Monthly Archives: February 2011

My Take On Pakistan’s Violation of Diplomatic Immunity

GeraldAnthro
@cannoneerno4 sigh I agree, would like to see Ur take on it, Blog? G

The most obvious dependency is Afghanistan. An entire fighting force is in a landlocked theater, dependent on Pakistan for access to the sea. This gives Pakistan enormous leverage over Obama. Moreover, Obama, in betting on Afghanistan, has staked his political credibility on something the Pakistanis can deep-six. For both military and political reasons, the Pakistanis have Washington over a barrel.

So this is going to be a blog post, requested by another blogger, on Twitter, in response to a tweet I put out copying a comment by Richard Fernandez, another blogger, on his own blog.

My take is that Mr. Ten Percent’s suit and sack are not quite as empty as Obama’s. The Pakis would not have had the audacity to jerk President Bush’s chain in such a way. Obama has been measured and found wanting in all the attributes that keep Axis of Evil type’s heads down.

America went to war in Afghanistan to avenge 9-11. Shooting camels with cruise missiles wasn’t going to cut it. Boots on the ground had to go in and kick ass and take names until America’s thirst for Muslim blood was slaked, lest comparatively “innocent” Muslims in America be persecuted by vigilantes.

The deal made with Musharraf back in 2001 was “give us overflight, a SPOD at Karachi, and an MSR and we’ll give you billions of dollars worth of bribes, plus F-16′s with which to threaten the Indians. We’ll let you play us like rubes as long as you keep the LOC open. Alternatively, we could just nuke you back to the Stone Age.” Musharaff took that deal.

I have the sneaking suspicion that the Uzbek dictator Karimov played us like a bass drum when he offered us the Karshi Khanabad Air Base. We would never have done what we did in Afghanistan in 2001 without K2, and getting kicked out of there in 2005 should have been a war stopper, but F-102 pilots CAN DO and nobody else in the chain of command would say “Whoa, Boss, Can’t Do” so we endeavored to persevere with an economy of force side show on a shoe string at the end of a very long and insecure line of communications while the main effort went to Mesopotamia.

Then the main event sputtered to an unsatisfying conclusion that might be victory, the American people in their infinite wisdom replaced their CAN DO Commander-in-Chief with a WE’RE SORRY C-in-C, and the main event now became a land war in Asia.

The way things are going now it is hard to see a happy ending for OEF.
If we can stave off disaster until our regime can be changed everything might turn out all right in the end. Won’t know for sure we won in Afghanistan until we check the number of Afghan nail salons in our strip malls in 2046.

Dr Brydon, Last Survivor of the Kabul Garrison, Arrives at Jellalabad

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Filed under Logistics, strategery, The Forgotten War

Rolling Stone’s Decapitation Campaign Takes Another Head

In the end, there can be only one.

Once is an accident.
Twice is coincidence.
Three times is enemy action.

McCrystal was no accident.
Caldwell is no coincidence.
LTC Holmes, enjoy your new career, sir, and may you live in interesting times.

UPDATE:

Anonymous:
The perpretrators of this mess were FA30 folks(who are coordinators and not trained practitioners of PSYOP) and not MOS 37 (who are PSYOP/MISO folks operating under the authority given by USC Title 10 Section 167j). This whole debacle just goes to show how broken, disjointed, and confusing our Strat Comm, PD, IO, influence, PSYOP, MISO, etc efforts are. Truly sad.

Posted by Anonymous | February 24, 2011 6:22 PM

Information Operations (IO) teams are often multi-disciplined, but they are certainly not endowed with mystical powers that give the ability to control people’s minds. LTC Holmes, the IO officer quoted in the article is either confused, misquoted, unaware of what PSYOP should or should not do, incapable of dealing with the media or all of the above.

Labeling all PSYOP personnel as “propaganda people” is not only unfair and untruthful but also borders on slander. This type of quote surely reveals how little the Rolling Stone really knows about PSYOP in the first place and that they are more interested in readership and web clicks (which of course lead to more advertising money – duh) than in reporting actual news. Posted by Lawrence Dietz at 12:43 PM

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

A Revolution’s Key Event

Some excerpts from Revolution and the Muslim World:

. . . Let’s consider the process of revolution for the moment, beginning by distinguishing a demonstration from an uprising. A demonstration is merely the massing of people making speeches. This can unsettle the regime and set the stage for more serious events, but by itself, it is not significant. Unless the demonstrations are large enough to paralyze a city, they are symbolic events. There have been many demonstrations in the Muslim world that have led nowhere; consider Iran.

