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Would Maj Gen MacKenzie have made a good CDS.

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Author Topic: Major-General Lewis MacKenzie CM, MSC, OOnt, CD  (Read 45912 times)

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Offline Chris Pook

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Re: MGen MacKenzie sets the record straight
« Reply #50 on: June 30, 2004, 11:58:35 »
Further to the PWRR and the Bayonet attack.

Quote
"They are being attacked virtually every day and sometimes several times a day, usually with rockets or from mortars. They are tired, primarily because the attacks mean sleep is constantly interrupted, but their morale is high."

Two weeks ago, 28 men from the battalion took part in a rout of Iraqi gunmen who had been terrorising the Route 6 motorway which links Al Amarah to Basra. The troops had been ordered to rescue two vehicles and their occupants from the Argyll and Sutherland Highlanders, which was ambushed by a group of 50 Iraqis.

The battle, one of three separate attacks against British troops in the area on the same day, ended when the soldiers fixed bayonets and stormed a series of enemy positions dug-in by the road-side. About 30 Iraqis were killed, 12 were captured and a further dozen are believed to have fled from the battlefield.

After the action, Capt Justin Barry, a military spokesman, said: "The fighters engaged were basically terrorists and gangsters - people who are out to destabilise the area, drive out the Coalition and suck as much out of Iraq as they can.

"But at the end of the day, we got the better of them. The Princess of Wales's Royal Regiment were engaged in very heavy hand-to-hand fighting and bayonets were fixed. There's a great sense of satisfaction among the men with the way this turned out."


http://www.opinion.telegraph.co.uk/news/main.jhtml?xml=/news/2004/06/13/wirq113.xml


I can't find the other articles on this action, it was widely reported on BBC, the Sun and the Times, often with some confusion as to whether it was the Tigers or the Argylls that launched the charge.

From recollection the Argylls had been patrolliing the Highway in a pair of Land Rovers and had been bounced three times in the same day, if I remember rightly on one occasion an RPG round came in one window and out the other.

On the third attack they called for backup and a PWRR platoon in Warriors showed up to deal with the mob of smugglers and would-be Mehdists (al-Sadr's bunch).

They are apparently the ones that actually conducted the assault.

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Re: MGen MacKenzie sets the record straight
« Reply #51 on: July 01, 2004, 00:51:57 »
"FIX BAYONETS!!!" OOOH, I love that command. At least in the movies.

Offline RangerBoy

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From Wednesday's National Post. Someone should nail this to the door of the PMO ...

