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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Learning new strategies: Sesame Street teaches military kids about resilience

Learning new strategies: Sesame Street teaches military kids about resilienceElmo has a supportive and loving adult like his dad to help him gain the skills to cope with everyday challenges and significant life transitions, as part of Sesame Workshop’s continuing community engagement initiative for flexibility amongst military, veteran and general public families: “Small Children, Huge Challenges.” (© 2013 Sesame Workshop. All rights modest.)
The store technician at the Fort George G. Meade, Md., Post Store Appropriate, greeted mothers and their children as they came into the main room of the building. Chairs were pushed hostile to the wall for parents to sit on while children played on a brightly colored area rug while they waited for a unique edition of Report Time.
Col. Brian P. Foley, Fort Meade’s stronghold commander, joined the children for report time on April 17 and read two books to the enthusiastic consultation. The children laughed and counted by the side of during Foley’s reading of “Count the Monkeys” while their mothers looked on.
Families were invited to watch a unique screening of Sesame Workshop’s “Small Children, Huge Challenges,” after the readings. The video is meant to teach children and their parents flexibility techniques, and is part of a complete toolkit, which includes a guidebook for parents, and access to a flexibility app, “Breathe. Reckon. Do,” for smartphones and drug.
“Our motto here is when the parent deploys, the whole family deploys,” Lynn Chwatsky, vice president of community and family engagement at Sesame Workshop, said. “We believe that there is a service limb, but the whole family serves.”
Chwatsky is in charge of overseeing the Workshop’s military family initiative project and community engagement, identifying a community and addressing its unmet needs with media and other resources starring “Sesame Street” Muppets.
The purpose of the LCBC toolkit is to encourage children to talk in this area or express their feelings, and show how parents can engage in a dialogue with their kids during hard times, like during a long separation, Chwatsky clarified.
Col. Brian P. Foley, stronghold commander, Fort George G. Meade, Md., reads “Count the Monkeys” to a assemble of children during a unique edition of report time at the base store appropriate, April 17, 2014. (DOD photo by Jacqueline M. Hames)
“We realize that when we are talking to young children and school-aged children, we know that you can’t just talk to these children, you have to talk to the adults in their lives. And the adults — that’s their circle of care — they can be their parents, those can be caregivers, and caregivers come in innumerable forms as we know, those are teachers, those are, again, providers … but when we speak to the kids, we are really language sort of two-fold, to the kids and to the adults in their lives,” she said.
Children filtered into another room when Foley refined reading, closely followed by their mothers. A few of the younger kids gathered on the stump directly in front of the television screen and stared, enraptured, as the video started to play.
The video, starring Elmo, shows children how to react to the possibility of a long separation, how to deal with frustration, sibling rivalry, and learning and persistence. The accompanying booklet for parents and caregivers outlines ways for adults to introduce new strategies for hard situations, adding to the video with topics like production with aggressive actions and moving.
These basic tenants of flexibility help teach children self-regulation, Chwatsky said. “We are giving them those skills and tools to get through those moments, and then hopefully the skills that they develop to get through those moments will then help them through life, through some of life’s simpler (and) more hard challenges,” she added.
Emily Tower, married to Maj. Daniel Tower, plotting the video was especially appropriate because her husband is leaving for school in a few weeks. Their 3-year-ancient, Allison, liked the video.
“We learned a excellent word, ‘strategy,’ didn’t we?” Tower questioned her daughter after the video. “We can come up with some strategies to survive the summer.”
Tower said this is Allison’s second long separation from her father, but she doesn’t quite be with you what will take house with her dad leaves. The video encourages families to come up with amusing ways of adage goodbye and emphasizes that the caregiver will restore, which will be one of Tower’s summer strategies.
“We (can) say amusing terms like, what did they say, ‘bye-bye mashed potato or something?” she questioned.
“Yes,” Allison answered, smiling.
Chwatsky said it’s not just children who benefit from the program.
“We’re seeing these adults benefitting from this because if you, as an adult, are empowered with tools you help to build resiliency in your outcome. It’s really building your flexibility too, meaningful you have the tools to help children,” she said.
Danette Simmons, who was there with her son Conner, 5, was reminded of how to help her children during hard times. “Instead of just adage ‘bye’ and then out the door, you
Families watch the Sesame Workshop video on flexibility, “Small Children, Huge Challenges,” during a unique edition of report time at the Fort Meade Post Store Appropriate, April 17, 2014. (DOD photo by Jacqueline M. Hames)
know, take time and then spend a small more time talking in this area (the situation,)” Simmons said.
Conner, whose dad is Sgt. 1st Class Robert Simmons, said the video was excellent before growing too shy to say anything else.
One of the eldest children at the event, Jameson Holyoak, loved the video as well. He believes what he learned will make possible him to help his mother, Rebecca, with his younger brother when their dad leaves for work. Calvin gets sad when his father, Senior Airman Michael Holyoak, leaves for the night shift.
“These kids are serving, too,” Chwatsky said. “These flexibility skills are going to help them through all. It’s going to help them through these small everyday things that we were talking in this area, but it is also going to help with the larger things, like when a parent deploys.”
Chwatsky emphasized that the toolkit is available across multimedia platforms, and flexibility videos are posted on the Workshop website and YouTube. The program is also available in Spanish.
“Our children are our prospect, our Soldiers’ children are our prospect leaders of our military and our Army, and we want to help them and get them as prepared for life as possible,” she said.

