Skip to comments.US generals given baffling PowerPoint presentation to try to explain Afghanistan mess
Posted on 04/28/2010 10:11:16 AM PDT by skimbell
Its coloured charts, graphs and bullet-points are supposed to make the most incomprehensible data crystal clear. But even the sharpest military minds in American were left baffled by this PowerPoint slide, a mind-boggling attempt to explain the situation in Afghanistan. 'When we understand that slide, we'll have won the war..
(Excerpt) Read more at dailymail.co.uk ...
Sometimes, technology can be a detriment and not a help. Powerpoint overload is one instance....
Looks like something from Gen. Westmoreland.
If this is truly how they are fighting this war, we need to get the hell out of Afghanistan. These people will never change and nothing we do will change them. All we are doing is getting our youngsters killed and for what. Remember.....back in 1776, our people fought and died for our country. Today, our kids fight and die for someone else they don’t even have anything in common with and those people really don’t give a dam.
I wonder how much of our tax $$ the Contractor was paid to produce that bowl of spaghetti?
BLOC Briefing Induced Loss of Consciousness.
Patton could probably simplify that chart.
Worst. PowerPoint. Ever.
What strikes you as so complicated or incomprehensible? They have just tried to label every significant area or measure determining the outcome of the conflict, and then link those directly related to each other. As a means of trying to spot key bottlenecks or focus areas.
It’s the latest tactic, confuse the Taliban into submission.
I understand what they intended to do, but there is a disconnect between intent and execution. They may have been better served if they used a more macro view on this.
On the other hand, if this is the macro view, we have troubles
Looks kind of like the chart on how the cost-saving obamacare will operate.
I think Grant, Sherman, or Patton could solve the problem.
someone need to frame that at the Guggenheim and call it “Portrait of the Ivy League Mind”
A consultant. I knew it.
I’ll bet some dumbass in the military paid a consulting group big bucks for this.
“We need to get the hell out of Afghanistan.”
Right you are. I am all for America protecting herself, but when this government is using young men and women in such a way as to put their lives in danger instead of letting them win, it is TREASON!!
They ARE fighting for a bunch of liberals who don’t give a damn about them anyway. Bring the troops home.
But that is it, isn’t it? Ozombie doesn’t want them home because he wants them dead over there, instead of here, where they WOULD interfere with his takeover of this country.
Great chart, wrong medium. This is the one that goes on the wall. A good .ppt presentation would break it down into component parts, adhering as closely as possible to the rule of threes.
I'd have put those in four explicit boxes as clearer. The enemy, upper right box. The public, lower right box. The government, lower left box. Coalition military, upper left box. The whole left side represents the government alliance and its directly controlled agents, aka "the authorities". While the whole lower row presents "civilians", government or populace, as distinct from the "combatants", upper row.
The key "5 box row" between the upper right enemy and the populace section of the chart, is meant to track the portions of the population strongly aligned with the terrorists or the government or on the fence, with intermediate boxes for "leaners" or supporters not fully committed or radicalized. That is basically how to keep score - while it is possible to win by just smashing every bit of the upper right dependencies, the likely way to win is to drive public support for the terrorist-insurgents to zero and for the government to 20% committed and 60% leaners or some such.
Do you need all the other nodes and arcs? Well they are trying to map out how effort focused on specific strength-building or nation-building areas may or may not impact the main question. And some of them are clearly issues worth identifying, even if they could be presented in a more organized fashion - like the issue of sanctuaries abroad in the upper right, along with narcotics funding. Or the issues of money flow from coalition to government, or US domestic support for the war, on the left hand side.
It seems to me people here are overreacting to visual "busy-ness" while not being remotely interested in actually diving in to the problem and trying to understand the actual factors driving the war. It is perfectly normal for a field grade officer to only be concerned with his little bit of this problem, and either to think his own efforts are the only "front" that matters, or on the contrary not to see how what he's doing helps or matters at all. It would clearly be useful for anyone that describes to see all the other pieces of the problem and where his own efforts fit.
Which is probably how someone actually constructed this chart - surveying areas men were working on and asking them what their key concerns or goals were, and then linking the ones named by more than one group.
Can it be organized further? Undoubtedly. But pretending that you can just decide from the top down that the war is only about these two things and they are all that matter so its simple, is a recipe for stupidity, not clarity.
I like it. Its pretty.
This is the actual chart.
Sorry, I need more information before I reach a decision on this one.
Looks like something a kindergarten kid would do is "art" class. Well, actually, I think the kid would do better.
Ballad of the PowerPoint Rangers
(To the tune of “The Green Berets”)
Requests are made, from day to day,
Briefings held, and changes made.
Graphics slides, a must they say,
and PowerPoint is the only way.
Computers crash, and printers stall,
Network’s down and soldiers cry,
Briefing’s late so heads will fly.
Pin PowerPoint Slides upon my chest,
Full-color slides, they look the best.
One Hundred Slides were made that day,
But only 3 were ever displayed.
A smile came on the General’s face,
Slides were done and looked just great!
T’was up all night, worked really late,
Just to hear, the General state:
My soldier son, your slides were great,
Briefing’s done, slides up to date.
One problem son, the color’s wrong,
One more chance, or you go home.
So tell my mom, I’ve done my best.
Pin PowerPoint Slides on my chest.
One hundred slides were made that day,
But only 3 were ever displayed.
Over the years, I have seen so many similar presentations by "powerpoint warriors'. The usual culprits are 2nd lieutenants/interns of ALL the Armed Services, ALL departments, ALL Civilain agencies, showing their command of the powerpoint applications. Layers upon layers are used in all their presentations.
Rube Goldberg had nothing on these people.
It's difficult to concentrate, to wonder just what was the initial premise? ;)
But I really did appreciate the glue-and-glitter part.
created in Johnstown, PA in a John Murtha DefPork boileroom, no doubt...
ROTFLMAO! Don't candy-coat it, General...
If I take that to “The Olive Garden” restaurant, do I get a discount?
I would have used Vizio and standard systems engineering notation. But then, that chart is for reference not for
lecturing from. No eye chart can be effective as a lecture aid.
I like the pop-up parts!
Yep. That sets it all out, so even the most uninformed mind can comprehend everything at a glance.
If you can't dazzel them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.
I mean, YOU'RE A GIRL.
I understand what this is trying to do-and it does it well. On building a planning doctrine/situational awareness level it is great.
The senior officers usually usually leave the details to the underlings and only want the big chunks.
You’re right-sometimes a recipe for problems
The Army got “stuck on stupid” years ago with powerpoint. Today, careers don’t go far at all without knowledge of powerpoint. Careers are ruined if powerpoint color printers take too long to get fixed.
lol, no kidding! Or their economic flow chart.
LOL. I’m sure it would be eligible for a grant.