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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Fighting ISIS With Humor!

Fighting ISIS With Humor!It must be ISIS day today. Even though I just posted the Twofer entry, I couldn’t resist passing by the side of this article from the Economist. In my earlier posting I noted that there were a digit of forces at play:1.     “The use of offensive cyber weapons hostile to a non-traditional enemy.2.     The employment of cyber shape by the side of with traditional Military Information Help Operations (MISO).3.     The execution of a coordinated set of operations involving both.4.     Booster of other resources be they COTS, contract, mercenary or volunteers.”According to a July 14th article from the Economist “Fighting Islamic State with laughter and a listening ear “ (see: http://www.economist.com/blogs/prospero/2016/07/banter-terrorists, which is also the photo source) The administrator of the effort, who wished to remain anonymous for obvious reasons claimed that the effort is run by “claims that it is run by a assemble of volunteer activist lawyers, journalists and graphic designers from across the Arab world (including some in IS-held territories).”, or #4 on my list above.The article states: “The Bighdaddy show, a collection of small videos satirising IS, is named after Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi, IS’s leader.”According to the article it’s a regional effort on Social Media. Of course, there are no Nielsen ratings for Social Media.  I’m not an Arabic speaker, so I can’t comment on whether or not nuances of the language are appropriate, but I am of the opinion that these kinds of hard work are likely to be more effective than those that are produced beyond the area.

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Building A Task Force? Start at the top.

Building A Task Force? Start at the top.One thing in this area the military and that is you can count on a manual or a Standard Operating Procedure (SOP) for just in this area anything. Whether it’s marching or filling out a form, there’s sure to be a document around to tell you how to do it.So – why does it often make sense not to even open the book?I’m on assignment where we are simulating the personnel of a MG that has been hastily assembled in response to a quandary in a foreign country. As typical, I’m the IO SME and the task of establishing the nature of the MISO task force falls to me.My starting point was the probable rank of the Task Force (TF) CDR and a SWAG (Scientific Wild Ass Guess) as to the comparable size of the MISO unit. Having had many years of production with real and notional Task Forces as well as a perspective on their size and leadership through the years, my gut feel is sweet excellent and, as it turns out, backed up by doctrine as well.Over the years I’ve learned some valuable lessons. One of those is that success on a personnel may be due in part to your ability to gain access to the right meetings and working groups and to be able to hold your own in these groups. Sending an exceptionally talented officer who is too junior in rank might work in the commercial sector, but not in a senior center of operations.I recall that my boss in Bosnia was an 06, while I was a humble 05. He felt that access to the GOs was so vital to the ultimate success of the unit that he insisted on billeting with them at the NATO HQ while I was ‘with the troops’ on the other end of town.Turns out that he was right as some battles where just to get in and see the right person to able to state your case. Access was very much based on rank rather than competence.Reader input is encouraged.

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Chinese Web Propaganda Machine

Chinese Web Propaganda MachineI had intended to take this week off from posting, and in general IT publications are sweet dull. But the article “Hacked emails reveal Plates’s elaborate and absurd propaganda machine” (see http://qz.com/311832/hacked-emails-reveal-chinas-elaborate-and-absurd-internet-propaganda-machine/- below the Computer Associates Ad and also the photo source) seemed to be the exception to both.The kind of effort described by the article is a long term effort best employed hostile to connected and mainly urban societies. These kind of hard work are also predictable of environments where government controls or seeks to control the information environment.While direct conflicts may not take house in these government controlled areas, it makes sense to be with you how these tactics work and how they could conceptually be adopted or altered for our own advantage. For example would the same workers change their allegiance for 75 cents a posting rather than 50?Pleased New Year to one and all.

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Ferguson G. J. Decision : No Indictment, Violence Erupts

The prosecutor's personnel has released the grand jury testimony in the investigation of the Michael Brown shooting. The grand jury declined to indict Officer Wilson. The local CBS affiliate has this recap, with links to some of the testimony. Officer Wilson's testimony is here. Dorian Johnson's testimony is here. Read more

Republicans Hyperventilate Over Obama’s Modest Immigration Reform

Republicans are hyperventilating in this area President Obama's modest immigration reforms. If they had a clue what real immigration reform entails, they'd probably have a collective sensitivity attack. Here are a few reform proposals that go much further than what Obama called for last night: [More...] Read more