Thursday, March 05, 2009

The beginning of the end...

...for downrange milblogging. I noticed yesterday when I logged on to AKO (Army Knowledge Online) that the Army has now set up a whole separate area for bloggers. Click to enlarge-

While this seems like the Army going to great lengths to accommodate soldiers that want to have a blog and share their opinions, there is one small hitch. AKO is password protected, meaning that only military members, retirees and their families can access AKO. Including the new area set up for blogs.

The Army released a policy letter on blogging in 2007 that threatened to shut down all blogging from soldiers deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan, which is what I told Stars and Stripes newspaper in this story. The Army never strictly enforced the policy, and the issue seemed to fade away.

But now the Army is in place to ban public access blogs by deployed soldiers and replace them with AKO, which is restricted access. I can't find any information to support my hunch, but I will predict that the Army will force all active duty and deployed soldiers to migrate to AKO blogging within the next six months. While George Bush was open to criticism of his war decisions from soldiers, I can't imagine that President Obama will have the same degree of toleration based on his attempts to shut down anyone in the media who publicly disagrees with him.


Mr AKO said...

I can tell you that this was not the intent. There are several organizations and senior Army leaders who do want to blog in private and the AKO solution was never intended as a means to stop soldiers from blogging. Hopefully your post has not planted a seed in someone's head to do so....

Dave Thul said...

I certainly hope that you are right, but I have a bad feeling about this.
Unless there has been a big shift in opinion at senior Army leadership on blogging, I can't see them making a big effort to put this tool up on AKO.

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