Intangibles of Lethal Autonomous Weapons Systems – LAWS

May 5th, 2016. Published under Communicating Risk, cyber warfare.. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly April 5, 2016 ‘A blog where attention span really matters’!

Lethal autonomous weapons systems (LAWS) represent, in my judgment, an inevitable, but, as yet, incomplete class of weapons embedded with capabilities to independently select and engage targets (adversaries) without human (operator) assessment and/or interventional oversight.

LAWS are unlike existing (conventional) pilotless drone ‘aircraft’ in the sense they are – will be largely, if not wholly, autonomous. In other words, as I have come to understand LAWS, once deployed in various manifestations, they can surveil, assess, and execute in a wholly independent manner presumably with internal assessment and decisional guidance wrapped in AI (artificial intelligence) software.

The development and introduction of remotely piloted – controlled drones for operation in theaters of combat. counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism and for surveillance and intelligence gathering serve as real time hedges favoring expansion of risk adverse strategies, particularly, human life. Obviously, drones deployed in war fighting circumstances can deliver devastating munitions to specified adversaries – targets with the aid of satellite and global positioning systems, but only at the direction of their human operators and overseers, thus mitigating risk to requisite for ‘boots on the ground’.

Presumably LAWS, on the other hand, will be designed – programmed with capabilities to identify, assess, and self-authorize target engagement, i.e., seek, find, distinguish, select, and engage targets absent human intervention or oversight ala simultaneous introduction of infinite numbers of ‘jason bournes’ to a conflict theater. LAWS could presumably function (also) as ‘defensive’ weapons, i.e., as a theater interceptor – destroyer of an adversaries’ incoming munitions to supplant human reaction times.

Aside from the autonomy and independence of such weapons systems, their development and use is presumably intended to mitigate – favorably affect human’s – societies’ intangible senses – perceptions of risk, fear, and safety, while simultaneously serving as formidable strategic deterrents each being an intangible. To be sure, adversaries and allies alike are aggressively pursuing comparable-competing LAW war fighting capabilities, the theater functionality of which may be more-less effective, at which time the aforementioned intangible (asset) senses will likely change accordingly.

This post was inspired by the writings of Heather M. Roff, particularly an article published in Slate Magazine (online) dated April 7, 2016, titled ‘Killer Robots on the Battlefield: The Danger of Using a War of Attrition Strategy with Autonomous Weapons’ in advance of her testimony at the U.N.’s, April 11, 2016 ‘Convention on Certain Conventional Weapons’ in Geneva.

Intangible Assets: Go hard, go fast, go global business transactions…

April 26th, 2016. Published under Business Transactions, CFO's. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly April 26, 2016 ‘A blog where attention span really matters’.

In no other arena of economic and social relations has the statement “knowledge is power” (Sir Francis Bacon) proven more relevant than in today’s global business economies wherein operations and transactions are increasingly rooted in the creation, utilization, and conversion of IA’s (intangible assets), particularly intellectual, structural, relationship, and creative capital…

To consistently and lucratively exploit their IA’s, holder’s must be positioned to sustain indeterminate control, use, ownership, and monitor their value, materiality, and risk.

Collectively, this makes IA’s relevant to each practice area-specialization of law.

Achieving operational familiarity with client businesses which are IA intensive-dependent is an unqualified entrée for professional service (law) firms to expand offerings to reflect the economic reality that business activities-transactions are now routinely dominated by and contingent on continuity of development, utilization, exploitation, and safeguarding their IA’s!

Many businesses-organizations remain in the early stages of the knowledge (IA) era, even though IA’s have become permanent fixtures-components to business economics as sources of value, revenue, and competitive advantage, etc.

Achieving operational familiarity with IA’s, is an outcome of this seminar which sets the stage for each (law firm) practice area – specialization to become a collaborative, competitive, and sought after leader whenever and however IA’s are in play.

Intangible Assets Rationale Meets Reality

April 12th, 2016. Published under Intangible Asset Value, Intangibles as strategic assets, Managing intangible assets. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly April 12, 2016 ‘A blog where attention span really matters’!

It is an economic fact that the primary sources of company value, revenue, and competitiveness, etc., began noticeably shifting in the mid-to-late 1990’s.…
• from tangible (physical) assets, e.g., property, equipment, inventory, etc.,
• to intangible (non-physical) assets, e.g., reputation, brand, and goodwill        particularly.

