CIMIC - does they army not really get it?

#1
Operation Sinbad will also include a renewed reconstruction effort, redeveloping hospitals and distributing educational material to the city's schools.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/5384294.stm

And yet on TELIC6 we were told not to have anything to do with schools...

msr
 
#2
A bit of CIMIC doctrine......

Assisting schools may be good CIMIC, providing it is part of a co-ordinated plan, involving all the relevant agencies - eg the local/national education authorities; any NGOs working with education; local universities; community groups etc. The 'Provincial Reconstruction Team' approach is intended to bring together civilian and military actors to ensure actions are co-ordinated and, yes, the best effect is achieved.

Individual BGs rocking up and putting a few quid into the school next door to their base may assist in Force Protection by buying consent, but will not necessarily contribute to overall reconstruction and can actually be counter-productive eg if it inflames local tensions (one ethnic element gets new books by virtue of being the dodgy ones who we don't want to shoot at us, whereas those who have always been more peaceful get nothing).

Make any sense, or not?
 
#4
msr said:
Operation Sinbad will also include a renewed reconstruction effort, redeveloping hospitals and distributing educational material to the city's schools.

http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/uk/5384294.stm

And yet on TELIC6 we were told not to have anything to do with schools...


msr
Why?
 
#5
CIMIC - Force Protection, generally uncoordinated and hashed.

Comprehensive Approach - The way ahead, if only the FCO really believed in it?

dpm
 
#6
Just after TELIC 1, 7 Bde admitted they had rather thought that as soon as they'd got into Basra, poured the champers and lit the hamlet, that tons of CIMIC goodies, planned for by DIV HQ, would roll up.

Instead, what arrived was a wordy FRAGO instructing 7 Bde to enter BASRA...
 
#7
Jankers said:
Just after TELIC 1, 7 Bde admitted they had rather thought that as soon as they'd got into Basra, poured the champers and lit the hamlet, that tons of CIMIC goodies, planned for by DIV HQ, would roll up.

Instead, what arrived was a wordy FRAGO instructing 7 Bde to enter BASRA...
......they still hadn't grasped CIMIC by Telic 7 either...............strategic planning only goes 6 months in advance
 
#8
CIMIC - It's not G3 and it's run by the TA...

Oh, and it's backed by one of the dullest bits of doctrinal staff work I have ever come across.

msr
 

The_Duke

LE
Moderator
#9
Best quote on HOTO to KOSB in Al Amarah from regular Captain..."lets get that TA bloke out of the CIMIC house - what on earth can a STAB know about civil military liaison!"
 
#10
The_Duke said:
Best quote on HOTO to KOSB in Al Amarah from regular Captain..."lets get that TA bloke out of the CIMIC house - what on earth can a STAB know about civil military liaison!"
.................proves a point, even Regs don't know what it is all about
 
#11
Zingari said:
Jankers said:
Just after TELIC 1, 7 Bde admitted they had rather thought that as soon as they'd got into Basra, poured the champers and lit the hamlet, that tons of CIMIC goodies, planned for by DIV HQ, would roll up.

Instead, what arrived was a wordy FRAGO instructing 7 Bde to enter BASRA...
......they still hadn't grasped CIMIC by Telic 7 either...............strategic planning only goes 6 months in advance
Really? Certainly wasn't evident on Telic 1!

Litotes
 
#12
I did CIMIC during Telic 2. Most satisfying job ever done and ended up doing it by accident. What happened to all the Bechtel money that was promised? (was told a nice rumour that Donald Rumsfelt had shares in the company and the longer the money was in the bank gaining interest the more there was for the directors' bonuses). They were supposed to start refurbishing the schools and have them ready for the new academic year but failed to complete/start one single job. By the time I left theatre they started their projects using the same contractors I was using, paying them the same rate but billing at more than twice the price - some mark up!
 
#13
Pick question - the CIMIC cell of a brigade (or whatever sized unit). What do they do?

Are they just liasion officers, administrators and co-ordinators? or is there more to it?
 
#14
CIMIC - Needs to be targetted at the right level and where possible get bang for your buck. It is all well to claim $Billions have been spent in Iraq but unless Mr A Mohammed of 1 Acacia Drive, Basra can see the effect then he will continue to sit on the fence (possibly with an AK74 in his arms) in the current insurgency.

