information operations

March 20, 2009

Blogging military blogging

I came across a blog called Soldiers in the blogosphere recently. It’s run by an active duty US Army Major, Jakob Bruhl, and is part of his graduation requirement from the Air Command and Staff College. Maj Bruhl discusses whether soldiers should be encouraged to write blogs and over the last few weeks he has […]

March 10, 2009

Ministry of Defence blog rumbling forward

The Ministry of Defence has been rather slow on the uptake in the social media world. Partly because they’ve just been slow – it happens in large bureaucratic organisations and partly because there are a lot of difficulties working out how best to play the communication game when lives are at stake and sensitive issues […]

March 6, 2009

US military revisits blogging

The US military remains at the forefront of social media and military policy but recently new questions about the value of blogging have been raised. There has been plenty of debate in particular on the US Army Combined Arms Center site about the role of blogs as a means of strategic communication. Apparently, ‘the US […]

March 3, 2009

Counterinsurgency and new media

The Small Wars Journal has put together a collection of thoughts on the impact of new media on the way the US military has fought in Afghanistan and Iraq. Well worth bookmarking, reading, and re-reading. I was going to pick out a ‘best of’, but I was struggling. It’s all very interesting. It includes thoughts […]

March 2, 2009

(Not) contacting the IDF through social media

In my post about the Israeli Defence Force and their use of social media during the Gaza conflict, I said I was trying to chase up the IDF for a comment or response to it. I, for one, would be interested to hear their take on it. Several emails have met with no response, so […]

February 25, 2009

How the IDF fell off the social media bandwagon

I’ve been thinking for a while about how the Israeli Defence Force used social media during the conflict in Gaza and I’m not at all convinced the campaign was successful. Yes, the IDF was right to engage with the Internet and social media. But the way they went about it was questionable. I have two […]

January 21, 2009

I’d like to see more military style from the Ministry of Defence’s Twitter feed

I’ve just come across @defencehq. It’s the official twitter feed of the Minstry of Defence and more or less exclusively links to Defence News articles. I scrolled back to the first few updates which I couldn’t help but have a little chuckle at: “testing twitter 8:06 PM Sep 4th, 2008 from web” “testing twitter 2 […]

November 28, 2008

Is RICU trying to influence the media?

Recently, Dr Andrew Garner from RICU gave a talk at King’s College London about the government’s counter terrorism strategy. There’s more information and background about RICU in a previous post, but just to reiterate for the purposes of what appears below, this is Garner’s personal view and not that of RICU or the UK Government. […]

November 24, 2008

“Happy to work ourselves out of a job”: An insight into the UK Government’s counter terrorism communications unit

This post is long overdue, but I wanted to make sure I had time to write it because it concerns a potentially sensitive subject. At the end of October, Dr Andrew Garner from the UK Government’s Research, Information and Communications Unit (RICU), very kindly gave a talk at King’s College, London. He pointed out that […]

November 11, 2008

US Army recruitment website relaunches

How about this for an army recruitment website? Relaunched today,, includes all sorts of video from soldiers deployed in Iraq. (Interestingly there are also strong video elements on the British Army recruitment website.) In an introductory montage, the site proclaims that in the past information about the war in Iraq was in the hands […]

October 30, 2008

Terrorists to use Twitter?

A report by the US Army says Twitter, the popular microblogging tool, is a weapon that could be used by Al Qaeda to help them carry out attacks. The full report put together by the 304th Military Infantry Battalion can be viewed here (pdf) and Wired magazine has a good summary of the main points. […]

September 27, 2008

US Army General challenges the military to embrace new media at Milblogging Conference

“We need to change the organisational culture of our military. A culture that emphasises control of all pertinent events within our battlespace. And yet the stark realisation is that we cannot control all aspects of this new media…” This is an extract from a video of Lieutenant General William Caldwell speaking at the recent Milblogging […]