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Thread: Blending into the mindset of the Human Terrain

  1. #1
    Coined
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    Default Blending into the mindset of the Human Terrain

    Effects are not stove piped as they interact and are complementary to each other. The very short term can have a direct impact on the long term so they have to be balanced related to the IRoA end state (NOT the Democratic republic of Afghanistan but the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan).

    Through interaction more sub effects and indicators will be derived from the Lines of Operation. "Out of the box" thinking will have to be encouraged at the expense of stove pipes, "fenced domains", personalities and comfort zones.
    Those desired effect are a result of an agreed end state. Agreed at and derived from the strategic level by the ministry of Foreign Affairs, the min of development and the min of Defence.

    All activities are connected to the several effect-delivering parts of our organization as everybody has a unique role in influencing behavior.

    This has to be trained well before (Modular) units are deployed.

    I think it would be wise to initiate some brainstorm sessions about another and more complementary way to conduct training (train as you operate) in which every participant (soldier, NCO, officer, civilian) is aware about his role as “influencer of behavior in a certain environment”.

    Furthermore the point of departure should be a consistent and consequent permissive, semi-permissive and non-permissive mindset for training. Also when there is an operation in the highest level of violence the approach should be under the umbrella of that 3BW environment, btw, non-permissive imo does not refer to an exlusive hostile environment.

    Such way of thinking asks for process controlled organizations rather that a line-staff organization. We have to relate to our organization as a system of systems, a modular unit of which al (non)kinetic elements make part. This means something for all our training centres because a modular organized unit will interact differently at all levels. A modular unit is a consistent and constant (non)kinetic organized unit based at a barracks working and training together permanently. All levels will be trained, the mix of (non)kinetic will differ but everyone still is aware that they are complementary.

    A system of sytems approach with Modular units answers the current and future conflicts more comprohensive. The public support for military interventions is highly influenced by the opinion of the media, politicians and population in "our" home country, the country we intervene in and the countries who are in what way whatso ever are related to "our' country or to the AO.

    Imo the potential conflict arena for the coming ten years stretches between the republics bordering Russia via Eur Asia, the ME to Africa. In this and other parts of our world I think we will be confronted with "fighting" about economical aspects, energy resources and water management. The military element in this will not have such a prominant role, maybe in an initial entry or as "firemen" mainly contucting a shaping role for security, development and diplomacy.

    How do I see this work?

    As we operate in urbanized “human” terrain we have to train in such terrain. Let’s say an initial entry in a semi-permissive environment at an airfield nearby a town (not with huge warfighting, we know how to fight but do we also know Why, How and with Whom to interact)?

    Military have to make contact with logistical elements at that airfield and in the town to facilitate FoF, or they act as FoF themselves, it depends on the scenario. All civilian participants in the training are informed and civilian role play is instructed.

    PsyOps teams (Train as you Operate) have made an assessment of the town population (real town, real people, real assessment), make contact with local media to inform the population about the coming exercise, explain to them the Why and How, and ask them (in one of the town parts) to participate in let’s say a roadblock.

    Recce elements can perform their obs/surv task assisted by colleagues of the Home guard (a recce element makes an obs post in a room of a Home guard member opposite a bar, the bar is frequented by some MVI’s or HVI’s role play, they have to create a pattern of life, information will go up the chain and a lift ops can be executed at some training area as we don’t like to show our MO).
    Lift operations and the more violent ops can be trained at a training area IVO a town.

    Maneuver elements will “social patrol” a part of the town, introducing themselves to the population asking them some questions. Bottom line, Go to the people, introduce yourself, start a conversation and gain desired information/intelligence.

    You can imagine the participation of all other elements (PRT and so on) that make part of the Modular unit.

    Per level of training and of the Modular unit size the desired effects we like to achieve with the exercise can be developed. Of course this all depends of an integral, coordinated and synchronized approach.

    Role play can be performed by:

    Civilians from a theatre company to train the Modular unit in a permissive environment
    Home guard in civvies to train the Modular unit in a semi-permissive environment.
    Home guard or other military in "uniform" to train the Modular unit in a non-permissive environment.

    Ofcourse these elements are integrated, also when the non-permissive part is manifest, the othter two elements are stiil existent as the "human terrain" will always play an important, even decisive part in our operations.

    Training with modular units needs an extensive preparation, is highly related to "the way we operate" and will learn each participant that they all are key to achieve a desired end state.

    An additional value of such training is the PR/Marketing of our efforts to the population who are able to get acquainted with the how and why of our activities and approaches.

