Monthly Archives: February 2009

Still Waiting to be Harnessed by That Tax Payer Funded PSYOP Program

My sources at NPS have been holding out on me.  I didn’t even know there was such a program.  Thank God for RYP, eh? 

I’m an official RYP milblogger:

The Identifiers:

1) Flags, militaria, patriotic statements, military charities, links to other milbloggers
2) MSM is evil (even though they live like remoras on the sharks they hate)
3) The truth is in my mom’s basement. Few milbloggers are actually doing anything remotely related to fighting wars. The concept of blogging, internet access and ability to spend inordinate amounts of time clash.

Let’s see here

1) One flag, some pics of militaria, many patriotic statements, no military charities, 52 links to other milbloggers.
2) MSM is evil — Oh hell yeah.
3) The truth is in his mom’s basement — That’s imagery I could have done without.
Few milbloggers are actually doing anything remotely related to fighting wars — At the moment, sadly true, but possibly subject to change. See my archives from July, 2006 – August, 2007.
The concept of blogging, internet access and ability to spend inordinate amounts of time clash — Most bloggers with jobs have time management issues, even those harnessed by tax payer funded psyops program to shape opinion.

I don’t claim to be a milblogger, but I don’t mind being mistaken for one.

Now here is the part that pisses me off. Here I have been begging the .mil side to work by, with, or through Civilian Irregular Information Operators, and RYP tells me that not only did .mil take my advice, they kept it a dirty secret of milblogging.

Go ahead and list your Hall of Shame for the more strident Bush era milbloggers, RYP. I want to make sure they’re on my blog roll.

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Filed under PSYOP

Afghan Security Guard

Veterans of the old ASF are doing good things as ASG.

From Special Warfare via Afghanistan Conflict Monitor, an excerpt of  Tribal Engagement in Afghanistan:

The ODA in Shkin is located at Firebase Lilley. The
ODA employs several hundred Afghan security guards, or
ASG. The Shkin ASGs secure Firebase Lilley’s perimeter
and occupy three border outposts in the Shkin area. The
ASG Sangar observation post, or OP, is located two kilometers north of the ANA’s north OP and was built to protect the north OP/BCP-213 from enemy attacks from the
north because the north OP was deemed a “soft target”
by the enemy. Sangar OP is on tactically advantageous
terrain and dominates the area. The ASG south OP is located
three kilometers south of BCP-213 and is designed
to protect the southeastern portion of Shkin from enemy
attacks. The ASG Shkin Bazaar OP is located seven kilometers
south of Firebase Lilley and five kilometers west
of South OP and is designed to protect Shkin from enemy
attacks from the south.

When the ASG was created in 2006, it was composed
only of former SF-trained Afghan Security Forces, or ASF,
who were located on ODA firebases. From 2005 to 2006,
in an effort by the Afghan government to stand on its own,
the ASF were demobilized so that the government of Afghanistan could focus on the official branches of the Afghan military and police forces, such as the ANA, ANP, ABP and National Directorate of Security. Following the ASF demobilization, many former ASF soldiers were hired as ASG.  Eighty percent of the 270 Shkin ASG were prior ASF. Since 2007, conventional forces have been hiring civilians “off the street” as ASG to guard Afghan convoys of resupply trucks or to secure routes all over the country and on the firebases of conventional forces. Most of the time, these ASG are untrained, and they have given a bad name to the ASG for
those who are not familiar with the SF-trained version.  The
Shkin ASG on Firebase Lilley and its three border outposts
have been trained by SF teams for the past five years, and
they continue to set the standard for other Afghan forces
for their professionalism, tactical excellence and maturity.
The tribal elders see and understand the difference between
Shkin’s ASG and other regular ASG.

In 2007, to counter the new ASGs’ lack of offensive
capability, 20 of the best ASGs on Firebase Lilley were sent
to the RTC in Gardez to attend basic training and become
ANP. ODAs must conduct partnered operations with an official Afghan force in the lead. The ANP is a logical choice,
because it allows the ODA to focus on surgically removing
key enemy nodes within target networks by police action,
i.e., to gather intelligence and arrest the person responsible.