Peacemaking is not social work

by Lewis MacKenzie
Last week Prime Minister Paul Martin departed on a 10-day foreign mission that includes a visit to the Sudan. On Sunday, Toronto Star columnist Graham Fraser suggested that General Roméo Dallaire's recent recommendations -- that soldiers who can both make peace and build civil society intervene in failed states -- were both timely and appropriate, considering Mr. Martin's impending stop in Sudan. Presumably, he was also suggesting that the Prime Minister should give them serious consideration. To do so would be a mistake.
Having been conditioned by a military culture that encourages one to disagree without being disagreeable, I must strongly do so with my old colleague and friend Roméo. Mr. Fraser suggests that past generals have wanted "clarity and simplicity" in their mandates and that "Dallaire learned the hard way that clear mandates and exit strategies don't fit the ragged chaos in a new spectrum of violence."
In fact the opposite is true. Dallaire learned the hard way that clarity and simplicity apply more today then during the relative simple peacekeeping missions of the Cold War. His mandate in Rwanda -- actually not his, but that of his boss on the ground, an incompetent UN diplomat, Cameroonian Jacques Roger Booh-Booh, representing the UN Secretary-General -- was to "establish an atmosphere of security." That was the problem. The mandate was far from precise and the resources to achieve all or part of it were not provided.
Mandates that flow from the deliberations of the UN Security Council are typically vague, and most are written in such broad terms as to defy interpretation. Add to this the fact that the resources, always inadequate, are provided by the member states of the General Assembly, and you have a recipe for chronic failure.
As a result of his sole disastrous experience with UN operations, General Dallaire is now convinced that new skills must be added to the old warrior skills of soldiering. Not so. Civilian personnel, well trained and educated in essential nation-building skills, such as judges, police officials, social workers and civil servants, have to be standing by to assist in rebuilding societies once the soldiers are successful in their primary task, which is to stop the killing. Soldiers are not social workers with guns. Both disciplines are important, but both will suffer if combined in one individual.
The case for the essential separation of security and nation-building tasks exists today in the Darfur Region of Sudan, where tens of thousands of innocents have been slaughtered at the hands of militias supported by the Sudanese government, which has tried to put down a four-year-long uprising in Western Sudan.
Colin Powell, among others, has stated that the killings perpetrated by the Sudanese-backed militias amount to genocide, yet the UN Security Council continues to debate if the slaughter actually qualifies as such. As with Rwanda in 1994, the important and simple task in Sudan is to stop the killing. But the soldiers who can do that have not been dispatched. Instead, aid agencies have been trying to stitch together the shredded social fabric in Darfur under atrocious and dangerous conditions.
If peacemakers are dispatched to stop the killing, the intervening soldier's role should be restricted to providing security to the innocents in the Darfur Region -- easily identified as most of them are in camps. Once security is assured, aid agencies could do what they are best at, while diplomacy could continue without the shadow of a daily body count of dead women and children.
Rwanda was not a complex problem. One group was attempting to annihilate the other. General Dallaire himself has stated that with 5,000 professional soldiers, properly equipped, he could have stopped the genocide. I believe him.
He didn't need a force led by officers educated in anthropology, psychology or philosophy who "understood" the sensitivities of what was going on in Rwanda, as he has more recently suggested. He needed leaders conventionally trained in the application of deadly force to stop the killing. Once that was achieved and 800,000 lives saved, the nation-builders could safely come in and start the rebuilding process.
The same is true in Sudan and will continue to be true in the future when brutal regimes set about killing innocents.
Many at the UN, on Parliament Hill and in capitals around the world don't want to believe this. "Never again" has lost all meaning to those political leaders who want to find a safe, no-risk way of stopping the bad guys. The result is needless debate in place of action that would prevent genocide.
While in Sudan, the Prime Minister would be wise to consider the immediate benefits of deploying a professional, multi-national military fighting force with the clear mandate to protect the victims of Sudan's bloody campaign in Darfur. Mr. Martin should not, however, place too much faith in the long promised deployment of an African Union intervention force. It will be slow getting there and will contain some national contingents that in the past have exacerbated problems they were supposed to resolve.
The military solution to Darfur could well rest with the G20 group of nations, which the Prime Minister wisely suggested might have a role to play in the application of "the responsibility to protect."

Maj-Gen. Lewis MacKenzie, now retired, commanded UN troops during the Bosnian civil war of 1992.
« Last Edit: December 10, 2004, 20:33:55 by bossi »
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Offline pbi

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Re: Lew MacKenzie on "peacekeeping"
« Reply #53 on: November 25, 2004, 01:12:37 »
Although I don't always agree with everything he has said and written, I believe MGen(retd) MacKenze is largely correct here. We should concentrate on soldiering, and do humanitarian stuff only when there is no other option. I do not quarrel with us facilitating GOs/IOs/NGOs to give humanitarian support--I quarrel with us doing it ourselves.

However, I believe very strongly that leaders in any operation need to have an excellent understanding of the political and cultural situation, and thus of the consequences of their actions. I am not sure that he himself fully understood Yugoslavia before he went there, although he probably had a pretty good idea by the time he left.

Cheers.
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Offline Cdn Blackshirt

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Re: Lew MacKenzie on "peacekeeping"
« Reply #54 on: November 25, 2004, 09:55:33 »
Although I don't always agree with everything he has said and written, I believe MGen(retd) MacKenze is largely correct here. We should concentrate on soldiering, and do humanitarian stuff only when there is no other option. I do not quarrel with us facilitating GOs/IOs/NGOs to give humanitarian support--I quarrel with us doing it ourselves.

However, I believe very strongly that leaders in any operation need to have an excellent understanding of the political and cultural situation, and thus of the consequences of their actions. I am not sure that he himself fully understood Yugoslavia before he went there, although he probably had a pretty good idea by the time he left.

Cheers.

I'm betting the original article by Fraser fits the Liberal Parties ideological 'bent' for the military to a T.  

"If we just have a nice calm decision over why they shouldn't be killing each other, I'm sure they'll all stop and we can build a school together."


Matthew.     ::)
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Offline bossi

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Re: Lew MacKenzie on "peacekeeping"
« Reply #55 on: November 25, 2004, 14:30:14 »
... I believe MGen(retd) MacKenze is largely correct here. We should concentrate on soldiering, and do humanitarian stuff only when there is no other option. I do not quarrel with us facilitating GOs/IOs/NGOs to give humanitarian support--I quarrel with us doing it ourselves.

However, I believe very strongly that leaders in any operation need to have an excellent understanding of the political and cultural situation, and thus of the consequences of their actions.

