05 September 2008

Commence Scam Operations...

Time - now.

That's what we've got going on this afternoon, after we all successfully made it through the "live stick" portion of CLS. I'd never done it before, so I was mildly concerned about damaging one of my soldiers, but I hit a nice vein on the first try and all was well.

This evening promises to be a hoot, with another fascinating COIN (that's COunter INsurgency, for anyone who isn't aware) brief on the schedule. The Army has decided to renounce all its prior religions and affiliations, it seems, and offer our total devotion to the philosophy of General Petraeus. The Army has decided to wholeheartedly embrace COIN with an enthusiasm not seen since they embraced Velcro.

Which is fine, really. I mean, hey - it seems to be working better than whatever we called our prior strategy.

But really - the briefs. Now, remember, all our predeployment training is run by a specific organization that exists strictly to mobilize and demobilize soldiers. A lot of the folks who hang out in that specific organzation...well, they've been hanging out there for a while, and have no actual deployed experience. And there doesn't seem to be any...umm...any requirement as far as an area of expertise.

I would say that 80% of the Civil Affairs folks here have at least one deployment to either Iraq or Afghanistan. I'd venture to guess at least 50% have two.

So I'll stipulate that there is some population of deploying soldiers that really benefits from having a series of briefs wherein a random soldier with a random background reads verbatim from a set of slides boiling our national counterinsurgency philosophy down to a few easily digested phrases. I'm sure that helps some people. Really.

But...having stipulated that these briefs are very valuable in their own right, I would think that we could enhance their value to deploying civil affairs soldiers significantly. Since we're required to have several phases of COIN briefs, it would be vastly more useful if we had someone who had recently worked in CA, PSYOPS or SF in the theater of operations come down here and discuss how the Army change in philosophy is effecting the way we (CA) "support U. S. national objectives by assisting the government of a host or occupied area to meet its peoples’ needs and maintain a stable and democratic civil administration."

But that's just one gal talking. Since I doubt my proposed solution will be adopted in the next several hours, I'm going to cease and desist bitching. My immediate priorities include a nap and a little PT.