Author Topic: MERX Watch: CAN Looks South for "How the Taliban Works" Expertise  (Read 3043 times)

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Offline milnews.ca

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This MERX posting sounds very interesting - .pdf attached if link doesn't work.

Quote

(....)

Vendor Name and Address:
TERRORISM RESEARCH CENTER
901 N. Glebe Rd.
Suite 901
Arlington Virginia
United States
22203

(....)

In 2001, the Government of Canada committed the Canadian Forces to fight a Counter Insurgency (COIN) war in Afghanistan. 

Understanding the population of the country is paramount to conducting COIN warfare. It is vital that soldiers have the training to understand the people whom they will assist and those that will pose a grave and present danger. Traditionally, cultural awareness training was a brief introduction to the language, culture, customs and food. This training, while providing basic instruction in these areas did not provide the operational relevance required to conduct COIN warfare. In September 2007, Department of National Defence conducted a Training Needs Analysis (TNA) and determined that, in addition to the need for baseline, non-operational cultural awareness
training, there is a greater need for specialized instruction on operational cultural motivators. Operational cultural motivators are the deeply rooted ideologies, mindsets, codes and sensitivities that form the impetus for potential enemies to commit actions. These actions can result in operational consequences, sometimes resulting in tragic deaths or injuries of Canadian and allied soldiers.

Department of National Defence has a need for a National Individual Standing Offer to provide current, proven training in operational cultural motivators to Canadian Forces (CF ) personnel for Counter Insurgency Operations (COIN). Services will be provided as and when requested during a one year period from date of award with the right to authorize two additional one year periods. The Financial Limitation is $848,250.00 USD per year.

The training will be delivered in two venues: a lecture series tailored for specific audiences; and practical training in a simulated insurgent indoctrination and training programme.  Topics of training will include but are not limited to: the history of Islam, radical Islam, customs, sensitivities, language and tribal honour code and their affects on current MILITARY operations; and the cultural and ideological issues that influence insurgent decision making. All topics must be presented within the specific operational context of southern Afghanistan. It will also encompass insurgent tactics, techniques and procedures (TTPs) such as: how insurgents are indoctrinated and mindset achieved; insurgent planning cycle, motivation, surveillance methodology, intelligence process; instruction on capabilities and employment of insurgent weapons
of choice; terrorist finances; terrorist media and the use of propaganda; and role playing exercises in a variety of insurgent techniques....

More on link and attachment

- edited to fix grammar and make subject clearer -
« Last Edit: August 26, 2008, 12:50:05 by milnews.ca »
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Re: MERX Watch: CAN Looks South for "How the Taliban Works" Expertise
« Reply #1 on: August 26, 2008, 20:50:33 »
And here's the MSM version (wonder if this is one of the .pdf downloads?), shared with the usual disclaimer:

U.S. terror experts to train Canadian troops
Allan Woods, Toronto Star Syndicate via the Hamilton Spectator, 26 Aug 08
Article link

The federal government is hiring private U.S. terrorism experts to train Canadian Forces in Afghanistan in the mindset and ideology of Taliban insurgents.

The Department of National Defence intends to award a one-year, $850,000 (U.S.) contract to a private U.S. terrorism training centre after identifying a strategic weakness in how it prepares soldiers being deployed to Kandahar.

The new knowledge requirements for soldiers bound for the central Asian country include the latest top secret information on terrorist indoctrination, surveillance and intelligence gathering, weaponry and other techniques, according to the documents.

Previously, soldiers were only given cultural awareness training before deploying to Afghanistan that included brief lessons on language, culture, customs and food.

“This training, while providing basic instruction in these areas, did not provide the operational relevance required to conduct (counterinsurgency) warfare,” the document states....

More on link
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Offline Infanteer

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Re: MERX Watch: CAN Looks South for "How the Taliban Works" Expertise
« Reply #2 on: August 27, 2008, 11:06:09 »
Is this basically saying that our INT guys are coming up short?  ???

I'd be curious to see what this offers to the average soldier.  As well, does it deal with groups outside of the "terrorist / AQ" league?
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Re: MERX Watch: CAN Looks South for "How the Taliban Works" Expertise
« Reply #3 on: August 27, 2008, 23:05:01 »
Is this basically saying that our INT guys are coming up short?  ???

Good point - I'd be shocked if the expertise isn't in the brains of CF INT folks.

Is it a question of the int folks being up to their hips to the point where they can't take enough people away to set up such a course and run it?

Is it a question of a very nice proposal being drawn up and drawing the eye of the right folks?

