Sunday, March 8, 2015

Sunday Night Reading

Special Operations Command Central Multi-Method Assessment of the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant

March 8, 2015

US security strategy and its implications for the PH

[CIRSS Commentaries] 'It is within the Philippines’ interest that the United States continue to play a leadership role in the world stage'

Interesting tactical combat arms analogy for strategic thinking.


Which brings me back to headspace and timing. To echo General Mattis, we need a renewed global strategy, not unlike that with which we countered the Soviet Union. Maybe we didn’t always make the best decisions (oh hey, Southeast Asia, didn’t see ya there), but it was a strategy and everyone knew where we stood on it. We need to align our strategy with realistic and achievable goals for the military. Once our headspace and timing is correct, we can hear the words, “Enemy troops in the open, 400 meters” and engage, without the fear of it all blowing up in our faces.

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From John Schindler at his XX Committee Blog.  An interesting perspective and some common sense advice:  Think strategically, Take intelligence seriously, Fight corruption hard, Quantity has a quality all its own, But quality counts too.


To sum up, the Russo-Ukrainian War is Kyiv’s to win, if it approaches the future wisely. The last year has been one of defeat after defeat for Ukraine, sometimes needlessly. Vladimir Putin has opted for war against Russia’s vast neighbor, the second biggest country in Europe, and this is now a conflict that Russia cannot win without a massive invasion and mobilization that would be politically and economically toxic to average Russians. Therefore the initiative has passed to Kyiv, if it has the strength and honor to use it. That will require thinking strategically, turning the espionage tables on Moscow, and building the right military machine for the war at hand. All this can be done, but every day that Kyiv does not change course is a further indication that the Poroshenko government does not really want to win.

How Ukraine Can Win

March 8, 2015

Imagine if someone proposed a modern day Morale Operations branch. We have many adversaries who are well versed in such operations and conducting them quite effectively )just look at the controversy over the contracting of the Lincoln Group or the Transregional Web Initiative and just the employment of Propaganda, Psychological Warfare, and Psychological Operations in general - we are so afraid of these concepts we had to change the name of PSYOP to MISO - we do not have the political stomach to conduct these kinds of operations).   Perhaps since it would be such a political lightning rod (and likely an impossibility) to re-create such an organization that maybe we should create an "Anti-Morale Operations branch" and have it focus on exposing those operations and explaining exactly what the adversaries are doing in this area.  Excerpt:

Betty was one of the few women assigned to OSS Morale Operations (MO). “Eventually I was introduced to the MO group in Washington and then I was informed what my duties were.”
The MO branch was in the business of creating rumors that our foreign adversaries would believe. In other words, black propaganda. Betty worked for the Far East division, while the other MO branch serviced Europe. “They taught us how to utilize material tailored for specific targets in the Far East. We had to learn to disseminate the material, a mix of truth and fantasy; we were taught how to get rumors started, for example.” It was at this point that Betty learned basic tradecraft, the same time-honored skills taught to intelligence officers today, skills that served her well in a post-war career at the CIA.
“The group was mostly made up of newspaper men, radio people, artists, cartoonists, and some writers,” said Betty. “Mainly it was the media. That was what the OSS wanted for a quick production start.” Betty’s team included several artists from China, as well as captured Japanese soldiers who were artists in civilian life and willingly offered their talents to the Allied cause.

“Spy Girl” Betty McIntosh Turns 100 Years Old


America is bitterly divided over the threat of Islamic extremism partly because we are now bitterly divided over almost everything. But the impasse also reflects disappointment with the initial responses by presidents from each party.
George W. Bush's domestic antiterrorism architecture has largely survived, with some reassessments by Obama. But the disillusioning results in Afghanistan and Iraq discredited Bush's vision of a "global war on terror" powered by U.S. military force. Obama understandably recoiled from those failures. But even some Democratic thinkers believe he has overcorrected, both by downplaying the depth of the radical threat and by overly limiting America's role in responding to it.


Sustainability should guide America’s strategy against Islamic extremism.

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