Part of my job is simply ensuring people know about the humanitarian (non-combat) work the coalition is doing.
To some, it can be viewed as grandstanding, or bragging. (This is because as children we are taught the importance of being humble and modest.) But there really is a strategic military action behind ensuring we tell as many people as possible about the good work we do.
The thought is that if stories of the coalition’s good deeds spread far enough, they can eventually sway public opinion (in favor of the coalition.) And, we all know that a nation cannot win a war without the support of its people. So, we’re fighting to gain support (as well as for our lives.)
Of course, the flipped side of this coin is that if we do lots of good deeds but nobody knows about them, then the good deeds didn’t really help the war effort. (It’s kind of like the old puzzle: “If a tree falls in the woods and no one is there to hear it, does it make a sound?” … Except, this version is more like: “If the military did a good thing, and nobody knew about it, did they really do anything?”)
When I was out yesterday, I was busy gathering information and pictures about our visit to the Governor’s compound so I could write a story. I’m used to writing about multiple subjects, but each time I cover a story where poverty or violence is involved, I often feel weird because my conscience says I should be doing something to HELP them personally. (For example, I think they may be thinking to themselves: “Hey, you! Quit taking pictures of me and give me some FOOD!”)
Still I do my job (and I try to help at the same time when I can.)
Personally, I’m content with doing good no matter who knows. But within the scope of our team’s work, it’s not enough to simply do good … we have to be SEEN doing good.