Sunday, October 18, 2015

Information Operations

Damage Control on Hospital Airstrike. The U.S. is still doing damage control on the AC-130 airstrike on the Doctors Without Borders hospital in Kunduz City. DWB is continuing its IO offensive (Twitter, press releases, & website postings) against the U.S. calling the incident a war crime while the U.S. maintains it was an accident. Recent info saying that U.S. SOF personnel knew the facility was a hospital is not helping. The Pakistan government is denying reports floated by the U.S. that a Pakistani intelligence operative was conducting business on the grounds of the hospital.

Taliban and the Media. The Taliban have declared Afghanistan's Tolo News and 1TVNewsAF as legitimate targets; saying they are US propaganda tools. Naturally the media in Afghanistan is upset. The government is also taking action on the international front (Tolo News, Oct 17, 2015).

Troop Withdrawal. The U.S. administration is trying to shore up support among Democrats for the revised troop withdrawal plan while some Republicans are saying it still isn't enough. Still plenty of party politics left in the Afghan War for it to grab some headlines.

U.S. Strategy Working . . . Or Just Spin? The Obama administration claims leaving 5,500 US troops in Afghanistan is a sign that the US strategy is working. Hmmmm. Josh Earnest - Obama's spokesman - said that with a straight face. How does he sleep at night? Read "Is the US mission in Afghanistan 'working'? Or is that just spin?", The Christian Science Monitor, October 17, 2015.

ALP. The U.S. will have a major fight on its hands if it tries to win support for the increased funding of the Afghan Local Police - let's see if DVIDS, CENTCOM, or RS HQs floats out some "positive" news stories on the ALP!

IO in the Movies. The Information Operations battle is fought in many forms and arenas. One is in the movies. Sometimes it is blatant as in when Hollywood puts out an anti-war, anti-military film. And then sometimes it is a little more disguised. See "Graffiti artists slip criticism of 'Homeland' onto set", The Boston Globe, October 15, 2015.

Spinning the OBL Killing Story. Mark Bowden (book author) and Seymour Hersh (NYTs) provide two different accounts on the raid in Pakistan that killed Osama bin Laden. I going with the Bowden account. See "There's Just One Problem with Those Bin Laden Conspiracy Theories", Vanity Fair, October 16, 2105.

Patches Tell a Story. Over the years servicemen tend to collect patches that they are authorized to wear and then some more as well. The latest patch for Operation Inherent Resolve (OIR) for 'that other war' is causing some controversy. Some folks read too much into the graphics and images of combat patches. Read why some people are upset about the Army's newest combat patch (The Havok Journal, October 17, 2015).

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