Monday, March 09, 2015

What one military manual says about site protection

From ATP 3-39.30, "Security and Mobility Support", Oct. 2014:

Protect Key Personnel and Facilities 1-47. When required, military forces may extend protection and support to key civilian personnel to ensure their continued contribution to the overall operation. In the interest of transparency, military forces specifically request and carefully negotiate this protection. Similarly, the long-term success of any intervention often relies on the ability of external actors to protect and maintain critical infrastructure until the HN can resume that responsibility. Protection of key facilities may be either an immediate or long-term requirement. The list of essential tasks may include an initial response and transformation, described as follows:
 l An initial response in which military forces—
            n Protect government-sponsored civilian reconstruction and stabilization personnel. n Protect contractor and civilian reconstruction and stabilization personnel and resources. n Provide emergency logistic support, as required. n Protect and secure places of religious worship and cultural sites. n Protect and secure critical infrastructure, natural resources, civil registries, and property ownership documents. n Protect and secure strategically important institutions (such as government buildings; medical treatment facilities and public health infrastructure; the central bank, national treasury, and integral commercial banks; museums; and religious sites). n Protect and secure military depots, equipment, ammunition dumps, and means of communications. n Identify, secure, protect, and coordinate disposition for stockpiles of munitions and CBRN materiel and precursors, facilities, and adversaries with technical expertise. l A transformation in which military forces build HN capacity to protect— n Civilian reconstruction and stabilization personnel. n Public infrastructure and institutions. n Military infrastructure.
 This doesn't specifically call for airstrikes, and it is troubling that the document is tasking site protection to the Army military police, whose capacity to take active measures may be limited. But someone in the military chain of command should have been on top of the threat that ISIS posed to archaeological sites. That no action was taken indicates negligence.

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