Bang on!  The only "exception to the rule" is when the environment is too hostile for GOs/IOs/NGOs to provide humanitarian assistance - then, the military is the "option of last resort".

I've been told/shown/taught that the military starts meddling in humanitarian assitance when there's not enough peacemaking/peacekeeping to do, and commanders start looking for things to do ... (i.e. perhaps a useful litmus test for "when it's time to pull out" ... ?)
Junior officers and NCOs who neglect to guide the thinking of their men are shirking a command responsibility.
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Those who appreciate true valour should in their daily intercourse set gentleness first and aim to win the love and esteem of others. If you affect valour and act with violence, the world will in the end detest you and look upon you as wild beasts. Of this you should take heed.
-Emperor Meiji: Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors, 4 January 1883

Offline pbi

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Re: Lew MacKenzie on "peacemaking" (vice peacekeeping)
« Reply #56 on: November 25, 2004, 21:46:01 »
Also, a goodly number of IOs/NGOs/GOs are not too keen to have us in the humanitarian game in the first place, as some say it results in their workers being targeted. As well, IMHO, that field tends to attract some people with an anti-military bent. Cheers.
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The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Lew MacKenzie on "peacemaking" (vice peacekeeping)
« Reply #57 on: November 25, 2004, 23:25:07 »
pbi.... the problem I have is how does the situation get handled where you have: a suffering population that needs help; a body of nationalists/thugs (your choice) that does best when the populationi is unhappy and they can create instability; anti-military humanitarians that won't supply help in an insecure environment; and troops that need the population to be fed to combat the instability so that they can go after the thugs.

If that sounds like a circle it is.  But it seems to me that unless the Aid agencies are on side with the Security forces and also willing to accept risks then the Military is going to be forced into the delivery end of the game. 

And if the Aid agencies do seem to be onside then they are no longer neutral and become targets.  A pretty big circle to square.

(By the way on the subject of Aid agencies and Neutrality - anybody else see the references to the IC Red Crescent offices in Fallujah being used to store weapons and instructions to pick up fighters before civilians? -  I'll look for the source info).
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Offline pbi

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Re: Lew MacKenzie on "peacemaking" (vice peacekeeping)
« Reply #58 on: November 26, 2004, 07:15:07 »
Kirkhill: My answer would be that military should concentrate its efforts first on dealing with the security threat, next on facilitating those humanitarian organizations that are ready to act(but not doing it for them), and only finally and as a last resort actually do humanitarian tasks itself.

Quote
the Military is going to be forced into the delivery end of the game. 

The military can only be forced into something by its own government (or by the enemy). And this, IMHO, is where the problem lies, and we get things like DART which is to my mind a perfect example of what I am opposed to. We should not start out by building a unit for hum ops-we should focus on a mobile, capable joint combat force that, if tasked, can create the conditions for humanitarian agencies to work. The resources put into DART should have been plowed into the readiness capabilities of the Army, Navy and Air Force. Instead we start from the premise that it our job to do humanitarian work in foreign countries.  Cheers.
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline Chris Pook

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Re: Lew MacKenzie on "peacemaking" (vice peacekeeping)
« Reply #59 on: November 26, 2004, 12:32:38 »
pbi... I agree with you (and for a change there are no "Buts").

Cheers.
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Offline Big Foot

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Re: Lew MacKenzie on "peacemaking" (vice peacekeeping)
« Reply #60 on: November 26, 2004, 23:56:32 »
We are soldiers first, peacekeepers second, or at least thats the way it should be. As JL Granestein put it in "Who Killed the Canadian Military?", when the time comes to fight a war, soldiers will just end up saying "No, sorry, we don't do that anymore." Soldiers should be soldiers, trained to fight when the time comes, not trained to peacekeep then try and apply those skills in battle. Now I'm not saying we should give up our humanitarian pursuits, I'm just saying its important that when the time comes, we can do whats required of us.
It's not insubordinate if you know exactly where the line is and walk on it but never cross it.

Offline pbi

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Re: Lew MacKenzie on "peacemaking" (vice peacekeeping)
« Reply #61 on: November 27, 2004, 22:41:34 »
Most Canadian soldiers would agree with you. And, I hope, you will be pleased to discover that despite all the many obstacles and distractions we face, we still try to train for war, because we know that the most effective way to keep the peace between hostile parties is with a force they are reluctant to mess with. Cheers.
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

The true measure of a man is what he would do if he knew he never would be found out...

Offline Spr.Earl

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Re: Lew MacKenzie on "peacemaking" (vice peacekeeping)
« Reply #62 on: November 27, 2004, 23:24:00 »
After reading the above opinions,my gist of those are "The Military stays out of Civil Affair's but stays with it's traditional job of security and civil peace under Martial Law,which most U.N. mandates are but under the guise of U.N. Articles etc.."