  2. #2
    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default Comment on another thread please

    COINED,

    This thread is duplicated by your other thread, with the same text. Can anyone adding comments use this thread: http://council.smallwarsjournal.com/...ead.php?t=7185

    Thanks

    davidbfpo
    Last edited by davidbfpo; 04-29-2009 at 10:30 AM. Reason: Change to main thread

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    - such a far cry from when the drill instructors made us do knuckle pushups on gravel until our hands bled. I guess it's for the best that father time has excluded me from enlisting and crossing over to Iraq or Afghan. I'm afraid if I went on a "social patrol" I would be looking for the wrong sort of interactions.

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coined View Post
    A system of sytems approach with Modular units answers the current and future conflicts more comprohensive.
    ...but you cannot predict anything about future conflicts, except that war isn't changing. Future conflicts will be won in exactly the same way the old ones were and you will fight wars for the same reasons you did 500 years ago. Armies have always been "systems of systems."

    This is what all the evidence tell us.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Coined
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    ...but you cannot predict anything about future conflicts, except that war isn't changing. Future conflicts will be won in exactly the same way the old ones were and you will fight wars for the same reasons you did 500 years ago. Armies have always been "systems of systems."

    This is what all the evidence tell us.
    Read and understand the article of LTC Downey "PIR development in a COIN envirinment". Dare to look at the broader context. There is no enemy besides the ones excisting in our perception. An opponent dresses in clothings referring to the goal that opponent wants to achieve. Why is some one your enemy ? Try to figure that out. The human terrain dictates, that is the challeging fact for us military.

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    Moderator Steve Blair's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coined View Post
    Read and understand the article of LTC Downey "PIR development in a COIN envirinment". Dare to look at the broader context. There is no enemy besides the ones excisting in our perception. An opponent dresses in clothings referring to the goal that opponent wants to achieve. Why is some one your enemy ? Try to figure that out. The human terrain dictates, that is the challeging fact for us military.
    Perhaps, but clarity in communication is also important. It ensures that your message isn't lost or garbled. It also prevents us from wrapping the same old smelly fish in new newsprint and trying to pass it off as the catch of the day. I think that's what Wilf thinks some of this "newfangled talk" is doing, and in some ways he may be correct.
    "On the plains and mountains of the American West, the United States Army had once learned everything there was to learn about hit-and-run tactics and guerrilla warfare."
    T.R. Fehrenbach This Kind of War

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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
    Perhaps, but clarity in communication is also important. It ensures that your message isn't lost or garbled. It also prevents us from wrapping the same old smelly fish in new newsprint and trying to pass it off as the catch of the day. I think that's what Wilf thinks some of this "newfangled talk" is doing, and in some ways he may be correct.
    Try to read and understand the things you like to refer to as "newfangled talk" first. We all work in a modular way with elements which we used to call "non kinetic". The (non)kinetic is not existent anymore. We constantly operate in a (semi)(non)permissive enviroment. That asks for something else than throwing lots of bombs, those bombs are just part of a, hopefully, well thought strategy. We, as military, are not the core buzzword anymore. We have to shape the environment, not to destroy it.

    Do not hesitate to react in a constructive way.

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Here is a constructive piece of advice:

    Simply expressing old ideas in new terms is an old technique that many of us have seen time and time again. Try using plain English versus:
    • Non-kinetic modular elements
    • (semi) (non) permissive environment
    • Military as core buzz word
    • Shape the environment, not destroy it


    Those will simply get you tossed from the TOC

    And finally try not lecturing the reader because you are not communicating effectively as in

    Try to read and understand the things you like to refer to as "newfangled talk" first.
    Tom

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Steve Blair View Post
    Perhaps, but clarity in communication is also important. It ensures that your message isn't lost or garbled. It also prevents us from wrapping the same old smelly fish in new newsprint and trying to pass it off as the catch of the day. I think that's what Wilf thinks some of this "newfangled talk" is doing, and in some ways he may be correct.
    Said better than I ever could... or did.

    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    Here is a constructive piece of advice:

    Simply expressing old ideas in new terms is an old technique that many of us have seen time and time again. Try using plain English versus:
    • Non-kinetic modular elements
    • (semi) (non) permissive environment
    • Military as core buzz word
    • Shape the environment, not destroy it


    Those will simply get you tossed from the TOC

    And finally try not lecturing the reader...
    ... and the only thing about war that is changing, is Tom and I are agreeing more often!

