Socio-Cultural Consideration in Effects Based Planning, CSER 2008
AIR FORCE RESEARCH LAB MESA AZ WARFIGHTER READINESS RESEARCH DIVISION
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Military conflicts have been changing from the traditional large force engagements, where the winners are decided by who has the most men left standing, to unconventional asymmetric warfare where a military force can win every battle but still lose the war. Warfare is evolving, partly due to the technology that is being leveraged by the military. Advanced targeting capabilities and precision guided weapons, like the Joint Direct Attack Munitions JDAM, give commanders in the field the capability to strike a target at any time and virtually ensure its destruction or neutralization. This capability has led to a new way of thinking and targeting called Effects Based Operations EBO. EBO focuses soley on achieving operational objectives rather than inflicting kinetic damage. This relatively new way of thinking is conducive to the consideration of socio-cultural factors, but unfortunately our operational level planners have not been taught how to do this. Our operations and planning have traditionally been approached from a Western, Anglo-American perspective. Planners dont have a clear understanding of how tactical level actions will be perceived by the local population, and how those perceptions could negatively impact the attainment of the overall military objectives. Plans that are developed without the consideration of socio-cultural differences will more often than not lead to additional friction, impacting the overall timeline for accomplishing the mission. This is all too common and can be witnessed by watching the nightly news. To support the warfighter and improve upon the militarys ability to efficiently achieve their objectives, the Air Force Research Laboratory and Securboration have developed a cultural awareness training tool for the Air Operations Center AOC.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics