When Lt Gen Richard P Mills, deputy commandant of the US Marine Corps, acknowledged a few weeks ago that the Taliban was engaged in "almost constant incursions" as it attempted to access military computer systems in Afghanistan, it caused a bit of a stir.
Now, it seems the military authorities in Australia have warned their soldiers deploying to Afghanistan to beware of Taliban supporters using "fake profiles" to get information on deployments, troop strengths and other information. An article in the tabloid Sunday Telegraph in Australia warns that Taliban insurgents are posing as "attractive women" on Facebook to befriend soldiers and gather information.
OK, I accept that the Taliban is capable of hacking into some military computers - but pretending to be the kind of woman that would appeal to an Aussie squaddie? I don't think so.
Can you imagine the conversation:
"Hello, my name is Sheila and I think you very nice. You and me, we go to Bondi for barby?"
- "Blimey chook! I just got me bang stick ready and I was about to brass up" (trans. Well, well. I have cleaned my rifle and was about to fire it).
"What this bang stick? You and me, we have a good time, eh?"
- "Naahhh. Me and the other diggers are going out for a few tinnies and goffers and then a gonk. I'll be in me farter if you want me, if I'm not too maggoted."(trans. Me and the other soldiers are going out for a few beers and soft drinks and then to sleep. I will be in my sleeping bag if I'm not too drunk.)
- Why you no speak English?
- "You numpty! Don't mention the whingeing Poms. Bunch of Ruperts if you ask me! (trans. You moron, don't mention the English. Bunch of toffs, etc....."
The Australian Department of Defence said it was working on new social media guidelines, to be released by Christmas. Perhaps they should just encourage their soldiers to speak pure Australian.