Unique in the World

BERLIN/NIENBURG (WESER) (Own report) – The German Bundeswehr is holding another exercise oriented on “Civil-Military Cooperation” (CIMIC) in the context of military interventions. The “Joint Cooperation” exercise will take place in Nienburg County (Lower Saxony) at the end of the month primarily with the participation of soldiers from NATO member countries, and with troops from countries, officially claiming neutrality, such as Austria and Sweden. According to the scenario of the exercise, which has been drawn up in all details, so-called CIMIC forces will operate in a fictitious country at the Horn of Africa that has become the scene of a bloody civil war provoked by a neighboring nation. The unit specialized in “civil-military cooperation” must “assess” the war zone population’s situation, to provide the military command the “necessary information” for its “operational planning.” The scenario shows a number of parallels to NATO’s current large-scale “Trident Juncture” exercise, which also focuses on combating an “aggressor nation,” covertly supporting one party to the civil war in the neighboring country. Reference to the situation in Ukraine is explicitly desired.

Command Headquarters in Germany

The “Joint Cooperation 2015” scenario begins with the invasion into the fictitious “Cerasia” region at the Horn of Africa by an EU intervention force. According to the scenario, the country “Tytan” is threatened by its “aggressive” neighbor “Kamon,” which, using an extremely aggressive ethnic policy, is seeking to take control of its oil fields in the border province of “Tori.” “Kamon” therefore is using the “Elkaim militia,” known to already have carried out “ethnic cleansing” in “Kamon” itself, and is now particularly active in the “Tori” province. Due to its own desperate economic situation and because of the “influx of refugees” from “Kamon,” “Tytan” is in no position to counter this aggression and has called on the UN for help. The UN, in turn, empowered the EU to dispatch military forces to “Tytan” (“European Union Force Tytan/EUFOR-T”) to “stabilize security” and support an OSCE observer mission also active in “Tytan.” The command of the EU’s intervention forces operation will be provided by the Operations Command Headquarters in Potsdam and the “Multinational Joint Headquarters Ulm” [4] of the German Armed Forces will provide the staff for the headquarters at the site of deployment.[5]

Civilian Siphonage

“Joint Cooperation 2014,” which had also been a simulated “stabilization mission” in the fictitious African country of “Tytan” (“Cerasia” region) had already provided the Bundeswehr with basic experience in handling civilian organizations. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[7]) However, this year the Bundeswehr admits focusing on siphoning off from civilian sources relevant military information. This corresponds precisely to NATO’s official CIMIC doctrine, according to which, particularly “non-military actors,” such as “local authorities” or NGOs, often dispose of “intelligence-relevant knowledge.” Every CIMIC soldier must be able to judge whether the information he has collected should be fed into the intelligence “network.”[8] Analogous explanations are found in NATO’s “CIMIC Handbook,” in which the authorized “liaison officers” of the “Civil-Military Cooperation” are interchangeably referred to as “sensors” or the “eyes and ears” of their commanders.[9] Inversely, according to NATO’s CIMIC doctrine, only information “conducive to favorable conditions for the successful execution of the military mission” may be passed on to civilian bodies. All communication must be aimed toward generating “acceptance” of the intervention forces by the population and “influencing” accordingly the society in the area of intervention.[10]

Combat Tested

According to NATO, “Trident Juncture” should draw on the “lessons” of earlier combat operations, such as in Afghanistan and other “current conflicts,” like Ukraine. (german-foreign-policy.com reported.[14]) This should also apply to “Joint Cooperation.” Already last year, numerous combat-tested officers had participated in the maneuver. The commander of the Bundeswehr’s “CIMIC Center” – in charge of organizing the exercises – had served in Afghanistan from September 2011 to March 2012 in the ISAF occupation forces’ Regional Command West.

Full article: Unique in the World (German Foreign Policy)

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