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Canadian Forces Reservists behind fake letter warning of wolves being released

Haggis

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Defund the CAF!

Oh, wait.... that's happened already.

Defund the, ummmm, wolves!
 

dapaterson

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I found this actual recording of Commander, 36 CBG.

https://youtu.be/ORvkElqw0QM?t=23
 

CBH99

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I realize I'm probably missing a key element in this, or maybe this is just one of the issues that I didn't recognize the seriousness of.  Either way, I apologize if the following sounds ignorant.


But...what is the HUGE deal here?

-  The military was conducting some sort of training in regards to how to handle foreign actors using influence activities against us (Which has already happened in the Ukraine and Latvia, via Russia.  As well as a never ending campaign via China)

-  A fake document was drafted as part of the training

-  It was accidentally distributed to A FEW HOUSEHOLDS in a remote part of Nova Scotia

-  Both departments immediately addressed the issue, acknowledged it was training purposes, and distributed accidentally.  Both departments reassured the public that wolves were not in fact released into the wild surrounding their community



We aren't talking 80 wolves.  Or 800 wolves.  We're talking 8.  EIGHT.  Eight freaking wolves -- none of which were actually real.


The unit responsible already acknowledged it was a simple training exercise, apologized for accidentally distributing it to a few households, and has already apologized & stated they will review their training procedures so the issue doesn't happen again in the future.  Seems to be a one off. 


Isn't it time to move on from this already?? 


:2c:

 

dapaterson

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No.  One does not create, even for training purposes, documents targeting Canada and Canadians.  That should not need to be said.
 

brihard

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CBH99 said:
I realize I'm probably missing a key element in this, or maybe this is just one of the issues that I didn't recognize the seriousness of.  Either way, I apologize if the following sounds ignorant.


But...what is the HUGE deal here?

-  The military was conducting some sort of training in regards to how to handle foreign actors using influence activities against us (Which has already happened in the Ukraine and Latvia, via Russia.  As well as a never ending campaign via China)

-  A fake document was drafted as part of the training

-  It was accidentally distributed to A FEW HOUSEHOLDS in a remote part of Nova Scotia

-  Both departments immediately addressed the issue, acknowledged it was training purposes, and distributed accidentally.  Both departments reassured the public that wolves were not in fact released into the wild surrounding their community



We aren't talking 80 wolves.  Or 800 wolves.  We're talking 8.  EIGHT.  Eight freaking wolves -- none of which were actually real.


The unit responsible already acknowledged it was a simple training exercise, apologized for accidentally distributing it to a few households, and has already apologized & stated they will review their training procedures so the issue doesn't happen again in the future.  Seems to be a one off. 


Isn't it time to move on from this already?? 


:2c:

I think it touches on some pretty deep sensitivities around how our military uses information in an age of disinformation, and general skepticism towards the good faith of the government, and of its coercive arms.

All of us here are possessed of the knowledge and experience to know to chalk this up to little more than Troops Are Dumb, but to the public they see the military - an opaque and often incomprehensible organization - engaging in deliberate information operations versus Canadians. They don't care about the intent, they care about the results, and the degree of immediate transparency.

On the military side, a handful of phone calls and a handful of hours would have arrived at the coarse truth of this, enough so that someone could get ahead of this and say flatly "Mistakes were made in the course of training, and we take ownership of that. Here's what went wrong, as exactly as we can tell right now. We'll be back to you soon, once we have more detail, to tell you exactly how it won't happen again".

We are living in paranoid times, and people will be quick to believe or suspect the worst - or at least to not rule it out as implausible. To us on this site, this is a fantastic 'that guy' story. To the general public, it's dark and suspicious and nefarious, and the onus is on the military to work hard to correct that.

Anything resembling state propaganda in a liberal democracy can and should be scrutinized heavily. In this case, it was very literally state propaganda, absent 'EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE' along the top. Rookie mistake, but one with strategic consequences for CAF's domestic image.
 

lenaitch

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Not too sure about the "remote" part.  King's County is ~60K pop, has CFB Greenwood, a university and several towns.  Aldershot is only a couple of klics north of Kentville.  Do we even know how many letters were sent out?
 

Jarnhamar

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dapaterson said:
No.  One does not create, even for training purposes, documents targeting Canada and Canadians.  That should not need to be said.

I'm pretty biased. Anytime I've been on exercise with the IA teams they've driven around and behaved like assholes and were untouchable. As in out of play so they spend all night dicking you around but you can't do anything about them.

Think you hit a great point. Canadians should never be targeted.
 

ballz

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I have the same bias, for the same reason. There's not too many people sitting around upset that they won't have IA attachments on exercise with them for a while. Every time I had to work with them I would have traded them for an extra mag charger.
 

