“The Truth” – You Can Make Fun of the Truth!

“The Truth” – You Can Make Fun of the Truth! With apologies to Jack Nicholson, AKA COL Jessup, USMC (see: http://bit.ly/2pyEKCd), sometimes you help people handle the truth through fiction and even satire. Duffleblog.com is in my opinion, one of the more acerbic and generally accurate satirical military sources. But, I’m often reluctant to repost or ‘Like’ their posts because candidly I reckon some people who are not familiar with the military will take the posting as ‘real’ rather than the satire it is.They outdid themselves with “Pentagon Makes New Meme Combat Center to Counter Online Propaganda” (see: http://bit.ly/2qUGxXb, which is also the photo source). First of all the dateline is Fayetteville, NC the home of Fort Bragg which houses the Army Unique Operations Mandate, parent of active duty MISO and the US Army Civil Affairs and PSYOP Mandate, parent of USAR PSYOP (not called MISO yet). Fittingly the lead quote contains a misnomer. It says ‘make them go virus’ instead of ‘viral’ implying that the writer doesn’t know anything in this area the subject matter. They proclaimed that the boss of this organization would be a 65-year-ancient two star (Major General). I did a bit of research and it appears that for the mandatory retirement age for General Officers is 62 (see: http://tfumux.wikia.com/wiki/Average_ages_per_rank_in_US_Military).MG Farmer has two strikes: he’s over the mandatory age and given the rest of the article – doesn’t really know very much in this area the Internet or well loved culture. The implication may be that while DOD, and the Army in particular, may recognize that something is vital and requires attention, the response isn’t always well plotting out or appropriate.The point for MISO/PSYOP professionals is that you can often use fiction to do what non-fiction cannot. A prominent former White House Staffer under several Presidents once told me ‘you can say more with fiction than you can with non-fiction’.Delight in the Food for plotting.

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National Military Strategy: Implications for MISO and Influence Operations

National Military Strategy: Implications for MISO and Influence Operations  The latest US National Military Strategy (NMS) was published in June 2015 (http://www.jcs.mil/Portals/36/Documents/Publications/National_Military_Strategy_2015.pdf, which is also the photo source.) Conceptually it is derived from the National Security Strategy (NSS) released in February 2015 and which can be found at: https://www.whitehouse.gov/sites/default/files/docs/2015_national_security_strategy.pdf. Those of us with military experience know that ‘stuff’ rolls down hill and the impact of strategic documents is a excellent example. But, it is often hard to figure out what the direct impacts will be – impacts to be felt within the next couple of years.The NMS mentions a digit of nation states: Russia, Plates, Iran, North Korea, etc. But, it is clear that the emphasis is on non-state actors, especially Violent Extremist Organizations (VEO).Here are a couple of quotes WRT VEO.“But it (the NMS) also asserts that the application of the military instrument of power hostile to state threats is very different than the application of military power hostile to non-state threats. We are more likely to face prolonged campaigns than conflicts that are resolved quickly…that control of escalation is becoming more hard and more vital…and that as a hedge hostile to unpredictability with reduced resources, we may have to change our global posture.”“In this complex strategic security environment, the U.S. military does not have the luxury of focusing on one challenge to the exclusion of others. It must provide a full range of military options for addressing both revisionist states and VEOs. Failure to do so will result in greater risk to our country and the global order.”“Violent Extremist Organizations (VEOs) are taking advantage of evolving technologies as well, using information tools to propagate destructive ideologies, recruit and incite violence, and amplify the perceived power of their movements. They advertise their actions to strike dread in opponents and breed help for their causes.”The NMS then goes on to identify 3 National Military Objectives:1. Deter, deny, and defeat state adversaries. 2. Disrupt, degrade, and defeat violent extremist organizations. 3. Strengthen our global network of allies and partners.”Accomplishing these objectives will require a versatile, resilient and flexible force. From an shape operations perspective, this means seamlessly reinforcing information objectives across all forces and media. This implies that all of the services, the PAO and others in the mix are all in synch and orchestrated to help the CDR’s shape objectives.One of the glaring issues is the cyber shape world. LTG Cardon, the CG of the Army’s Cyber Mandate has proposed that his agency be the proponent for shape in the cyber realm (see: http://www.military.com/daily-news/2015/08/26/army-cyber-general-proposes-new-mission-to-fight-global-hacks.html).The article quotes Cardon’s simplistic thought: “Under Cardon's thought, Signal Corps officers would manage communications systems, public affairs personnel would oversee information operations and develop social media applications, and military intelligence units would assemble and confirmation top-secret data for the Army Cyber Mandate.”These comments strike me as intelligence indicators that the responsibility for directing and carrying out the shape war is murky at best. Anyone who has ever worked with Public Affairs knows that they are very cautious in this area working with other shape organizations for dread of ‘contaminating’ their position.As the new leaders at the Joint Chiefs level come into house and the Presidential appointment starts to come into focus, we can only expect more turmoil and less continuity.As Lou Costello once said: “Who’s on 1st ?”