The large scale water, sanitation and schooling projects are often too hidden to be seen by the large population. A successful BG on TELIC 4 used $500 loans for business start ups where the local elders identified recipients, who then had to employ 50% non family members. The businesses included workshops, fishing, small shops etc. and the benefit was seen immediately accross the community.....including an upsurge in walk in G2 and local pressure against Mahdi Army activity for the UK troops.

And I agree we do seem to overuse TA personnel and "spare" SNCO's for CIMIC tasks which leads to the COC devaluing their efforts compared to the well understood G2 and G3 taskings.

If CIMIC are poorly used, what good do the (always) TA Psyops bods do? Very little in my experience.........
 
#15
However, the TA bring something else to the party completely. There are a number of CIMIC types currently on TELIC who have been there for 12-18 months and keep extending. They have a VAST level of knowledge and provide a level of continuity and experience that the Regulars can't.

I would argue that certain bits of the TA have a damn sight more training and experience than some of the rest of the Army who try and do CIMIC.
 
#16
El-Tee said:
CIMIC - Needs to be targetted at the right level and where possible get bang for your buck.

...

And I agree we do seem to overuse TA personnel and "spare" SNCO's for CIMIC tasks which leads to the COC devaluing their efforts compared to the well understood G2 and G3 taskings.

If CIMIC are poorly used, what good do the (always) TA Psyops bods do? Very little in my experience.........
Spot on with the first comment.
You're right about the CoC not understanding CIMIC as well as G2 / G3 disciplines.

Where do TA Pysops come into it (apart from the fact that they work out of the G5 desk)?

I'd ask the question (with all due respect to Education types), but can somebody explain why ETS pers are responsible for CIMIC?
 

OldSnowy

LE
Moderator
Book Reviewer
#18
What is CIMIC for? Is it, as per DfID and FCO ideas, to support long-term stability and 'nation-building', or is it tactical, in effect a Force Protection matter? We are torn between the two, and therefore do neither very well, I'm afraid.

To do strategic, National level, reconstruction in Iraq would take far, far more $$$ than the UK, US, or indeed UN are able to put in - let alone what they want to put in. Afghanistan is cheaper (not so much trashed infrastructure to replace for a start) but will still be expensive. And in Iraq, the UN Dep Special Rep told us last year that there were very few donors willing to cough up because Iraq is not a poor country - and he's absolutely right.
 
#19
Not a fight Old_Snowy, but this thread could spring up the type of information Blair's forthcoming enquiry on Iraq will bring into the public eye.

Agreed, the definition of CIMIC ops needs to be clarified, but if we are going to do it, could I suggest the following:

That DfID and the FCO staff deployed, are represented in suitable numbers? As opposed to the number I could count on one hand!

That TA soldiers are not told that they may end up working in civilian dress, within ORHA / CPA because there simply aren't enough DfID / FCO staff to man the ORHA structure.
 
#20
OldSnowy said:
What is CIMIC for? Is it, as per DfID and FCO ideas, to support long-term stability and 'nation-building', or is it tactical, in effect a Force Protection matter? We are torn between the two, and therefore do neither very well, I'm afraid.
It is undoubtedly the former in policy and doctrinal terms. Unfortunately (and partly understandably - if nothing less, due to recent Balkan history) what should be seen as a long term activity at operational/strategic level to allow for other agencies to eventually take over from the military, is often seen as giving a few quid to the locals to tell us if anyone is going to fire rockets at our base. Some short term FP tactical benefits for the 6 months the resident BG is on the ground (and that is clearly not a bad thing for them), but in terms of overall military objectives, achieves relatively little. Civil Affairs in the WW2 context - ie rebuilding post-war Germany, was certainly better understood but the Cold War had limited requirements for it

There is a continuing attempt to educate the Army about this, however CIMC is not seen as sexy by many - despite it being absolutely central to the ops we are engaging in. My hero du jour, Rupert Smith, has a worthwhile comment on it in his book - but as I don't have it with me, I can't reproduce it.

Have a squint here for more info in the meantime.

Joint CIMIC Group
 
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