This recognition coincided with the descriptive transformational expression ‘knowledge-based economies’ wherein learned economists calculated 80+% of most company’s value, sources of revenue, competitive advantage, and ‘building blocks’ for growth, profitability, and sustainability now lie in – evolve directly from organizations intellectual, relationship, structural, and competitive capital as well as other forms – manifestations of IA’s

My work is a culmination of 25+ years of professional consulting, university teaching, continuous research, public speaking, and publishing on matters variously related to IA’s and their intellectual property cousin. My consulting engagements, media appearances, and research in the IA arena have largely focused on…
• identifying, assessing, safeguarding, and mitigating risk.
• conducting transaction due diligence when IA’s are in play, which they consistently are, and
• facilitating company cultures prudently linked to operational familiarity with IA’s contributory role and value.

The centerpieces of my work, writing, and consulting today lie in IA advocacy, i.e.,
• value-revenue-competitive advantage capabilities of IA’s.
• identifying, unraveling, and assessing IA’s contributory and collaborative value roles for companies.
• recognizing IA’s life, value, and functionality life cycle.
• aligning IA risk assessments with transaction due diligence.

Today, profitable business operations and transactions are increasingly dependent on management team’s ability to effectively and consistently foster, harness, utilize, and convert its IA’s into relevant forms of value, revenue, competitive advantage, and sustainability.

But, knowhow, i.e., intellectual, structural, relationship, and competitive capital (IA’s) can deliver economic and competitive advantages only if/when the developer-holder of those assets can sustain their control, use, and ownership, and monitor their value and materiality throughout their respective value – functionality cycle.



Vietnam Combat Veterans…Intangible Expectations Returning Home

April 8th, 2016. Published under Analysis and commentary, Vietnam War Combat Veterans. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly April 8, 2016 ‘A blog where attention span really matters’!

First, an analogy for reader consideration…your brother, sister, son, or daughter just returned from a successful – injury free expedition that culminated in reaching the summit of Mt. Everest, the tallest mountain in the world. It’s likely many trepidations were expressed in advance of the expedition, by loved ones and others citing their perspectives of the associated risks and dangers. Upon the mountaineers’ safe and scheduled return home 3-4 weeks later, they could anticipate friends and loved ones who opted not to participate in the expedition will seek their presence to ask many questions on a range of minutia, e.g., the mountaineer’s preparation, the climb itself, and their thoughts upon reaching the summit that expound upon their consistent social media interactions with ‘friends’ throughout.

For the mountaineer, the barrage of questions would likely be conveyed with genuine eagerness and their responses replete with descriptive (mountaineering) terms which for most, there would be a commonality of interpretation and perhaps relatable personal experience to draw upon for clarity.

For many Vietnam War combat soldiers returning home to physical safety…perhaps understandably, held expectations there would be comparable displays of interest, or more correctly stated, what one perceived our fathers experienced returning home from WWII. I have learned, not surprisingly, some returning (Vietnam War) combat veterans held expectations their homecoming may include a celebratory tone embedded with a genuinely conveyed interest in what they had experienced, endured, and ultimately survived to talk about following a 52-week deployment with a personal departure date replete with ifs, ands, and buts.

If-when genuine inquiries did manifest for returning Vietnam War combat soldiers…the dialogue-narrative would likely be cautious initially interspersed with varying levels of soberness, solemnness, and unease. Just as frequently though, inquires could assume a presumptive tone, after all, the Vietnam War is frequently characterized as the U.S.’s first ‘televised war’, so many individuals elected to engage conversations with perspectives already formed – framed from 90 second snippets on evening news broadcasts, which at the time, there cable 24/7 news options.

A combat veteran’s response to any inquiry would likely be peppered with the distinctive vernacular of the Vietnam War and combat, i.e., descriptive words and language which at first blush may appear to be crude, callous, and perhaps insensitive to the circumstances they recently left, aside from the camaraderie within their unit. For a questioner – listener such descriptive language may be met with little commonality of interpretation or understanding wherein they would sense sufficient comfort to engage in follow-up questions or conversation to seek understanding and clarification.

