU wanted something to which you were never entitled, something which another American earned by hard work and the sweat of his or her brow, something to which I, and my spouse, will do our damndest to deprive you of: another penny off the back of OUR hard-earned dollars.

We will retire to a small plot of land we purchased and paid for years ago. We will grow our own vegetables and have bartered an arrangement with a neighbor for half side of Angus beef annually; we will pasture “X” number of his Angus cattle on our land and he will provide us with our dry aged, butchered to order, freezer wrapped and blast frozen beef annually.

I promise you this, Commandant Obama: we will do everything within our collective power, health permitting, to live off our land, minimize our taxable income and capital gains even as we cut expenses to the bare bone. We will make damn sure there isn’t a legal dime more of our bank accounts you can rake in to redistribute to some dead-azz who is a dead-azz precisely because they’ve spent a lifetime making poor choices. Moreover, I’ll give it all away to a worthy charitable enterprise if we have to, before Leviathan big Government gets another cent of it. We spent a lifetime paying our “fair share” and then some of our taxable income, never cheating on our taxes, always trying to do the right thing.

Deadbeats and uber-liberals, you are about to learn a very hard lesson in the most indisputable way. There will be no place for more pie in the sky liberal ideologues and their endless prattling and wittering on vacuously. Sirs and madames, you are about to discover, quite rudely, that the wagon advances neither forward, nor backward … because we are busily ensuring that with you and all your foolish bleeding heart liberal protegees piled 50 high, wide and deep on the wagon, there will be no one left to pull the damn thing. Enjoy reality! It’s our parting gift to you. The cure? Get off your azz and work for your own food, shelter and related necessities.

Goodnight, America, we, the proud, independent small business people of this once proud nation promise to turn off the lights for you as we shutter our businesses, one by one. Land of the politician, home of the moochers, victims, whiners, complainers and various and sundry related deadbeats, miscreants and freeloaders.

May God continue to richly bless and keep our proud, brave military men and women and each of their families. We pray continually for your safety and we will never cease to honor you for your service. You, we will never forget!

Bolding above added by me.

I don’t have a business, mostly because I never have been all that entrepreneurial, so I can’t emulate Wright and Not-Paying, but I can sympathize with them, and disseminate their words, and attempt in my own way to recognize and appreciate their contributions to Resistance.

UPDATE: March 6, 2009 Will Atlas Shrug? A Compilation of Blogosphere Commentary about “Going Galt”


Filed under Resisters


Strategy Page calls it a disease.

This new disease manifests itself when an event, or government propaganda, stirs up nationalistic feelings among many Internet users. There then follows much chatter on message boards, email, messaging and so on. This quickly evolves into the organizing of online vigilantes. Nationalistic hackers proceed to do damage to any available target of these nationalistic feelings. Often there isn’t a target, as in the case of a natural disaster, where the mobilized net users concentrate on helping out. But when the news event involves another nation, or person, there follows hacking attacks, of varying degrees of intensity, against the designated “enemy.”

I don’t think nationalism is a disease. I’m an American nationalist myself. What SP is describing is what the American eResistance, a combination of psychological operations and computer network attack by civilian irregular information operators, will look like. We have much to learn from the Chinese, Grasshopper.

Comments Off on Cyber-Nationalism

Filed under CNA, Idea War, IW, Pamphleteers, PSYOP


A year and a half ago I asked WHERE IS BILAL HUSSEIN?

A year ago I applauded TJR for their role in getting this POS busted.

Today I find out he out and winning awards.

This is why I hate the American Main Stream Media.


Filed under Morale Operations, Old Media