Monthly Archives: July 2009

Private Military Company Recruiting Mercenary Cyber Warriors

Contractor Seeks ‘Cyber Warriors’ to Help Defend U.S.

National cybersecurity is a hugely growing field, with the crude but effective shutdown of U.S. and South Korean government Web sites over July 4 weekend coming as the latest example of our weaknesses.

A report released just this past Wednesday found that the federal government is woefully behind in cybersecurity, with the lack of trained personnel the biggest problem.

Cyber Warriors Wanted

  • Information Operations/Information Assurance
  • Software engineers/developers – JAVA/J2EE/, JAVA/XML, C++
  • FPGA expertise
  • Software security engineers
  • Test engineers
  • Software testers
  • Systems administrators – Linux, Solaris, Unix, Red Hat, VMware (Certifications are preferred)
  • Systems engineers – CNO, CNA, CNE, NOC, Requirements management
  • NOC is Network Operations Center. Had to look that up.

    How many military Information Operations can be conducted without the involvement of non-military information operators?   And of those non-military information operators, how many are Government Employees?

    H/T: Bill Austin

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    Filed under CNA, CND, IA, Info Warriors, IW

    Too soon to tell how well the APPF is working in Wardak province

    Balint Szlanko is embedded with 10th Mountain in Wardak and Logar.

    Excerpt:

    The main problem at this stage is that it seems very difficult to get the Pashtuns, the dominant ethnic group of Afghanistan and the main support base of the Taliban, to join. No Afghan regime is going to be stable without them, which explains the problems faced by Kabul today. Out of the 250 or so watchmen in Jalrez, for instance, no more than 50 are Pashtun.

    Wardak has Pashtuns, Hazaras and Tajiks. Last April the Pashtuns in Zayawalat village of Jalrez district didn’t send any young men for Guardian training. The Armed Opposition Groups, of which the Taliban are merely the most famous, are almost all Pashtun, 90-95%.

    Pashtun Armed Supportive Groups would be right handy.

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    Filed under IW, The Forgotten War

    We know the country no longer has the guts to do hard things

    A commenter calling himself Grandpa on a thread at American Thinker entitled Are Men Obsolete?  has summarized what the Culture War is all about:

    Posted by: Grandpa
    Jul 22, 12:45 AM

    ——————————————————————————–

    Well there are a few of us left but we’re a dying breed.

    I suspect we are all middle aged or older…and old school to the core. Actually, many of us know our inner child. The difference between us and the metrosexuals is that we don’t dwell there but for private time with our wives, our kids, our grandkids, the neighbor’s grandkids and our dogs (no frigging cats dammit).

    I’d venture to say most of us live well between the coasts. Men that wear sandals don’t generally qualify: leaving feet exposed to danger is stupid. You can’t fight or run.

    All the ones I know have an unshakable grasp on reality. That’s a big deal. I respect dreamers but I don’t want one steering the ship-of-state.

    In some ways, our life choices were easy. We didn’t suffer the dilemma of working vs. staying at home.

    Old school guys generally do something real to earn their keep. I’m an engineer…and a pilot…and a farmer. Just fact. I’ve never been a soldier and I regret that. I hold real soldiers in the highest esteem.

    Those of us that are really hard core don’t watch professional sports anymore. Too many idiot millionaires and the so called teams have different players every year. Screw that.

    Country music still has a melody so we might listen to it. Just about everything else that passes for music isn’t…except some old rock ‘n roll. Regardless, we spend a lot of time thinking and for that, silence is best.

    We have an incredible sense of duty…and loyalty…and fidelity. We love our country for what it once was and what it might again be. That said, I think a lot of us feel, rightly or wrongly, that the sacrifices we made toward building our nation have been betrayed. We actually wanted to leave things better than we found them….for our kids and yours. Really.

    We HATE friggin’ liars and the world is full of them. That’s why we look cranky.

    We hate the very concept of patience. Patience sucks. Show me a patient guy and I’ll show you someone (in sandals) that hasn’t accomplished crap.

    We love our girls….our mothers, our wives, our daughters and our granddaughters. We don’t always understand them but we know we are loved back. We love our sons and pray they might pick up enough of Dad’s old school ways to survive in a tough world. We worry about the idiot neighbor kid and how he’ll survive his parents.

