IraqSlogger columnist Eason Jordan let more of the world know that the U.S.'s counter-insurgency manual is available for free on the internet. I'm not as concerned about it as some others seem to be. There are older manuals with just as much information within that have been sitting in used book stores for decades in nearly every country in the world, after all. While technically considered EEFI, the manual itself seems full of what I would term "common sense" tactics and the info is available from many sources. It's more of a guideline, really. I see the info in the manual as being the equivalent of handing someone the instruction booklet for programming their universal television remote control and then setting them loose using it to repair an F-15 fighter jet. There is a world of difference in book-learning and the execution of what you learned when operating at that level.
I'm also thinking that maybe a little disinformation could be involved in the release of the manual. One of the facets of what makes operations successful is that an outside observer is unable to discern they are being played. Perhaps the good guys would be watching and waiting for someone to put faulty ops into motion and reporting, "Al Quacker is using an op from page 17. That trick never works."
Disinformation abounds in the popular media. While I doubt that it is deliberately placed by secret agents (post-1956, anyways) out to sow confusion and is more an artifact of cinema, it never hurts to have it out there, either. Hollywood needs no assistance in showing America's enemies how not to perform covert ops. It's ridiculous to think that some news outlet reporting that an agency can tap into cell phones without the bearer being aware of it is treason or aiding an enemy. The pro's know this and the stupid don't care. In fact, if crime reports are any indication most criminals still do not understand the concept of the security camera.
One of the best examples of misinformation in the cinema that shows the disparity between fantasy and reality is from the 1985 movie that broke the stupidity barrier, Iron Eagle. In Iron Eagle, a student pilot hijacks a fighter jet to save his father, who is held prisoner in a foreign country. The young pilot is aided and abetted by several high school pals, who hack into military computers and have unfettered access to the most sensitive areas of a base to obtain supplies and missiles for the rescue mission.
When I saw iron Eagle it was while I was in the armed forces and I went with several friends to a base exchange theater to see it. The following conversation from the film takes place between a teen-ager in a car and the security police officer at the gate entrance to a weapons storage area full of ammo, bombs and missiles.
SP: What are you doing here?After pimping out his sister to a G.I., the kid gets access to the facility and then arranges to steal a planeload of ordinance. Stupid, eh? Oh, yes, very stupid. My friends and the audience, also persons in the military, jeered loudly and laughed. I didn't, because that scene was a-okay with me. If the rest of the world thinks it is that easy to get into a secured weapons depot then I won't do much to change their feeble minds about it. It just means that the stupid and crazy will get weeded out all the sooner by trying to get in so our boys (and girls) can focus on watching out for the real threats. It's like Darwinism for dumbasses.
Kid: We want to see the new Packer 32s.
SP: I can't sneak you in during the day.
Kid: Come on, Sweeney. My sister said to ask you to do it for her.
SP: Was she talking about me?
Kid: I heard her tell Mom that she was upset that you don't call her more.
SP: I can sneak you in for five minutes, but only one of you.
So all you evil types, by all means, download your copy of the new Counter-Insurgency Manual. Pay special attention to the chapter on ethics, because you know we'll be following those guidelines so very, very carefully that you can catch us with our pants down. Sure.
Tags: Military Insurgents