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Major General David Hogg, Deputy Commanding General, Combined Security Transition Command - Afghanistan, live from Afghanistan to the milbloggers in D.C. Great Q&A, but what would you expect from this crowd?
Those interested in our future in Afghanistan will appreciate this, as everything about our strategy there hinges on training up the Afghan forces to replace us - and that's his mission. (Note: Use the lower "play" button on these vids - the one in the middle doesn't work...)
And it was great to meet Navy Lt Jennifer Cragg in person. She threatened me with bodily harm if I don't make good on my promise of more participation in upcoming blogger roundtables. I take being wanted as a compliment, and that's one I can't resist. :)
...can only happen at a Milblogs Conference:
Garry Trudeau of Doonesbury fame was also in attendance - funny(ish) story - Taco Bell and I walked up to a gentleman thinking he was Garry - in our defense the two could be twins - and I asked him if I could get a picture of him with me... turns out that the Deputy Chief Information Officer for the Director of National Intelligence has a great sense of humor - who knew?
Like milblogs, the Milblogs Conference is a collaborative effort - one that's grown far beyond the ability of one person to capture and report - a team effort is required.
So we've made it easier to do that. Here's the Fan of Milblogs Facebook page. Anyone can post entries, links, photos, and videos there, and it's the place to go for just that. If you're looking for reports or images from the conference just click here and enjoy.
And if you've written about the conference (or just found something written online about the conference) have links, photos or videos to add, or just want to join the conversation there - don't be shy, jump right in. (For those who missed my message during the first panel - jumping right in is the future of milblogs...)
Didn't see a picture of yourself or a friend in the above? Maybe there's one here...
At Small Wars Journal, a Milblog Conference report from Starbuck, and a few more observations at his place.
Including this one:
I also kind of wonder what went through Greyhawk's mind when the official MultiNational Corps-Iraq screensaver featured a screen shot of the Mudville Gazette emblazoned with the words "Bloggers--are you violating OPSEC (Operational Security)?"
I tried hard not to notice, but that was especially tricky whenever I walked into Division and saw it repeated 1,000 times in the 40 acre open cubical farm...
This was a great conversation in Baghdad, too:
Me: Hey boss, my wife is meeting with the President of the United States this week.
Boss: Really, how come?
Me: Well, he wanted to see me, but I'm too busy over here.
Boss: Get outta here.
At least that's the gist of it. Truth told, rules obeyed. Not believed? Not my problem.
(That might be one of the stories Starbuck's talking about here.)
The fifth annual Milblogs Conference - the time is now, the event is sold out. (If you live in the D.C. area and aren't registered, do not - repeat: DO NOT show up at the door begging for admission - we love you, man, but no can do.) There are lots of great things in store. (Trust me - I have the inside scoop - there are surprises coming.)
Can't make it? Not a problem (though I wish you could be there...). This year's conference will be livestreamed on the web here. (Thanks to the good folks at VA Mortgage, the same folks who bring us YouServed.) Click and enjoy. Note: archived videos from previous conferences are streaming when this one isn't "live" - don't be fooled - check the schedule.
The schedule for Friday evening's events is here. The kickoff panel (including your humble scribe) will be streaming from 6:30 - 7:45pm ET.
Saturday's schedule is here. I'll be hosting the 10:45 - 12:00am "National Security Smorgasbord." Satcom willing, I'll be joined first by Mike Yon from Afghanistan, followed by Abe Sofaer, whose new book The Best Defense? Legitimacy and Preventive Force is particularly timely.
Those are just my panels - there are plenty of great things going on throughout the event. Keep up with any schedule changes here, and if you can't make it in person, be sure to join us for the live streaming video here.