Walking the walk of cooperative information flow

by Julia Mahlejd on 1/7/2010 · 1 comment

The irony of Gen Mike Flynn’s excellent piece on Fixing Intel in Afghanistan is that although it argues for greater information sharing within ISAF he somehow forgot to share the information of its publication with ISAF.

Now, imagine you are a journalist in Afghanistan and your interest has been piqued by Gen Flynn’s candid and courageous article. You naturally want a quote from the source itself. So you call up ISAF where Gen Flynn is Deputy Chief of Staff for Intelligence. And ISAF Public Affairs tells you they know nothing about it. You gotta wonder, is this a deliberate ploy to prove a point about poor information flow within the organisation? Probably not intentionally, but the point has been proven nonetheless. In your own article you gently mock the mission. Now the ISAF image has taken another small hit following Flynn’s barrage. Perhaps insignificant in itself, but the cumulative effect of bad press surely can’t be helping the COIN objective of winning the support of the people.

On the other hand it’s great that in this probably make-or-break year for the mission that there is such sophisticated self-awareness of its limitations. It’s nice that the higher ups are talking the talk, let’s just hope we’ll soon see them walking the walk.


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– author of 10 posts on 17_PersonNotFound.

Julia has lived and worked in Afghanistan since 2008.

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{ 1 comment }

Ray Finch January 7, 2010 at 3:10 pm

Does not surprise me at all. There is an abyss between what the smart pundits/intel analysts are writing and the grim reality on the ground in A-stan. Most prefer to look the other way as they pocket their fat paycheck.

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