Hitler finds out it takes a 45-slide CONOP to go out the gate.

This may be a rare case where something will make sense to the current SF readers of this blog, but will go over the heads of the civilians and old timers. Sorry about that.

Without going too deep into our business here, the early and successful freewheeling SF operations that had the war won by December, 2001, were replaced by increasingly bureaucratic and centralized, top-down micromanagement. Commander’s discretion gave way to informational 5Ws, to must-be-approved 5Ws, to opord-format CONOPS, to must be approved 48-hours-in-advance massive Powerpoint decks that are graded not on content but on grammar and graphics.

We’re losing the war, but some future historian will have a hell of a collection of graphics to illustrate his papers — if anything exists then that can open early-21st-century Powerpoints.

When this video first appeared in circa 2009, at the CKSOTF at Bagram, did this cause the micromanaging, otherwise-idle CJSFOBbits to inject a dose of reality into the mission-planning process, dial back the bureaucracy, and let the teams get on with the war? That’s a rhetorical question. Instead, it sparked a furious manhunt as the then-CJSOTF commander and CSM let the mission drop, and the whole war go by the wayside, so all hands could focus on identifying the heretic and burning him at the stake.

Since actually pursuing the enemy is not and hasn’t been a priority, the command element might as well chase something besides their own tails. (They haven’t caught the heretic yet. No one affiliated with this blog, gents. And it wasn’t the guy who uploaded the video, either).

But this refocus on command priorities makes perfect sense, honestly. Really, it’s not like the enemy won’t sit still until the assistant staff judge advocate comes back from his mid-tour R&R, or chasing rugs on chicken road, or chocking chicken in the port-a-john. Is it?

This entry was posted in SF History and Lore on by Hognose.

About Hognose

Former Special Forces 11B2S, later 18B, weapons man. (Also served in intelligence and operations jobs in SF).

4 thoughts on “SF Inside Joke: Adolf and the CONOP


Well, that was one of the best uses of many I’ve seen for this movie excerpt. (The one where he rants against BMW motorcycles and wants another Honda is pretty funny.)

Isn’t it axiomatic that the higher up one goes, the less understanding there is of UNconventional warfare? It’s so much shorter without that first annoying syllable, isn’t it? The larger the command, the greater the inertia to be resisted – and gone is the idea of ‘fast’ or ‘light’.

Lee Jacobs

The Muj beat the Russians when the Russians introduced the staff Meeting to thier Afghan counterparts. The Afghans would then have a pre-meeting amongst themselves to discuss what to tell the Russians during the offical staff meeting, them a post staff meeting, again amongst themselves to try to make sence of the meeting they just had. ……… the Muj would just grab their guns and go fight………. SOURCE: MG Abdul Mannan-Farehi, Commander Afghan MOI Counter-Terrorism Police


Don’t know anything about this blog but that was one of the best videos I have ever seen – only one problem it was 60 slides min for I or II in late 2009 and the jack offs wanted to dictate where a dog handler sat in the GMV or deny an op because the helicopter icon was facing the wrong way in the power point slide. I am sure it has to be worse now.

Hognose Post author

Thanks for your comment. All I can say is, we were winning when I left. How did we do it without PT glow belts?