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.)

Vietnam War Combat Crossing Intangible Chasm

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.)

Preparing For Combat…The Intangibles

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.

Vietnam War and Combat Intangible Frustrations

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’.

War and 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

Patents, Collections of Embedded Intangible Assets

February 9th, 2016. Published under Intangible asset training for management teams., IP strategy.. No Comments.

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

Think about it. Is it not fair to say that a patent is, in many respects, an organized collection-arrangement of IA’s (intangible assets), i.e., intellectual and structural capital particularly, which have been systematically applied and ultimately embedded in creating something new, novel and/or unique?

Should the above characterization be reasonably accurate, which I believe it is, the key difference between an issued patent and intangible assets is the former can be framed and proudly hung on the wall of the holder’s choosing, while the contributing IA’s, in their non-physical state, are the actual, but uncommunicative enablers – underliers.

Frequently, much to my chagrin as an IA strategist and risk specialist, IP, patents particularly, represent the presumptive ‘brass ring’ which a significant percentage of technology transfer managers, researchers, inventors, and legal counsel set their sights and envision deriving streams of revenue and value as has been conveyed in most every conventional ‘IP 101’ class for the past 100+ years.

My experience, albeit largely confined to university research and RBSU’s, i.e., research based startups, suggest a significant percentage of IP (patent) players are unaccustomed to recognizing the presence of or the contributory role and value emanating from people generated IA’s.

I suspect this oversight attaches to the dominance of patent only strategies held by many companies and organizations coupled with the time honored perspective that an issued patent generally conveys singular (asset) development and ownership. However, the expenditure of time and cost associated with obtaining, maintaining, and defending a patent are escalating which influence the ‘patent only tract’, making it increasingly out-of-reach for many inventors, RBSU’s and the multitude of firms now marked by consistent innovation but absent deep pockets of investment resources.

In today’s increasingly aggressive, predatorial, and winner-take-all global business transaction and R&D environments, patent only tracts, in my view, are in constant states of risk to loss, devaluation, undermining, and/or infringement. Too, there is the widely held, but never-the-less mistaken assumption that an issued patent constitutes a deterrent to, or safe harbor from would be infringers, which it certainly is neither. Indeed, most research projects – products are vulnerable to (a.) becoming entangled-ensnared in various legal disputes and challenges, (b.) failures of effectively marketing, and/or (c.) resources being prematurely withdrawn to sustain the benefits of a patent.

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’.

Marketing Intangible Assets To Skeptics

February 8th, 2016. Published under Intangible asset strategy, Intangible asset teaching and training., Intangible asset training for management teams.. No Comments.

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

Respectfully, one would think at this point, with it being a globally universal economic fact that 80+% of most company’s – organization’s value, sources of revenue, and building blocks for growth, sustainability, and profitability today evolve directly from IA’s (intangible assets) any challenge related to bringing management teams and boards to the ‘intangible asset’ table would be minimal.  That message still demands clarity today, i.e., explanation, confirmation, and demonstration of IA’s contributory role and value to company’s – organization’s insofar as achieving financial and competitive advantage benefits.

For IA strategists like myself, that challenge often lies in getting management teams and boards to recognize (a.) the IA’s their company/organization actually produces and possesses and (b.) the contributory roles (to value, revenue, competitive advantage, etc.) and (c.) providing sufficient rationale and guidance for taking action.

For a percentage of still skeptical – unconvinced management teams and boards (about IA’s) the all but assured benefits and competitive advantages accruing from their effective use-application is misinterpreted as not occurring until some distant point in the company’s – organization’s future.  IA strategic planning practiced by this strategist is presented-executed with a near term emphasis that minimizes any rationale to delay engaging one’s IA’s financially – competitively or be dismissive about or otherwise trivialize the benefits.

There are techniques applied in seminars and/or training to influence greater – broader (management team, board) receptivity to effectively applying their IA’s.  Two important techniques are (a.) ensuring management teams and boards recognize what IA’s are, and (b.) achieving sufficient operational familiarity to identify, unravel, assess, position and otherwise consistently use-exploit IA’s profitably and competitively.

This entails, among other things, developing a (more) coalescing approach that encourages more company – organization management teams and boards to engaged and act on their IA’s.  In other words, positioning IA’s for becoming routine action items on c-suite discussions and strategic planning agendas.

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

Combat Intellectual Capital

February 5th, 2016. Published under Systemic Risk, Vietnam War Combat Veterans. No Comments.