Comparing the mountaineer to the Vietnam combat veteran is analogous…for the former, it would have been highly imprudent to put themselves and others at potentially grave risk to commence such an expedition absent substantial physical conditioning and mountaineering experience relevant to climbing the world’s highest mountain. Whereas, for the latter, the U.S. military presumed its infantry – combat arms trainees would learn quickly upon arrival in Vietnam, irrespective of having no direct combat experience. So, in a relatively brief period of time, 16 weeks, infantry trainees were presumed to acquire an ability to physically and emotionally transition (i.e., adjust, assimilate, etc.) to the inhospitable environs of war and combat in Vietnam.

Adding to some soldiers’ anxiety and wonderment about entering a theater of war, something which was rather routinely witnessed was that for a not insignificant percentage of replacements, the shuttle service from the U.S. to Vietnam was their first ever ‘plane ride’.

Admittedly, Vietnam War combat soldiers did not have the benefit or curse of real time, at will social media and photographic communication in which recipients could interpret as they wished, be it revisionistic to that seen on conventional broadcast news.

Intangible Asset Inventory – Valuation

April 8th, 2016. Published under Intangible asset strategy, Intangible asset valuation., Intangibles as strategic assets. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly April 7, 2016 ‘A blog where attention span really matters’!

“If it can’t be measured, it can’t be managed”, an adage widely attributed to Peter Drucker, that, in my view, carries a different kind of relevance today than when it was initially uttered. That’s because, it is an economic fact that, 80+% of most company’s – organization’s value, sources of revenue, competitiveness, growth, and sustainability derive from IA’s. That’s one thing the naysayers and the cynics of IA’s cannot refute. Whereas, when Drucker uttered this still very substantive phrase, the economies were hardly global, and the assets used to produce goods and services were overwhelmingly tangible, with little interest paid to IA’s.

Still, there are various types of professional services, accounting being one, which are driven by statutes, standards, and guidelines where there is little tolerance – leeway for all things intangible, therefore…

• question the objectivity – validity of IA valuations.
• object to broadening – expanding what constitute IA’s.
• remain firmly committed to conventional asset valuation practices.

Still, prudent and forward looking-thinking management teams and business decisions makers would be hard pressed to describe another time in company/organization governance history when achieving operational familiarity with and measuring and managing the value of knowledge-based assets, the intangible’s, is more necessary.

By identifying a company’s key IA’s, and consistently monitoring – assessing their value and risk, company/organization management teams can be positioned to recognize, in a timely manner…
– erosion – undermining of asset value and competitive advantages through
misappropriation, infringement, counterfeiting, and mismanagement.
– changes in asset materiality and/or asset obsolescence.

When undertaking an IA valuation, it must encompass much more than being a mere snap-shot-in-time. That’s not to imply IA valuations are resource – labor intensive processes. Instead, prudent management teams are obliged to have continual asset assessment-valuation procedures and processes in place, commencing with very keen sensitivity-awareness to an array of internal and/or marketspace circumstances that can influence asset value, competitiveness, and the emergence of risk, which should it materialize, will affect assets’ stability, defensibility, and fragility. Anyone of which, if ignored/neglected can be a prelude to an organization’s IA’s contributory value being undermined, stifled, or worse, irreversibly going to zero!

Consistent monitoring and measuring the contributory/collaborative role and value of key IA deliverables, permits companies, strategic planners, and management teams to be more responsive to…

– utilizing – exploiting their IA’s.
– meeting the ever expanding fiduciary responsibilities associated with IA’s.
– strengthening, managing, sustaining IA value and competitiveness.
– allocating – directing asset safeguard resources more efficiently and
effectively commensurate with an assets’ life, contributory value, and
functionality cycle.
– addressing the inevitable challenges, disputes, and external targeting
engaged in by competitive adversaries.

Vietnam War Intangibles…It’s time we ask!

March 30th, 2016. Published under Vietnam War Combat Veterans. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly March 30, 2016 ‘A blog where attention span really matters’!

‘It’s time we asked’ is the title given to a project developed by ‘us brothers’ (Michael D. and Stephen D. Moberly). Conceptually, the project evolved from far too many instances wherein we witnessed, i.e., heard parents, grandparents, wives, children, loved one’s, and friends of Vietnam War combat veterans utter the telling phrase ’he never talks about it’, to which, our consistent response is, and will always be, ‘did you ever ask’?

