Promising mid-career officer's comments:
Have you seen this? Passing off DoD-sponsored “sock puppets” as Information Operations (IO) is ridiculous on its face, as it is a waste of time, tax-payer dollars, and once again represents a one-off, niche contractor hardware/software solution that will show not only no ROI, but is likely to hurt our engagement efforts from the mere mention of this article in some foreign venues.
It ticks me off that DoD is investing in these types of programs instead of actually educating and training its personnel/forces on international conditions and realities through open media avenues. If done properly and consistently such an effort could well produce a cadre of ad-hoc IO proponents who may be inclined to engage foreigners via social media on a variety of hot-button issues (among which extremism is likely to be a part, although not necessarily the primary issue) as the natural outgrowth of their developing awareness and own
personal concern, not as part of some elaborate, pre-planned information campaign.
In fact, I am willing to bet such an investment in our folks would produce more straightforward and meaningful dialog that would contribute to future stability, peace, and trend towards understanding and shared ideals — vice trying to manipulate foreign media through fake personas managed by remote operators.
I mean really, who comes up with this stuff?
Phi Beta Iota: It breaks our heart to see the new two and three star generals following in the “go along to get along” careerist footpaths of the four-star generals and their predecessors who created this mess in the first place by not listening in the 1990's when the independent of mind had this nailed. We wish every happiness for these young generals–they are at a fork in the road: be all you can be, or not. Education and culture, multinational open source everything, are the key. To ignore that is to betray every young American, in uniform or not.