The Navy is losing the information war, one Captain at a time

The USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT, from Task and Purpose

As more details emerge concerning CAPT Crozier of the USS THEODORE ROOSEVELT, its becoming clear he has a distinct possibility of being reinstated as commanding officer. Given his circumstances, people have asked me if the Navy learned any lessons from this.

My answer is, no.

The Navy is in the middle of grappling with information warfare, and its not doing a great job, mostly because there is a significant age (and thus cultural) problem in its senior officers. The average age of an admiral hovers around the 50’s, meaning most were born in the late 1960s (or earlier!) and spent their childhood without internet. They entered the Navy in an era when information could legitimately be controlled while underway. Censoring mail and family grams was normal. When bad things happened, the first response is to close off the news, solve the problem, and then tell everyone what happened, and during that process, it was (in the past) totally OK to hide details and be opaque. In general, these officers grew up in a time when information could be totally controlled.

The environment is very different now, and these old responses don’t work. CAPT Crozier would have grown up with some internet access, and he is probably more savvy online than most of his senior officers. When his boss tried to clamp down on information flow, CAPT Crozier easily worked around it. It was an ugly black eye to have a video showing him leaving to cheering Sailors, and it likely wasn’t an accident that this happened. In warfare terms, CAPT Crozier was flying an F-18 against an opponent using a biplane. It wasn’t a fair fight.

Despite this really ugly fight, the Navy is unlikely to learn anything. Contrary to popular myth, the Navy isn’t inherently a learning organization. It learns through death and injury. When Sailors die, or when ships get sunk, the Navy learns really fast, mainly through firing people and changing operating procedures. But its unlikely anyone will lose their job over this incident, and the Navy won’t put out any additional guidance on how to handle these circumstances. We’ll only learn as flag officers start coming from people that grew up in an age when information had to be managed, not controlled.

This also explains why Navy isn’t good at information warfare. Do you see Navy countering misinformation well? Not really. At best, Navy commanders engage on social media via their public affairs officers. But posting on the command’s Facebook page isn’t enough to go viral and get your message out. And yet you see commanders claim, time and time again, that because they posted articles and gave the occasional interview, they “maneuvered” in the information environment. Meanwhile, Russia and China run rings around the Navy, easily maneuvering against their stories and constantly pushing their own agenda.

While we don’t want to admit it, in the information realm, we are flying the biplane, and our adversaries are flying jet aircraft. It’s not a fair fight, and won’t be for sometime to come.

This post (clearly) represents the views of the author and not those of the Department of Defense, Department of the Navy, or any other government agency.

This post was edited on 4/27/20 because I mistakenly listed the HARRY TRUMAN instead of the ROOSEVELT. That was an honest mistake, I had been working on something else and swapped the two carriers.

They Tell No Tales

Not suspicious at all

by baldilocks

A mystery has taken hold of me.

Phil Haney was a founding member of the Department of Homeland Security – an agency that investigated him nine times and found nothing untoward. And this very same agency scrubbed its own records that Haney had been using to investigate Islamist terror networks in the United States.

Vaguely, I remember his name from my early days of blogging. He’s back in the news again; unfortunately for being dead.

From Carmine Sabia:

A man who had already exposed President Obama once and was about to do it again has been found shot to death in California.

Police originally labeled the death a suicide but now say that the initial reports were “misinformation” and the case is still open.

Haney blew the whistle on the Obama Administration for, he said, asking him to scrub the records of potential radical Islamists that the Department of Homeland Security was investigating prior to Obama’s election.

Last Friday he was found dead in his car less than three miles from his home from a single gunshot wound to the head, police said.

The initial reported said Haney “appeared to have suffered a single, self-inflicted gunshot wound” and “a firearm was located next to Haney and his vehicle,” Fox News reported.

A new press release from the Amador County Sheriff’s Office now says that the death was not a suicide and that the investigation is “active and ongoing.”

“On February 22, 2020 the Amador County Sheriff’s Office released initial details regarding Philip Haney being found deceased in our jurisdiction. Mr. Haney was located in a park and ride open area immediately adjacent to State Highway 16 near State Highway 124. Highway 16 is a busy state highway and used as a main travel route to and from Sacramento. The location is less than 3 miles from where he was living.

According to other reports I’ve read, Haney was a committed, active Christian. A widower, he was planning to remarry this year. Not exactly a prime candidate for suicide; I guess that’s why that angle was dropped.

I’m reading his book See Something, Say Nothing, published in 2016. It is an indictment of the Obama Administration as lackeys of global jihad and I’m look forward to reading about the San Bernardino and Orlando Islamist attacks, which could have been prevented, according to Haney.

Seems that a lot of highly placed people might benefit greatly by sending Mr. Haney into the next world.

I’m also planning to read Haney’s essay Green Tide Rising; suffice it to say that it’s not about climate change.

I’m a nobody, so it should be easy to explore this without becoming dead myself. But we’ll see.

By the way, I’m “reading” the book via Audible. It seems that dead-tree versions of it are unavailable — at least on Amazon.

Juliette Akinyi Ochieng has been blogging since 2003 as baldilocks. Her older blog is here.  She published her first novel, Tale of the Tigers: Love is Not a Game in 2012.

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