Bring Back the Milblogs


I found a very interesting post yesterday at Milblogging.com called Milblog Buzz – Top General: Let Soldiers Blog. It seems that at least one high level military type, Lieutenant General William B. Caldwell, IV, Commanding General of the Combined Arms Center at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas, believes that the troops should be “allowed” to blog. According to the General, we are losing the information war. Milbloggers provide the American public and peoples around the world a first hand accounting of what war is all about from a soldier’s perspective, are we winning or losing, what’s it like to be away from home, what’s it like to fight, and news the media won’t provide. The enemy has long capitalized on this tool or tactic!

Though many will disagree, I think the milbloggers also can help the cause of preventing the need for war. When our troops write about supplying shoes, clothes, schools, school material, toys, candy, soccer balls, we get another picture of our troops and the other coalition forces. When they write about accepting tea with an Iraqi family or providing medical care to an Afghan family, other people in those countries see this and see another side of our troops. They see that we aren’t there to conquer them; but, to help them. They see the troops taking time to learn the local customs and showing respect for their customs. Trust can be built and nations can see that they can be helped by others without fear of conquest.

But, the blogs do more than update us on the status of the war. They do more than provide us a view of the customs and culture of the region. They also allow the troops a means of staying connected with family and friends. They provide a support network through their readers. They provide a coping mechanism for dealing with the horrors and trauma of war. In one case I personally know of, a suicidal soldier with PTSD was able to be helped. He wasn’t aware of his problem and his unit hadn’t picked it up yet. A blog reader did recognize his situation.

Small Wars Journal has a copy of the General’s essay, Changing the Organizational Culture (Updated) in which he writes in detail why he feels we need to allow our troops to Blog. He also discusses the importance of rebutting the terrorists information war. The war effort is greatly hampered by a failure on our part to fight the war on all fronts. This is an excellent presentation by the General. It covers all sides and presents an irrefutable case for stepping up our information war and just how important a role the milblogs play in that role. There is also a detailed synopsis for how to allow the troops to blog and still meet Security demands. Here is a small excerpt:

Frontier 6:

The public may have an appetite for the sensational, but when it comes to their men and women in uniform, they also have a very strong desire to hear their personal stories. They want to know what it is like, what the Soldiers are experiencing, and how the Soldiers feel about their mission. That is why we must encourage our Soldiers to interact with the media, to get onto blogs and to send their YouTube videos to their friends and family. When our Soldiers tell/share their stories, it has an overwhelmingly positive effect.

[Frontier 6 is Lieutenant General William B. Caldwell, IV, Commanding General of the Combined Arms Center at Ft. Leavenworth, Kansas]

Today Wired also reports, Top General: Let Soldiers Blog. Apparently, bloggers are picking up on the General’s remarks. I know, for me, that the war has begun to feel like an event removed from me. Between no news or negative media coverage, I find it hard to stay connected with the war. Though I am an avid blogger and a strong supporter of the troops, the war, and the President, lack of information, progress, failures, any real news, make the war almost seem like a dream, give it an unreal quality!

I hope the Pentagon listens to the General. Go read exactly what he wrote. I believe you will like what he has to say. Then pass the word around. Let’s let the Pentagon and the other hi-level military officials know we support General Caldwell. Bring back the Milblogs!!!

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~ by devildog6771 on February 4, 2008.

2 Responses to “Bring Back the Milblogs”

  1. You may be right. But, I prefer to think reason may still win out!

  2. Too late.

    From now on your knowledge of things military will be managed.

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