Swimming with the Natives: Cultural Immersion and Its Applications for Naval Special Warfare [open pdf - 485KB]
"The New Enemy hides in the shadows of anonymity. As of September 11, 2001, combat in today's world is much more challenging and requires a better understanding of the enemy and his support infrastructure. There is a renewed interest in human intelligence (HUMINT) as expressed by the US Department of Defense and Intelligence Agencies. But HUMINT is only data collected by human sources about an individual or group of individuals and their activities. Cultural Immersion is a step above mere data collection...it allows its practitioners to understand the thought processes and/or the routines of questionable individuals or groups. Cultural immersion is a skill set that allows missions to develop and execute with smooth transitions. It does not guarantee mission success but certainly assures greater mission success than can be achieved operating without it. Cultural immersion 'equalizes the playing field' when US/Coalition forces are operating in foreign lands against otherwise invisible or immersed enemies. This thesis examines various aspects of cultural immersion, how they relate to warfare, and proposes recommendations for cultural immersion supporting present day Naval Special Warfare (NSW) missions. The intent is to provide decision makers a viable option for actionable intelligence during the Global War on Terrorism."
Defense Technical Information Center (DTIC): http://www.dtic.mil/dtic/