View Full Version : Staff-to-Staff input requested

08-15-2009, 06:30 AM
Going to start BN level Staff-to-Staff partnership work with an Iraqi Engineer BN or two. Concentration on staff assistance. Personnel and Logistics are my primary targets.

Throwing this out to anyone who has any thoughts on how to do it right or at least how not to screw it up?

Also, if anyone has any BN Staff level training materials in Aribic that would be really cool.

08-15-2009, 10:45 AM
Recommended by a UK Army friend, who served in hot places, read Barnaby Rogerson's book: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Prophet-Muha.../dp/0349115869 . It is an excellent book and can provide a sign you have bothered to read up on the Prophet - which is useful for establishing rapport.

The US Amazon link is: http://www.amazon.com/Prophet-Muhammad-Biography-Barnaby-Rogerson/dp/1587680297/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1250333200&sr=1-1


John T. Fishel
08-15-2009, 12:35 PM
If you haven't read Rob Thornton's (with Marct and me) book, Security Force Assistance: The Mosul Case Study, in the Journal, you should, especially for the interviews. The other point I'd make is that getting to know your counterpart is critical, hard work, and extraordinarily labor intensive. It truly requires the quality of empathy - defined correctly as the ability to see the world the way another sees it and not as sympathy - if you want to get him to change his way of doing business. MG Edward Lansdale's claasic, In the Midst of Wars, is a good palce to get a feel for this. Note that Lansdale had empathy for both Magsaysay and Diem, but he only really sympathized with Magsaysay although he had success with both.

Good luck


08-15-2009, 01:32 PM
Curmudgeon, I'd second John's suggestion about the Mosul Case Study - especially the interviews. You might also want to see if you can sit down with Rob and pick his brains.

Regardless of any OPORDs, the key will be in the personal relationships you establish with your counterparts (hence the bring tea...). If you haven't done so already, check out MikeF's thread on Wicked Problem sets (http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/showthread.php?t=8055) as well. If you have already identified your counterparts, you might consider inviting them over here (the SWC).



08-16-2009, 10:23 PM
A book entitled Arabs by Mark Allen is woth a crack. It was well read by the Brits in Basra - some cynics might say that would be enoiugh to put you off! It shouldn't.


The USMC Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning (CAOCL)'s site is very very useful and the staff are so helpful - they will hold alot of material on MiTT activity and the lessons identified. http://www.tecom.usmc.mil/caocl

Same for the Combined Arms Center website at Leavenworth which again has tentacles spreading out all over the place. http://usacac.army.mil/cac2/coin/index.asp

Sorry to quote back US sites at you as a Brit and not direct you to one of our own - maybe one of the other Brits who operate on the site can help - I know DavidBFPO has sent you something. Certainly our Engineers did work very closely with Iraqi Army Engineers during the capacity building activity in 2006-07, Op SINBAD et al.

Hope it helps.

Rob Thornton
08-17-2009, 12:50 AM
We've been working on something I think will be useful. I've got to go out and do an initial teach on it this week (so I'll be on the road starting tomorrow), but here is the logic. It starts by understanding what their problem is (what do they have to be capable of doing, or the FSF Development Problem). What I mean is you have to understand exactly what it is your partner has to do, e.g what capabilities is he supposed to have, what capabilities does he need respective of the conditions he operates in. This means you have to conduct an assessment that tells you what he looks like organizationally, what are the requirements on that organization given the environment and what are the institutional gaps he is going to have to overcome. This is really a series of questions that help you understand your partner. You also need to consider doing a mission analysis from his perspective (e.g. given what you have learned about him during the assessment how does the MA shake out). This is not so you can tell him how he should do it, but so you can understand his constraints and limitations and be a better partner - which could be considered your SFA problem (or how do you best support the FSF Development).

Ultimately, what you want to do is understand what are the required (or desired) capabilities of the unit you are supporting development of so you can measure that against where they are at based on your assessment. The difference between the two will give you the capability gap that needs to be addressed. At this point you might want to categorize the capabilities into the war fighting functions (WFFs) - which is really just a grouping of tasks but is helpful in understanding how those tasks work together to support a mission. You then want to do a task analysis on those capabilities (a capability being the ability to do a task). This will tell you the tasks that they need to be able to do, and which ones you should focus on as their partner - and by extension which ones you may need to train on, or bring in specialty folks to support. This should also help you organize your own folks and prioritize resources.

MOEs and MOPs

OK - as undoubtedly someone will ask you how are they doing (and how are you doing) - here is one way to look at it that should help you and the partner do the right things right.

Take a given problem (Ex. IA DIV ENG CO must secure routes), and then figure out what are the conditions which you and your partner believe are required for that to occur (ex. 1 (of as many as analysis indicates) - X % of IEDs are identified and reduced). As the partner is able to change those conditions in a positive manner (e.g. work towards the desired conditions) that becomes the measure of effectiveness against which new assessments are made. The measure of performance against which the partner is assessed is how well he does those tasks that change the conditions. Ideally - the tasks required to change the conditions and the tasks required to support the development of a required or desired capability should coincide - as should the tasks you as the partner are doing to support his capability development.

