26 February 2010

The UK Equivalent of HTS?

The Brits are standing up a new office on cultural understanding of Afghanistan that sounds like it's taking a page out of the US civil affairs / HTS playbook.

The unit, which is preparing a pool of deployable cultural specialists, also provides cultural awareness training to the British military, and the first Commander's Cultural Briefing took place in London this week, attended by the Afghan Ambassador to the UK.

Addressing the one- and two-star commanders from across all three Services, the Ambassador, Homayoun Tandar, said:

"I welcome warmly the Defence Cultural Specialist Unit. The main concept of armies at the beginning of the 21st century needs a better cultural understanding. The idea of armies is not to make war everywhere but to create friendships between nations and peace-building.

"Afghanistan is the best example of that. In the first time in our history, the foreign troops are for the peace-building and not for the war."

The DCSU has been set up in the spirit of counter-insurgency operations and it ties into the aims of Operation MOSHTARAK which has been taking place over the last two weeks in central Helmand.

The operation is intended to show the local people that the International Security Assistance Force and Afghan forces are there to help them by providing enduring security and development.

By: Brant

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