The tribal elders in Bermel and northern Gomal recognize
and respect the outstanding ability of the relatively small Shkin ANP because of their operational history over
the past year, their operational history as ASF over the past
five years, and their continuing partnership with the ODAs.
Also, a majority of the ASG and ANP are from this region
and are recognized as understanding the environment and
the culture — as opposed to Afghans brought from other
regions of the country. The elders understand the Shkin
ANP’s ability to arrest known enemy facilitators and commanders.  The Shkin ANP arrested nine persons during ODA 3315’s deployment from October 2007 to May 2008. Three of these arrests were a direct result of local tribal elders cooperating with the Shkin ANP.

Are any old ASF hands up in Wardak? Guys like them would be right handy in standing up the new Afghan Public Protection Force.

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Who Is 636th MI Battalion Trying to PSYOP?

I caught a few moments of  The Alamo today, watched Billy Bob shoot the epaulette off Santa Ana’s shoulder, missed his fiddle response to Degüello.

El Degüello, as all Texans and everybody else with an appreciation of the military heritage of North America should know, was a musical psychological operation, the auditory equivalent of spitting on the hands and raising the black flag before slitting throats.  The Mexicans raised a red flag instead of a black one. 

“Like the Texans at the Alamo, Task Force Deguello has come to Afghanistan to do the hardest jobs and offer their blood, sweat and tears to the 101st Airborne and the 82nd Airborne Division,”

Task Force Deguello is named for the taunting music the Mexican army played at the Battle of the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas, the most famous battle of the Texas Revolution. The song Deguello was played during the 13 day siege of the Alamo to let the defenders of Texas freedom know there would be no mercy, no quarter for those who did not surrender.

Pashtuns understand cut throat. They sell bootleg The Alamo DVD’s in bazaars where the Taliban aren’t, so some have seen the movie and heard the sound track. Somehow, my perception is being managed to perceive that this Task Force was not named to influence the Host Nation target audience.

Waiting for Task Force Forlorn Hope, Task Force Kamikaze, and Task Force Fourth Tour — Same Old Shit to show up.

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Filed under PSYOP, The Forgotten War

Civil Defense Forces

NOT tribal militias.  NOT warlord armies.  NOT shady indig PMC’s.

Mobilizing Afghan Militias: Civil Defense Forces Vs. ‘Tribal Militias’

The disintegration of security at the district and village level has eroded public support for the central government and has left many Afghans feeling disillusioned and fearful of the future.

The dismal effort to reform Afghanistan’s National Police force has already bypassed its critical window of opportunity for desirable short-term outcomes. Immediate “shock therapy” measures are now needed to resuscitate Afghanistan’s deteriorating security situation. Part of the shock therapy, according to U.S. military strategists, includes creating and mobilizing civil defense forces (CDF), referred to inanely by the media as “tribal militias,” to fill the void where the central government is no longer a legitimate source of power. Although various forms of militias have existed or have been implemented since 2002, an instrumental criterion for CDF should be the heavy emphasis on static security goals directed at protecting their host community, a key element missing from nearly every other militia program attempted.

Check.

The program should be locally developed, ideally incorporate a mostly volunteer force, and be administered and focused on static security concerns on a grassroots-community level.

Yep.

The implementation of community shuras alongside CDF volunteers will provide the militiamen with focused areas of responsibility that will facilitate smaller, more efficient, and cohesive units that can achieve practical and recognizable results. They will base their decisions on what affects them directly, not objectives derived from the far and often unseen reach of Kabul. Any long-term security objectives will have to be achieved through a collective grass roots effort that will eventually integrate with the ANSF.

Federalism, baby!

CDF puts the responsibility back into the hands of local Afghans and allows them to hold a stake in the future of their village and their nation.

It’s their country.  Surge them.

METT-TC,  and time has run out on the ANP.  They and the ANA aren’t the only eggs in the FID basket anymore.

Lt. Col. Patrick Daniel Jr., commander of the U.S. battalion based in Nangahar province, said many American officers in the field support the idea of allowing responsible Afghan tribal elders to arm themselves. But such an approach carries risks and might not work in every province, Daniel said.

“For a lot of us out here, we recognize that it’s much like how we feel about the Second Amendment and the right to bear arms in the States,” Daniel said. “But we already have tribal disputes that are resolved by violence, and when you give them more weapons, that could mean those disputes could get resolved with those weapons. So it’s a roll of the dice. Still, you can’t rule it out . . . because people here need to protect themselves.”

