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Thread: Historical Parallels?

  1. #61
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
    Join Date
    Oct 2005
    DeRidder LA


    Suggest you take a look at LP 14 The Dragon Operations: Hostage Rescues in the Congo, 1964-1965 at I got into the early years of the UN in the Congo very heavily when writing LP 14. All that aside, the very probelms I wrote about in LP 14 and another study on the 1978 crisis where there in Zaire when I arrived as Defense Attache in 1993. They remained operative and ultimately lead to the Rwandan conquest of the Congo in 1997.

    We saw the same type problems with the UN in Rwanda (both UNAMIR 1 and 2) and all the agencies, NGOs, state players. The difference there was the Rwandan Patriotic Army, something I found unique in my African experience. The RPA had created itself in exile, won the civil war, and then became a new government.


  2. #62
    Council Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2005

    Default Interesting parallels


    I'm looking forward to finding the time to read the accounts you posted on operations in the Congo. There are some obvious parallels results with OIF, but I doubt the actual cause and effect will be the same in most cases, but I remain open minded.

  3. #63
    Registered User
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Kent, WA

    Default IO and CI

    On the subjects of Information Warfare and Cultural Intelligence...
    Twice in my career as a 98G I was assigned to Intelligence Battalions that had tactical deception units. They were referred to as "Operanal Detatchments", which made them sound like they were SpecOps, which they weren't, strctly speaking.
    In the 109th MI, 9th ID (Mot), it was staffed by MIGs like me. They had all sorts of nifty toys, including digital recorders with which they could allegedly record a commander's tranmissions, and edit them to broadcast him giving his units the commands we wanted him to. Sounds like a great idea, if they could have made it work right...
    15 years later, in the 102d MI, Cp Essayons, ROK, the 2d Infantry Division, in it's infinite wisdom, assigned Infantry and Engineer NCOs to be in charge of MI juinior enlisted. They had all sorts of mockups which looked pretty realistic, right down to heat-makers which could give the simulated Abrams the correct IR signature. (My favorite was the simulated supply depot with inflatable cartons of toilet paper.)
    From what I could see, neither of these units was used very effectively, and as a result of the perennial identity crisis of tactial Intelligence in the US Army they were both deactivated. (Although the 102d continued to get the odd infantry or Combat Engineer NCO, who usually felt he was being assigned to purgatory.)
    I also read an article in MI Journal talking about a similar Army-level Deception unit in WW2, which was usually ineffective, since it's actions were rarely coordinated with the local maneuver units. I think the lesson here is that you need people at the maneuver level who know to request the support from higher, and people at higher who know how to employ the assets to support the maneuver level. Does a Division-level unit have the assest to successfully simulate a division?

    As for cultural intelligence, I think expecting the average MI Geek linguist to be able to handle that task in addition to his normal duties--usually operating a Signals Intelligence system--is too much. Unless things have changed drastically in the 5 years since I retired, they are to busy doing "other stuff" to even attend a decent language refresher/maintenance program, let alone become Junior FAOs.
    ("Other Stuff" usually=Motor Stables, Police Call, CTT, and Post Support Activities like range cleanup, Ammo Supply Point/Ammo Holding Area guard, funeral detail... No more gate guard, at least at Ft Lewis.)


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