So why have we set up CIMIC?
THE PRECEDING POST AND OTHERS MADE BY MYSELF ARE MY PERSONAL VIEWS, NOT FOR REPRODUCTION, NOT FOR CUT AND PASTE OF ANY PORTION THEREOF, NO QUOTES ARE PERMITTED ELSEWHERE,ANYWHERE OTHER THAN EXCLUSIVELY IN THIS WEB FORUM.




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Offline pbi

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Re: Lew MacKenzie on "peacemaking" (vice peacekeeping)
« Reply #63 on: November 28, 2004, 19:57:07 »
The primary purpose of CIMIC (or Civil Affairs=CA as the US calls it) is to establish good relations with local civil authorities, in order to contribute to mission success. CIMIC takes part in information operations (by gather information from the local population and by disseminating Info Ops messages), it contributes to Force Protection, and it reduces tensions by assisting with an improvement to living conditions for locals. CIMIC elements should not normally be "doing" humanitarian works themselves unless there is no civil agency (GO/NGO/IO) capable of doing so, but most CIMIC teams do get involved in at least some activities.

We are latecomers to the business of having designated CIMIC forces-the US have had CA battalions and HQs in the Army Reserve for years-here in Afghanistan they are responsible for establishing and "tech net" guidance to the PRTs that the US run (about twice to three times the size of the ISAF program), and CA types also run the CJ9 Branch of both Combined Forces Command-Afghanistan (CFC-A) and Combined Joint Task Force 76 (CJTF76)   the major subordinate command of CFC-A. The Brits, on the other hand, have no CIMIC branch and do not feel they need one. When it comes to CIMIC stuff, operational commanders just get on with it.

We have been doing "CIMIC" stuff for years, under different titles, but without a permanently established CIMIC org, and doing it quite well. Where CIMIC really got its launch was during Op ABACUS, when JTF ABACUS, the national-level TF led by MGen Jefferies, ordered the Regional TFs to adopt the term "CIMIC" for what up until then we had   called (and still call....) "Domestic Ops".

Since Op ABACUS, as an element of the LFRR process, CIMIC was identified as   something that was ideally suited to the Army Reserve, which is where we have our CIMIC assets now. The CIMIC teams in each LFA are focused on deployed ops but could be used for domestic ops in an emergency. Most CIMIC teams on int'l ops today are composed of Res soldiers. Cheers.
« Last Edit: November 28, 2004, 20:02:50 by pbi »
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Offline bossi

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Re: Lew MacKenzie on "peacemaking" (vice peacekeeping)
« Reply #64 on: November 28, 2004, 20:01:34 »
So why have we set up CIMIC?

In a nutshell ...
Civilians are a part of the battlefield, no matter whether it's high intensity conflict, peacemaking, or peacekeeping.   Always have been, always will be
(one school of thought is that they're increasingly a part of the modern operational environment ... I'll leave that up to the personal judgement of the readers, lest we go off on a tangent ...).

So, in order to accomplish our mission, we make sure we can deal with whatever obstacles we encounter
(whether we're talking about minefields, water obstacles, hordes of refugees blocking our MSR, guerilla insurgents aided and abetted by non-combatant villagers ... )

As an aside, when we first adopted the "continental staff system" (i.e. G1, G2, etc.) CIMIC was G5.
Thus, at one point in time, it was recognised that CIMIC was important enough to be part of "The Original Five" (hmmm ... ya don't suppose the "continentals" were particularly attuned to this, having firsthand experience with the effects upon their civilian populations during the First and Second World Wars ...?)

However, as with many symptoms of malaise with peacetime armies, lessons learned during war can sometimes become less pressing than ... things that seem more important ...

So, rather then allow military operations to become bogged down in complex civil-military environments, CIMIC has been resurrected as an "overlooked" capability (I say "overlooked", simply because here in Canada it fell by the wayside - for a while, we had an "ad hoc" approach to CIMIC - personnel selected were often those who commanders deemed incompetent to trust with "vital" appointments ... i.e. "We'll keep stupid Fatso Bloggins away from the troops by putting him in CIMIC" ... which perhaps wasn't the best approach ...)

Now, recognising that reservists sometimes have a civilian skillset not normally found in the military, our Army has given CIMIC to the Reserves in order to get "twice the bang for the buck".   Also, by clearly identifying CIMIC personnel and providing them with proper training well in advance of operations, it's a more professional approach.

