Infantry Drills

A-96: Events

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A-96. Routine, cyclical, planned, or spontaneous activities which significantly affect organizations, people, and military operations, including seasons, festivals, holidays, funerals, political rallies, and agricultural crop/livestock and market cycles and paydays. Other events, such as disasters and those precipitated by military forces, stress and affect the attitudes and activities of the populace and include a moral responsibility to protect displaced civilians. Template events and analyze them for their political, economic, psychological, environmental, and legal implications.

A-97. The leader also must identify civil considerations affecting his mission. Civil considerations are important when conducting operations against terrorist or insurgent forces in urban areas. Most terrorists and insurgents depend on the support or neutrality of the civilian population to camouflage them. Leaders must understand impact of their actions-as well as their subordinate’s actions􀊊on the civilian population, and effects they will have on current and future operations. Considerations may include:

  • Ethnic dynamics.
  • Organizations of influence.
  • Patterns.
  • Leaders and influencers.
  • Economic environment.

A-98. Ethnic dynamics include religion, cultural mores, gender roles, customs, superstitions, and values certain ethnic groups hold dear which differ from other groups. Leaders who analyze the ethnic dynamics of their area of operation can best apply combat power, shape maneuver with information related capabilities, and ultimately find the common denominator all ethnic varieties have in common and focus unit efforts at it. Gaining local support can best be accomplished by the leader who demonstrates dignity and respect to the civilian population he is charged to protect and train.

A-99. Organizations of influence force the leader to look beyond preexisting civilian hierarchical arrangements. By defining organizations within the community, leaders can understand what groups have power and influence over their own smaller communities and what groups can assist our forces. After these groups have been defined, analyzing them and determining their contributions or resistance to friendly operations is easier. Many Eastern cultures rely upon religious organizations as their centers of power and influence, whereas Western culture’s power comes from political institutions by elected officials. Defining other influential organizations or groups of influence allows for information collection.

A-100. Every culture, every group of people, has patterns of behavior. Whether it is set times for prayer, shopping or commuting, people follow patterns. Understanding these patterns helps leaders plan and execute information collection, combat operations, and logistical resupply. Also, unit leaders who study the history of civic culture can better understand and explain to others how and why the people have fought previous wars and conflicts. Starting with a baseline pattern and keeping a mission analysis on how the population is responding or have responded in the past under similar circumstances will assist leaders in using patterns to the unit’s advantage.

A-101. Know who is in charge and who can influence and enable unit leaders to exercise governance and monitor security within a prescribed area. Many times, the spiritual leader is not necessarily the decision maker for a community, but the spiritual leader must approve the decision maker’s actions. Commanders and staff officers who make link-diagrams of leadership including religious, political, and criminal personnel allow focused planning and decentralized execution which bolsters legitimacy within the population. Using the targeting methodology of D3A (decide, detect, deliver, and assess) may prove useful in determining whether a leader or influencer would best facilitate an operation, when to engage them, and what to expect.

A-102. Money and resources drive prosperity and stability. Leaders who identify the economic production base of their area of operation can execute civil-military campaigns within their area of operation bolstering the economic welfare of the people. These campaigns include infrastructure rebuild projects, creation of labor opportunities, and education. By focusing on the motivations for civilian labor and creating essential services and prosperity where there was none, unit leaders/commanders can win the support of the civilian who now can feed and clothe his family and now has clean running water. This aspect of civil considerations reinforces the security of the community against poverty and other enablers to instability.

Next: A-103: Risk Assessment

Go Back To: U.S. Army FM 3-21.8: The Infantry Rifle Platoon and Squad