War 2.0

Pentagon at Odds with Soldier Blogs

The Department of Defense is on Facebook, Flickr, Twitter, and YouTube—but it has mixed feelings about soldiers’ online lives. The New York Times reports that the Pentagon is expected to issue a new policy on social media next week, and limiting troop access to social networking sites far from off the table, despite the obvious outcry from homesick soldiers that such a move would invite. The internet’s free-for-all anarchy clashes directly with the military’s tightly-controlled, top-down sense of discipline, NYT explains. Though the Army requires soldiers to register with their commanding officers and submit posts for approval, with password protection and a strong sense of secrecy, plenty of soldiers dodge monitoring. What’s more, monitoring thousands of troops is an increasingly Herculean undertaking, and likely counterproductive. Noting Twitter’s role in Iran’s election uprising, Defense Secretary Robert Gates admitted, “This department, I think, is way behind our curve.”