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Thread: Tactical Bloggers?

  1. #21
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi Rob,

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
    What if it was as good ass the PsyOps people could produce (at least in terms of how fast a trained PsyOps guy could do it in say an hour from the time he got the film or photo?). Why because the guys we might be talking about would be PsyIOSig (the combo - not the pretzel bit w/cheeses filling, but the one you spoke of higher in your post ) as a primary and a rifleman (or FO or what have you) as a second.
    Hey, works for me . Honestly, I think that tactical level blogging is a fantastic idea, and not just at the "my squad in Mosul" level. Part of the reason I think that is because this war isn't only being fought in Iraq - it's taking place globally.

    You know, we always talk about the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi's. What about the Hearts and Minds of Canadians, Americans, Brits, Germans, etc.? Why should we relly on the press to get our information and make our decisions, especially when they will be hopelessly uninformed <wry grin>? I have a feeling that the Coalition militaries could do a lot worse that buying up some server space and donating it to troops in the field to put up whatever they want.

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
    Would the trade be worth it given what we expect out of today's an tomorrow's enemy. Yes, there would be a huge investment. Yes, they'd be low density guys, with high GT scores who'd get offered allot of money on the outside so we'd have to give high enlistment and retention bonses. Would their contribution to the GWOT over the next decade or two be worth it?
    Honestly, I don't know how huge an investment it would be - a lot of poeple already have the skilss, knowledge and equipment. Would they have to be paid more? You know, I doubt they would, at least at the basic level. Give people the freedom to talk / post about what they see, hear and believe and some of them will.

    At the more specialist level, yeah, you probably would have to pay them more. Then again, maybe not <evil grin>. Have the Army or the Corps swing a deal with some of the colleges and universities for accreditation, and you could have someone come out of a 4-5 year term with abn Associates degree in computer journalism, pr at least a major part of one.

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

  2. #22
    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    -I can't remember who sent me the link to Kent's Imperative , but its a good blog. This post gets to a least an aorta.

    You know, we always talk about the Hearts and Minds of the Iraqi's. What about the Hearts and Minds of Canadians, Americans, Brits, Germans, etc.? Why should we relly on the press to get our information and make our decisions, especially when they will be hopelessly uninformed <wry grin>? I have a feeling that the Coalition militaries could do a lot worse that buying up some server space and donating it to troops in the field to put up whatever they want.
    These spheres might be called "bonus points" or I should say might have been. Consider even the audience of this post on SWC - JC is in Quantico, Slapout is in Alabama, Marc is in Canada and I'm in Mosul. Consider our professions and who we represent. Now consider who we influence and the migration of ideas What about the related ideas that are sprung, completed or massaged into being? What about the guys who just look and don't respond? The audience is global. Every audience has the potential to be global. Before when long distant rates and air travel were the only options, ideas migrated more slowly, and the source idea was often unknown-now their are links and records - their are personal relationships that evolve from communities - their is trust (varying degrees) in people who have never met face to face. I have not even covered the very tip o the berg. To para phrase from Slapout - this is a sharp sword indeed - and if you consider the mass of the berg underwater, it can be a hefty sword as well - or it might be better to think of it as a Syracusan lever.

    At the more specialist level, yeah, you probably would have to pay them more. Then again, maybe not <evil grin>. Have the Army or the Corps swing a deal with some of the colleges and universities for accreditation, and you could have someone come out of a 4-5 year term with abn Associates degree in computer journalism, pr at least a major part of one.
    So it doesn't have to be so pricey after all? The Amazing Kreskin senses lightbulbs going of at the various HRCs. "Oh and where did you learn your trade Johhny"? I've been getting paid for working in the field since I was 18 ( I was blogging since I was 9). Taken from an interview with for the position of podcast journalist somewhere in the next decade. What would be the implications of that??

    Marc, BTW- have you seen the magical realism post yet?
    Last edited by Rob Thornton; 01-15-2007 at 08:24 AM.

  3. #23
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi Rob,

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
    These spheres might be called "bonus points" or I should say might have been. Consider even the audience of this post on SWC - JC is in Quantico, Slapout is in Alabama, Marc is in Canada and I'm in Mosul. Consider our professions and who we represent. Now consider who we influence and the migration of ideas What about the related ideas that are sprung, completed or massaged into being? What about the guys who just look and don't respond? The audience is global.
    Yup, and that was exactly my point <evil grin>. Tactical blogging, at the most basic level (e.g. Private Smith's Blog), gets a story out there. It may not be what the psyops crowd would want, it may not be ideal, but if we are dealing with a 1000:1 ratio, and it's probably greater than that, then it is a lot better than what is happening now.

