Dead Drop: September 30

WHY DIDN’T WE THINK OF THAT? You know all those stories about how military recruiting in the U.S. is in the tank?  And how young men and women are staying away from enlistment offices in droves – with an enthusiasm matched only by the potential recruits in Russia? Well, rest assured, Pentagon officials are aware of this and are working on fixes.  DOD officials told a Senate hearing last week that the military needs to “harness the power of social media and influencers” to make young people think more favorably about signing up.  Stars and Stripes notes that some of the officials also blamed “negative news coverage” for too many youths marching away from military service. Yeah, that’s the ticket. Good news.

BE ALL YOU CAN BE, BRING ALL YOU CAN BRING: If U.S. military recruiters think they are having a hard time bringing in fresh recruits – their Russian counterparts would like to have a word. Talk about “negative news coverage” – Putin’s putative three-day war that is now in its seventh month has been a recruiters’ worst nightmare. The Kremlin’s partial mobilization order has called on many men of enlistment age (apparently ranging from the late teens to mid-60’s) to head for the borders. In Russia, protesters have taken to showering induction centers with Molotov Cocktails and social media and influencers have been circulating dispiriting messages – such as this one (via Russian Media Monitor Julia Davis) which appears to show a female official telling inductees to bring their own first aid equipment to the war and recommending that they raid their wives and girlfriends’ hygiene supply because apparently, some products make good replacements for tourniquets. 

The Cipher Brief has become the most popular outlet for former intelligence officers; no media outlet is even a close second to The Cipher Brief in terms of the number of articles published by formers.” —Sept. 2018, Studies in Intelligence, Vol. 62

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