We admit the actual percentage is unknown…but, suspect it is significant, that is, the number of Vietnam War combat veterans, who, upon returning home, received few genuine – sincere inquiries regarding their experiences. Anecdotally, we have identified common rationalizations justifications loved ones frequently applied insofar as exhibiting a reluctance – absence of inquiry with one or a variant of the following, i.e.,

…I am going to – I believe it’s best to wait for him to bring the subject up…
…we don’t know what to ask, how to ask it…
…we just assumed he didn’t want to talk about it because he hasn’t said anything yet…

The ‘absence of inquiry’…generally, perhaps obviously, arose within familial circumstances and variously remain embedded in the common, but largely unrecognized impasse, i.e.,…

…why one party (the combat veteran) may have elected not to talk about it, and
…the other party (family member, loved one, etc.) may have elected not to ask about it!

Too, the reception for returning Vietnam War veterans, on the whole, and, for a variety of reasons, aside from individual family treatments, was far less generous compared to veterans returning from generational wars that preceded and followed Vietnam. Us brothers hold no illusions, nor do we believe the ‘it’s time we ask’ project will manifest as an antidote for wholly reconciling such circumstances. We suspect for some veterans the deferential ‘home coming’ influenced their inclination for silence and anonymity, i.e., ‘he never talks about it’, which was far too often interpreted as ‘he doesn’t want to talk about it’.

So, for many Vietnam War veterans returning home, any muted – slighted reception remains confusing as does the still occasionally heard phrase, ‘but, the Vietnam War was different, it was unpopular’.

Such inattention, however it was intended or rationalized at the time, especially by individuals one could legitimately presume to have had a personal interest and responsibility to ask, was routinely and in numerous instances remains variously translated by (Vietnam War) combat veterans particularly, as apathy, disrespect, or having succumbed to the ample anti-war rhetoric which was a consistent feature of the news, providing content to public – family discourse.
Us brothers suspect as well, some of the inattention manifested as an absence to much needed (at will, informal) path to – emotional outlet for reconciling…
…what they had done.
…what they had seen, and the
…physical-emotional endurance and resilience integral to combat.

(Mr. Moberly is an intangible asset strategist and risk specialist and author of ‘Safeguarding Intangible Assets’ published by Elsevier in 2014, View Mr. Moberly’s videos on YouTube at ‘Safeguarding Intangible Assets’. This post represents some of Mr. Moberly’s writing about his experiences in Vietnam as a combat soldier assigned to the 173d Airborne Brigade in 1969.)

Intangible Chasm Crossing to Vietnam Combat!

March 29th, 2016. Published under Uncategorized, Vietnam War Combat Veterans. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly March 29, 2016 ‘A blog where attention span really matters’.

In June, 1969, during the 15+ hour flight from the Fort Lewis, Washington to Vietnam in the relative comfort of a Braniff 707, one of several commercial air carriers contracted to shuttle troops to – from Vietnam. During the flight, any trepidations about war and my soon-to-be role as a combat infantry soldier with the 173d Airborne Brigade were variously suppressed – masked. There were soldiers on the aircraft who characterized their presence as a ‘return trip’, i.e., their second or third tours in Vietnam. Many told ‘war stories’ for the first tour replacements who cared to listen. At this point, I would not have known, nor did I have any reason to suspect some of thos stories may have been embellished somewhat to fit their audience of replacements.

Surveying other soldiers (fellow passengers) within my limited view, left me with the impression that few were wholly immune – impervious to the onset of a reflective cocktail of thoughts, memories, and ‘wish I had’s’ about what the future may have in store for them. While I saw no conventional evidence, i.e., hands clasped, heads bowed, or mouthing words in silence, etc., I presume there may have been a fair amount of praying occurring periodically throughout the flight.

For those fortunate enough to win the ‘window seat’ lottery on the plane ride to Vietnam there was ample time to observe the blue sky, the blue hue of the Pacific Ocean, the occasional cargo ship or island below, other aircraft, and experience 13+ time zone changes. Throughout the flight, one’s sense of direction was muted, aside from knowing the plane in which we were all passengers and hopefully held return tickets valid 365 days hence, would eventually be landing in Vietnam which we knew was west of our starting point.