    You know, we've talked a lot about the lack of ground level info flowing back to units that are going to be rotated into an area. BTW, I'm not talking about specifics, just general "street smarts". So, if you knew that your unit was going to be deployed to Mosul or Al Anbar and there were 500 tactical bloggers in each area, you could get a really good feel for what's happening there without breaking opsec. It would also give you names of counterparts, etc. Invaluable in this war!

    Quote Originally Posted by Rob Thornton View Post
    So it doesn't have to be so pricey after all? The Amazing Kreskin senses lightbulbs going of at the various HRCs. "Oh and where did you learn your trade Johhny"? I've been getting paid for working in the field since I was 18 ( I was blogging since I was 9). Taken from an interview with for the position of podcast journalist somewhere in the next decade. What would be the implications of that??

    Marc, BTW- have you seen the magical realism post yet?
    Hehehehe Toss in some "merit scholarship awards", e.g. "Best Blog post of Sept, 2007", and you've got some material awards. Add in the fact that we know the bureacrats in the forces will be watching (they'd have to to check for opsec leaks), and you would have a really neat tool for identifying potential NCO and officer material.

    Magic realism post? Nope, I'll go look for it now.

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

  4. #24
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default videos, evidence, etc.

    Hey Rob,
    We not only video tape all or our EOD response calls, but look at them over and over again. Somebody is watching US and learning fast, as they are doing in Iraq.

    Our WWW connection is broad band just like the police use. Nothing special, but it works. Once in the sticks, plug in the cell phone and wait for the mega 100 bits per second to display an image, but better than nothing.

    Regards, Stan

  5. #25
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default just general "street smarts"

    Hey Rob and Marc !

    you would have a really neat tool for identifying potential NCO and officer material.
    We recruit about 5 people a year to begin the process of becoming "Deminers". EOD technician training is arduous, and we still have the task of cleaning up ordnance from WWI and WWII when there are no response calls.

    You are so close, you may not even know it. Our initial interviews were designed to identify those so-called potential NCOs and Officers. Actually they will later become State-employed civilians subordinate to the Rescue Board.

    MBTI and yes Mr. Jung have many good ideas (I hate saying that BTW). As one of the senior specialist for training and development, I am expected to weed out those with a lack potential. That's pretty far fetched.

    A trip to the morgue normally completes the day. If that's going OK, we get technical and see if there's any natural ability or aptitude that plays a role.

    I snap the erasers off new pencils, give them a pad of paper and we do trigonometry. You'd be surprised how fun calculating acute angles can be without the aid of a calculator (cosine is my favorite ball-buster: θ = 1 - θ2/2! + θ4/4!). Why Trigonometry ? A bomb tech's most basic function - Hook and Line -aka- HAL. When the Honeywell X-ray battery is dead or the film is spent in the sunlight and the robot is out of radio range, you still have simple rigging at your disposal.

    Yea, I went way off into left field again

    Regards, Stan

  6. #26
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi Stan,

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Reber View Post
    We recruit about 5 people a year to begin the process of becoming "Deminers". EOD technician training is arduous, and we still have the task of cleaning up ordnance from WWI and WWII when there are no response calls.

    You are so close, you may not even know it. Our initial interviews were designed to identify those so-called potential NCOs and Officers. Actually they will later become State-employed civilians subordinate to the Rescue Board.
    Cool! I always knew that reading Jung's' Collected works would pay off <lolol>.

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Reber View Post
    Yea, I went way off into left field again
    Not Really . We've had a fair number of threads talking about recruitment and HR stuff. Personally, I think it would be interesting, and useful, for those interview techniques to get passed on to anyone recruiting PRTs for Africa (lots of mines in many of those countries).

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

  7. #27
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default Lots of Mines in many of those Countries

    Hey Marc !
    Yep, I would never admit, but Jung got me dead on and I have the Sierra (ty) attitude to prove it

    The recruiting process works well here, but I have no clue what would happen per se in Zšire (sorry Congo). They would steal the tools before the first day of class (like they did to me in 84). Trig, you must be kidding Marc !!!!!