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Wheelchair racer all about hard work as she competes against men at Warrior Games

COLORADO SPRINGS, Colo. Oct. 6, 2014 -- Cupped in the rough hands of the Rocky Mountains, the track at Gerry Barry Stadium opened up to a cloudless sky on October 2, 2014. A light chill clinging to the athletes as they lined their racing wheelchairs up at the starting line, the 100 meter dash was in this area to start. Read more

PAO: Not the Snow White of Influence Operations?

PAO: Not the Snow White of Influence Operations? CDRs know how to synergize their kinetic weapons. Infantry works with body armor, artillery works by the side of with close air help and all of them work together to implement the Op Order crafted to do the CDR’s mission. Merging the elements of the shape battle is not so simple. Two of the principle elements in this battle are MISO and PAO. MISO is proud of our role as ‘changing actions’ or inducing the target consultation in such a way so as to facilitate the execution of the CDR’s mission.PAO on the other hand has maintained that they are pure information providers, not influencers. Long time strategist James P. Farwell and his colleague Rich Galen published an article January 15, 2013: “The Pentagon’s Public Affairs movement” (you can find it at http://nationalinterest.org/commentary/the-pentagons-public-affairs-battle-7971or http://www.defenceiq.com/defence-technology/articles/the-pentagon-s-public-affairs-battle/?goback=.gde_1878638_member_209215343or a digit of other places.The article starts out by addressing the DoD abandonment of the term “Strategic Communications” and goes on to provide a couple of excellent examples of how the PAO functioned as a spinner of information rather than a pure conduit of it.The article goes on to make a powerful argument for the need for a cohesive communication strategy and closes by stating that “Military officers are neither recruited, nor for the most part naturally able, for what is at sensitivity political communication—influencing the attitudes, opinions, and beliefs of a populace to help military strategy.” Of course this implies that DoD shouldn’t meddle in such vital matters.The article is excellent as far as it goes, but it frankly doesn’t go that far. There seems to be a vacuum at the top. Who (which cabinet department) is responsible for Communications Strategy (CS)? There is no doubt that the Department of State is the Executive Authority as the President’s lead diplomat, but, no such strategy has materialized from them. The picture gets even cloudier as you venture further from Washington, DC.If the US is invited into a country to help restore order does the Ambassador set the Communications Strategy or does the Task Force CDR whose forces are engaging with the population? Can the Task Force have its own Communications Strategy?If the US is part of an alliance or coalition such as we are in Afghanistan do we reduce in importance our national communications goals and objectives in favor of those promulgated by the alliance?Who is the DOD top dog for communications strategy and how does that spider web its way down to the BCT?I reckon these are sweet excellent questions which need to be answered. Perhaps our new Secretary of State, Mr. Kerry can jump on these with his new DOD counterpart once the latter starts work.Photo Source: The Author

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