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Is MISO Missing The Boat on Islamic PSYOP?

Is MISO Missing The Boat on Islamic PSYOP? I’ve been questioned by some readers to be a bit more controversial. It would seem that the US approach to MISO and PSYOP in the Arab is just the house to spice up the conversation.It seems that one of the reasons why MISO and PSYOP in the Islamic world, perhaps particularly in Afghanistan seems so frustrating is that the Western world may be ignoring long standing cultural norms in favor of relying on Western approaches to MISO as a catalyst to resolving conditions in the host country.Much of what we do in MISO and PSYOP can be plotting of as trying to shape people caught in a conflict where the US and our allies have intervened. Often this involves supporting the host nation government such as in Iraq and Afghanistan or potentially a rebel force as may be the case in Syria.US MISO are carried out in order to help the CDR’s mission and operations based on our doctrine and the mission at hand. While never stated, certain fundamental axioms are always in play. For example, the Western approach favors face to face negotiations lacking fixing blame. Westerners believe that the substance of the situation is more vital than the form.In researching Islamic dispute resolution methodologies I have found that these premises are sweet much opposite of the classic Islamic view. (see: www.sulha.org (which is also the photo source) and http://www.usma.edu/wpnp/sitepages/news_bbay11-1-2.aspx.aspx).According to those references and the lecturer in the West Point, program, while Westerners may to be sure prefer face to face, the Islamic position is that they would be surpass served if negotiations were carried out through an influential intermediary. This is why the Palestinians often want the President of the US to intercede as the trustworthy broker.While substance is at the core of Western approaches, perception and form are more in tune with Islamic expectations. Classically  an Islamic dispute resolution would start by the clear assignment of blame so that one party may be viewed as a victim and the other as a perpetrator. The victim would be probable to seek revenge as a means of regaining the hurt to their honor done by the perpetrator. The perpetrator on the other hand would be probable to seek reconciliation through apologies or other means.Keys to success here are to recognize that revenge is part of the natural order of things and that restoration of honor is the desired end result.Even these few points illustrate the major perspective differences between the West and Islamic dispute resolution processes. Perhaps the time has come for Western MISO to adapt the Islamic perspective in Afghanistan as a means of production with the American withdrawal from Afghanistan  in a manner that is more in line with Islamic expectations and which ultimately would lay the ground work for a more lasting peace than would be possible under the predictable Western shape strategies.

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NASA Technical Reports Database Goes Dark

This week NASA abruptly took the massive NASA Technical Reports Server (NTRS) offline.  Though no explanation for the removal was existing, it appeared to be in response to concerns that export controlled information was contained in the collection.
“Until further notice, the NTRS system will be unavailable for public access. We apologize for any distress this may cause you and anticipate that this site will restore to service in the near prospect,” the NTRS homepage now states.
NASA Public Affairs did not respond yesterday to an investigation in this area the status of the site, the reason for its suspension, or the timeline for its restore.
NASA Watch and The Unwanted Blog associated the go to a statement from Rep. Frank Wolf on Monday concerning alleged security violations at NASA Langley Research Center.
“NASA should immediately take down all publicly available technical data sources until all documents that have not been subjected to export control assess have received such a assess and all controlled documents are indifferent from the system,” Rep. Wolf said.
In other terms, all NASA technical documents, no matter how voluminous and valuable they are, should stop to be publicly available in order to prevent the continued disclosure of any restricted documents, no matter how limited or insignificant they may be.
“There is a HUGE amount of material on NTRS,” said space policy analyst Dwayne Day. “If NASA is mandatory to assess it all, it will never go back online.”
Essentially, the mindset represented by Rep. Wolf and embraced by NASA fears the consequences of unauthorized disclosure more than it values the benefits of openness.  It is a familiar outlook that has wreaked havoc with the nation’s past declassification program, and has periodically disrupted routine access to confirmation collections at the National Archives, as well as online collections at the CIA, the Los Alamos technical report store, and somewhere else.
“I’d also note that a large amount of past Mercury/Gemini/Apollo documents that were previously available at NARA Fort Worth is now apparently withdrawn due to ITAR [export controls],” said Dr. Day.
The upshot is that the government is not an altogether reliable repository of official records. Members of the public who depend on access to such records should endeavor to make and preserve their own copies whenever possible.
 

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