Persuasion in War and Public Appearances

When war comes, I want both these men on my side.

But, I want them doing different jobs.

The retired General Vaught recently and publicly lit into Admiral McRaven for the media-genic operations the Admiral has been running along with his more standard Special Ops like killing Osama bin Laden. You can watch the exchange between General Vaught and Admiral McRaven for more details. Here’s the key quote from the General.

“Now I’m going to tell you, one of these days, if you keep publishing how you do this, the other guy’s going to be there ready for you, and you’re going to fly in and he’s going to shoot down every damn helicopter and kill every one of your SEALs. Now, watch it happen. Mark my words. Get the hell out of the media.”

Anyone can appreciate General Vaught’s concerns about the Media. Who wants outsiders in your business, especially when your business concerns life and death? Yet, still, and always, It’s about the Other Guy, Stupid, and that Other Guy often includes outsiders like the Media. McRaven artfully employs all available means of persuasion at his disposal, including the Media.

From the Rules we know that All Persuasion Is Local and the Local includes all manner of media types. Persuasion always calculates risks, but then, so doesn’t war?