UPDATE: Afghan militia gears up to fight the Taliban

“This is NOT ‘tribal’ or ‘militia’ – it is community-based security,” the document says, adding: “This is NOT the Afghan National Auxiliary Police.”

UPDATE:   Arming the People Against the Taliban

Would you like to know more?

CLC’s Good, Arbakai Bad from 2008/02/05

No Sons of Afghanistan Need Apply from 2008/03/25

Constructive Criticism from a Counter-Insurgent Supporter from 2008/05/10

What Happened to the Afghan Security Forces? from 2008/05/11

Pashtun Irregulars Disbanded from 2008/05/19

Afghan tribes will not fit into a modern framework from 2008/08/02

We will also work to increase the involvement of Afghan tribes. from 2008/09/09

Tribal Ruff Puffs from 2008/10/16

Good Guy Militias — ‘community based local defence forces’ from 2008/12/15

Wardak Awakening from 2008/12/23

Mangal Tribal Police from 2009/01/14

Afghan Public Protection Force from 2009/02/02

Did ANSO Strategically Leak a Classified Email to HuffPo? from 2009/02/11

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Filed under IW, The Forgotten War

greg54444 — Civilian Irregular Information Operator Extraordinaire

Tracing this outstanding example of 21st Century pamphleteering from Chief Reynolds to Roger Kimball to Texas Rainmaker brings us to  greg54444, a Great American who produced this:

Find a spare 8 minutes and 17 seconds in your life and listen to this.

Every Politically Incorrect American needs to hear this. 

Bloggers — put this video up on your blog.

Commenters — post the link to this video on all the blogs you frequent.

Lurkers — talk this up among your meatspace circle of influence.

Maximum dissemination required.

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Filed under Idea War, Pamphleteers, Resisters

Did ANSO Strategically Leak a Classified Email to HuffPo?

ANSO is the Aghanistan NGO Security Office.  Touchy feely Euroweenie dogooder types aghast at the very idea of armed citizens playing any role in protecting the places they live.  Not entirely useless.  I’ve seen some of their products back when PBIED’s were new there and kidnapping and murdering Indian road builders was all the rage.  ANSO has connectivity with the Bundesnachrichtendienst, or  BND, German Federal Intelligence Service. 

Kamerad probably sees HuffPo as middle of the road.

If this effort to strangle the Afghan Public Protection Force  in the crib is for real, ANSO wants HuffPo readers to know that

  • all recruits must be between 25 and 45, fit, “non-drug using, no criminal record and actually be from the district they are recruited for. There is no overt tribal or ethnic dimension to selection. All recruits will be subjected to … background check.”
  • The citizen militia “will receive 3-week basic training including Values, Ethics, Police Law & Constitution, Use of Force, Human Rights and First Aid.”
  • Each recruited member of the militia “will be equipped with 1 x Vz58 rifle (similar to AK-47), 90 rounds ammunition plus spare magazine. Approximately 180 rounds per (militia member) will be kept as reserve ammunition at District Centre.”
  • each militia unit “will be issued White Ford Ranger Vehicles marked ‘APPF’ and pay will start at “$100 pm rising to max. $250 pm for APPF Captain”
  • “APPF will have no legal powers of arrest and will only detain suspects for handover to uniform police” and their key tasks are listed as:
    • 1. Protect the people
      2. Protect key government facilities
      3. Protect key government personnel
      4. Protect critical infrastructure
      5. Facilitate development
      6. Disrupt insurgent activities

Yep.  Sure sounds like a serious threat to Kabul’s legitimacy, doesn’t it?  If they have to be non-drug using then they are more elite than the Afghan National Army SFC Kobel runs with.  The Vz58 is an interesting choice in a land awash with Kalashnikovs. 

Sounds like fairly straightforward static security to me.  When you want something guarded, you can make soldiers or cops guard it, but tying trained soldiers and police down to static security of fixed sites wastes their talents.  If you want something guarded, hire guards.  Done right this could be a way to bring some Afghan PMC’s under government contract and supervision.

But there are a whole bunch of people who think this is a horrible idea.

Those of you interested in the Afghan Public Protection Force would probably also find this Belmont Club thread enlightening:

Insurgency vs counterinsurgency

Lots of comments on that thread.

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We Need A Politically Incorrect Political Party

We being the Resistance.

The Republican Party deserves to go the way of the Whigs.

