Defence Cultural Support Unit

#2
The report goes on to say “As well as deploying to Afghanistan, the units' personnel will also support cultural training in the wider military and other government departments.”

What the heck does that mean?

Also "The DCSU will sit under Land Forces Theatre Troops with command delegated to 1 Military Intelligence Brigade."

The mind boggles.
 
#3
Anything to do with 1st of April - All Fool's Day?

If this true then Ainsworth should be tortured in public before his emasculation in public preceding his execution in public - all watched by Harman who would then be subject to the same!

PS: Now I have read the article, I take some of the above back. I take back the bit about Harman being emasculated in public - she can be spared that and given as a play-thing to the inmates of Wandsworth Prison in lieu.
 
#5
It's about figuring out how to get the locals to play along, and in the process saving British lives. If done correctly this will save a fortune in blood and treasure.
 
#6
Balleh said:
The report goes on to say “As well as deploying to Afghanistan, the units' personnel will also support cultural training in the wider military and other government departments.”

What the heck does that mean?
Likely pre-deployment training and briefings of MoD, FCO and DfID personel
 
#7
What's the problem? Seem's sensible enough to me. The East India Company went in for this sort of thing hundreds of years ago and it hardly did them any harm did it?
 
#8
This has come about as a response to the operational demand to better understand the people we operate

Not wanting to sound churlish but how long have been there and in this COIN business that we seem to be constantly bigging ourselves up on
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#10
It staggers me that anyone would think this is a bad idea. Time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted. In the modern asymmetric battle space its not good enough to know the geographical environment you need to know the human environment as well.

Puts me in mind of that clown Webb-Carter who declined an invitation to inspect the Info Ops Cell in Banjax because 'PsyOps is not very British'.
 
#11
BuggerAll said:
It staggers me that anyone would think this is a bad idea. Time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted. In the modern asymmetric battle space its not good enough to know the geographical environment you need to know the human environment as well.

Puts me in mind of that clown Webb-Carter who declined an invitation to inspect the Info Ops Cell in Banjax because 'PsyOps is not very British'.
It must be just you and I then! :D
 
#16
meridian said:
This has come about as a response to the operational demand to better understand the people we operate

Not wanting to sound churlish but how long have been there and in this COIN business that we seem to be constantly bigging ourselves up on
Fecking well said meredian. Wedge's comment is the historical perspective that seems to have been lost.

There again, no individual is going to be held accountable to that one, and in the meantime it gives everyone from the Prime Minister down, to reel out the stock PR messages.

Harsh?
 
#17
What got me is they announced it on April Fools day with a picture that looks like the head sheds have their "heads" stuck on (looking like a politician and a comedian of note) and names to die for with commander junior grade Royal Navy even in on the act.

Iam sure it is a brilliant idea, but imagine announcing on the birthday of the RAF. Trying to steal our limeight
 
#18
BuggerAll said:
It staggers me that anyone would think this is a bad idea. Time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted. In the modern asymmetric battle space its not good enough to know the geographical environment you need to know the human environment as well.
I don't think that anyone does think that its a bad idea.

However, a good number of people involved in the unit, and serving in it, broadly believe that while the theory is sound...

a) It's introduction and implementation have been too little, far too late

b) The execution has lacked detail, and been very poorly thought through

c) The CULADs in theatre ( with one or two notable exceptions ) are poor linguists due to failings & underfunding at DSL and utterly out-classed in their cultural knowlege by the Brigades they deploy with, esp. Int Corps elements

d) The students currently studying to become CULADs will emerge as equally poor linguists and with precious little further cultural training, as the much talked about lengthy courses don't exist and when they will will simply delay their deployment still further

e) Given that the majority of CULADs are either regular and therefore likely to want / need to return to their E1 career stream, or TA and reluctant to deploy on a succession of 9 month tours, it will be difficult to build experience in a unit which has transient manning. Yes, they might in time be able to realistically offer a career stream - but would you risk *your* career for a speculative, Afg-orientated niche unit at a time when de-escalation of Brit involvement in Helmand in the next 1 - 3 looks increasingly likely, during a period which expects to see savage cutbacks in expenditure? Fancy betting on the survival of an ad hoc niche unit without a capbadge director determined to protect it?