    Again, Tom said it better than I did. If someone can't describe a military concept or operation, using words and expressions that an officer from 60 years ago would not understand then it should set the BS detector well into the red.

    We might all be better served if we stopped using silly words like "human terrain," - do we mean population? Let's say population then. Let's start speaking real English, and stop BS'ing.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Council Member Van's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    Simply expressing old ideas in new terms is an old technique that many of us have seen time and time again. Try using plain English ...

    And finally try not lecturing the reader because you are not communicating effectively...
    Well said, thank you, Tom.


    Coined,
    I am not saying that you are uninformed, but your text is similar to that of people who have read a recent article or book, but haven't developed an understanding of the historical precedents behind the emerging ideas. The down side of all the buzz words and new constructions is that, for example, people will be so distracted by trying to figure out what a
    (non)kinetic organized unit
    is, that they'll miss that this is an effort to bring back the COHORT concept (which I support).

    Through interaction more sub effects and indicators will be derived from the Lines of Operation. "Out of the box" thinking will have to be encouraged at the expense of stove pipes, "fenced domains", personalities and comfort zones.
    Just like in Truppenführung, HeeresDienstVorschrift 300, 1933.

    Maneuver elements will “social patrol” a part of the town,
    Just like in the USMC Small Wars Manual, 1940.

    Imo the potential conflict arena for the coming ten years stretches between the republics bordering Russia via Eur Asia, the ME to Africa.
    And this is the one place where I disagree. Yes, these are potential conflict areas, but, at least in the U.S., we've planned and trained for the 'right' war once in our history (Iraq 2003), and even then we only thought halfway through what needed to happen. I would argue that flexibility and adaptability must be our watch words, lest we end up with soldiers in desert camouflage fighting in the mountains of Peru.

  11. #11
    Coined
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    And this is the one place where I disagree. Yes, these are potential conflict areas, but, at least in the U.S., we've planned and trained for the 'right' war once in our history (Iraq 2003), and even then we only thought halfway through what needed to happen. I would argue that flexibility and adaptability must be our watch words, lest we end up with soldiers in desert camouflage fighting in the mountains of Peru.
    "right war"?? Hmm ... short term memory!!
    Btw, smart bombs did the trick ... and after "victory" the real #### came along.

    Hey, William and Tom .... your reality still is a reflection of your own shadows.
    Well, at least the two of you agree ...

    Nice approach you all show, if you don't get ... slaughter it ...
    Last edited by SWCAdmin; 04-29-2009 at 08:32 PM. Reason: to display quote correctly

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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coined View Post
    Nice approach you all show, if you don't get ... slaughter it ...
    Rather gratuitous, don't you think? One could also say "If you don't know about it, invent new words to describe old concepts." This post-modern trend is quite distressing both in general society and in academia. It is also, IMHO, correlated rather strongly with ad hominem attacks on people who disagree with the "new, bright shiny penny".
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
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    http://marctyrrell.com/

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    Council Member William F. Owen's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coined View Post
    Hey, William and Tom .... your reality still is a reflection of your own shadows.
    Well, at least the two of you agree ...

    Nice approach you all show, if you don't get ... slaughter it ...
    Well that may indeed be true, but please show us some evidence. So far you have just presented a set of opinions, that are by no means clear.

    This forum tends to subject ideas to rigour. If you can't explain it clearly, then no progress will be made.

    For example, what does
    Through interaction more sub effects and indicators will be derived from the Lines of Operation.
    actually mean?

    What is a "sub-effect"? The result of a "sub-action" or a second order effect? Ball is in your court.
    Infinity Journal "I don't care if this works in practice. I want to see it work in theory!"

    - The job of the British Army out here is to kill or capture Communist Terrorists in Malaya.
    - If we can double the ratio of kills per contact, we will soon put an end to the shooting in Malaya.
    Sir Gerald Templer, foreword to the "Conduct of Anti-Terrorist Operations in Malaya," 1958 Edition

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    Coined
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    Quote Originally Posted by William F. Owen View Post
    What is a "sub-effect"? The result of a "sub-action" or a second order effect? Ball is in your court.
    If it is all old news, why then do we still follow the "old school", because it is part of our comfortzone??

    By the way, the ball is in OUR court!!

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    Council Member Cavguy's Avatar
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    Coined,

    Why is the new better? Tom, Wilf, Steve, and Van have articulated reasonable responses. Between them is a huge amount of military and combat experience in high and low intensity conflict.