While I'm on my soapbox, I'll dispell one myth:   CIMIC should not NORMALLY perform humantarian assistance tasks - that's the purview of the civilian organisations (e.g. CARE, MSF, Red Cross) - however, in a hostile environment where the civlians can't operate, military commanders can sometimes become obliged to conduct humantarian relief activities (for example, UNHCR ceased operations in Afghanistan at one point, when one of their workers was assassinated).   However, this is a topic that should be discussed at length ... but I won't bore all of you more than I already have ... chuckle!

Finally, I'd suggest CIMIC contributes to "situational awareness" in several ways - they get out there and talk ot the civilian population, sometimes hearing things that might otherwise be overlooked ...
And, in the context of arming our own troops with all the ammunition they need to win, CIMIC can also provide information to avoid making mistakes which then blow up in our faces (e.g. under the heading of "smooth move, Ex Lax" - some dunce thought it was a bright idea to name the operation in Iraq "Crusade" ... as opposed to being wary of doing something that would only inflame, and unite the ENTIRE population against the "infidel invaders" ...)

Sum up?
CIMIC is not anything new - if anything, it's a "forgotten art" and an example of "the indirect approach" to winning wars.
"pbi" nailed it on the head in his post, and I thank him profusely for doing so:

Although I don't always agree with everything he has said and written, I believe MGen(retd) MacKenze is largely correct here. We should concentrate on soldiering, and do humanitarian stuff only when there is no other option. I do not quarrel with us facilitating GOs/IOs/NGOs to give humanitarian support--I quarrel with us doing it ourselves.

However, I believe very strongly that leaders in any operation need to have an excellent understanding of the political and cultural situation, and thus of the consequences of their actions. I am not sure that he himself fully understood Yugoslavia before he went there, although he probably had a pretty good idea by the time he left.

Cheers.

P.S. (this is funny - in a display of "converging attacks", pbi posted while I was typing my verbose reply ... chuckle!)
Junior officers and NCOs who neglect to guide the thinking of their men are shirking a command responsibility.
-Feb 1955 Cbt Forces Journal
Those who appreciate true valour should in their daily intercourse set gentleness first and aim to win the love and esteem of others. If you affect valour and act with violence, the world will in the end detest you and look upon you as wild beasts. Of this you should take heed.
-Emperor Meiji: Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors, 4 January 1883

RDA

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Re: Lew MacKenzie on "peacemaking" (vice peacekeeping)
« Reply #65 on: November 29, 2004, 06:58:07 »
A couple of questions from a civy trying to make sense of all of this:

1.   Is there a difference between the role of CIMIC and the role of Intelligence personnel in peacemaking operations, and if so, can one draw a clear line to separate the two roles, or is it more of a transition zone?
2.   Are Public Relations officers used in a CIMIC capacity in international operations, or do they strictly deal with the Canadian public?

Actually, perhaps a better question than the above two would simply be to ask who (trade-wise) delivers the CIMIC capability?
« Last Edit: November 29, 2004, 07:10:06 by RDA »

Offline bossi

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Re: Lew MacKenzie on "peacemaking" (vice peacekeeping)
« Reply #66 on: November 29, 2004, 09:27:45 »
1.   Is there a difference between the role of CIMIC and the role of Intelligence personnel in peacemaking operations, and if so, can one draw a clear line to separate the two roles, or is it more of a transition zone?

1.A. Yes - there is a significant difference between CIMIC and Military Intelligence.   If you picture a Venn diagram, there is a small overlap between the two circles - however, the remainder of the two circles is much larger than the overlap.  Military Intelligence oversees the collection of information from many different sources (e.g. patrols, UAVs, satellites, EW, HUMINT), collates and analyses it, and transforms it into "intelligence" (e.g. estimates of enemy capability and predictions of intent).  CIMIC, on the other hand, focusses on the civil-military environment vice the enemy (hopefully my attempt to explain the difference between the two won't draw howls of protest from the Int community ... okay guys?)

Thus, the interaction between the two is that CIMIC often hears information and passes it on to Int, who then incorporates this info into the overall Int picture.  However, CIMIC deals with a broader sphere of activities in the civil-military environment, just as Int deals with a broader spectrum of sources, information and military intelligence.

CIMIC are NOT "spooks", and the ability of CIMIC to interact openly with and be trusted by the civilian population hinges upon this fact.

2.   Are Public Relations officers used in a CIMIC capacity in international operations, or do they strictly deal with the Canadian public?