    Is trig in African lingo "wangling"? You may have a point and I may need that book of yours with stuffed animals later

    Regards, Stan

  8. #28
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Reber View Post
    The recruiting process works well here, but I have no clue what would happen per se in Zšire (sorry Congo). They would steal the tools before the first day of class (like they did to me in 84). Trig, you must be kidding Marc !!!!!
    Not if they had the right curses on the .

    Quote Originally Posted by Stan Reber View Post
    Is trig in African lingo "wangling"? You may have a point and I may need that book of yours with stuffed animals later
    LOLOL. I'll have to write it first. Hmmm, What wold be a good title? "Teddy the Terrible", "The Wizards of Toys R Us".... nah, I'll work it out later.

    On a related note, The Coke bottling plant in Namibia in the 1970's had a problem with bottle breakage. They hired a really expensive consulting firm (NY I think), to solve the problem. $250k later, their consultant gave them the solution - "Your workers are illiterate, so put up a picture sign with a Coke bottle = $$$$". They did, and the breakage stayed exactly the same.

    A couple of weeks later, and Anthropologist stopped in to pick up a couple of cases for his field site. The plant manager gave him a tour and, when he saw the sign, he broke out in uproarious laughter. "What is it?" said the plant manager. "I take it that sign hasn't helped with the breakage?" the anthropologist replied. "Not at all" was the response.

    Still snickering, the Anthropologist said "Replace the $$$$ with the picture of a cow and see if that helps". Figuring he had nothing to loose, the NY consultant already had all of his money, the plant manager changed the sign. Strangely enough, the breakage rate dropped to a normal, North American level.

    The moral of the story? Sometimes you just have to motivate people with the things they understand .

    TTFN

    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

  9. #29
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default Cows and Carl Jung

    Marc,
    There's a very similar story about the GM plant (well not any more) in Zšire.

    They weren't so much breaking things, but stealing them. I have no idea if the savior was an Anthropologist , but whomever he or she was, saved the plant. This is where you're gonna love the ending

    The owner had just returned from Turkey and brought back one of those "eyes" that hang all over in Turkey guarding against (hell whatever) and put it up on the front door to the factory.

    The very next day the boss' floor manager inquired, "what's that" he asked. The Belgian told him, "in Turkey, it keeps theives away." The Zširois quickly began to spread the gospell and by the end of the day, the "eye" was stolen

    It gets even better. Turns out, the one that had removed it had a fatal car accident, and thereafter, the eye was put back and theft dwindled for over two years.

    Don't rush on sending me that stuffed animal book yet I'm gong to Turkey !
    Regards, Stan

  10. #30
    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Stan, That is a great story. I don't know about going to Turkey though. Our big Perkins genny went down the other day which put us in a bind as the grid is undpredictable and we still have to run radios and life support type functions - so we used the IA's Kraz 7.5t with Inman crane and got her into KBR where an Englishman runs some Turkish tech and cran oeprators. When we got word it was fixed we went to go pick her up and the damn batteries were gone. "There were no batteries" they said. "OK" I said, just happy to have it fixed (although I had pictures of the evac - one of which showed the batteries still attached). So we get her home and all looks good, but our electrician says "you know, this s not our 600 amp breaker, someone has replaced it with a 400 amp." Not being to saavy on prices, I asked how much for a good 600 amp breaker here on this economy? "Probably about $800" for a good one." So they got us twice, and I new why stealing a 600 amp breaker was worth it. If they would not fess up to the batteries, then no way they'd fess up to the breaker

    Well it turned out to be as good as a soccer game for unity because for the rest of the day all BN; Sunni Arabs, Shiite Arabs, Kurds - all - came up to us and said we're sorry about that stuff beign stole off your generator, but if you'd have just asked us we'd have told you not to trust a Turk . I laughed my tail off - it became the big joke of the week. It makes you wonder if in the case for national unity we should pick somebody they all dislike and start a fight ?

  11. #31
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default Turks in the Soup

    Hello Rob,
    I enjoyed your story. It reminds me of daily situations here in Tallinn shortly following EU and NATO membership status.

    The Estonian's that I socialize and work with were constantly telling me about the need to join NATO before the Russians decide to once again come calling. Most Estonians, even to this day, don't care much for the EU. Too many rules and things only got more expensive.

