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US generals given baffling PowerPoint presentation to try to explain Afghanistan mess
MailOnline ^ | 28th April 2010 | Mail Foreign Service

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 ...


TOPICS: News/Current Events
KEYWORDS: military; powerpoint
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Check out the flowchart at the link. How in the he11 can anyone expect our miitary to be able to function with fool like we have in charge trying to direct everything.
1 posted on 04/28/2010 10:11:16 AM PDT by skimbell
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To: skimbell

Sometimes, technology can be a detriment and not a help. Powerpoint overload is one instance....


2 posted on 04/28/2010 10:15:02 AM PDT by Old Teufel Hunden
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To: skimbell

3 posted on 04/28/2010 10:15:54 AM PDT by Dallas59 (President Robert Gibbs 2009-2013)
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To: skimbell

Looks like something from Gen. Westmoreland.


4 posted on 04/28/2010 10:16:51 AM PDT by trumandogz (The Democrats are driving us to Socialism at 100 MPH -The GOP is driving us to Socialism at 97.5 MPH)
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To: skimbell

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.


5 posted on 04/28/2010 10:18:32 AM PDT by RC2
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6 posted on 04/28/2010 10:18:33 AM PDT by thackney (life is fragile, handle with prayer)
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To: skimbell
How Not To Use Powerpoint
7 posted on 04/28/2010 10:19:55 AM PDT by beaversmom
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To: thackney

I wonder how much of our tax $$ the Contractor was paid to produce that bowl of spaghetti?


8 posted on 04/28/2010 10:20:24 AM PDT by tgusa (Investment plan: blued steel, brass, lead, copper)
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To: Dallas59

BLOC – Briefing Induced Loss of Consciousness.


9 posted on 04/28/2010 10:20:51 AM PDT by TankerKC (I think P. T. Barnum had his time off by about 59 seconds.)
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To: skimbell
WTH, whoever did this is a moron. I have never seen a flow chart this bad ever!


10 posted on 04/28/2010 10:24:26 AM PDT by jerri (Is it over yet?)
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To: skimbell

Patton could probably simplify that chart.


11 posted on 04/28/2010 10:25:47 AM PDT by marron
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To: jerri

Worst. PowerPoint. Ever.

Epic Fail


12 posted on 04/28/2010 10:27:05 AM PDT by Falcon28 (Allen West - 2012 * For a list of conservative candidates in 2010, see my profile)
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To: skimbell
Makes perfect sense to me...

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.

13 posted on 04/28/2010 10:27:25 AM PDT by JasonC
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To: marron
Yes he could. But then he might well lose the fricking war slapping the wrong people...
14 posted on 04/28/2010 10:28:19 AM PDT by JasonC
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To: Old Teufel Hunden

It’s the latest tactic, confuse the Taliban into submission.


15 posted on 04/28/2010 10:29:03 AM PDT by paristwelve (Feeling sorry for things is just an excuse for not celebrating your own happiness.)
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To: JasonC

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


16 posted on 04/28/2010 10:33:22 AM PDT by 5Madman2 (There is no such thing as an experienced suicide bomber)
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To: skimbell
Yesterday's Power Point Thread
17 posted on 04/28/2010 10:33:26 AM PDT by ASA Vet (Iran should have ceased to exist Nov 5, 1979, but we had no president then either.)
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To: thackney

Looks kind of like the chart on how the cost-saving obamacare will operate.


18 posted on 04/28/2010 10:35:22 AM PDT by mowowie
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To: skimbell

I think Grant, Sherman, or Patton could solve the problem.


19 posted on 04/28/2010 10:38:26 AM PDT by popdonnelly (The enormous crimes in history were all perpetrated by governments.)
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To: skimbell

someone need to frame that at the Guggenheim and call it “Portrait of the Ivy League Mind”


20 posted on 04/28/2010 10:43:04 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: jerri

A consultant. I knew it.


21 posted on 04/28/2010 10:44:50 AM PDT by Lurker (The avalanche has begun. The pebbles no longer have a vote.)
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To: thackney

I’ll bet some dumbass in the military paid a consulting group big bucks for this.


22 posted on 04/28/2010 10:47:40 AM PDT by thethirddegree
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To: RC2

“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.


23 posted on 04/28/2010 10:49:14 AM PDT by TruthConquers (Delendae sunt publicae scholae)
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To: JasonC

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.


24 posted on 04/28/2010 10:49:38 AM PDT by jimfree (In 2012 Sarah Palin will continue to have more relevant quality executive experience than B. Obama.)
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To: 5Madman2
Sure I get that. But all we have here is a "systems view" complexity theorist trying to help track everything. The chart is actually legible if you bother trying, instead of just letting eyes glaze instantly. The upper right corner deals with the enemy, with the critical issue of public support for the terrorists or the government immediately below it. The left side of the diagram is basically about the friendlies, coalition on top and domestic government below it.

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.

25 posted on 04/28/2010 10:49:46 AM PDT by JasonC
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To: thackney

I like it. Its pretty.


26 posted on 04/28/2010 10:51:20 AM PDT by Deb (Beat him, strip him and bring him to my tent!)
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To: thackney

Gee Viz...


