July 2013

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FM5-426-Carpentry

CARPA has lived a quiet life in the shadow of its bigger and more famous sibling, DARPA, so it is time for us to reveal some of the background on how CARPA has become such an important player in the last years and influential in the latest development of military tactics and warcraft in the US army and its NATO allies.

Sun Tzu’s classical book The Art of War is required reading for all officer cadets around the world. Sun Tzu’s lesser known book The Craft of War has long gone unnoticed, but is today in the bookshelf of every commanding officer. The book inspired not only Machiavelli but also Prussian military theorist Carl von Clausewitz and his eminent work Vom Kriege (On War). Clausewitz’s especially famous metaphor “fog of war” comes originally from The Craft of War, and is actually is a mistranslation. In the original Chinese, the phrase refers to fumes from the kiln, masking the process wherein the characteristics of toughness, strength, and translucence of porcelain crystallize through kaolinite mineral mullite within the fired body of the clay. Clausewitz’s metaphor, however, came to represent the friction of warfare, both in action and organisation, and thus, in a way, still resembles the porcelain process as a warcraft. Today, there are porcelain-making courses for superior officers at the US Army Combined Arms Center in Fort Leavenworth, Kansas, because the army has yet to improve upon the material’s high resistance to chemical attack and thermal shock. Porcelain also embodies the praised characteristics of the US Leader Development and Education (CAC-LD&E).

The connection between craft and military training may seem like a coincidence, but the United Army Training and Doctrine Command (TRADOC) at Fort Leavenworth was run by General David Patraeus between 2005-2007, and many officers under Patraeus also happened to cultivate great craftsmanship of North British-styled woodcarving as well as a great interest in design. Patraeus’s crew shares this interest with the classes of Brigadier General (Ret.) Shimon Naveh, the founder and former head of the Israel Defense Forces’ (IDF) Operational Theory Research Institute (OTRI), who was invited to be part-time consultant and Artisan In Residency at the US Army’s School of Advanced Military Studies in 2007. To Naveh, the “operational art” of war can prevent forces from becoming harmfully “addicted to the present fight” (not unlike the studio crafts’ killing-loop) to instead apply new forms of war-craft, answering to the challenges of the contextual materialism at hand. Naveh and Patraeus also shared an interest in the military implementation of design and craft thinking in operational architecture, using references of famous design theorists such as Buchanan, Krippendorff, Margolin and Thackara, and (not the least) Deleuze and Guattari.

It also seems as if Patraeus promoted David Pye’s book “The Nature and Art of Workmanship” (1968) as required reading for all superior commanding officers in Iraq. Pye was an internationally recognised craftsman and professor of Furniture Design at The Royal College of Art in London 1964–1974 as well as an early proponent of the craft-led thinking which today has transformed a lot of military training into Pye and IDEO-inspired “Design Thinking”, especially since the launch of the US Army Field Manual 5-0 on The Operations Process released in March 2010, following FM 3-24 on Counterinsurgency, released in December 2006, the latter coauthored by Patraeus. The success of these two field manuals, developed in close collaboration with CARPA, builds on the earlier foundation of the field manual FM 5-426 on Carpentry, a publication from 1995 deeply inspired by the thinking of Pye and a guiding example for Patraeus and his followers who developed the successful strategies for the counter insurgency “surge” in Iraq.

All these manuals are available for download at the TRADOC-manual archive.

CARPAleaks intends to expose the deep connections between contemporary craft and US armed conflict. CARPAleaks takes as its mission not only to defend the independence of the free crafts against the Craft-Military-Industrial-Complex and the development of aggressive and craft-based “soft-power” as a force of US military domination. We must also defend the crafts from becoming a cultural weapon, like the fine arts, their “artist-run-initiatives,” and their neo-liberal aggression of “social engagement”.

Defend freedom, defend the independent crafts!

 

 

Last year, the American Farm Bureau Federation (AFBF), the well-known lobbying front for big agribusiness-related industries that works against climate change legislation, was revealed to be green-washing art projects concerning arty issues such as “urban farming”, “guerrilla gardening” and “urban beekeeping.” The leaks that exposed some of contributions to the US pavilion of the Venice Biennale as AFBF-works raised some concerns as to the “spontaneous” nature of urban art interventions. The public is also concerned about what kind of “common good” (that is, “US-soft power”) these works are supposed to benefit.

