Does Video Quality Really Matter?

Does Video Quality Really Matter?One of my favorite military sources, “Task & Purpose” featured an article “North Korea Blasts US Arsenal in Fresh Propaganda Video with TerribleGraphics” (see: http://taskandpurpose.com/north-korea-blasts-us-arsenal-fresh-propaganda-video-terrible-graphics/?utm_source=newsletter&utm_medium=send by e-mail&utm_campaign=tp-today&utm_content=button; which is the photo source.) You can also read in this area the video in the Japan Times at: http://www.japantimes.co.jp/news/2017/03/20/asia-pacific/north-korean-state-run-propaganda-website-depicts-u-s-aircraft-carrier-bomber-engulfed-flames/#.WNMNio61ufXYou can find the nearly three minute video at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=70MTvxFzZ-Y. Sorry to say it’s in Korean with no subtitles, a likely intelligence indicator of who the target consultation for the video is. After watching the sepia toned mélange of photos and clips, it seems to me that the consultation is like to be North Koreans.While not being able to be with you the dialogue, it seems to me that the intent of the video is to convince the view that the North Koreans will prevail hostile to the meagre weapons of the decadent West. While the quality is supposed to be the same as ‘professional’ news organizations, it would not likely pass for a product from an advanced news agency such as the BBC or US outlets.Does that matter?In my opinion, it really doesn’t matter. The North Korean viewing public is a captive consultation and likely has lower standards in terms of video production that those outside the country who have access to other news sources.Another principle at work here is that it is harder to change someone’s mind than it is to reinforce an existing opinion.  North Koreans have been conditioned to acknowledge government information as truth for generations so that the government can control the content and flow of information that their citizens receive.The same work product would likely have small effect on Western Viewers who are able to explore a variety of different sources including www.defense.govand military defense contractors such as http://www.lockheedmartin.com/ or their competitors such as: BAE Systems, Boeing, Cassidian (Airbus Military), Dassault Assemble, Eurofighter Jagdflugzeug GmbH, Finmeccanica, General Dynamics, Northrop Grumman, Panavia Aircraft GmbH, Raytheon, and SAAB AB.Reader feedback welcome as always.

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If MI is Deploying A Bde HQ – What About PSYOP/MISO?

If MI is Deploying A Bde HQ – What About PSYOP/MISO?I knew I was under the gun to post something today and was concerned I couldn’t find anything of interest until I found this piece of ‘news’. On March 10, 2017 the Fayetteville (NC) Observer published an article headed “Military Intelligence soldiers head to Afghanistan” (see: http://www.fayobserver.com/news/20170309/military-intelligence-soldiers-head-to-afghanistan; which is also the photo source). The article noted: “The brigade will assume the mission of Task Force Observe, Detect, Identify and Neutralize (ODIN), which is an Army aviation battalion chartered in 2006 to conduct reconnaissance, surveillance and target acquisition operations to defeat the threat of improvised explosive devices.The battalion has been used to “win back the roads,” by conducting persistent missions over at-risk areas for improvised explosive devices, according to the Army.” According to the Bde’s website “We are the Army’s Intelligence BDE of choice; providing rapidly deployable, multi-discipline help tailored to the warfighter. The Lightning BDE’s core tenant is P.R.I.D.E.-Professional, Ready, Innovative, Dedicated, and Effective.” (source: https://www.bragg.army.mil/index.php/units-tenants/xviii-airborne-co/525th-expeditionary-military-intelligence-brigade)On March 15, 2017 Task and Purpose reported that “US Draws Up Plans For 1,000 More Troops in Syria as Raqqa Siege Looms (see: http://taskandpurpose.com/us-draws-plans-1000-troops-syria-raqqa-siege-looms/; source for photo at left.)There have also been calls for bolstering US Troops in Afghanistan as featured in the NY Times of February 9, 2017 (“U.S. General Seeks ‘a Few Thousand’ More Troops in Afghanistan”, https://www.nytimes.com/2017/02/09/us/politics/us-afghanistan-troops.html?_r=0; photo source as well.)I cannot comment on whether all of these developments are related, but, it does seem sweet clear that the OpTempo is picking up yet again. Given the contemporary MISO Force strategy wherein the USAR PSYOP Groups help ‘the Huge Army” and the active MISO Force supports Unique Operations Forces this can only mean more proceedings for both.The MISO community is a small one and any OpTempo increase impacts the entire community.  This puts more pressure on the Reserve Force whose members have deployed extensively to Iraq and Afghanistan. These deployments have place pressure on families that may translate into a reduced Reserve force as family members are fatigued with prolonged absences and reenlistments decline preciptiously.From a career perspective, even though Reserve soldiers have the protection of the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act of 1994 (USERRA) many careers have been torpedoed by continual absences that are often not offset by comparable increases in health care and pension benefits.Experience has shown that dominating the shape battlefield is the key to long-term victories. Iraq has clearly shown that failure to work with the country’s population and prepare them to help rebuild their will lead to yet more conflict.Notwithstanding the impact on the Force, it would seem that America’s longest war in Afghanistan is nowhere close to ending. One wonders if we have learned our lessons from both Iraq and Afghanistan and if contemporary our military strategy is putting as much emphasis on shape combat as it seems to be on military operations and training.Failure to help mature the media landscape to help foster peace and prosperity in Afghanistan and Iraq may turn out to be more catastrophic in the long run than any lapse in military expertise. 

