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NBR staff | Friday April 30, 2010 | 9 comments
ABOVE: COMA AT 30 PACES: The US military’s Afghanistan-explained slide, credited to PA Consulting. PA maintains an Auckland office, if this type of work appeals.
Via the most excellent NZ Trade & Enterprise, our government has long warned about the dangers of Death by PowerPoint.
The US military bureaucracy has been a little slower on the update.
A slide shown by General Stanley McChrystal, head of US and NATO forces in Afghanistan (above), is now zinging around the internet, held up as a metaphor for America’s tangled policy in the region, and an example of the perils of over-reliance on Microsoft’s presentation software.
“When we understand that slide, we’ll have won the war,” The New York Times reported General McChrystal as saying when he first unveiled the slide last year.
But as in the Middle East and Afghanistan, things are slowly starting to dawn on Uncle Sam.
“PowerPoint makes us stupid,” Marine Corps General James N. Mattis of the Marine Corps, the Joint Forces commander, said this month at a military conference in North Carolina, reported the Times.
He spoke without slides.
Another member of the brass, Brigadier General H R McMaster, told the same conference that PowerPoint was “an internal threat” (remember when they used to root out Commies?).
“It’s dangerous because it can create the illusion of understanding and the illusion of control,” he told the Times, “Some problems in the world are not bullet-izable.”