October 16, 2008

US Military’s Cultural Intelligence on Iran

The Center for Public Integrity, on its blog “Paper Trail,” reports on what the US military gives to Marines so they can be familiar with Iranian culture in the event of a military conflict:

PaperTrail has obtained an exclusive copy of the military’s field guide for cultural intelligence for possible military operations in Iran, which is designed to help the U.S. military understand foreign cultures. Though nowhere near as enjoyable as the U.S. Army’s 1943 Instructions for American Servicemen in Iraq During World War II, … it describes in detail what our soldiers are learning about Iran – and it’s everything from paranoia within the military to preferred pants widths.
The existence of fault lines among Iran’s military organizations and its ethnic groups is a major theme in the Marine Corps’s CD-ROM, Cultural Intelligence for Military Operations: Iran.
The guide also paints a picture of endemic paranoia within Iran’s armed forces. “Relationships between superiors and subordinates are characterized by deference and gratitude but also by cynicism and manipulation. Iranians expect their social inferiors are scheming somehow to oust or overthrow them, even though they profess allegiance and obedience,” according to a section called Cultural Influences on Military Effectiveness. …

Read the entire entry here, and access the full manual here.
(h/t: Laura at War and Piece)

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