When the aircraft finally lands at Cam Ran Bay, Vietnam, each soldier is rapidly engaged in the in-county replacement processing pipeline…usually culminating two days later, with arrival at one’s assigned unit, in my case, 1st platoon, Company C, 1st Battalion, 503d Infantry, 173d Airborne Brigade based in the Central Highlands where I was greeted with the unforgettable disdain as the ‘f…ing new guy’. The greeting evolved, I felt at the time, from probably deserved bravado, laced with unsympathetic and unforgiving ‘one liners’ about what lie ahead. At that moment in time, as a replacement, I felt truly differentiated from all other creatures on earth.

The opportunities a replacement can avail themselves insofar as commencing crossing the unpitying and unforgiving chasm from civility to recognition as a responsible, dependable, and contributing soldier to his combat unit can vary. Of course there are numerous variables, most of which come wrapped in their own intellectual, emotional, and physical endurance, functionality, and resiliency.

Of course there are acts and/or behaviors, should a replacement be attuned to recognizing them as unwritten and equivalent to a small culture’s expectations which have been established by the experienced ‘elders’ of a combat unit’s, irrespective of rank. For the astute replacement crossing the chasm may occur relatively rapidly whereas for the less astute replacement the ‘chasm’ can be unrelenting and take much longer, if it occurs at all.

Arrival at one’s combat unit the realization there are no opt outs, becomes operative, save for the obvious. This will become one of the most challenging ordeals one may ever encounter, that is, the enormity of responsibility to themselves and others and the anxiety that comes with it. Specifically, if mistakes or errors in judgment are made, particularly those with variously – potentially irreversible outcomes as judged through the myopic lens by other combat soldiers in the unit. Compounding circumstances-incidents like this, significant errors – lapses could shadow a combat soldier indefinitely in their combat unit unless – until relevant amends occurred.

Another distinctly combat related perspective that evolved very rapidly for some was the seeming randomness of combat outcomes, many of which were variously and wholly outside one’s sphere of control and/or ability to favorably influence. Usually, unless-until a combat soldier recognized the absolute necessity for sustained periods of complete sensory (mental, emotional, and physical) functionality, i.e., possess reaction transition time frames in the nanosecond realm and being fully acclimated to the suddenness and randomness which combat frequently occurred.

(Mr. Moberly is an intangible asset strategist and risk specialist and author of ‘Safeguarding Intangible Assets’ published by Elsevier in 2014, View Mr. Moberly’s videos on YouTube at ‘Safeguarding Intangible Assets’. This post represents some of Mr. Moberly’s writing about his experiences in Vietnam as a combat soldier assigned to the 173d Airborne Brigade in 1969.)

Intangible Preparation for Combat…

March 9th, 2016. Published under Uncategorized, Vietnam War Combat Veterans. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly March 9, 2016 ‘A blog where attention span really matters’!

For the relatively small percentage of U.S. male citizens who entered military service…between 1965-1971, i.e., ‘baby boomers’, those who were assigned to – received infantry training assumed it was foreordained they would be serving in Vietnam in some combat role. Not surprisingly, almost all did so with little or no personal or direct experience with the emotional – intellectual differentials of actual combat and the wars’ theater, i.e., its people, history, culture, climate, and terrain, etc.

And, as in most wars and combat operations, but perhaps the Vietnam War particularly, preparing combat soldiers for entering the fatiguing environs of what is essentially a two-season climate, i.e., hot-dry – rainy-humid while being emotionally and physically prepared to engage or be engaged by adversaries who, in most instances were undistinguishable, but never-the-less willing and eager to harm – kill American soldiers. And, as in many instances, perhaps particularly combat, all the preparatory training completed and personal confidence one may have acquired as an outcome, for some, little may actually internalize or translate, unless – until they actually become fully emerged – engaged in all its realities and ultimately called upon to perform rapidly and effectively.