2.A.   Public Information Officers also have a different role from CIMIC - to use civlianised terminology, they work in "external and internal communications" which includes "media relations".   To highlight the difference, PIOs do not normally become directly involved in CIMIC tasks such as liaison with civilian government, NGOs, and the populace.   And, while CIMIC might talk to the media/journalists, they do so with the advice and assistance of PIOs.  They stay in their separate, parallel "lanes" (even though they do cross from time to time).

CIMIC and PIOs do work together (along with Intand PSYOPS among others), in the context of Information Operations.  However, it's another Venn diagram - some overlap, but much more non-overlapping activity.
Again, the ability of CIMIC to be trusted hinges on their credibility - they must NOT be perceived as Int "spooks", PSYOPS, etc.

And, on a technicality, PIOs could in theory be employed as CIMIC, as explained below ...

Actually, perhaps a better question than the above two would simply be to ask who (trade-wise) delivers the CIMIC capability?

A.   There is no specific military trade for CIMIC.   Operators are primarily selected from the reserves, and can be any MOC (Military Occupation Code) as long as they've got the necessary soldier skills and appropriate people skills.   Sometimes Regular Force personnel are employed in CIMIC, too, in order to ensure that a destructive "us and them" situation doesn't evolve.

One aspect of this selection process is that civilian skillsets are considered - reservists normally have a civilian career in addition to their military experience - thus, it's "two for the price of one" - some of the CIMIC operators I've worked with included a P Eng, RN's, a workplace health and safety inspector, a banker with a Master's degree in law, a master's degree in communications, journalists, and others ...

CIMIC personnel can also be selected for their language skills - it really helps if you can, or at least try to speak a local language ... which most often is NOT English or French.  On one occasion in Kabul, a local mayor commented that this was the first time he had met a Canadian and he said "... you're just like us ..." - it was a treat to watch his jaw drop when the soldier replied in Farsi "Of course - what did you expect?"

Similarly, when going into a specific theatre of operations, CIMIC selection criteria can vary according to local cultural influence (e.g. in Afghanistan, facial hair is the norm for much of the civilian population - on one occasion, a taxi pulled up alongside a patrol and gave the "thumbs up" to a magnificent moustache ... chuckle!)  Sure - it may sound like a small thing, but ... when your bread and butter is to build and improve relationships with the local population ... it's the little things that count.  It's difficult to win hearts and minds if you're perceived as a barbarian ...
Junior officers and NCOs who neglect to guide the thinking of their men are shirking a command responsibility.
-Feb 1955 Cbt Forces Journal
Those who appreciate true valour should in their daily intercourse set gentleness first and aim to win the love and esteem of others. If you affect valour and act with violence, the world will in the end detest you and look upon you as wild beasts. Of this you should take heed.
-Emperor Meiji: Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors, 4 January 1883

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Re: Lew MacKenzie on "peacemaking" (vice peacekeeping)
« Reply #67 on: November 29, 2004, 19:40:05 »
Thank you bossi for taking the time to answer my questions in such a clear and comprehensive manner!   :salute:

I just have a few follow up questions:

Public Information Officers [...] stay in their separate, parallel "lanes" (even though they do cross from time to time).

I presume Public Information Officers drive down a relatively narrow lane, and are expected to stick to the "official party line" in their communications.   I am wondering if the CIMIC lane is a little wider, i.e. are they given a little more room to manoeuvre so that they can be more effective in gaining support from the local leaders in day-to-day negotiations?   (Please feel free to opt-out of answering this question if you don't feel comfortable doing so.)


[CIMIC] operators are primarily selected from the reserves [...] sometimes Regular Force personnel are employed in CIMIC, too, in order to ensure that a destructive "us and them" situation doesn't evolve.

Does "us and them" reffer to the "reserves and regulars" or to the "locals and foreign troops"?


On one occasion in Kabul, a local mayor commented that this was the first time he had met a Canadian and he said "... you're just like us ..." - it was a treat to watch his jaw drop when the soldier replied in Farsi "Of course - what did you expect?"

No question here.   I just think that is a great anecdote... thanks for sharing!


Similarly, when going into a specific theatre of operations, CIMIC selection criteria can vary according to local cultural influence (e.g. in Afghanistan, facial hair is the norm for much of the civilian population - on one occasion, a taxi pulled up alongside a patrol and gave the "thumbs up" to a magnificent moustache ... chuckle!)  

Do you have any pictures of your moustache for us?   ;)


Sure - it may sound like a small thing, but ... when your bread and butter is to build and improve relationships with the local population ... it's the little things that count.   It's difficult to win hearts and minds if you're perceived as a barbarian ...

