Page 8 of 10 FirstFirst ... 678910 LastLast
Results 141 to 160 of 191

Thread: The McCrystal collection (catch all)

  1. #141
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingston, Ontario
    Posts
    45

    Default

    I happen to be reading Atkinson's In The Company Of Soldiers, in which he embedded directly with Petraeus and the 101st (it's a good read and one I picked up due to the general's new job and his access to the mission was simply astonishing), and he has a few telling passages in which he talks about publishing things that the general did not like, or that revealed differences in command about how the war should be fought, and that the general was frosty for 24 hours and then got over it.

    It's also a pretty good primer on the embed process - in one TOC, Atkinson is allowed to set up his laptop out of the dust and is cheerfully told by the officer in charge that he's welcome to be there but if he publishes one word about anything he sees or hears there, he will be going straight to jail. Another telling passage is after Sgt. Akbar's fragging of his fellow soldiers in Iraq. The assessment the next day is the media coverage is negative, but the officers note what do you expect? It's a negative situation.

    That said, Petraeus conducts himself like a pro, as does his staff. I'm sure he had his own thoughts about how Bush was prosecuting the war but he kept them to himself.

  2. #142
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2008
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    18

    Default

    Is there not a danger in looking at the media as a 'type', when in fact there are a range of beasts within the species? Some will be reliable, honest and trustworthy with information they receive or detect that people in uniform around them would prefer they did not have. Others cannot be trusted as far as they can be thrown. And there are a lot in between...

    My main point, which I failed to make clear, is that I feel (sorry Dave) it is a shame SWJ persists with a reference on its home page to being in Rolling Stone as some sort of badge of honour, when RS's credentials are somewhat at variance with those of SWJ.

  3. #143
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingston, Ontario
    Posts
    45

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Paul Smyth View Post
    Is there not a danger in looking at the media as a 'type', when in fact there are a range of beasts within the species? Some will be reliable, honest and trustworthy with information they receive or detect that people in uniform around them would prefer they did not have. Others cannot be trusted as far as they can be thrown. And there are a lot in between...
    That's a valid point that will be absolutely ignored by everyone here who uses the word 'media' not as a descriptive but as an epithet.

    All I'll add to that is some of the most ignorant, arrogant, worthless people I have ever met in my life have been soldiers; and some of the most intelligent, thoughtful, dialed-in people I have ever met in my life have been soldiers. That's why I have a hard time crafting posts that use the word 'soldier' as meaning all good or all bad.

  4. #144
    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    Location
    Montana
    Posts
    3,195

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by 40below View Post
    All I'll add to that is some of the most ignorant, arrogant, worthless people I have ever met in my life have been soldiers; and some of the most intelligent, thoughtful, dialed-in people I have ever met in my life have been soldiers. That's why I have a hard time crafting posts that use the word 'soldier' as meaning all good or all bad.
    I would carry this out to be people in general, which is why generalizations (good or bad) are always dangerous.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

  5. #145
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default I don't think I've seen anyone here do that

    Quote Originally Posted by 40below View Post
    That's a valid point that will be absolutely ignored by everyone here who uses the word 'media' not as a descriptive but as an epithet.
    though I may have come close by suggesting that except for a very few, most media types show an amazing naivete about many things and a generally poor knowledge of anything military or combat related. In the case of many, distaste seemingly also enters the picture. I do frequently use the word in ignorant in relation to them. None of that, BTW, is epithetical -- it is a lament for the certain decline and seeming demise of an extremely important craft.

    It's painful not least because my paternal grandfather was a newspaper journalist all his life. I think he'd be horrified by what passes in far too many instances today.

    The Entertainment industry has much to answer for...

  6. #146
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingston, Ontario
    Posts
    45

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    It's painful not least because my paternal grandfather was a newspaper journalist all his life. I think he'd be horrified by what passes in far too many instances today.
    Yeah, I suspect your grandfather and I would get along just fine. Trust me, I look at what comes out of Afgh, and I am appalled, more than you are because I'm also a newspaper editor, and I can see stuff you can't. Least I can tell the difference between a C7 and a C-17, but being a military reporter means nothing when embeds are being handed out as attaboys for favourite columnists or 22-year-old new hires, who then go back to covering city hall or writing lifestyle columns.

    I used to think paffos had the easiest job in the army until I met the kind of retards they have to deal with.

  7. #147
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Oil and water, I'm afraid...

    Quote Originally Posted by 40below View Post
    ...being a military reporter means nothing when embeds are being handed out as attaboys for favourite columnists or 22-year-old new hires, who then go back to covering city hall or writing lifestyle columns.

    I used to think paffos had the easiest job in the army until I met the kind of retards they have to deal with.
    Jornos and Soldats I mean. The Forces are often their own worst enemy in the PR arena. However, as you and Steve said, it's not restricted to any one or even a few communities. Idiocy abounds...