Perhaps necessarily so, infantry soldier preparatory training…as we knew it then, (1965-1973) was very structured. It encompassed some ‘things’ which many were hard pressed, at the time to find relevance, while other training involved mock-up (faux) exposures to combat like circumstances which largely focused on avoiding, mitigating, and surviving what the training regimen and military instructors characterized as variants of vulnerabilities and risks associated with combat in Vietnam, To be sure, the training was sporadically interspersed with, presumably embellished, anecdotes, e.g., the stealth, tactics, and ‘larger-than-life’ battle performance of the soon to be adversaries, which, at the time, were quite bewildering and disconcerting
In the Vietnam War…not unlike other wars – combat circumstances I presume, following one’s first visual of and/or contact with adversaries in combat, death, or the experience associated with incoming and/or returning weapons fire (intangibles), for a significant percentage, manifested as life – emotion – thought altering experiences (intangibles), usually with some level of conscious – sub-conscious permanency. For some combat veterans, such circumstances have been emotionally destabilizing, particularly if re-visited or conscious efforts made to psychologically reconcile observations and/or actions.

I have observed many infantry trainees, perhaps I should include myself, who, at 18 years of age, had yet to fully grasp, variously due to maturation and an abundance of self-confidence (intangibles) that, following the mandated 9 weeks of (infantry specific) training one would presumably possess the ability to physically and emotionally transition rapidly (intangibles) to activities that were utterly counter to their ‘life normalities’ prior to arriving in Vietnam, i.e., the inhospitable environs and extraordinary and largely unforgiving challenges associated with war and combat.

And, upon arrival as a f….ing new guy in a (Vietnam) combat unit, suddenly there was an absence of ‘life normalities’ aside from what one was willing – able to stow in their ruck sack. Adding to this wonderment, which evidence remains ample, is that, for a significant percentage of replacements, had, just days before, been their first ever ‘plane ride’ all-be-it a 15-hour duration air shuttle service from east-west coast bases in the U.S. to Vietnam. It is during that plane ride that one’s thoughts – feelings (intangibles) about the onset of and coping with their new realities often began to manifest.

Mr. Moberly is an intangible asset strategist and risk specialist and author of ‘Safeguarding Intangible Assets’ published by Elsevier in 2014, View Mr. Moberly’s videos on YouTube at ‘Safeguarding Intangible Assets’. This post represents some of Mr. Moberly’s writing about his experiences in Vietnam as a combat soldier assigned to the 173d Airborne Brigade in 1969.

Intangible Frustrations of War and Combat…

March 4th, 2016. Published under Communicating Risk. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly March 4, 2016 ‘A blog where attention span really matters’!

“Those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”, a quote widely attributed to Sir Winston Churchill, variously confirms a range of frustrations shared by many Vietnam War combat veterans with respect to how the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan were prosecuted.

In the U.S., we have come to assume any war, particularly those post-WWII, breed proponents and opponents with the differences frequently arising from nuanced social, political, moral, and even national security arguments, that eventually, but inevitably, morph as untoward revelations about a war’s underlying rationale and prosecution, which, in turn, give rise to doubts, questions, frustrations, and public weariness, e.g.,

• what are the ‘knowns and unknowns’, i.e., foreseen and unforeseen tradeoffs and consequences?

• is the war being prosecuted as effectively (tactically, strategically) as it should and with sufficient translucency?

• what means exist for regularly measuring the war’s status, i.e., are specific political-moral-military-national security objectives being met?

To be sure, frustrations…evolve, repeatedly evidenced when tactical, strategic, and/or policy misjudgments and misdiagnoses occur, all-to-often marked by an absence of ‘lessons learned’ from numerous prior comparables, i.e., the Vietnam War vis-à-vis the Afghanistan and Iraq wars.

It is with confidence, had any military war planner – tactician asked any Vietnam War (ground) combat veteran, prior to deploying large numbers of U.S. troops to Afghanistan and Iraq, to describe risks-threats for which it would be prudent to train and prepare combat troops for in advance, their responses would likely evolve around…

• there will be more sophisticated versions of booby-traps’ of all types the former a term/phrase ludicrously modified to IED’s (improvised explosive devices) and ‘suicide bombers’.

• any prospect of ‘winning hearts and minds’ of independently indigenous (religious) sects-cultures marked by thousand year histories of conflict, will be a long, risky, costly, and very likely produce a disappointing outcome.

• the wars’ in general, and fighting specifically, (in Iraq, Afghanistan) will occur with 360-degree asymmetry, and 24/7 spontaneity.

• recognition that the primary, perhaps the primary difference insofar as combat in Iraq and Afghanistan to Vietnam, is terrain!