I know that is a mouth full, and by no means is it easy. It requires campaign thinking at multiple echelons, as well as the tactical thinking required to execute those developmental tasks. It requires an understanding of froce development from both an operating force perspective and a generating force perspective (things like how Title 10 functions work, and how we translate those requirements into DOTMLPF and Policy language so we can then build war fighting functions (or other operating schemas). It also requires the capability to conduct detailed and continual assessments at multiple levels (we're not sure this is currently resident in our tactical organizations (e.g. Corps and below).

We've got this fairly mapped out in what we are tentatively calling the SFA Planner's Guide for "Foreign Security Force" Force Development (Operating Forces). We wanted to take a little more time in testing the logic, but I think its pretty solid as we've been beating it up pretty good trying to get it right enough so we don't hand guys a bag of concepts, but instead show the work so others will know how to do it. That does not make it any easier to do, but it does illustrate it so that the user can be the one to decide when to or not to do something. I think we'll have something we can send out in the next couple of weeks, and then we are going to take it on a roadshow to the various educational institutions that make planners and staffs so it does not just sit on the shelf or the web site. Force development is no easy thing, doing it to develop someone else's force is even harder.

Shoot me a PM with an email and I'll send you the first draft that I think is good enough to help you out.

Best, Rob

08-17-2009, 01:45 AM
I've been out of the game for a while now, so this might be dated, but the COIN academy had a bunch of Arabic-language stuff. Some of it included staff planning. I'm guessing that if they don't have what you're looking for, then they might be able to quickly locate it. One last caveat - I didn't work there - I just saw a lot of their stuff and we did some sharing of personnel with them.

08-17-2009, 09:21 AM
I would suggest an enquiry with the British Defence Liaision Staff, in Washington. I suspect that a Royal Engineer officer will be seconded to the home / school of your engineers. They should be able to help you get access. If the UK Army has websites that can help they are probably behind a barrier and not open access.

The in-house British Army Review regularly publishes articles on how we've inter-related with other armies; a recent issue has one on the ANA, but I'd expect older issues had ones on the IA. The Royal Engineers has a journal, which may also have shorter such articles and a magazine 'Sapper'.

I did find this on a UK RE with the IA Engineers: http://www.mod.uk/DefenceInternet/DefenceNews/MilitaryOperations/RoyalEngineerDigsInWithIraqiSappers.htm

I'll PM a POC and other bits.


08-18-2009, 06:07 AM
Thanks everyone for the advice and help.

I was able to find some documents on the Deeks language page on AKO. Very helpful.

I also pulled down the Mosul Case Study and scanned it as it is over 300 pages and chapter five was still TBP (Marc).

I had my first meeting. I can say that it was more business-like than I expected. Very little small talk. It could have been that they are engineers.:D It was probably my lack of personality. :p

In any case the tea was sweet, the lunch was great, and we have a lot of work to do. Soldier training has already started. Staff training is in the works.

I need to find a publication on the Iraqi Army for Dummies. What is their institutional training consist of for Officer/NCOs? How do they get equipment? What training facilities do they have? What is the relationship between the various units and how do they support each other. For example, do they have higher level maintenance somewhere? I already know the parts system is a mess. Standardized personnel records, training records, job descriptions, individual tasks, collective tasks - does any of this exist? I will assume that it has to be created until I find out otherwise.

I will pass on what I can for the good of the order.

If anyone had any other suggestions please let me know.

Red Rat
08-27-2009, 04:02 PM
When I was working with the Iraqis I discovered that one of the problems was that every Coalition team that came in taught them a different thing...

Then I discovered that the Iraqi Army had its own doctrine, heavily based on US doctrine and which included some very swept up aide memoires, field manuals and the like - naturally all in Arabic... Could I get an English translation? Could I hell! But I did find out that they were produced through MNSTC-I.

Echoing previous advice - find out what they are suppossed to be doing, what their doctrine is (they do have it), get a translation of their doctrine and take it from there.

Oh - and my first meeting with my CO was very business like as well with little chat. However by the end of the tour the Ops Officer wanted to leave his wife for e and the CO was feeding me the choicest cuts from the sheep's head. Stick with it - but be careful of the Ops Officer!:eek:

08-27-2009, 04:47 PM
I also pulled down the Mosul Case Study and scanned it as it is over 300 pages and chapter five was still TBP (Marc).

Sorry, I missed this....

The update case study is available here (http://marctyrrell.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/sfa-case-study-final-with-ch-4-updatedoc.pdf), including my chapter.

William F. Owen
08-28-2009, 06:31 AM
Oh - and my first meeting with my CO was very business like as well with little chat. However by the end of the tour the Ops Officer wanted to leave his wife for e and the CO was feeding me the choicest cuts from the sheep's head. Stick with it - but be careful of the Ops Officer!:eek:

So basically what you are saying is that the Ops Officer just wasn't your type?
Get your ass to Tel-Aviv mate. Lots of openly gay soldiers here. You'll have ball... literally! :)

Eych... I do miss the banter!

Red Rat
08-28-2009, 02:31 PM
Definitely not my type!

However judging by the state of the IDF I am sure a visit to Tel Aviv would be productive :D

08-28-2009, 06:26 PM
I think those are US Marines, not IDF.

08-29-2009, 03:00 PM
I think those are US Marines, not IDF.

Don't need to know who they are ... just WHERE they are.:D

Think my profile picture would look a lot better if I had my arm around one of them.