“Conservativism” as a political philosophy has been rejected.

What now?

Meme Warfare, ideological warfare, irregular information operations, pamphleteering, samizdat, hactivism, civil disobedience, distributed resistance, rejection, and denial of legitimacy. Offense, not defense. Initiative, not reaction. Aikido, not boxing.

My coalition of entrepreneurial frontiersmen, Cultural Revolutionaries, American Exceptionalists, libertarians, people who want to be left the hell alone, Gulchers, Constitutionalists, Appleseeds, bitter clingers, Christians, and Patriots, plus whiskey’s blue collar men, married women, suburban marrieds, small business owners, independent professionals, and others out of the endless PC-status game and status wars would be a helluva herd of cats.

Individualists are always at a disadvantage when opposing collectivists. We who refuse assimulation must hang together, or we will most assuredly go to the guillotines in the FEMA camps separately.

Update 20091103: Comments from TBC’s The Armies of the Right post

10. Promethea:
If the U.S. gets a new party (which I’m not necessarily recommending), maybe the name should be the Constitutional party. Or maybe the Small Government party.
Nov 2, 2009 – 10:13 pm

55. seanmahair: It’s time for a new party, the “Liberty Party” or the “Common Sense Party” or the “Reality Party”. Of course the last one would get picked up by NBC as a new reality show and then it will be almost as useless as “The Bachelor”.
Nov 3, 2009 – 6:48 am

59. anton: What we need is a party of Constitutional Centerists.
Nov 3, 2009 – 7:15 am

33 Comments

Filed under Idea War, Resisters

Radio In A Box

U.S. troops in Afghanistan use radio to help tune out Taliban

Radio Zormat . . .

. . . 250-watt transmitter . . .

In these 750 square miles, Radio Zormat’s three DJs broadcast in Pashtu to a growing audience hungry for news, music and call-in shows. The U.S. Army uses the station to push its own messages about 10 times a day.

When the Taliban try to go on the air with their radio programming, Radio Zormat pushes into the Taliban frequencies or throws an electronic snowstorm around the insurgents’ broadcasts.

U.S. troops have distributed about 1,500 hand-crank radios (batteries and sunlight can also provide power) that can pick up the station.

A Tactical Psyops Team deployed to Musa Qal’eh with the RIAB equipment.

A Tactical Psyops Team deployed to Musa Qal’eh with the RIAB equipment.

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OEF Logistics — The Hits Just Keep On Coming

Mordida, amigo.

Manas Air Base?  Kyrgyzstan?

Obscure but more important than most Americans realize.  Afghanistan doesn’t have much aviation infrastructure.  Stuff like long, concrete runways thick enough to withstand heavies hitting them at 162 knots, ramp space, hangars, fuel.  We need a place where the big airplanes from the States and Germany can come in, unload, refuel and leave, and the smaller intratheater airlifters can  load up those pallets and carry them down to the war zone.  Not enough ramp space down there to base much.  Karshi-Khanabad Air Base, Uzbekistan served this function  well until they kicked us out in 2005. 

If we let the Russians out-bribe us with the Kyrgyz, where are we going to base our KC-135’s?  Can’t keep Close Air Support up without aerial refueling.  Diego Garcia, Al Udeid and Ali Al Salem are far away.  Troops In Contact won’t have those assets like they used to.  Will GMLRS be able to take up that slack?  The rockets have to be flown in, too.  Does the U. S. Artillery in Afghanistan have GMLRS?

Afghanistan Supply Base May Defect to Russia .  If you watch the video, notice all the anti-submarine warfare aircraft parked at Manas. 

Russia Plays Tricky Game With US Over Kyrgyz Base

US troops ordered out of Kyrgyzstan after Russia deal

UPDATE: Supply Line to Troops in Afghanistan Is East-West Pawn

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Filed under Logistics, The Forgotten War

Militia troops understand that, while our actions cannot stop illegal activities along the border, we can change world perception and national thought concerning homeland and border security.

Roger’s Rangers had rules, and so does the Cochise County Militia.

Their efforts to change world perception and national thought make them Civilian Irregular Information Operators.