    We actually pray from time to time…real prayers, fervent prayers…but we’re not given to bothering God all that much.

    We believe in tattered ideas like honor, shame, self-respect and personal responsibility. We’ve almost always played by the rules and the times that we didn’t haunt us.

    We believed in multiculturalism long before it became a fad: anyone could earn our respect. On the other hand, no one got it for free (and they still don’t).

    A lot of us are deeply troubled these days. We know the country no longer has the guts to do hard things. We wonder if it ever will again. Ike, McArthur, Patton, Nimitz, Rickover….is anyone filling their shoes? Will we ever again fight a war to win? If John Kennedy’s challenge were made today, could we muster the engineers, physicists, pilots, machinists and electricians needed to put man on the moon in less than 10 years? Who would land at Normandy?

    I really do hope that some of our sons got a case of “old school” that can’t be cured. I worry about that.

    I’m tracking pretty closely with Grandpa.

    2 Comments

    Filed under Idea War, Resisters

    Chipmunkification

    Don’t listen to Rush Limbaugh as much as I used to, but I caught him today, and heard his sped up sound bites from the President, the Speaker of the House, and the chairman of the House Financial Services Committee. 

    . . . to illustrate the hurry that Obama and Pelosi are in, I directed today that all audio sound bites about health care from Obama and Pelosi be speeded up, not quite to chipmunk speed.  

    After listening to these four, I myself personally think they’re much more palatable to listen to.  They go by quicker, they don’t sound as offensive, and it doesn’t irritate me as much as listening to them at regular speed.

    Outstanding employment of weaponized ridicule.  Works great on talk radio.  Pisses Lefies off.  And they are much easier to listen to that way.

    1 Comment

    Filed under Idea War, Morale Operations

    Civilian Irregular Communications

    Radio Free America of the People

    genlee

    2 Comments

    Filed under Resisters

    Jalrez Jezailchis Judged

    Some like ’em.  Some don’t.

    Can Afghanistan’s New “Guardian” Militia Restore Security in the Provinces?

    Meanwhile, somebody took out the ANP District Chief with an IED the other day.

    Things may be getting better in Jalrez. Or not.

    The AP3 seem to me like a combination of Puffs and CIDG and Rhodesian Guard Force, but instead of being under military command they are ostensibly Interior Ministry assets under ANP command.

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    Filed under IW

    That nasty word “propaganda”

    Excerpted without permission from Colonel G. L. Lamborn’s piece in Small Wars Journal, entitled The People in Arms
    A Practitioner’s Guide to Understanding Insurgency and Dealing with it Effectively

    It should be understood that the term “propaganda” comes from the Latin word propagare,to propagate, propound or spread. It has acquired its negative flavor in the twentieth century when the word took on a sinister, evil connotation – perhaps because of its association with Nazi or Communist political causes. In the American popular mind, “propaganda” is associated with clever lies, tricks, slander, and deception. The idea of persuasion, especially persuasion based on truth, is seldom considered.

    The irony is that the term “propaganda” was first coined by the Roman Catholic Church in 1622 in its Sacred Congregation for Propagating the Faith  (Sacra Congregatio de Propaganda Fide.) The object of this body was to propound, spread, or promote Catholic doctrine to counter or block what the Roman Catholic Church viewed as the heretical (“wrong”) teaching by Lutherans, Calvinists and others in northern and central Europe. Such heretical teachings would not have disturbed the Catholic Church much, but for the fact that the spread of Lutheranism and Calvinism was seriously eroding the Church’s political position in Europe – and costing it a lot of lost revenue.

    Something had to be done, and the Church’s response (apart from the Inquisition) was the development of a sophisticated campaign to prevent the spread of Protestant doctrines and, where possible, to win back souls to Rome. It must be confessed that this effort met with remarkable success – quite apart from the use of armed force.

     
    The hypocrisy of the American people and government concerning propaganda is only too obvious. While condemning “propaganda,” American political parties and pressure groups regularly spend hundreds of millions of dollars shaping the views of the American voter and motivating him or her to support certain candidates and programs and to oppose others. By the same token, American advertising is a multi-billion dollar industry and has as its purpose the persuasion of the American consumer that one brand of toothpaste is far superior to all others and therefore only it is worthy of purchase.