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Disinformation and Fake News Giving Propaganda A Good Name

Disinformation and Fake News Giving Propaganda A Good Name On March 2, 2017 the Brookings Institute ran an article “Disinformation campaigns target tech-enabled citizen journalists” (see: https://www.brookings.edu/blog/techtank/2017/03/02/disinformation-campaigns-target-tech-enabled-citizen-journalists/?utm_campaign=Brookings%20Brief&utm_source=hs_email&utm_medium=send by e-mail&utm_content=43768809which is also the photo source).The article starts out talking in this area how today’s technology is ubiquitous and plentiful. Consequently nearly anyone with a smartphone can become a crusading reporter and expose wrongdoing. This can be especially problematic in countries where governments want to control their citizen’s perception of events. The article talks in this area a “troll factory’ where disinformation artists are paid to alter the perceptions of citizens by pumping “Out fake information in hard work to obfuscate Russian war crimes in Ukraine and Syria and retaliate hostile to Western investigators.Several disinformation techniques are noted and touched upon.All of this points to the need for more emphasis on countering disinformation hard work. Given the nature of disinformation and the sheer digit of participants, perhaps the approach should be a very unPSYOP one – that is use technical measures. If the Internet of Things (IoT) could be harnessed by criminals to launch Denial of Service attacks (see: https://arstechnica.com/security/2016/10/double-dip-internet-of-things-botnet-attack-felt-across-the-internet/for example), why couldn’t the same technique be employed as a disinformation jammer?I’ll leave that one to your imagination and your comments.

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UAVs – The New Commando Solo?

UAVs – The New Commando Solo?I had a bit of writer’s block and a dearth of material for this week’s posting so I chose to just surf around for a while and see what I could come up with. I started with one of the darlings of today’s battlefield – the UAV. For background I found: “Making The Most of New UAV Capabilities in Video/Announce Product” (see: http://www.creativeplanetnetwork.com/news/expertise/making-most-new-uav-capabilities-videobroadcast-production/610167; which is also a photo source).The article was published in June 2015. Not exactly ancient, but not exactly new by Internet standards either. The article provides facts and insights into today’s broadcasting technology and urges the entertainment industry to learn how to use UAVs in their work.UAVs and MISO are made for each other.  1.     PSYOP/MISO in Denied AreasIt seems to me that we will always need a need to project PSYOP/MISO announce products into denied areas. The areas may be denied because of the tactical situation the geography or because of a natural or man-made disaster.2.     MSIO Specific IntelligenceUAVs could be used to recon a new AO from a PSYOP/MISO perspective. This would include obtaining imagery of billboards, posters and graffiti. It could also include surveying an urban area to determine the density of satellite dishes and traditional TV antennas. 3.     Different PlatformsIf the contemporary media landscape is unsuitable or uncooperative UAVs might be able to offer flexibility in delivering the message to the target consultation employing an different transmission schema.4.     Psychological Act (PSYACT) PossibilitiesThe Killer is a incredible weapons system. You can find the official US Air Force fact sheet at: http://www.af.mil/AboutUs/FactSheets/Spectacle/tabid/224/Article/104469/mq-1b-killer.aspx(also a photo source). While formerly used for surveillance and reconnaissance, the Hellfire Missile equipped UAV has been credited with a digit of very successful terrorist attacks. Consequently a small creativity can help control the presence of even an unarmed UAV as a Psychological Act.Of course the AO’s ROE will impact the use of UAVs and an emerging body of law concerning them, especially their impact on privacy may also factor into their use.In any event, the UAV will undoubtedly emerge as an effective shape weapon as it has in its previous missions. Will they replace Commando Solo? At this point it is highly unlikely, but in fairness, we are now only scratching the surface of their potential.

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