By Carmine Cicalese
A friend from my hometown school days, Joe, likes to remind me I was a big Star Trek fan. Well, yeah. I am a fan of the original show. As a kid, I had some Star Trek action figures and the USS Enterprise deck with the transporter room. In art class, I made a string design of the USS Enterprise that I eventually gave to my cousin Dave, who is also a Star Trek fan. I’ll be the first to admit that the first Star Trek movie and all the subsequent odd-numbered films were lousy. One of my favorites is Star Trek VI: The Undiscovered Country, second only to Star Trek II: The Wrath of Khan.
Best scene is when the two Starfleet ships meet the completely cloaked Klingon cruiser <cue dramatic music>. The Klingons fire at will upon the Enterprise whilst the Klingon commander quotes Hamlet. Scotty yells “Shields Collapsing!” <Dramatic music builds> Spock and Bones build a homing phaser; <dramatic music continues> Kirk asks, “Where’s that damn torpedo?” Bones replies, “Locked and loaded, fire when ready.” <Dramatic music crescendos> Kirk, clutching a fist, “FIRE!”
One of the top three Star Trek scenes. Ever.
Back in the days of the Iraq Surge, FIRE was the attitude.
Craig: Why do you want to use that other capability? What effect are you looking for?
Me: Influence the locals to not support terrorists.
Craig: Do you really think we need it?
Me: Let’s find out, FIRE!
Frito: We’re going to use that capability again?
Me: ’Cause we have it, FIRE!
Fred: If we can’t do that stuff, the organization over there said they can do it.
Okay, maybe I’m a bit carried away in my zeal to be like Captain Kirk.
I guess Phoenix Challenge 2023 in London got me all fired up. I impressed the rest of the lunch crowd on the last day with my ability to speak Klingon with authentic dialect: “Maltz, Tzo Chu!” and “Rura Penthe, doch.” Anyway. The PSYOP approval process in Iraq wasn’t especially great in facilitating quick responses. However, a tactical PSYOP team often can fire at will with capabilities other than print. Remember – don’t bring a paper knife to a gun party.
My point for the information operations crowd is to be assertive rather than deferring to what can’t be done. Don’t overthink the problem. Look at everything in the arsenal and consider how to employ it. Then, get the authorities and get after it. Or, find a partner who can do it instead. Don’t worry about being perfect. Learn what works and what doesn’t; then adjust fire next time.
One last thing. Don’t bicker over doctrine. It is only recommendations to not follow if you ask the infamous anonymous Soviet general. Do what the boss tells you to do; then recommend to the boss all the things you think you should do. I bet the boss will say yes more times than not.
Fire when ready.
P.S. I’m a Star Trek fan not a Trekkie, even if I do enjoy Shakespeare best in its native Klingon.
Photo credits Blogspot.com