"This is the final nail in the coffin for combat blogging," said retired paratrooper Matthew Burden, editor of The Blog of War anthology. "No more military bloggers writing about their experiences in the combat zone. This is the best PR the military has — it’s most honest voice out of the war zone. And it’s being silenced."
Compare the Army’s fear of information flows with the jihadists deep investment in them by reading Lawrence Wright’s "The Terror Web."
"The Internet provides confused young Muslims in Europe with a virtual community," Wright wrote. "Those who cannot adapt to their new homes discover on the Internet a responsive and compassionate forum. ‘The Internet stands in for the idea of the ummah, the mythologized Muslim community,’ Marc Sageman, the psychiatrist and former C.I.A. officer, said. ‘The Internet makes this ideal community concrete, because one can interact with it.’ He compares this virtual ummah to romantic conceptions of nationhood, which inspire people not only to love their country but to die for it."
The internet has also fostered many virtual communities of individuals who believe in freedom, religious tolerance, and victory in the war against the jihaidsts. Many of the participants in those communities are milbloggers, and much crucial information on and perspective about the war has come from the milbloggers. The Army has now concluded that those flows do more harm than good, but I cannot fathom how any serious student of the blogosphere could reach such a conclusion.
More at Blackfive. Matt correctly notes that "Operational Security is of paramount importance."
"But," he adds, "we are losing the Information War on all fronts. Fanatic-like adherence to OPSEC will do us little good if we lose the few honest voices that tell the truth about The Long War."
A former fetus, the “wordsmith from nantucket” was born in Phoenix, Arizona in 1968. Adopted at birth, wordsmith grew up a military brat. He achieved his B.A. in English from the University of California, Los Angeles (graduating in the top 97% of his class), where he also competed rings for the UCLA mens gymnastics team. The events of 9/11 woke him from his political slumber and malaise. Currently a personal trainer and gymnastics coach.
The wordsmith has never been to Nantucket.