I’m sure you all saw or heard about the Washington Post article of December 9, 2019, “At War With The Truth” which you can find at https://wapo.st/2Plvhyl and is a photo source. The article claimed that “senior U.S. officials failed to tell the truth about the war in Afghanistan throughout the 18-year campaign, making rosy pronouncements they knew to be false and hiding unmistakable evidence the war had become unwinnable.” As a result of Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, the results of over 400 interviews were revealed.
Among the most telling of those interviews was a quote from LTG (R) Douglas Lute (you can read his bio here). According to the General: ““We were devoid of a fundamental understanding of Afghanistan — we didn’t know what we were doing,” Douglas Lute, a three-star Army general who served as the White House’s Afghan war czar during the Bush and Obama administrations, told government interviewers in 2015. He added: “What are we trying to do here? We didn’t have the foggiest notion of what we were undertaking.”
As a Viet Nam veteran, I was reminded of a similar Washington Post story which came to be known as the Pentagon papers. For those of you who do not remember, the Pentagon Papers was a collection of classified DOD reports on the conflict in Viet Nam. Just like the latest release, the Pentagon Papers indicated that the war was not going nearly as well as the US public was led to believe.
PSYOP Today – What Does Congress Know?
In my role as First VP of POVA, I decided to ask my Congressional Representative about PSYOP manning. Here is the text of the letter dated 5 December 2019 from my Rep.
“Thank you for contacting me to express your concerns about funding cuts to the U.S. Army's psychological operations (PSYOP). I appreciate that you took the lime to share your thoughts with me and for speaking with me at the Veterans Day parade. I apologize for the delayed written response.
Like you, I recognize the strategic importance of the U.S. Army's PSYOP units. Both active duty and reserve PSYOP units play a pivotal role in disseminating important information to local populations in foreign countries and are critical to our national security. Helping locals share information about schools reopening or NATO-sponsored building projects, for example, are proven ways to positively impact U.S. perception abroad and can help to keep U.S. forces deployed overseas out of harm's way.
My staff shared your inquiry about this program to the Office of the Chief Legislative Liaison
(OCLL) for the Army. You may be interested to know that the OCLL informed me that the Army's psychological operations units are currently manned well above the authorized leve.ls at almost every rank and that there is no plan to reduce these levels in the foreseeable future. My office was notified by OCLL that PSYOP units are facing challenges in recruiting, but have been told that the Pentagon is working to address this challenge and has made recruiting one of their top priorities. You may be pleased to know that the Active Duty Army Special Operations Forces (ARSOF) PSYOP Initial Entry Training pipeline, which was instituted just a year and a half ago, is beginning to produce pipeline graduates. While I was informed that it is still too early to identify the impact of this pipeline program on recruiting levels, the program has the potential to assist in the growth of Active Duty Enlisted PSYOP forces in the future.”
I’d like readers to let me know how this picture compares to reality.
Thanks for your support over the years.
All the best to you and yours for the Holiday Season. This will be my last posting of PSYOPREGIMENT.BLOGPSOT for 2019. May 2020 be your best year ever!