Do CIMIC troops carry rifles?   I'm not saying I think they should or shouldn't, I'm just curious to know if they are charged with their own security or if that responsibility falls on a different group, for the sake of public perception?   (You'll have to forgive me if I am butchering the military lingo...)

Offline bossi

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Re: Lew MacKenzie on "peacemaking" (vice peacekeeping)
« Reply #68 on: November 29, 2004, 22:12:45 »
I presume Public Information Officers drive down a relatively narrow lane, and are expected to stick to the "official party line" in their communications.   I am wondering if the CIMIC lane is a little wider, i.e. are they given a little more room to manoeuvre so that they can be more effective in gaining support from the local leaders in day-to-day negotiations?   (Please feel free to opt-out of answering this question if you don't feel comfortable doing so.)

To a certain degree, "the official party line" for CIMIC and PIO can sometimes be the same, or be "apples and anvils" (i.e. very different).   CIMIC depend on credibility and honesty in order to build trust, but so do PIOs.
And, using the example of Afghanistan where verbal agreements can become binding contracts under local religious law ... honesty is the best policy, and the CIMIC Golden Role remains "Make No Promises" (especially ones you can't keep ...).

Does "us and them" reffer to the "reserves and regulars" or to the "locals and foreign troops"?

When I wrote my reply, it was the former (i.e. Canadian Army reservists and regulars).
In the context of Canadian troops dealing with foreign civilians, reservist CIMIC troops have the option of being able to say "... back home I'm a ... (insert civilian occupation here)" - depending on the situation, this can help build relationships, empathy and credibility (e.g. visiting a school construction site with Norwegian CIMIC, it was extremely useful when negotiating with the local contractor ... especially when you could say "... when I build windows back home ..." - the contractor knew he couldn't pull the wool over our eyes, and had to putty the windows ... there might even be some photo's in the link below ...).

No question here.   I just think that is a great anecdote... thanks for sharing!

Do you have any pictures of your moustache for us?

You're welcome, and as Jim Durante would say "I've got a million of them"
(click here to see for yourself)

Do CIMIC troops carry rifles?   I'm not saying I think they should or shouldn't, I'm just curious to know if they are charged with their own security or if that responsibility falls on a different group, for the sake of public perception?   (You'll have to forgive me if I am butchering the military lingo...)

First and foremost, CIMIC troops remain soldiers - so, yes - they carry weapons (we carried both rifles and pistols, so that even at the negotiating table our pistols remained close at hand).   In the context of Afghanistan, we deliberately wanted to cultivate the "public perception" that it would be a very bad idea to attack well-armed, well-trained CIMIC troops ...

When the threat level is lower (e.g. when I visited Bosnia) some NGOs/IOs such as the Red Cross might object to overt displays of weapons in their meetings (but luckily our pistols fit into pockets) - in Afghanistan, however, nobody asked us to disarm ... ever.

Also, depending on the "threat level", there might also be additional troops assigned to escort CIMIC - it's very situational dependent (hope that doesn't sound like a "cop out" answer, but it's a simple fact).
« Last Edit: November 29, 2004, 22:15:36 by bossi »
Junior officers and NCOs who neglect to guide the thinking of their men are shirking a command responsibility.
-Feb 1955 Cbt Forces Journal
Those who appreciate true valour should in their daily intercourse set gentleness first and aim to win the love and esteem of others. If you affect valour and act with violence, the world will in the end detest you and look upon you as wild beasts. Of this you should take heed.
-Emperor Meiji: Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors, 4 January 1883

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Re: Lew MacKenzie on "peacemaking" (vice peacekeeping)
« Reply #69 on: November 30, 2004, 00:32:45 »
Once again bossi, thank you for the very informative response.   Fascinating stuff!!   :salute:

Great pictures...   The "Welcome to Kabul" pic belongs in a regional geography textbook.
I also enjoyed the possum lodge... and yes, that is indeed a magnificent moustache!

Take care!


P.S. "I'm a man... But I can change... If I have to... I guess."

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Re: Lew MacKenzie on "peacemaking" (vice peacekeeping)
« Reply #70 on: November 30, 2004, 07:36:08 »
... and yes, that is indeed a magnificent moustache!

"if the women don't find you handsome, they should at least find you handy"

Quando Omni Flunkus Moritati
Junior officers and NCOs who neglect to guide the thinking of their men are shirking a command responsibility.
-Feb 1955 Cbt Forces Journal
Those who appreciate true valour should in their daily intercourse set gentleness first and aim to win the love and esteem of others. If you affect valour and act with violence, the world will in the end detest you and look upon you as wild beasts. Of this you should take heed.
-Emperor Meiji: Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors, 4 January 1883

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Re: Lew MacKenzie on "peacemaking" (vice peacekeeping)
« Reply #71 on: November 30, 2004, 11:31:40 »
Thank's PBI and bossi for your answer's they are most welcome.
It's cleared up a few question's but here are some more. ;)

But why is CIMIC limited to Sgt. and above?