Personally, I don't see it surviving. I see us in the next few years becoming a far less expeditionary army, unable / unwilling to finance non-core units such as DCSU or an alternative such as the US system of employing anthropologists and systematically funding foreign staff postings to maintain a pool of regional experts.

You could say, "... and so the wheel will turn, and in the future we'll need to regenerate the capability", except I think its unlikely. I see us becoming a Euro-style army, happy to contribute to ISAF adventures in a similar manner - running a quiet province or two and having a heavy emphasis on building the host nation's security forces / CIMIC. Can anyone think of a party happy to pitch to the electorate for a larger alternative?

Which may be no bad thing. And, you never know, perhaps it might all happen sooner than you think. There are rumblings around that we Brits are considering to choose / being forced to be relegated to largely training ANSF in Kabul. No large scale involvement in Helmand = no need for CULADs. And = annoying the Americans less. They really are a whole lot better at it than us.

Cyncial, moi? :D

That was well more than 2p, so I think I'll go back to skulking in the shadows.

Charlie
 

BuggerAll

LE
Kit Reviewer
Book Reviewer
#19
Charlie_Cong said:
BuggerAll said:
It staggers me that anyone would think this is a bad idea. Time spent in reconnaissance is seldom wasted. In the modern asymmetric battle space its not good enough to know the geographical environment you need to know the human environment as well.
I don't think that anyone does think that its a bad idea.

However, a good number of people involved in the unit, and serving in it, broadly believe that while the theory is sound...

a) It's introduction and implementation have been too little, far too late

b) The execution has lacked detail, and been very poorly thought through

c) The CULADs in theatre ( with one or two notable exceptions ) are poor linguists due to failings & underfunding at DSL and utterly out-classed in their cultural knowlege by the Brigades they deploy with, esp. Int Corps elements

d) The students currently studying to become CULADs will emerge as equally poor linguists and with precious little further cultural training, as the much talked about lengthy courses don't exist and when they will will simply delay their deployment still further

e) Given that the majority of CULADs are either regular and therefore likely to want / need to return to their E1 career stream, or TA and reluctant to deploy on a succession of 9 month tours, it will be difficult to build experience in a unit which has transient manning. Yes, they might in time be able to realistically offer a career stream - but would you risk *your* career for a speculative, Afg-orientated niche unit at a time when de-escalation of Brit involvement in Helmand in the next 1 - 3 looks increasingly likely, during a period which expects to see savage cutbacks in expenditure? Fancy betting on the survival of an ad hoc niche unit without a capbadge director determined to protect it?

Personally, I don't see it surviving. I see us in the next few years becoming a far less expeditionary army, unable / unwilling to finance non-core units such as DCSU or an alternative such as the US system of employing anthropologists and systematically funding foreign staff postings to maintain a pool of regional experts.

You could say, "... and so the wheel will turn, and in the future we'll need to regenerate the capability", except I think its unlikely. I see us becoming a Euro-style army, happy to contribute to ISAF adventures in a similar manner - running a quiet province or two and having a heavy emphasis on building the host nation's security forces / CIMIC. Can anyone think of a party happy to pitch to the electorate for a larger alternative?

Which may be no bad thing. And, you never know, perhaps it might all happen sooner than you think. There are rumblings around that we Brits are considering to choose / being forced to be relegated to largely training ANSF in Kabul. No large scale involvement in Helmand = no need for CULADs. And = annoying the Americans less. They really are a whole lot better at it than us.

Cyncial, moi? :D

That was well more than 2p, so I think I'll go back to skulking in the shadows.

Charlie
I suspect that a lot of what you say is correct but that does not appear to be the objections being raised in the posts above.

PsyOps (I mention it becasue it is related and I know a little about it) is taken very seriously by the Yanks. It is part of their SF effort. They have Battalions of the people doing it as careers.

We on the other hand have a mixture of ETS, TA people with a media background and other with an interest who will go back to their E1 jobs.

For all that I'm not sure if the Yanks do it any better or if we do it any worse but I just know that we could do it so much better if we resourced in properly.
 
#20
Okay, the flippant comment to one side and just to make clear that this is not critical of anything other than the timeframe that it seems to be taking for some key players to resource the COIN side of Ops effectively.

Great post by CC and BuggerAll I agree with your response in relation to PsyOps.

PyOps begins at home, as they say.
 

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