This one I'm afraid to ask:  Is there thinking out there that if it comes from the U.S. or if it comes from the private sector, it must be better?  NOT a dig at either, but just asking - such prejudices exist in other sectors, so I hope it isn't the case here.

Also, on the MSM side, it's never QUITE a story unless we can drag some controversy into it, is it?  Yeah, it's the same guy who wrote the above-referenced piece, only a later version.  Shared with the usual disclaimer...

Blackwater-linked firm to train Canadian troops
Allan Woods, Toronto Star, 27 Aug 08
Article link

Canadian soldiers could get training from a U.S. company closely linked to Blackwater USA, a private security firm implicated in the killings of hundreds of Iraqi civilians, if the Department of National Defence has its way.

The military gave notice this week of its intention to award an $850,000 contract for advanced counterinsurgency training to the Terrorism Research Center, a Virginia-based firm that specializes in terrorism training for military and law enforcement officials. The contract is for one year with the option for a two-year extension.

The counterinsurgency school, which boasts close links to the U.S. government, is listed as a branch of Total Intelligence Solutions, a company that is run by former director of CIA counterterrorism Cofer Black and Erik Prince, a former U.S. Navy Seal.

Both are top executives with the Prince Group, the chief holding company for Total Intelligence Solutions and Blackwater.

"It will shock many Canadians to think of our soldiers, who are amongst the best trained in the world, to be sent down to the U.S. to work with a private war-making company that has been indicted in some of its operations in Iraq in the past," said NDP defence critic Dawn Black. "It raises a terrible spectre.".....

More on link
“The risk of insult is the price of clarity.” -- Roy H. Williams

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Offline George Wallace

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Re: MERX Watch: CAN Looks South for "How the Taliban Works" Expertise
« Reply #4 on: August 27, 2008, 23:12:43 »
"It will shock many Canadians to think of our soldiers, who are amongst the best trained in the world, to be sent down to the U.S. to work with a private war-making company that has been indicted in some of its operations in Iraq in the past," said NDP defence critic Dawn Black. "It raises a terrible spectre.".....

I wonder if Allan Woods ever gave any thought to how one gets the "best trained soldiers", if one doesn't send them off to get training like this?
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Offline X-mo-1979

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Re: MERX Watch: CAN Looks South for "How the Taliban Works" Expertise
« Reply #5 on: August 27, 2008, 23:29:50 »
Great!Glad I didnt have to do it.
Having spent only 40 days at my home base in the past year,getting jipped out of predeployment leave etc....I can see where we can fit this in.

I'm sure it was thought out with good intentions in mind...but honestly I'm starting to feel like a conscript.Do we really need a year training?Do we really need someone else coming up with more idea's?Maybe we could learn to be flight medics on the other two days with family.

Offline 0tto Destruct

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Re: MERX Watch: CAN Looks South for "How the Taliban Works" Expertise
« Reply #6 on: August 29, 2008, 16:25:28 »
TF 1-07 brought these guys in for a week of seminars before we deployed. Priority was given to the BG, but many others attended. That was around December 2006 (nice fact checking, CBC)

It not only covered a range of TB/AQ briefings, but also discussed local cultural topics. Such as the cultural differences between Islamic society and Western society, differences in perception of time and etiquette at meetings.

Frankly the TRC provided a depth of knowledge and experience that people in the CF, let alone the Int Branch (I should know), would be hard-pressed to match. They brought people with extensive experience in political science, folks who were actually FROM Afghanistan (as in, still live and work there most of the time, as opposed to a guy who emigrated to Canada in the 1980s and has no contact with anyone there now), and folks with a lot of intelligence experience (both in uniform and out). Go to their website and look at the CVs of some of the faculty...even the stuff they CAN talk about is damned impressive. As a group, these folks live and breathe insurgency, both in Afghanistan and around the world. I, for one, found the training extremely helpful, and a saw quite a few folks taking notes. If you're a section/platoon commander who's expected to participate in Shura's and conduct negotiations on behalf of ISAF, that provided invaluable training.

I really try not to bash the media, as easy as it can be, but I'm really getting sick of this 'If it is in the slightest way associated with the Americans, than it's supporting George Bush and it's evil' BS. The fact that the TRC is tied into Blackwater (who are admittedly pretty dodgy) may be a little distasteful, but unless someone can demonstrate that there is a group in Canada who can match the level of expertise in counterinsurgency and training that the TRC can offer, maybe we should just be thankful that someone in our organization has the imagination to reach out to a group that can provide first rate training to our troops.