Personal and academic blog. Explores the borderlands between rhetoric, politics and intelligence.


Arms and influence: Death by PowerPoint

The interesting blog Arms and influence has a story on how the US military has used PowerPoint slides instead of ordinary orders. This is, of course, a choice with far-reaching rhetorical as well as military implications.

The writer over at Arms and Influence points out that PowerPoint slides are way more ambigious than ordinary, military orders.

"In contrast to the loose, mutable medium of PowerPoint, the US military normally uses rigorous, well-established ways of drafting, reviewing, and communicating decisions. For example, a battalion commander might ask his staff to draft two or three options for a particular operation. Each option must have enough substance to delineate the assumptions it makes, the means through which it will achieve the operational objective, its pros and cons, the risk the battalion assumes in following it, and the fall-back plan. Not only do these options require a lot of words, but they also need a lot of diagrams, including the position of each unit at different points in the operation. "

When you see one of the slides that alledgedly should guide Joint Task Force IV in how "Phase IV" (the occupation) would work, you can't help but getting a bit critical of business-ways marching into military realms.


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