27 posted on 04/28/2010 10:53:30 AM PDT by Gene Eric (Your Hope has been redistributed. Here's your Change.)
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To: skimbell

This is the actual chart.


28 posted on 04/28/2010 10:53:47 AM PDT by Lazamataz ("We beat the Soviet Union. Then we became them." -- Lazamataz, 2005)
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To: thackney

Sorry, I need more information before I reach a decision on this one.


29 posted on 04/28/2010 10:54:17 AM PDT by Hillarys Gate Cult (The man who said "there's no such thing as a stupid question" has never talked to Helen Thomas.)
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To: thackney
WTF is that?!

Looks like something a kindergarten kid would do is "art" class. Well, actually, I think the kid would do better.

30 posted on 04/28/2010 10:55:03 AM PDT by AFreeBird
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To: JasonC


31 posted on 04/28/2010 10:56:01 AM PDT by Lazamataz ("We beat the Soviet Union. Then we became them." -- Lazamataz, 2005)
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To: skimbell

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,
Overloading protocol.
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.


32 posted on 04/28/2010 10:56:28 AM PDT by dfwgator
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To: thackney

http://tinyurl.com/2u4zmpr


33 posted on 04/28/2010 10:56:43 AM PDT by Principled (Get the capital back! NRST!)
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To: skimbell
LOL...

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? ;)


34 posted on 04/28/2010 10:57:26 AM PDT by Stand Watch Listen
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To: Deb
The more colors, the more authoritative.

But I really did appreciate the glue-and-glitter part.

35 posted on 04/28/2010 10:57:32 AM PDT by Lazamataz ("We beat the Soviet Union. Then we became them." -- Lazamataz, 2005)
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To: Lazamataz

created in Johnstown, PA in a John Murtha DefPork boileroom, no doubt...


36 posted on 04/28/2010 10:59:46 AM PDT by Buckeye McFrog
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To: skimbell
General James N. Mattis, the Joint Forces Commander, isn't taking any prisoners in his approach. 'PowerPoint makes us stupid,' he growled at a military conference in North Carolina.

ROTFLMAO! Don't candy-coat it, General...

37 posted on 04/28/2010 11:03:34 AM PDT by Billthedrill
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To: paristwelve
"It’s the latest tactic, confuse the Taliban into submission."

These officers should ditch powerpoint slides and study Alexander's Afghanistan campaign and Britians first and second Anglo/Afghan campaigns in the 19th century.
38 posted on 04/28/2010 11:10:09 AM PDT by Old Teufel Hunden
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To: skimbell

If I take that to “The Olive Garden” restaurant, do I get a discount?


39 posted on 04/28/2010 11:11:57 AM PDT by MainFrame65 (The US Senate: World's greatest PREVARICATIVE body!.)
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To: JasonC

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.


40 posted on 04/28/2010 11:13:58 AM PDT by rahbert (Only a poor snake charmer blames his snake..)
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To: Lazamataz

I like the pop-up parts!


41 posted on 04/28/2010 11:27:00 AM PDT by Deb (Beat him, strip him and bring him to my tent!)
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To: Lazamataz

Yep. That sets it all out, so even the most uninformed mind can comprehend everything at a glance.


42 posted on 04/28/2010 12:17:49 PM PDT by Cheburashka (Stephen Decatur: you want barrels of gunpowder as tribute, you must expect cannonballs with it.)
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To: Stand Watch Listen
A long time ago, a favorite uncle of mine gave me a persoanlized plaque. I still have it and it hangs in my den at home. I don't remember ever seeing that uncle when he didn't hang his head and shake it in disbelief at something that I'd told him that I was in the process of doing. The plaque is a picture of what appears to be a snake oil salesman with a phrase below the picture. The phrase:

If you can't dazzel them with brilliance, baffle them with bullshit.

43 posted on 04/28/2010 12:26:08 PM PDT by skimbell (VERO POSSUMUS my azz!)
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To: Deb
I like the pop-up parts!

Well YEAH.

I mean, YOU'RE A GIRL.

44 posted on 04/28/2010 12:34:11 PM PDT by Lazamataz ("We beat the Soviet Union. Then we became them." -- Lazamataz, 2005)
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To: JasonC

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


45 posted on 04/28/2010 1:04:47 PM PDT by 5Madman2 (There is no such thing as an experienced suicide bomber)
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To: skimbell

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.


46 posted on 04/28/2010 2:12:32 PM PDT by Hillbillary (I know how to deal with Communists, I still wear their scars on my back from Hollywood-Ronald Reagan)
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To: jerri
WTF??


47 posted on 04/28/2010 2:22:41 PM PDT by reagan_fanatic (America needs Obama-care like Nancy Pelosi needs a Halloween mask)
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To: reagan_fanatic

yikes!


48 posted on 04/28/2010 2:33:50 PM PDT by jerri (Is it over yet?)
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To: mowowie

lol, no kidding! Or their economic flow chart.


49 posted on 04/28/2010 2:36:16 PM PDT by jerri (Is it over yet?)
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To: Buckeye McFrog

LOL. I’m sure it would be eligible for a grant.


50 posted on 04/28/2010 2:39:28 PM PDT by Crolis ("Nemo me impune lacessit!" - "No one provokes me with impunity!")
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