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

A proposition that influenced us to proceed further with the development of the ‘it’s time we were asked’ project stems from on-going frustrations we frequently discussed relative to defensive tactics (troop safety) applied in the Iraq and Afghanistan theaters. An example of which has to do with the presumptive sophistication of anti-personnel devices developed-used by adversaries against military personnel (in Iraq and Afghanistan).  No comparison – relevance were made to comparables or the primordial anti-personnel devices used against combat troops in the Vietnam War, i.e., the variety of ways sharpened bamboo stakes and wire could be fashioned into very serious and deadly anti-personnel devices.

We understand, for perception and political reasons, it remains ‘verboten’ for senior administration officials to publically compare-contrast the insurgency rooted war in Vietnam to its comparables in Iraq and Afghanistan in terms of counterinsurgency tactics and strategy and anti-personnel devices.

A quote widely attributed to Sir Winston Churchill summed up our frustrations rather well, i.e., “those who fail to learn from history are doomed to repeat it.”  In this instance soldiers were, in many instances needlessly dying or being seriously and irreparably injured as a result of failing to learn from or ignoring the combat history of the Vietnam War.

Through our lens, there was an obvious absence of ‘lessons learned’ from the multitude of similar but needless misjudgments and misdiagnosis of tactics and strategy at the outset of the Vietnam War. In other words, we suspect, had any military personnel in any leadership capacity in 2003 asked any Vietnam War combat veteran three things to expect and prepare their combat troops defensively and offensively for, they would likely be…

  • ’booby traps’ of all types used in the Vietnam War, but a term/phrase nonsensically ‘upgraded’ to IED’s or improvised explosive devices for application to the Iraq and Afghanistan war…distinctions without differences.
  • it is going to be a very tough, long, frustrating, and ultimately dissatisfying endeavor insofar as winning hearts and minds.
  • significant tactical – strategic distinctions between the wars in Iraq, Afghanistan or Vietnam is terrain!

It’s worth noting following the April, 1996 plane crash in Croatia that killed Secretary of Commerce Ron Brown and 34 other American business leaders embarked on a trade mission, the government compiled a 7,700 page document titled ‘lessons learned’. In my judgment, one of the most significant takeaways from that document was the fact that numerous civilian and military pilots had first hand and recent knowledge of the dangers and challenges associated with negotiating a landing at that particular Croatian airport facility, but whose experience went unnoticed and un-asked.

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

Intangibles Of Combat

February 4th, 2016. Published under intangible assets, Vietnam War Combat Veterans. No Comments.

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

Since the withdraw of U.S. military personnel from Vietnam some 45+ years ago, there remains, in my judgment, insufficient contextual light shed on the consistent physical challenges and mental endurance of those directly tasked with engaging in combat. There are at least two generations of citizens who possess little, if any, exacting familiarity about the Vietnam War aside perhaps from observations – perceptions gleaned from films that often evolved from books, translated to screen plays and then ensconced in director’s dual assessment of presumptions about realism and box office draw.

Embedded within this of course, are various government investigative reports, cathartic memoirs (books) by government officials – military personnel who, among other things, were voices for the Vietnam war’s prosecution, i.e., analysis, policy, and/or strategy.  Too, there is an abundance of single author books which are inclined to describe particular incidents-circumstances which the author was likely to have been a participant and recognized for heroism and valor.  Many of these offerings we found, fell short of articulating the obscure and apolitical complexities and realities experienced by combat veteran’s over the course of their 365 day tour.  A high percentage of such realities encompassed physical, mental, and emotional endurance, luck, and experiential skills gleaned from emotionally taxing and unrelenting  (24/7) probability of instantaneous engagement in combat.

Of course, there were other bodies of work undertaken espousing an array of social, moral, and political agendas and investigative journalism, some of which contained insights from previously suppressed or classified documents-knowledge that had the benefit of including the inevitable ‘what shoulds’ and/or ‘what if’s’.  Too, these sources often raised new questions about (a.) the government’s rationale for engaging in the Vietnam War, (b.) war fighting strategies relative to deploying hundreds of thousands of military personnel to prosecute a war, 8,846 miles and 13 time zones away from St. Louis, Missouri, and (c.) a war that was largely rooted in Vietnam’s historic ineptness, corruption, and repetitive receptivity to being subject to multi-pronged and multi-faceted communist led insurgencies.

So, be assured, it is not the intent of this blog post, nor our ‘it’s time we were asked’ project, to lionize or demonize the Vietnam War, war in general, or combat in particular. Instead, through our ‘it’s time we were asked’ project we will be delivering (in open sources) many hundreds of unscripted, un-sequenced, and un-coached audio recordings – discussions with Vietnam War combat veterans. A key purpose of which is to bring much needed clarity about combat in war that reaches well beyond what have now become ubiquitous, but inquisitively hollow expressions, i.e., ‘thank you for your service’ or ‘welcome home’.

Vietnam combat veterans interested in participating in and/or supporting the ‘it’s time we were asked’  project are encourage 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