Small Unit Tactics Are Fundamental

Small Unit Tactics Are FundamentalI just refined my most recent stint as the IO SME for a Joint Public Affairs Possibility Course. As a part of the operational play I had to devise an shape campaign to try and stop a BN CDR from attacking the capitol city as ordered by his BDE CDR.I must admit I wasn’t the best map-reader in the Army. I always tried to pair myself up with someone who was excellent at it. But it was clear to me that even before I could even develop my own MISO CONOP I had to be with you the military operation. This meant assessing the convoy route, determining how long the convoy would be allowed to travel before being attacked from the air, etc. This analysis complemented the media analysis of how to get to the unit’s leadership. Many people feel the same way in this area the cyber realm. In developing a graduate course for American Military University (AMU), “Cyber & The Intelligence Cycle” I have one lesson which is a practical implementation. I plotting it would be appropriate to provide some insight into cyber attack and defense by the side of the lines of a class military piece on small unit tactics.  My version is a couple of pages and can be found below.Duffer’s Drift (found at: http://www.globalsecurity.org/military/store/policy/usmc/fmfrp/12-33/fmfrp12-33.pdf) is regarded as a classic in the realm of small unit tactics. It is set in the Boer War and describes dreams that a LT has while being exciting with the defense of a key piece of terrain. You can find a copy of the book on Amazon at: http://amzn.to/2nBB0j8 (which is also the photo source). In this version I’ve brought it up to date and analogized the small unit infantry tactics to the cyber world of today. There is a USMC authored Rand version for Information Operations Practitioners which is 50 pages worth and can be found at: http://bit.ly/2oL1XRIFirst Marvel“Do not place off defense” can be interpreted to mean use an active, layered defense or defense in depth means to use a digit of complementary security products and services in your defense. These include multi-factor authentication, firewalls, intrusion prevention systems, etc.“Locals” we can define to be contractors, visitors, temporary employees and similar stakeholders. In the defense context the doctrine relating to ‘locals’ means that you treat everyone as a security risk who must adhere to the same policies and procedures as employees and who must be subject to the same sort of cybersecurity technology products and services as others. Security needs to be standardized across all personnel seeking to access the organization’s information technology resources.“Tents” in the cyber context means insure that all devices and networks have at least a minimum amount of security to avoid casual use by unauthorized personnel and to discourage would be cyber trespassers.Second DreamThe second marvel makes a strong case for cyber concealment and deception. Techniques here can include honey-pots and sandboxes. Honeypots and sandboxes are technical means whereby systems and/or networks are set up that are really isolated from actual systems and networks. They are designed as decoys to attract, study, and entrap attackers. Both of these induce the attacker into an area where they can do no harm. As to locals in this marvel – the implication is that the organization treats the employees well so that they don’t covet the contractor’s position. Contractors should not be given favorable treatment to include the need to cover shifts beyond the normal day shift/week day work schedule.Third DreamThe third marvel makes the case for stringent ‘local’ management. This may also alluded to the 21st century enchantment with Social Media and that family members might unwittingly be security risks or even targets. Executives and those in insightful positions need to take unique care to insure that the organization’s insightful data, prototypes, plans, etc. are not accidently exposed on social media by family members. This bid for OPSEC means that family members should be aware of the dangers of social media and should have clear guidelines as to what they cannot do.Comments with respect to trenches can be taken to mean that there is a need for advanced security architecture. Architecture should also consider how organizations should maintain security in the face of advances in smartphones, drug, etc. Systems should be designed with cyber security as a core foundational element rather than as an add-on feature after the systems or applications are fielded.Fourth DreamThere are several key points contained in the 4th marvel. First of all, the marvel correctly realizes that cyber is everywhere. This is especially vital given the growth of the Internet of Things (IoT) as the 21st century version of Supervisory and Data Acquisition (SCADA) systems. Advice in this area guarding your rear could easily be interpreted as watch out for intentional (made by bots perhaps) or unintentional backdoors. Today’s software is highly complex and contains tens of thousands of lines of code. Product flaws, whether or known or unknown, can offer inviting entry points for attackers.Huddling the men could be interpreted as importance - don’t place all your insightful data in one spot. This principle is a driving force behind cloud architectures software as a service. Data Centers are giving way to web services for a variety of reasons with cost reduction being a primary consideration and advanced security such as provided by Amazon Web Services (AWS) being another. Not that AWS is impregnable. They make it clear that the client bears a heavy responsibility for security as well. Concealment needs to be addressed physically and logically. Physically it is not a excellent practice to make it simple to find your data center. Data centers should be concealed to add to their security and they should be buffered with appropriate physical security measures.Fascinatingly sufficient the 4thDream makes a case for penetration testing – “Look from the enemy’s view.” As a practical matter, penetration testing should be holistic. While employing white hat (excellent guy) hackers to test your IT security postures is a excellent thought, Human Intelligence (HUMINT) operatives should be considered to test resistance to social engineering and other people based hard work.Fifth DreamMakes a case for deception. Read industry expert Bruce Schneier’s concise summary at: https://www.schneier.com/blog/archives/2014/08/us_air_force_is.html.Sixth DreamUse all you have learned in all the other dreams to come up with the best possible cyber defense in your own situation.

