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Thread: Key Leader Engagement (KLE) TTPs

  1. #21
    Council Member Infanteer's Avatar
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    So, did the General ignore the Major for the rest of the mission?

  2. #22
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    @Monk- I didn't have access to CIDNE when I was in country, but I think it definitely wouldn't have helped. TIGR or Palantir (if you have them) can do the same thing. We really miss the problem though, because the best solution is to have troops on the ground longer, though that buts inordinate stress on deploying Soldiers. No KLE summary can replace human interaction.

    To piggy back on Bob's World's story, I had the same experience. Most of my KLEs or meetings were just BS-ing. But the guy I met with the most, and who we both got to exchange things of value--him intel and me firepower, we actually developed a trust relationship. And we respected each other. But it wasn't quick and it wasn't fake.

  3. #23
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    We had access to CIDNE, but it was easier to maintain the data locally and turn it over during the RIP. You bring up an excellent point about it though, and if you don't have bandwidth constraints, I suppose it could be a decent tool.

    Part of the problem with our (USMC) training pipeline is that units aren't introduced to the potential of CIDNE during train-ups, and unless a SOP is developed for working the "soft" COIN stuff into it, it can become like most other tools; cumbersome and a chore to deal with because it is new. We need to reverse that.

    We did not treat every cup of tea with locals as a KLE or a shura. They were just cups of tea and a talk, and nothing more in the way of a title. We continued to glean as much information as possible, but the differences were somewhat significant in that KLEs warranted a KLE debrief report. More casual meetings required a mention in the platoon/company 24 hour ops report, but not more detailed paperwork unless a specific item warranted it.

    MC, good article. Hits a lot of good points on how IO is so interwoven into KLE.

    As an aside, it was funny to recall the comments from the cultural advisors at Mojave Viper during our mission rehearsal exercise. We had a number of them tell us to not refer to the Taliban as Taliban. Even the handbooks say that, proclaiming that you are likely to confuse the locals, who will likely produce a student from a madrassa when you ask whee the bad guys are. Newsflash cultural advisors...TB is all that the locals use, so stop making that word out to be the bogeyman term that will sink the COIN fight if it is used!

  4. #24
    Council Member Xenophon's Avatar
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    I definitely agree that sometime you need to be firm. He wasn't firm, he acted firm. But his voice cracked with frustration. He didn't bother to learn the names of the people he wanted to talk to the Afghans about. His disgust with the Afghans and his lack of confidence shown through his facade like a WP round. If I picked up on it, the Afghans sure did.

    But, I may have been biased against him from the start. In the first interview piece with him in the movie, he said something to the effect of, "I didn't bother to study the Korengal or read anything about the AO before we got there, I didn't think it was important."

    Disgusting. Especially from a company commander. The First Sergeant seemed on point though.

  5. #25
    Council Member Infanteer's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post
    As an aside, it was funny to recall the comments from the cultural advisors at Mojave Viper during our mission rehearsal exercise. We had a number of them tell us to not refer to the Taliban as Taliban. Even the handbooks say that, proclaiming that you are likely to confuse the locals, who will likely produce a student from a madrassa when you ask whee the bad guys are. Newsflash cultural advisors...TB is all that the locals use, so stop making that word out to be the bogeyman term that will sink the COIN fight if it is used!
    Actually, I had that happen to me, so maybe they are not all full of it. However, I think it was from a slick local leader who figured he could pull a fast one on me. I ran into some who didn't use the term Taliban and some who used it. I used Taliban, but also used "dushman" (enemy) as it is what the ANA I worked with used.

  6. #26
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    Quote Originally Posted by jcustis View Post

    -There are times when you have to read the mood and environment, and simply decide that today is not the day to push an issue, or delve too deeply into a subject. There were a number of times when it was simply more practical to pay a social call and reinforce the social bonds that you have already established.

    -Our hubris tends to drive us to push our agendas in KLEs, almost to the point of no return, and that can be fatal to overall progress if the leaders are seen to have lost face. I can't stress how important that became during KLEs. If you go into a KLE and treat it like the negotiation that it really is, you'll probably fare better than if you strive to bend your audience to your will and coerce them into courses of action that are inimical to their interests. There are often layers of interest in competition with each other when security forces, tribal leaders, and government officials meet. For some of the attendees, their presence is not voluntary, but rather a necessity driven by a need to simply get their tribe's name "out there" so to speak. Understanding that fact, and understanding the benefit of positive sum game results, will help you achieve your aims.
    Excellent observations. The ability to step back and reassess is often going to decide the outcome. Nice work.

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    Don't be surprised if what is said in public by Afghans during a shura or KLE is completely different then what they say in private leading up to the event. They may agree 100% with your viewpoint and seem like they've completely bought into your plan, but if it is a controversial topic they will side with the majority. In their society they can say whatever they want in private, only what they say in public counts.

  8. #28
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    Greetings -

    I would appreciate a copy of the KLE SOP you mentioned. I am a US Army civilian employee working on an advanced degree.

    My dissertation is a blend of computational intelligence and cognitive science. I need to create a cognitive task analysis model and am planning to use KLE as the scenario. I am trying to make it a civil works mission to avoid controversy at the university.

    Developing a realistic task network having no field experience is more than difficult! Having your SOP may be a big help. I promise to cite you properly.

    Thanks and good luck!
    Allison
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 09-24-2012 at 07:53 PM. Reason: PM to author with guidance

  9. #29
    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    I sent a reply to your PM Gargoyle. Using a KLE as the backdrop for your research looks interesting.

  10. #30
    Council Member Sparapet's Avatar
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    Default KLE by any other name...

    I'm sorry I missed this topic on the original run through... If there is still interest I would like to ask those with OEF KLE experience how they would compare it to the OIF (especially post Sons of Iraq genesis) version. My experience in uniform is limited to the latter, but I would imagine that when it comes to it, the basic skill sets would be the same.

    This brings to my other thought on KLEs. My work civilian-side is in diplomacy, and at negotiations or international meetings it is invariable that the majority of problem-solving happens on the margins. In other words, if you are at the table at the scheduled time and you are hearing something for the first time, it is either that 1. you are behind the power curve or 2. this new item just added work for you on the next break or after the meeting closes. I found this to be true in OIF as well. If a couple of Sheikhs and the local IA commander are present for a KLE it would be mostly posturing, rehashing of known points, and/or expression of outrage over some recent event or development. At no point did I find those meetings to be the appropriate time to solve anything or get anything meaningful done other than work on the posturing in the room. One-on-one meetings before or shortly after the big scheduled one is where the real negotiating happened.

    OIF KLE's were my first major exposure to negotiating outside of the stateside business world. In retrospect, the KLE prep that attempted to apply "TTP's" to something as unscientific as negotiation was wanting. The TTP's needed context to make sense, which was often very superficial "culture stuff". I am still perplexed by how a KLE is different from an international negotiation.....
    “History is Philosophy teaching by examples.” ~Thucydides

  11. #31
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Learning & Sharing KLE experiences

    Sparapet,

    Thank you for the observation and this sentence acted as a catalyst for my comment:
    I am still perplexed by how a KLE is different from an international negotiation.....
    With very few exceptions the Western military have a very limited experience of international negotiation, so would IMHO not consider learning from that arena and maybe not from "Foggy Bottom" either.

    I recall in my student studies of the SALT process the references to exchanges between Soviet and US diplomats that the Soviet military had not given a full picture of their forces, which made the talks rather difficult.

    Incidentally you may find the just updated thread on Political Officers useful.
    davidbfpo

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