• training indigenous personnel for ‘standalone’ defense of their region – country will be challenging, time consuming, costly, and probably never produce a fully desirable outcome, lackluster performance of indigenous military will collectively translate to a political and social unsustainable willingness to continue indefinitely.

• mitigating – countering the influx and actions of religious indoctrinated – self-described insurgents will be challenging and achieve only sporadic territorial gains which can be quickly undermined – lost when troops are withdrawn.

It seems apropos then, to revisit the aforementioned quote attributed to Mr. Churchill, i.e., “those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it”. It’s quite possible the U.S. military co-opted Mr. Churchill’s quote was co-opted and re-phrased to ameliorate the persistence of more recent tragedies as ‘lessons learned’. For example, the April, 1996 plane (Boeing 737) crash in Croatia that killed then Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown and 34 other American aides and business persons accompanying the Secretary on a trade mission. Following this incident, the U.S. Air Force primarily, compiled a 7,700-page document titled ‘lessons learned’.

One of the most significant takeaways from that document, in my judgment, was the fact that numerous civilian and military pilots had personal and recent knowledge of the risks and challenges associated with negotiating the runway – a landing at the same Croatian airport. Such reports, conveyed over a period of time prior to the crash of Secretary Brown’s plane, were probably at echelons well below what would be required to produce change. As the report admits, most, if not all of the relevant concerns went un-asked, until that is, the Secretary’s plane crashed, upon which it became ‘time to ask’.

Mr. Moberly is an intangible asset strategist and risk specialist and author of ‘Safeguarding Intangible Assets’ published by Elsevier in 2014, View Mr. Moberly’s videos on YouTube at ‘Safeguarding Intangible Assets’.

Combat Intangibles In American Films

February 10th, 2016. Published under intangible assets, Vietnam War Combat Veterans. No Comments.

Michael D. Moberly February 10, 2016 ‘A business blog where attention span really matters’.

Through the lens of the ‘it’s time we were asked project’ not an insignificant percentage of American films produced with a story line linkage to Vietnam War combat tend to do so by incorporating particular tracts which perhaps are intended to accommodate perceptions of generations removed focus groups, i.e.,
• a snap-shot-in-time portrayal of an observed and recorded act of extraordinary leadership and/or courage in which a soldier was subsequently honored, perhaps posthumously, with relevant citations and medals.
• a revelation of ‘what if’s and/or what should’s’ relative to a specific or series of political – military miscues, strategic – tactical misreads, cover-ups, and/or injurious fabrications, or misleading rationales or explanations.
• protests initiated by citizens (globally) particularly the United States against the Vietnam War which questioned key motivations-rationales for the U.S. government’s initiating – engaging the Vietnam War.
Of course, we recognize now that every (Vietnam War) revelation describing a strategic political-military misstep or misjudgment, was wholly without merit.

To be sure, by the time a new investigative revelation eventually sieved down to those engaged in combat in Vietnam, they were indeed disconcerting and frustrating to some. But, if my experience serves as an indicator, personnel consistently engaged in combat environs tended to be emotionally apolitical insofar as how the Vietnam War was being strategically – tactically prosecuted.

To do otherwise, i.e., exhibit a wholly anti-war posture, there was broad agreement amongst veteran combat personnel, could potentially draw one’s attention away from their combat (offensive-defensive) responsibilities and effectiveness, thereby putting themselves and others at risk. So, assuming an apolitical posture/attitude about the Vietnam War during the period one was engaged in combat was, for most, a necessary obligation because, among other things, there was no opportunity to merely ‘opt out’ or engage in protest absent significant consequences imposed by superiors, but particularly combat team members.
With this admission, it is certainly not the intent of ‘it’s time we were asked project’ to purposefully merge either in the recorded accounts of Vietnam War combat veterans’ unless the subject independently evolves at their will absent scripted influencers. Admittedly, of the combat veterans engaged for this project thus far, some have indeed expressed perspectives and opinions about one or more of the tracts described above.

Vietnam combat veterans interested in participating in and/or supporting the ‘it’s time we were asked’ project are encouraged to contact Mr. Moberly at

Mr. Moberly is an intangible asset strategist and risk specialist and author of ‘Safeguarding Intangible Assets’ published by Elsevier in 2014, View Mr. Moberly’s videos on YouTube at ‘safeguarding intangible assets’ or his CNN and CNBC videos at his webpage