    While there are new aspects to the current environment, the fundamental nature, and how to counter it, is thousands of years old.

    Rather than reinventing terms, we need to read our history. Guerrilla war is not a new concept. Most of our failures result from a lack of understanding of the basic concept of it, not a lack of new systems.

    A smart man named Robert Asprey wrote a two volume series entitled "War in the Shadows" , which is a chronology of insurgency over the past 3000 years. His point was to demonstrate to people that insurgency was not a new concept.

    I went back searching for your personal or professional expertise on COIN, or executing it. Please inform us of how you are so certain your proposals would work, in practice.

    Finally, I know you are communicating in a second language, so I appreciate how difficult it is to express things accurately.
    "A Sherman can give you a very nice... edge."- Oddball, Kelly's Heroes
    Who is Cavguy?

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    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default I'm unsure what you're trying to say.

    I did not comment on your initial post in this thread because in my opinion it said nothing. Others have commented and, essentially, expressed the thought that you really said nothing new -- and your response to that is to provide short, snippy comments that essentially do not seem communicate your thoughts at all well. I suggest that if six people -- and I make seven -- have said that your point is not well understood, then perhaps you should look at what you are trying to accomplish and rephrase significantly some of your more pithy comments.

    For example
    Quote Originally Posted by Coined View Post
    If it is all old news, why then do we still follow the "old school", because it is part of our comfortzone??
    Because Armies, Nations and People (as a group) all change slowly. New ideas get adopted as they appear and if they seem to make sense. People frequently will learn new things and use them but succeeding generations discard those things as irrelevant -- then a new crisis appears and things get 'rediscovered' and eventually get embedded as standard practice.

    The world has been operating in that fashion for thousands of years and that is unlikely to change. So, yes, the comfort zone aspect is part of it, National psyches and penchants are part of it, the dynamics of situations are part of it -- and human fallibility is involved in all those . Also involved are group dynamics

    Only the young who have no use for history don't know all that -- or pretend as if they do not.
    By the way, the ball is in OUR court!!
    What does this mean. Specifically:

    Of what Ball are you speaking, that is what specifically do you think should be done?

    Follow on questions:

    Is anyone doing or trying to do what you think should be done? If yes, who and how successfully? If not, who and why not?

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    Council Member MikeF's Avatar
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    Default Thanks Niel...

    For the link to Asprey's book. At least I got something out of this thread besides a headache

    Coined, welcome. Please don't upset the old men...They tend to get grumpy. I think you have some excellent points to make, but I would ask you not to attack the members of this group. We merely implement policy.

    Just say what you mean and mean what you say.

    Ken, have you seen my baseball?

    v/r

    Mike

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    Council Member Van's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coined View Post
    we've planned and trained for the 'right' war once in our history (Iraq 2003),
    "right war"?? Hmm ... short term memory!!
    Btw, smart bombs did the trick ... and after "victory" the real #### came along.

    "Right" as in "the war we really we going to fight rather than the war would would like to fight"

    And smart bombs did not do the trick, no matter how much they helped. The political endstate that military action was supporting was "regime change", and that came about due to the ground operations. Whether or not "regime change" was the ideal solution is for politicians to decide, not soldiers.

    Quote Originally Posted by Coined View Post
    Nice approach you all show, if you don't get ... slaughter it ...
    "Ignoratio elenchu"; ignoring the main point of our arguments and shifting to different point? Or would this be "ad hominem"; criticizing us rather than either accepting or rebutting our points?

    Your hand is shown. Good day, sir.

    P.S.
    Please don't upset the old men...They tend to get grumpy.
    Another crack like that and I'll thrash you with my walking stick
    V
    Last edited by Van; 04-29-2009 at 07:11 PM.

  19. #19
    Council Member Ken White's Avatar
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    Default Umm, yes.

    Quote Originally Posted by MikeF View Post
    Ken, have you seen my baseball?
    It is in my Court. However it's gonna cost you if you want it back -- due to that "grumpy' crack. Harummphhh...



    On Asprey, good job by him and by Niel for mentioning it. The abridged version does as well as the original IMO...

  20. #20
    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Coined View Post
    "right war"?? Hmm ... short term memory!!
    Btw, smart bombs did the trick ... and after "victory" the real #### came along.

    Hey, William and Tom .... your reality still is a reflection of your own shadows.
    Well, at least the two of you agree ...

    Nice approach you all show, if you don't get ... slaughter it ...
    Me and my shadow....

    Dancing down the avenue...

    In Baghdad

    Tom

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