It is interesting here to note that the young frequently dominate revolutions like 1848, 1969 and 1989 at first. This is normal. Adults with families and maturity rarely go out on the streets to face guns and tanks. It takes young people to have the courage or lack of judgment to risk their lives in what might be a hopeless cause. However, to succeed, it is vital that at some point other classes of society join them. In Iran, one of the key moments of the 1979 revolution was when the shopkeepers joined young people in the street. A revolution only of the young, as we saw in 1968 for example, rarely succeeds. A revolution requires a broader base than that, and it must go beyond demonstrations. The moment it goes beyond the demonstration is when it confronts troops and police. If the demonstrators disperse, there is no revolution. If they confront the troops and police, and if they carry on even after they are fired on, then you are in a revolutionary phase. Thus, pictures of peaceful demonstrators are not nearly as significant as the media will have you believe, but pictures of demonstrators continuing to hold their ground after being fired on is very significant.

This leads to the key event in the revolution. The revolutionaries cannot defeat armed men. But if those armed men, in whole or part, come over to the revolutionary side, victory is possible. And this is the key event. In Bahrain, the troops fired on demonstrators and killed some. The demonstrators dispersed and then were allowed to demonstrate — with memories of the gunfire fresh. This was a revolution contained. In Egypt, the military and police opposed each other and the military sided with the demonstrators, for complex reasons obviously. Personnel change, if not regime change, was inevitable. In Libya, the military has split wide open.

When that happens, you have reached a branch in the road. If the split in the military is roughly equal and deep, this could lead to civil war. Indeed, one way for a revolution to succeed is to proceed to civil war, turning the demonstrators into an army, so to speak. That’s what Mao did in China. Far more common is for the military to split. If the split creates an overwhelming anti-regime force, this leads to the revolution’s success. Always, the point to look for is thus the police joining with the demonstrators. This happened widely in 1989 but hardly at all in 1968. It happened occasionally in 1848, but the balance was always on the side of the state. Hence, that revolution failed.

It is this act, the military and police coming over to the side of the demonstrators, that makes or breaks a revolution. . . .

Revolution and the Muslim World is republished with permission of STRATFOR.

Bolding added for emphasis.

Revolutions and counterrevolutions occur in the rest of the world as well. The attitudes of the forces of order and their understanding of where their duty lies is of critical importance, and, as energy prices skyrocket, The Greatest Depression deepens, and the social fabric unravels, gun-totin’, badge-wearin’ union members will get plenty of opportunities to harden or soften. Military Support to Civil Authorities will be requested by politicians, granted or denied on the orders of other politicians, and provided by citizen-soldiers or possibly even Regulars, many of whom will have had previous experience in dealing with masses of non-compliant Iraqis and/or Afghans.

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Filed under Idea War, Pamphleteers, PSYOP, Resisters

Civilian Irregular Computer Network Attackers Noticed by @Strategypage

Information Warfare: We Are Not Amused.

China [is] one of many nations taking advantage of the Internet to encourage, or even organize, patriotic Internet users to obtain hacking services. This enables the government to use (often informally) these thousands of hackers to attack targets (foreign or domestic.) These government organizations arrange training and mentoring to improve the skills of group members. Turkey has over 45,000 of hackers organized this way, Saudi Arabia has over 100,000, Iraq has over 40,000, Russia over 100,000 and China, over 400,000. While many of these Cyber Warriors are rank amateurs, even the least skilled can be given simple tasks. And out of their ranks will emerge more skilled hackers, who can do some real damage. These hacker militias have also led to the use of mercenary hacker groups, who will go looking for specific secrets, for a price. Chinese companies are apparently major users of such services, judging from the pattern of recent hacking activity, and the fact that Chinese firms don’t have to fear prosecution for using such methods.