    If propaganda is central to the way that we form the political and economic opinions of our own citizens – and it is – then it stands to reason that such efforts could be put to productive use abroad. Domestic propaganda often is sophisticated and sometimes subtle, but much of it is effective. Elections often are decided by the effective use of persuasive techniques with groups of voters. Corporate sales rise or fall depending upon the public’s opinion of its products, and therefore the number of sales made.

    A leading theorist and observer of propaganda in the twentieth century was Jacques Ellul, a former Marxist turned Catholic theologian and scholar.  Ellul’s work, Propaganda: the Formation of Men’s Attitudes is so profound that it merits reading cover-to-cover.  But two of Ellul’s central observations are useful here to illustrate how the Taliban – or any political group – can form mass opinions and put them to good use:

    To the extent that man needs justifications, propaganda provides them. But whereas his ordinary justifications are fragile and may always be open to doubts, those furnished by propaganda are irrefutable and solid. The individual believes them and considers them to be eternal truths. He can throw off all sense of guilt; he loses all feeling for the harm he might do….19

    The great force of propaganda lies in giving modern man all-embracing, simple explanations and massive, doctrinal causes, without which he could not live with the news. Man is doubly reassured by propaganda: first, because it tells him the reasons behind the developments which unfold, and second, because it promises a solution for all the problems that arise, which would otherwise seem insoluble. 20

    In the hands of a Taliban mullah capable of quoting Scripture (whether authentic excerpts taken from the Holy Qur’an or, in many cases, “sayings” of highly dubious Scriptural authenticity) poorly educated men, especially those who are also seeking their next meal, are easily recruited and organized into a self-sustaining base of support. It is here, at the most basic level of the mosque or madrassa that the Taliban builds its power. The madrassas and mullahs are the political mobilization equivalents of Mao’s resistance schools and senior cadres.

    Let us consider for a moment what was done by a “transformational” insurgency in an earlier day. Even before Mao Tse-tung had risen to leadership of the Chinese Communist Party and prominence, the Chinese were skilled organizers. A Nationalist report from 1928 had the following to say about an earlier leader’s organizational work:

    The reason the Communist Party has such a deeply rooted and firm foundation at Anyuan is because in the past the Communists carried out comprehensive ‘red education’ at Anyuan. Six or seven years ago the Anyuan workers were all country bumpkins…Not one of them could stand up at a meeting and say a word, let alone deliver a speech. Still less had any of them ever heard of organizing anything. It was only after the Communist bandit Li Lisan went to Anyuan…that the knowledge of how to organize became widespread. Now workers were speaking up at public meetings and even giving lectures! The Communists at Anyuan greatly valued education but they did not mechanically evangelize Communism like a missionary cramming a religious belief into a worker’s head. At first they focused on literacy and basic knowledge. Every week they convened lectures as well as workers’ debate societies and study groups.21

    Now we must look at our own efforts and those of our allies in the contemporary era. If we seek for the reasons why the Taliban seems resurgent, and is indeed slowly extending its reach into parts of Afghanistan – and Pakistan – from which it was expelled only a few years ago, it is not because of its superior weaponry. The Taliban does not, as yet, have an air force, and “command of the sea” is hardly an issue. Even its ability to use basic infantry weapons is not up to NATO standards. Yet most objective observers agree that the Taliban is gaining strength in southern Afghanistan, the Federally Administered Tribal Areas {FATA} of Pakistan, and in other districts of both countries. Why is this
    so?

    The answer can only reside in one aspect of the insurgency – an aspect largely ignored by the regime in Kabul and myopically not even seen in Washington. The answer is that the Taliban, though a fundamentally different kind of insurgency from that of the Chinese a
    half century ago, have taken a leaf out of Mao’s handbook as relates to political warfare and are playing that card as a trump. And despite its very weak hand, the Taliban is still beating Kabul and its Western allies in the political warfare game. It has been given this great opening by the obvious flaws of the Kabul regime and the mistakes of the allies.
    The political warfare response from the Western – Afghan side? Deafening silence. To
    revisit Jean Monnet: “People will only fight for what is inside them and what they believe, and we must give them something to believe.”

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    Filed under Idea War, PSYOP