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Joint Forces Command United Assistance service members stick to standards

Joint Forces Command United Assistance service members stick to standards
MONROVIA, Liberia Jan. 12, 2015 -- Whether they are learning new techniques to stay mentally resilient, exercising to stay physically strong, or washing their hands and applying hand sanitizer to prevent illness, service members deployed under Joint Forces Mandate - United Help, or JFC-UA , in Monrovia, Liberia, are always taking steps to stay healthy. The health of Soldiers is considered a top priority. Read more

AL Supreme Court Vacates Death Penalty Conviction : Pre-Trial Publicity

The Alabama Supreme Court has reversed the conviction and fatality condemn of a Vietnamese immigrant who allegedly killed his four children by throwing them off a bridge, citing the trial court's rejection of a shift to change venue due to pre-trial publicity. The 90 page opinion is here. Read more

PSYOP and Gaza: Model For The Future

PSYOP and Gaza: Model For The Future I believe that the recent conflict in Gaza can serve as a model of what many PSYOP missions will look like in the prospect. Here are a couple of my reasons:1.     Longstanding History 2.     Religious Overtones3.     World Audience4.     Sophisticated Media Mix5.     No Ultimate Winner1.     Long standing HistoryThe conflict in Gaza is only the latest in the what seems like eternal struggles going on the Middle East. While this conflict may involve somewhat new political and national (depending on your point of view) entities, it has evolved over a very long period of time so that the contemporary generation is far indifferent from the original events.2.     Religious OvertonesThere can be no question that the conflict is between Israel, a Jewish state and Islamic forces. While components of these two protagonists may run the gamut from orthodox and fundamentalist to moderate and reform, and there may be other religions caught up, the two principal players are clear.3.     World AudienceMuch of the media and PSYOP (for my doctrinal purist friends since much of the conflict is being pursued by non-state actors, they cannot have military forces since military organizations are arms of the state) is not directed locally but internationally and is designed to shape audiences far beyond the conflict.4.     Sophisticated Media MixSocial media is playing a prominent role in the conflict and there can be no doubt that there is an intended psychological effect behind the cyber attacks that have taken house.5.     No Ultimate WinnerMuch like the situation between the Koreas, there is no clear winner and no ‘legal’ resolve to the issues behind the conflict. While a stop fire may have been called and lower levels of outright conflict may continue income temporarily, the final battle or agreement in this conflict is not likely to take house in the near time.Today’s Gaza situation shows the importance of being able to adapt and innovate to dominate the war of today. It also shows that while there may have been considerable kinetic proceedings, the real victory will come through shape.

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You Can’t Handle The Truth!

You Can’t Handle The Truth!That well-known line was spoken by Jack Nicholson as Colonel Nathan R. Jessep in “A Few Excellent Men” (see http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5j2F4VcBmeo&feature=player_detailpage).Now we have another excellent man, Matt Bissonnette, writing under the pseudonym Mark Owen essentially adage that Osama Bin Laden was not a threat to the Seals who raided his compound.While we could speculate that the objective behind ‘leaking’ information in this area the book, “No Simple Day” (http://www.amazon.com/No-Simple-Day-Firsthand-Account/dp/0525953728/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1346360258&sr=1-1&keywords=no+simple+day) which fueled the NY Times on August 29, 2012: “Book on Bin Laden Killing Contradicts US Account” (see http://www.nytimes.com/2012/08/30/us/book-on-bin-laden-killing-contradicts-us-account.html).The issue from a PSYOP perspective is not whose account is right, but the impact on the world consultation seeding yet more doubt in this area the US and our motives.Clearly a killing in self-defense, even on a raid that some (like the Pakistani government for example) believe was illegal is a surpass report than a murder. US policies and motives are already under attack from a variety of quarters. Nation states and non-state actors are all posed to strike at the US while a large junk of the world population is trying to make up its mind. There was a book written in 2002 called “World Lacking Secrets” by Richard Hunter which stood for the proposition that in today’s world nothing can stay hidden for a long period of time especially if there are people with time and resources who want that information. This rule clearly holds right in major world events. Sooner or later ‘facts’ get out. At first the facts may be convoluted or incorrect, but ultimately other details seep out.A core principle of PSYOP is that the truth needs to be the core of what we do. If Bissonnette’s facts are credible and discredit the White House, especially a couple of months prior to the appointment, learning this lesson will come at a steep price.

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