  8. #148
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Location
    Okinawa, Japan
    Posts
    33

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Ken White View Post
    though I may have come close by suggesting that except for a very few, most media types show an amazing naivete about many things and a generally poor knowledge of anything military or combat related. In the case of many, distaste seemingly also enters the picture. I do frequently use the word in ignorant in relation to them. None of that, BTW, is epithetical -- it is a lament for the certain decline and seeming demise of an extremely important craft.
    I agree that the media is, by and large, relatively ignorant about the military and national security. Certainly they struggle to use acronyms and jargon correctly, in a way that often causes us to cringe (I can't count how many times I've read about an officer 'enlisting'--and no, they weren't prior service). I think that is a product both of the elite civil-military gap and the complexity of defense reporting. There are some who most certainly 'get it'-- Tom Ricks, Dana Priest, CJ Chivers (a former Marine), George Packer--whether one agrees with everything they write or not.

    Beyond that, however, I'm not sure if I would say most" of them are naive. For example, I would argue that frequently the best reporting and analysis about Afghanistan comes from journalists, not our intel community (insert pithy comment about quality of intel community here). In fact, the Flynn CNAS paper outright states that:
    Some battalion S-2 officers say they acquire more information that is helpful by reading U.S. newspapers than through reviewing regional command intelligence summaries.
    I realize there are many bigger issues at play that factor into the intel/newspaper issue. However, with respect to actual frontline reporting, some in the media consistently produce impressively sophisticated reports and analysis despite the danger, limited resources, and lack of access to classified material.
    Last edited by Jesse9252; 07-17-2010 at 04:04 AM.

  9. #149
    Council Member Lorraine's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Tampa, FL
    Posts
    54

    Default

    I spent a year in Baghdad recently and worked closely with the media - mostly national level types, but sometimes with regional and local journalists.

    I was surprised and impressed by the intelligence...and believe it or not...the conscientiousness of national level journalists. They well understood military organization, operations, and protocol nuances. They also closely followed political, economic and cultural issues -- both domestic and Iraqi -- and held complex views of progress and success. These journalists often knew more about the variables affecting an operation than my military colleagues because their knowledge base was deeper.

    IMHO -- using "media" as epithet is unwarranted. The backstory behind news production is more Machiavellian than most debates on media acknowledge. Sure, journalists have egos and thick "lenses" that distill a story in a particular, sometimes biased way. But a bigger influencer was the voice back in New York, Atlanta, or somewhere, that pushed these guys for more drama, more conflict, more blood. I know of several "positive" stories that were filed at headquarters across the Atlantic, but never picked up for publication or airing. And why not? Because nice stuff doesn't sell. And, who's doing the buying? We are.

    Let's face it. Few of us would have read Hasting's RS story if it weren't for the drama. That's the reality journalists operate in - part economics, part human imperfection, part audience bloodlust for excitement. It's not a comforting thought, but it's true. And McChrystal, et al, paid a steep price for not paying attention to that.
    Last edited by Lorraine; 07-17-2010 at 04:35 AM.
    "Sweeping imperatives fall apart in the particulars."

  10. #150
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default I agree with "some."

    They deserve --and I give 'em -- Attaboys.

    All of them, however, are trapped by a system that given the 24 hour news cycle is highly competitive and which TV-wise is dominated by the Entertainment industry to whom straight news is not an item of interest. Regrettably and perhaps wrongly, the TV crowd drives the Train dragging print media down with them...

    That said, I do not question the need for news and media -- I just wish it did its job a little better. In fairness, I also wish the US Army did its job a little better...

  11. #151
    Council Member Pete's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    North Mountain, West Virginia
    Posts
    990

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Lorraine View Post
    But a bigger influencer was the voice back in New York, Atlanta, or somewhere, that pushed these guys for more drama, more conflict, more blood. I know of several "positive" stories that were filed at headquarters across the Atlantic, but never picked up for publication or airing.
    I doubt that home offices actually pressure reporters for more dramatic or "bloody" stories. The positive stories that were not used were probably feature or background stories that were not tied to any particular newsworthy event. A few years ago I heard about a Time magazine story about then-Colonel MacMaster and his command at Tel Afir that was deemed as being too "heroic" for publication. My main complaint about most of the news out of combat zones has been that it has consisted mainly of summaries of what took place that day with little background or context. Knowing how many IEDs exploded in Iraq yesterday and what the casualties were tells people little about how the war is going.

  12. #152
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Location
    Kingston, Ontario
    Posts
    45

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Pete View Post
    I doubt that home offices actually pressure reporters for more dramatic or "bloody" stories. The positive stories that were not used were probably feature or background stories that were not tied to any particular newsworthy event. A few years ago I heard about a Time magazine story about then-Colonel MacMaster and his command at Tel Afir that was deemed as being too "heroic" for publication. My main complaint about most of the news out of combat zones has been that it has consisted mainly of summaries of what took place that day with little background or context. Knowing how many IEDs exploded in Iraq yesterday and what the casualties were tells people little about how the war is going.
    Most mainstream reporters are as trapped in FOBs as the troops there. They don't have permission to go off base just in case there's a ramp ceremony they need to cover. Not just in Afgh either - a CBC reporter sent to cover Haiti was not allowed to go ashore as he didn't have the proper combat training (so why send the guy? That occurred to me too)

  13. #153
    Council Member Pete's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    North Mountain, West Virginia
    Posts
    990

    Default Confined to FOBs?