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Filed under IW, PSYOP Auxiliaries, Scouts

Fobbits Feeling the Pinch

2260247049_34716e661b

I was a Fobbit for 28 months.  Most of the head count for both OEF and OIF are Fobbits.  FOB’s are much nicer places to live and work than Combat Out Posts, Joint Security Stations, and Vehicle Patrol Bases.  Lots of amenities on a FOB.  Air conditioning, Sealy Posturepedic® matresses on steel bed frames instead of cots, flush toilets in air conditioned latrine trailers instead of one-holers over a cut-down 55-gallon oil drum baking in 120 degree heat, real showers with real shower curtains instead of home-made, kimche-rigged Rube Goldberg contraptions with no privacy whatsoever, sinks to brush your teeth in,  glass mirrors to shave in front of,  clean clothes that somebody else washed for you,  air conditioned Dining Facilities with a huge variety of good things to eat, Post Exchanges, Hajji Shops, Green Bean Coffee shops, Tim Horton’s coffee shops, Harly Davidson dealerships, gyms, weight rooms, exercise equipment, libraries, movies, dance lessons, . . .

You get the idea.  FOB’s are the garrisons that have broken out in the war zone.

Bagram Air Field  is the big city to visiting rubes from outside the wire.  But life on the FOB is not a bowl of cherries.  Most FOB’s are like aircraft carriers dead in the water, and the Fobbits are the crew.  It is not easy for many Fobbits to get outside the wire.  Their jobs require them to be where they can do them, which in most cases is at their work station, or in their shop.  Not that many Bands of Brothers on most FOB’s, either.  You can get real lonely in that crowd.  I am not ashamed of my Fobbithood.  In the hierarchy of military bad assery, civilian contractor Fobbits rate pretty low, but still higher than homesteaders in the rear who never came out at all. 

All of the above serves to introduce US Supplies Shrinking in Afghanistan. I have had that sinking feeling when empty shelves and empty coolers force me to confront just how far out on the limb I am, and how many termites are gnawing away at it.

Remnants of an Army by Elizabeth Butler, portraying William Brydon arriving at the gates of Jalalabad as the only survivor of the 16,500 strong force evacuated from Kabul in January 1842.

Remnants of an Army by Elizabeth Butler, portraying William Brydon arriving at the gates of Jalalabad as the only survivor of the 16,500 strong force evacuated from Kabul in January 1842.

 

UPDATES:  Nato supply line disrupted by bridge blast: Work on alternative road under way

The bridge on a culvert at Ali Masjid was built in the British days and was one of the oldest bridges on the route.

Pakistan: Trucks torched along US supply line

Attackers set fire to at least 10 trucks parked overnight near Landi Kotal

U.S. supply lines pinched in Afghanistan

Local residents cross a river after a bridge was destroyed by militants trying to squeeze U.S. military supply lines in the Pakistani tribal area of Khyber.

Local residents cross a river after a bridge was destroyed by militants trying to squeeze U.S. military supply lines in the Pakistani tribal area of Khyber.

Taliban ploy to bleed Nato becomes apparent

UPDATE: US thinks the unthinkable: asking Iran for help with supply routes

Last week a US Nato commander said that individual member countries could seek supply routes through Iran.

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Filed under Logistics, Morale Operations, The Forgotten War

Afghan Public Protection Force

The ANAP under a different name .
US-funded program to arm Afghan groups begins
Afghanistan creates anti-insurgency force

New Afghan Unit To Police ‘Insecure’ Areas

From BBC:

Labelled the “public Protection force” it is modelled on a traditional tribal group called the Arbaki. From a remote area in Afghanistan, near the Pakistan border, our correspondent, Ian Pannell, brings us the penultimate film in our Moment of Change series.

Watch this.  Notice all the Lee-Enfields and SKS‘s?

UPDATE: US plan to arm militias scares some in Afghanistan

Fahimi was one of several government officials and residents interviewed in Wardak by The Associated Press last week, all of whom expressed skepticism about the plan.

This being AP, a cynic might wonder how hard they looked for anybody who might express optimism about the plan.

Afghan war may enter new phase

Daniel Markey, a senior fellow and south Asia expert at the Council on Foreign Relations, said that basic counterinsurgency lessons from Iraq could be exported to Afghanistan.

“At the very, very basic level, the idea of coordinating — they are calling it community outreach — is probably the only way you could move relatively rapidly to counteract advances made by the Taliban. If you want to say that is the Anbar model, well sure,” Mr. Markey said.

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