    I told them about opening Pandora's Box and to be careful what you wish for. The Turks are here and in the hundreds. They are somewhat laid back and get by with Russian in the event one needs to communicate. There are no marginal or extremist views, it's just business.

    They occupy almost all the unskilled labor areas, such as trash, sanitation and for some strange reason, all the car washes . These labor positions however have some obvious fringe benifits with access to (your) car parts, your personal belongings, and even stranger, electrical wiring (your $800 breaker) and water pipes .

    Scrap metal is big business in Estonia - One of my neighbors returned home to find all of his ground wires gone (the thick ones on the sides of the building normally attached to lightning rods on the roof )

    Regards, Stan

  12. #32
    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Default Scrap metal and wire

    We're talking big $$$ here too. The last team had brought in wire to do the perimeter lights I guess, when we went out to fix them, we found out most of it had been stolen from the adjacent neighborhood side some time ago (this time we wired it a little differently.). When we were passing through Kuwait, the vast scrapyards of destroyed Iraqi equipment (destroyed during the Persia Gulf War) which had been gathered up was being sold by the lot to the Chinese - a steady stream of trucks was coing and going - very efficient. When we took the IA to the CF FOB (some people go hiking - we go to the CF dump allot) they would go crazy with the stuff CF just through out. Go to a range aywhere (no matter if you set it up or what) in the Middle East, and folks are there in 5 minutes waiting to pick up the brass. Poverty is a fact, but its still pretty sad.

  13. #33
    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Default FYI: The ODF Toolkit Project

    I just got this press release and I think it has some interesting implications

    The ODF Toolkit Project, OpenOffice.org

    The future of OpenOffice.org extends beyond the office suite. With the creation of our new ODF Toolkit Project (http://odftoolkit.openoffice.org/), which we are announcing today, we are inviting developers everywhere to take the source of the world's leading Free and Open office productivity suite in bold new directions. These may include technologies that engage tools for collaboration, communication and content creation of every kind; tools that will complement and even transcend the already powerful productivity suite. The anchor of this new project is the OpenDocument Format (ODF), the ISO and OASIS standard format for office applications and the most flexible and adaptable format for the future.

    Any application can be engineered to express its files in the ODF and any application can open and edit ODF files created by another compliant application. Vendor lock-in, in which the user must continue to use expensive and proprietary software only because the files created using it are unreadable by other applications, has been the bane of governments, businesses, and individuals for at least the last twenty-five years. With the ODF users reclaim their works and vendor lock-in is eliminated. It is for this reason that governments and businesses are looking to the ODF and OpenOffice.org. The stakes are too high.

    The ODF Toolkit Project takes that freedom even further. Developers are not bound by the legacy constraints of the office suite; they will be able to more easily include ODF in their applications or create new applications that use ODF. It does not matter whether it extracts, manages, creates, or integrates information. The ODF Toolkit Project lowers the barriers to working with and implementing the ODF for all.

    Users will obviously benefit, and almost immediately. To give just an example: The future of collaboration and communication, not to mention much of commerce, depends on applications that can exchange files without the hassle of incompatibility; the future depends on truly open and flexible standards and formats. But much of what is created today and almost all that is exchanged uses proprietary formats, effectively limiting collaboration.

    With the ODF Toolkit Project, any suitable application, large or small, will find it easier to implement the ODF, allowing users to create and exchange, collaborate on or simply save their files as they please, without the fear of vendor lock-in or file obsolescence.

    Developers and others interested in contributing are invited to join us now and make something new!

    To learn more go to http://odftoolkit.openoffice.org.
    Marc
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

  14. #34
    Council Member Stan's Avatar
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    Default Poverty is a fact, but its still pretty sad.

    Hey Rob,
    You're so correct. Even here where the economy grew so quickly, USAID pulled out 2 years earlier than previously planned.

    Who shovels the snow in the winter? 60-plus-year old homeless people. They also show up in some of the most expensive shopping malls on the top floor where most of us sit, eat, smoke and drink.

    When you take your tray to the racks at the entrance of the dishwashing area, they will casually meander over and begin the collection process, to include dirty forks and knives. Plop down and commence eating.

    Most here have a hard time with that, but I had already served in far worse places, and hardly took notice.

    Yes it's sad, but it is as you so well stated, a fact of life anywhere today.

    I'm glad my father insisted I go to school

    Regards, Stan

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