December 18, 2005
SOUNDS LIKE THE ARMY IS blowing it with bloggers:
That is, they seem to have been given a highly negative sense of the blogosphere, and were discouraging soldiers from posting anything that might affect anything. Which to me is sass-akwards. Milbloggers, in my non-humble opinion, have done more for the war effort and more to correct misleading reports than the entire Army Public Affairs Branch has (note: this is not a slam on them, but praise for the MilBlog community). The Army should be encouraging troops to give *more* information on their first-hand impressions and how things are going, not less. "Winning the War" begins at home - we're not going to be defeated here, but may have to pull out because of people's impressions at home, which in my opinion seem to be shaped by misleading reports of what the overall picture here is. (Note again - I'm writing less from my own direct experiences than from the impression I get second-hand, both talking to people who have direct experiences and reading what I consider to be reliable sources). This attitude towards soldier-bloggers, which might be limited to just the 4th Division, seems to be another example of the Army shooting itself in the foot - making its mission harder.
That seems right to me. I understand concerns about operational security, but this seems more like a (doomed) effort to regain lost control over information flow. Given the ready market for it in big media, damaging information will still flow freely -- this will just make it harder for the helpful stuff to get out.