Outrages of the Week:

The COUNTERCOLUMN points out that the US military effort to place stories in the Iraqi press is not only legal but required by Joint Service doctrine.

Relevant passages occur in Annex D to Appendix B (Guidance for PSYOP Operations) and page 29 or so and following.

The guidance is very clear: IO operations should be an integral part of planning at all levels - strategic, operational, and tactical, and that IO operations include a PSYOP component, and PSYOP operations should be coordinated with Public Affairs.

The doctrine also makes it clear on page 29 that news media outlets are an increasingly important part of that battlefield.

The doctrine also makes it clear at several points that the general host nation population is a legitimate target for Information Operations. It was ever thus.

The only thing the doctrine prohibits, with regard to working with foreign media, is using the media to print false information. During time of war, all else is fair game.
Greyhawk at the Mudville Gazette, however, is not comforted because he's too busy being shocked by the latest outrage.
Congratulations to those of you who are still reading - obviously you expressed your outrage by smashing something other than your computer screen. When will the Bush administration learn that it has no business supporting its policies?
You know, this is one of those things that wouldn't have happened if everyone weren't so eager to write boooks about their role in public affairs. If you could rely on people's professionalism, you wouldn't have to worry about their personal sentiments.

It has become usual for every public official who attains any sort of prominence to write tell-all stories the moment they leave their posts (or sometimes before, as in the case of the "Anonymous" Mr. Scheuer). These things have different titles and authors, and they suggest different solutions to common problems. Nevertheless, every one of them could have had the same subtitle: "Why I'm right, and everyone else in the government is dead wrong." No one writes to express support, or to proudly explain their role in helping bring about successful policies. Everyone starts with the assertion that successful policies would have been much more successful if only people had listened to them, and that failed policies were a direct result of people not listening as well.

When you've been hit by one book after another of this type for five years, I'm sure you do get a bit gun shy. "Before we appoint this fellow to a critical position in the GWOT effort," you'd say, "We might as well start planning now for his expose. Find out whether it's going to say we're pawns controlled by a Jewish cabal or a domestic cabal, and also see if you can learn if he thinks we're trying to undermine his department because we are guilty of some secret plan to take over the oil supply, or if he just thinks we're undermining his department because we're morons."

"But we aren't undermining his department," your underling would point out. "After all, we're about to appoint this guy to a critical position in our war effort."

*Sigh.* "You just don't get D.C. politics, do you son?"

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