This is nothing new. In 1947, the State Department organized and paid for a touring international exhibition entitled “Advancing American Crafts.” The CIA office of International Organizations Division (IOD), under Tom Broden, has also sponsored several projects. These have included an animated version of George Orwell’s Animal Farm (in the 1950s) as well as the Boston Symphony Orchestra’s extensive international touring program. These initiatives served as part of the propaganda war with the Soviet Union and promoted the free cultural power of the US.

The CIA-CARPA collaboration, revealed through correspondence with the IOD and AFBF, stretches back to 1958 and the touring exhibition “The New American Painting.” Including prominent abstract expressionists such as Pollock, de Kooning, and Motherwell, the exhibition showed in Paris and later at the Tate Gallery in London. At the time, the well-known American millionaire and art lover, Justin Fleischmann, acted as figurehead for the operation.

Later, in 1961, the “New Studio-Craft” exhibit at Victoria and Albert Museum in London was also sponsored by Fleischmann’s CIA cover, the Farfield Foundation. Using his position at the board of the International Program of the Museum of Modern Art in New York, he had already pushed for several craft exhibits at the MoMA since the mid 1950s.

The debate concerning the alliance between the Maker Faire and DARPA was raised again last year when people questioned the role the military plays in public education, but with some historical overview it is clear that both DARPA and CARPA have played key roles in sponsoring not only engineering research but also craft schools, conferences, exhibits. Lately, their reach has extended to hacker and maker spaces, also overseas. “One of the biggest challenges we face as a nation is the decline in our ability to make things,” said Dr. Regina Dugan, then Director of DARPA in an interview in 2011, giving witness to her strategic thinking, well in resonance with the  research at CARPA.

This government strategy has been well integrated in the United States Army Recruiter Handbook (USAREC Manual No. 3-01) for several decades, yet the magnitude of the government-sponsored programs was surprising to many crafters. Not only direct CARPA-operations, such as the Etsy satellite in Berlin, but also the CARPA infiltration of “anarchist-run” hacker space, such as Hantverkslabbet (Swedish for “The Craft Lab”) in Malmo, Sweden, aim to tap into intel on both traditional south Swedish whittling techniques and Iranian expat art-movies. According to the documents, this infiltration also reached several “independent artist-run gallery spaces” in France and Greece.

The last leaks concern craft projects on “social practice,” mainly stemming from the heavily CARPA-infiltrated California College of the Arts (CCA) in San Francisco and its MA program aimed at strengthening US soft power in the social arts. New York schools, as well, such as Parsons the New School for Design and the Cooper Union are revealed to have covered up government-sponsored crafts and recruitment programs under the cover of “public engagement,” “social crafts,” and “art media.”

Members of CARPAleaks are currently filtering a huge leak from CARPA engagements in Portland, Berlin, and Kabul. Stay tuned.

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CARPA and CIA-facilitated secret code necklace

CARPA and CIA-facilitated secret code necklace

Coco Chanel’s collaboration with the Abwehr (Nazi military intelligence), and later with the CIA, has been long known, but a leak from the Chanel workshops in Paris have revealed more about the extensive collaboration of coded messages in the famous Chanel pearl jewellery.

Probably inspired by the South American Quipus (or “talking knots”), necklace-cords which contained numeric codes in knots, the Chanel atelier established a system for encoded messages between spies through the arrangements of black and white pearls in necklaces. Coco Chanel herself (known to the Abwehr as F 7124) used her suite at the Hotel Ritz in Paris as an operations base to design these necklaces, encoding information to messengers within the secret service. After the war, Chanel quickly aligned with the US forces who initiated this method among agents, facilitated through highly secretive courses in beading by CARPA.

As is exposed in the leak, in 2011 CARPA established an alias-shop at the Chinese trading site Aliexpress.com to leak secret information from Chinese industrial workshops through counterfeit Chanel necklaces.

Click here to download the pdf of these secret files: 2CQ2013-x

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310 patterns for military “blood-bracelets” revealed

Military allies do not only have several secret ceremonies of blood-brotherhood, but a leaked pattern shows how they also provide “ally-bracelets” (what in civil life are often peaceful friendship bracelets). These blood-bracelets are braided by members of special forces in different NATO countries during their missions in Afghanistan, often from conquered wool and ripped carpets under secret ceremonies in their bases while browsing censored sites, such as knitting forum Ravelry.com.

Blood-Bracelet 4392-32Army

 

Click here to view the pdf of these classified files: 1BB2013-a-x

For part 2 of this document torrent: 1BB2013-b-smX

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