Review (Retired Reader): Solving the People Puzzle — Cultural Intelligence and Special Operations Forces

4 Star, Asymmetric, Cyber, Hacking, Odd War, Best Practices in Management, Culture, Research, Force Structure (Military), Information Operations, Intelligence (Government/Secret)
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Dr. Emily Spencer (Author)

4.0 out of 5 stars Intelligence Support for Speical Operations Forces,August 15, 2011

This book provides an excellent description of the personal, organization and mission of what are called Special Operations Forces (SOF) and their relationship to conventional forces. More importantly it introduces the concept of `cultural intelligence’ as the precise type of intelligence information that SOF unit need to successfully execute their missions.

Cultural Intelligence which Spencer refers to as “CQ” (to avoid confusion with Counter Intelligence (CI)) is a combination of ethnography, sociology, and psychology. As Spencer makes clear successful counter-insurgency operations (COIN) and counter-terrorism (CT) programs depend on understanding the cultural environment in which they are conducted. That is it is necessary to understand the underlying social structures, beliefs, and motivations of the populations constitute what she refers to as the Contemporary Operating Environment within which SOF missions are conducted. This important insight is one of those concepts which appear obvious, but only have somebody has developed it.

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