Remius

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Jarnhamar said:
I'm pretty biased. Anytime I've been on exercise with the IA teams they've driven around and behaved like assholes and were untouchable. As in out of play so they spend all night dicking you around but you can't do anything about them.

Think you hit a great point. Canadians should never be targeted.

Yep. Especially your first para.
 

Remius

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ballz said:
I have the same bias, for the same reason. There's not too many people sitting around upset that they won't have IA attachments on exercise with them for a while. Every time I had to work with them I would have traded them for an extra mag charger.

Me too.  It’s like you, Jarnhammer and I have all seen the same movie or something.
 

Jarnhamar

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Remius said:
Me too.  It’s like you, Jarnhammer and I have all seen the same movie or something.

If you watched a young IA cpl and mcpl attempt to critique a major's company defensive position in front of higher up's during an AAR it was the same ex :)
 

blacktriangle

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For those of us who haven't really paid attention to CAF IA...is this just an evolution of the old PSYOPS/CIMIC "Tactical Operator"?

Thanks.
 

MilEME09

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reveng said:
For those of us who haven't really paid attention to CAF IA...is this just an evolution of the old PSYOPS/CIMIC "Tactical Operator"?

Thanks.

The two are considered two different entities now, and IA is once again under going another restructure. that said this sounds like IA Coy`s analyst's and officers may of gone a bit to far, and made mistakes.
 

blacktriangle

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MilEME09 said:
The two are considered two different entities now, and IA is once again under going another restructure. that said this sounds like IA Coy`s analyst's and officers may of gone a bit to far, and made mistakes.

I seem to remember them as distinctly different roles, but wasn't sure if they'd been merged under "IA". Lots of PRes used to jump on tours doing CIMIC, PSYOPS, but most of the rank and file never really seemed clear on what they did, or would confuse them with source handlers/interrogators etc. Didn't these at one point fall under the "Area Troops" before the whole division debacle came about? Regardless, I have no doubt some filling these roles did good work in Afghanistan, I just sort of stopped hearing about it after that...

We live in a world that could no doubt benefit from IA capabilities, although I just don't get why they need to focus on handing out stupid flyers instead of focusing on the digital realm (like our adversaries do, 24/7/365) Is there any focus on that? Or just "boots on the ground"?

I'm pretty sure there's at least one person on here who is well versed in this stuff (and if you are reading this, I've always enjoyed your posts...)
 

MilEME09

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CIMIC and PSYOPs are two sides of the same coin under the IA Umbrella. CIMIC more deals with the civil military cooperation side of a conflict. Psyops deals more on the military capabilities.


Example used from maple resolve last year. At the start of the EX the head of IA coy asked what the civilian price of a cow, a chicken, and a goat were and got a good laugh thats it. Fast forward a few days and a convoy had killed a farmers 5 cows, the farmer was now demanding 5 million in compensation. IA knew that the price per cow was only a few thousand, questioning why he wanted so much, psyops operators figures out that the civilian was funding insurgent activity against coalition forces and was an enemy SF informant.

Meanwhile CIMIC teams were going village to village and figuring out the needs of the towns and how helping towns may resolve conflict.


Its a lot more complicated then this but a lot of there work is behind the scenes.
 

CBH99

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Brihard said:
I think it touches on some pretty deep sensitivities around how our military uses information in an age of disinformation, and general skepticism towards the good faith of the government, and of its coercive arms.

All of us here are possessed of the knowledge and experience to know to chalk this up to little more than Troops Are Dumb, but to the public they see the military - an opaque and often incomprehensible organization - engaging in deliberate information operations versus Canadians. They don't care about the intent, they care about the results, and the degree of immediate transparency.

On the military side, a handful of phone calls and a handful of hours would have arrived at the coarse truth of this, enough so that someone could get ahead of this and say flatly "Mistakes were made in the course of training, and we take ownership of that. Here's what went wrong, as exactly as we can tell right now. We'll be back to you soon, once we have more detail, to tell you exactly how it won't happen again".

We are living in paranoid times, and people will be quick to believe or suspect the worst - or at least to not rule it out as implausible. To us on this site, this is a fantastic 'that guy' story. To the general public, it's dark and suspicious and nefarious, and the onus is on the military to work hard to correct that.

Anything resembling state propaganda in a liberal democracy can and should be scrutinized heavily. In this case, it was very literally state propaganda, absent 'EXERCISE EXERCISE EXERCISE' along the top. Rookie mistake, but one with strategic consequences for CAF's domestic image.


Well said Brihard, thanks.  Helps put it in a different perspective for me. 

 

Remius

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That was well said.  Reminds me of those “what my family thinks I do, what my friends think I do, what the public thinks I do and what I really do” memes.



 
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