    Around the time before the Petraeus "Surge" began taking effect in 2007 I vaguely recall reading that reporters for the mainstream publications in Baghdad were cooped up in their offices and hotel rooms within the city. The reporters were said to be relying heavily on local nationals to go out and get the news, hence the reporters' by-lines followed by the words "and" or "with" followed by a number of Arabic-sounding names. Therefore I don't think it was all a case of media people being confined to FOBs. I don't know where I saw the story, it may have been the Washington Post or the New York Review of Books. I can't blame reporters for not wanting to get killed, but folks please forgive me for saying that the lethality of the wars we're currently fighting doesn't even come close to being a pimple on the behind of what happened during World War II, Korea, or Vietnam.
    Last edited by Pete; 07-20-2010 at 03:44 AM. Reason: Trivial stuff.

  14. #154
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Nov 2007
    Location
    Near the Spiral, New Zealand.
    Posts
    134

    Default

    Can't argue with the statement re the lethality of previous wars but, in regard to WW2 and Korea and to a certain extent Vietnam, that lethality was confined largely to the front line. Anyone walking around Paris or Seoul post-liberation wasn't as likely to get snatched, blow up or otherwise nastied as they might be in Baghdad around 2004-5...

  15. #155
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    45

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by wmthomson View Post
    I think the important question that no one seems to be asking is what benefit was this article to the readers, and thus essential why was it printed? .
    oh Puleese.... I dont have the issue but I will bet that the article before it was Lady gaga's anorexia and the article after it was the 10 best Underground albums of 2009.... we are talking rolling stone, not "national security digest"... there is little in there that benifits any of the readers... ;-)

    :-)
    Last edited by Seabee; 07-23-2010 at 09:34 AM.

  16. #156
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Posts
    45

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Jim Gav View Post
    Open Letter to General Stanley McChrystal 7 July 2010
    U.S. Army


    Dear General McChrystal,

    Sir, I wish to express my apologies for the great injustice you have just endured at the hands of our leaders, without regard for your selfless service to our nation. Sincerely,


    James A. Gavrilis
    American Citizen
    James.... are you trolling?

    Firing Generals who mouth off is nothing new.... Gen. George Casey and Gen. Eric Shinseki come to mind....

    I hope the next step is not comparing the Govts action to Kristalnacht or something.... ;-)

  17. #157
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
    Join Date
    May 2007
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    8,060

    Default Seabee, just so you'll know

    Casey was not fired, he was promoted and is currently Chief of Staff of the Army. Shinseki was not fired, he retired on his normally scheduled retirement date and is now the Secretary of Veteran Affairs in the Obama cabinet.

    Plenty of Generals indeed have been fired for mouthing off -- MacArthur and MG John K. Singlaub come to mind...

  18. #158
    Council Member tequila's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2006
    Location
    New York, NY
    Posts
    1,665

    Default

    Don't forget the most apropos recent example, Admiral William J. Fallon, who was also canned due to a magazine article.

  19. #159
    Council Member Pete's Avatar
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    North Mountain, West Virginia
    Posts
    990

    Default Maj. Gen. John Singlaub

    Here's a photo of Jack Singlaub in 1944 when he was a lieutenant on an OSS Jedburgh team. He has a folding-stock M1 Carbine.

  20. #160
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2006
    Location
    UK
    Posts
    13,351

    Default Terry adds

    A Canadian SWC member has written a four page article on this matter:http://www.jmss.org/jmss/index.php/j...e/view/307/329

    Hat tip to a Canadian resume of think tank writing:
    The relief of US General Stanley McChrystal as commander of NATO forces in Afghanistan was both a fascinating and disturbing event, claims the Centre of Military and Strategic Studies’ Terry Terriff.
    davidbfpo

Similar Threads

  1. "Processing Intelligence Collection: Learning or Not?"
    By Tracker275 in forum Intelligence
    Replies: 2
    Last Post: 02-21-2011, 12:46 AM
  2. New to S2, need FM 34-20 and collection management info
    By schmoe in forum RFIs & Members' Projects
    Replies: 19
    Last Post: 02-07-2009, 11:03 PM
  3. Relationship between the political system and causes of war (questions)
    By AmericanPride in forum RFIs & Members' Projects
    Replies: 56
    Last Post: 03-30-2008, 09:16 PM
  4. Intelligence Collection and Sharing
    By SWJED in forum Intelligence
    Replies: 30
    Last Post: 12-03-2007, 03:22 AM

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •