Monday, November 17, 2008

Masks: A PSYACT Themselves

Having discussed interpreters in the previous post, let me turn my attention to the issues of masks themselves. The quote below reminds me of a 1929 line from then Secretary of State Henry Stimson, “Gentlemen don’t read other people’s mail.”

"We are a professional Army and professional units don't conceal their identity by wearing masks," Lt. Col. Steve Stover, a spokesman for the U.S. military, wrote in an e-mail. He expressed appreciation for the service and sacrifice of the interpreters but said those dissatisfied with the new policy "can seek alternative employment."

Strikes me that LTC Stover may be a little short sighted here. We are not wearing bright red coats marching down a road. The nature of urban warfare and insurgency is that thinking ‘out of the box’ should be the norm, not the exception. Edicts from on high often have unforeseen and severetly detrimental effects at the local level.
While in fact there may not be an issue with the supply of interpreters today (which I’m not quite ready to concede), the global supply and demand for interpreters and individuals able to carry USG messages in their native language needs all the help it can get.

And as for masks being unprofessional – I don’t think my two friends here would agree.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

Its clear how Bush went wrong in his execution of the war; that is, he executed it with civilians. It was a mistake of Clinton to remove the Joint Chiefs from the chain-of-command and produce the National Command Authority, making the President act like a general. As a sergeant, an officer gives me their intent and I find a way to carry out that intent. Nothing is worse than an officer that wants to play sergeant, or a president that wants to play general. The civilian leadership is supposed to give the generals their intent, which is supposed to come from the people, and the generals figure out how to make it happen.
That Lt. Col. needs to take a page from this simple understanding and shut the hell up when it comes to spec. ops.
Let the regular army be expert in what it does, and let psyop, CA, and SF do what it does. We can only operate in a synergy of function and efficiency, when we play our given roles.
It's always frustrating to see CA soldiers want to act like Rangers, or regular army officers tell us what's what in psyop.