There's a bit of disagreement
among senior U.S. Army commanders over how to deal with the Internet. In the
last ten years, the web has gone from a curiosity, to a potential security
leak, to a potential weapon against terrorism. The current thinking is that the
army would be helped, and security not much threatened at all, if current
restrictions on troops creating blogs, battlefield video and lots of net-based
noise, be lifted. It's pointed out that troops who want to sound off on the
web, manage to do so despite the restrictions. Commanders have better things to
do than hunt down unauthorized blogging in the ranks. The troops make
battlefield videos and post them, anonymously if need be. Some generals are now suggesting that this
behavior be encouraged, that the army get in front of this movement, rather
than looking bad because the troops are easily defying orders to stay away from
discussing or displaying their army activities on the web.
problem is that all military organizations are about control and discipline.
These characteristics are necessary to survive and win in combat. But at the
same time, the most successful units encourage a lot of initiative from the
troops. That's what blogging and much web activity is, and the pro-web generals
want the rest of the high command to get with it and drop the restrictions on
troops blogging and posting videos and other material. In a war where the
Internet has become one of the battlegrounds, some American generals are, in
effect, being accused of snatching defeat from the jaws of victory.