The U.S. has one of the largest such informal militias, but there has been little government involvement. That is changing. The U.S. Department of Defense, increasingly under hacker attack, is now organizing to fight back, sort of. Taking a page from the corporate playbook, the Pentagon is sending off many of its programmers and Internet engineers to take classes in how to hack into the Pentagon. Not just the Pentagon, but any corporate, or private, network. It’s long been common for Internet security personnel to test their defenses by attacking them. Some “white hat hackers” (as opposed to the evil “black hat hackers”) made a very good living selling their attack skills, to reveal flaws, or confirm defenses. Seven years ago, this was standardized with the establishment of the EC (E Commerce Consultants) Council, which certified who were known and qualified white hat hackers. This made it easier for white hats to get work, and for companies to find qualified, and trustworthy, hackers to help with network security. Now the Department of Defense is paying to get members of its Internet security staff certified as white hats, or at least trained to be able to do what the black hats do, or recognize it. While many in the Department of Defense have been calling for a more attack-minded posture, when it comes to those who are constantly attacking Pentagon networks, the best that can be done right now is to train more insiders to think, and operate, like outsiders.

Sending a GS-11 dues paying member of the AFGE, AFL-CIO, off to hacker school ought to give them mad skilz, fer sure.

The Regulars recruit highly intelligent, physically fit, patriotic young people in to the Armed Forces. The recruiting standards are so high few young Americans can meet them. The stereotypical fat, dope-smoking, basement-dwelling script kiddie with Cheeto-stained fingers can’t be turned into a presentable facsimile of a soldier, sailor, airman or Marine in a reasonable amount of time in this all-volunteer Politically Correct era, and in this economy the Regulars’ ability to recruit credentialed IT professionals in to the Federal Civil Service is only as good as the budget the Republican Congress appropriates for them. That also impacts the Regular’s ability to hire Civilian Irregular Information Auxiliaries from Private Military Contractors.

Regular .gov/.mil information assurers/computer network defenders/information operators can’t be given enough autonomy from the bureaucracy to compete with all the cyber criminals and anti-American cyber patriots attacking our networks. The Bad Guys will always be more opportunistic, flexible, adaptable and imaginative than Regular Good Guys will ever be allowed to be.

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Filed under CNA, Info Warriors, IW

Cyberwar PsyOps: e-Activism and Social Media – SC Magazine US

An Amnesty International e-activist is an individual who uses information and communication tools – such as mobile phones, blogs, emails or social networking sites – to act for human rights. He or she may also organize, mobilize and inspire online communities of individuals to take action for human rights.

via Cyberwar PsyOps: e-Activism and Social Media – SC Magazine US.

Amnesty International probably would not recognize individuals who used information and communication tools – such as mobile phones, blogs, emails or social networking sites — to generate support for Operation Iraqi Freedom as having acted in support of the human rights of Iraqis persecuted by Saddam Hussein, his Former Regime Elements, Al Qaeda in Mesopotamia, and the Iranian Quds Force-backed Shiite militias. 

American and Coalition soldiers, Marines, airmen and sailors were also human and had some rights  not to be lied about, slandered, libeled, misrepresented or similarly disrespected, and Counter Insurgent Supportive e-activists organized, mobilized and inspired online communities of milbloggers to take action.

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Filed under Idea War, Info Warriors, IW, PSYOP, PSYOP Auxiliaries

The Future of MISO SWJ Blog

The Future of MISO SWJ Blog.

My perception is being managed to make me think that the rebranding of Psychological Operations as Military Information Support Operations is a Charlie Foxtrot.

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Filed under PSYOP

Cyberwar PsyOps: #Tunisia, #Egypt: Regimes Deposed by Twitter? – SC Magazine US

Cyberwar PsyOps: #Tunisia, #Egypt: Regimes Deposed by Twitter? – SC Magazine US.

BDA: Insider Threat to Online Activists

Cyberespionage/sabotage also played a part. One such activist, Th3J35t3r, raised awareness of the matter in a definitive manner. DDoS attack tools were compromised by this enterprising cyber minuteman, known as Th3J35t3r – The Jester, who sabotaged the preferred tool of the Anonymous crowd. Global activists were affected: arrests made in the UK and U.S. may have been aided by the broken DDoS tool.

BDA: Since establishing attribution is the single Achilles heel of any cyber attack, the risk factor was raised. The true BDA remains in the trust elements which were broken within that organization. More at Cyberwarfare Roshambo: th3j35t3r Profiled.

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Filed under PSYOP