As for me I'm a M/Cpl with 28yrs plus as a Field Eng.,also I'm a Marine Engineer on Civie St. but can't get into CIMIC because of my Rank ???

I think CIMIC should except on experience and qualifications on Civie St. and Military regardless of rank.

What are your thoughts on this?


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Re: Lew MacKenzie on "peacemaking" (vice peacekeeping)
« Reply #72 on: November 30, 2004, 11:41:08 »
But why is CIMIC limited to Sgt. and above?

As for me I'm a M/Cpl with 28yrs plus as a Field Eng.,also I'm a Marine Engineer on Civie St. but can't get into CIMIC because of my Rank ???

I think CIMIC should except on experience and qualifications on Civie St. and Military regardless of rank.

What are your thoughts on this?

Initially CIMIC was restricted to Sgts and above to try and ensure a certain degree of maturity, plus enough military training/experience/time in (so that CIMIC operators weren't "wet behind the ears").

Also, keep in mind that CIMIC often has to deal with civilian bureaucrats - and, one of the more universal personality traits of BUREAUCRATS is that they can be very rank conscious, in a petty way (i.e. sometimes they feel snubbed if the military representative isn't a high enough rank ... but, don't get me started ...)

As with anything, "rules are only guidelines" and there are exceptions to every rule ...
Based on your quick description of your background, you'd be a good candidate for making an exception to the rank rule (except, of course, for the fact that we already KNOW you from here ... JUST KIDDING!)
Junior officers and NCOs who neglect to guide the thinking of their men are shirking a command responsibility.
-Feb 1955 Cbt Forces Journal
Those who appreciate true valour should in their daily intercourse set gentleness first and aim to win the love and esteem of others. If you affect valour and act with violence, the world will in the end detest you and look upon you as wild beasts. Of this you should take heed.
-Emperor Meiji: Rescript to Soldiers and Sailors, 4 January 1883

Offline ArmyRick

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Re: Lew MacKenzie on "peacemaking" (vice peacekeeping)
« Reply #73 on: November 30, 2004, 17:41:49 »
I am a trained CIMIC operator and I never served a minute with LFCA CIMIC. I was fired in last minute for roto 13 bosnia.
Having said that here is WHAT CIMIC DOES and DOES NOT DO (Sorry far too many post and I have not read them all).
(1) Provide a civil military liasion in SUPPORT of the commanders mission (everything we must do must benefit the BG/contingent)
(2) Provide commanders with detailed local and area assessments (every bit of info concerning civil defence, infrastructure, religion, history, economy, ethnic breakdown, etc whatever makes the town tick)
(3) Facilitate projects IF they will  benefit the CF by raising popularity for our troops (psy ops stuff).
(4) Co-ordinate and link up with local governments, NGOs and IOs to find out who is doing what and where. They also look for where areas need the most help.
(5) Advise commanders on civil military relation issues based on their knowledge of the local area.

YES we are armed (most CIMIC is combat arms and they are best suited for the role)
NO we are not supposed to hand out teddy bears and bicycles
YES we work for the Coy/BG/contingent commander
NO our primary role is not to build nice things for the local people, it is much better to facilitate projects.

YES proper NATO CIMIC doctrine in the CF is new (we have had CIMIC around for years but not properly trained or employed)

NGO and IO are much better at re-building and handing out humanitarian aid. Armed troops are for security, peace implementation (getting the beligerents to behave according to conventions, accords, etc), gathering information.
We have wasted alot of money on FAILED projects in Bosnia (including ones where CF troops think they have succeeded but they don't realize the truth).
By the way, the NSE CIMIC on roto 13 paladium was not authorized and did operations that violated the BG (RCD) comd's AOR. This is an example of CF meaning well but causing harm.
WE MUST BEWARE of what the results of our actions will be.
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Re: Lew MacKenzie on "peacemaking" (vice peacekeeping)
« Reply #74 on: December 04, 2004, 09:14:15 »
Quote
WE MUST BEWARE of what the results of our actions will be.

Excellent point. Sometimes our well-meant Canadian intentions can cause problems, especially if they do not support the commander's intent for the mission, or fit into the local situation. In many of these locations we need to be careful about manging expectations. Cheers.
The Nation that makes a great distinction between its scholars and its warriors will have its thinking done by cowards and its fighting done by fools. ...

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