Archive for October, 2013



the comments that we will be reading below comes from (INITIAL IMPRESSIONS REPORT OPERATIONS IN MOSUL, IRAQ Stryker Brigade Combat Team 1,3rd Brigade, 2nd Infantry) in Mosul Iraq around the year 2004-2005, and there are some awakward comments and really serious one about Iraqi interpreters who served with the U.S Army in those years.

here is a full text about the role of interpreters in Mosul:

Topic E: Interpreters Effectiveness

(ART 1.4.2 Provide Intelligence Support to Information Operations)

Observation: Interpreters can be effective with consideration for ethnicity, age, gender, and development of a close relationship.

Discussion: Problems occur with Muslim interpreters during religious holidays. Many quit prior to the holiday or just didn’t show up to work during the holidays. In addition many of the interpreters were threatened by Anti-Iraqi Forces (AIF) and insurgents which was particularly dangerous for part-time interpreters who do not live on the secure Forward Operating Bases (FOB). The number of interpreters a unit can retain depends on the ability to develop a personal relationship with them. Units that develop trust, a sense of safety, and loyalty with their interpreters are more successful in keeping the ten to twelve for an operation and rotate their work schedules. Interpreters are used with each platoon sized element, the Casualty Evacuation (CASEVAC) element, and separate teams (such as a sniper team) providing over watch for an operation. The best interpreters appeared to be middle-aged men who were respected in the local culture where as female and young male interpreters proved to be less effective. Interpreters are also chosen specifically for certain operations. If the operation is to make contact with local law enforcement or tribal or community leadership, interpreters are chosen with the same ethnicity as the group being contacted. During offensive operations, or questioning of suspected AIF, elected interpreters, not of the same ethnicity, were chosen. This precluded social ties, between the interpreters and the suspects, and improved their results. To protect operational security (OPSEC), interpreters were not provided any information about the missions and were given very little notice of when their support was required since some had been suspected of providing information to the AIF. To reduce this tendency, units preferred full-time interpreters who lived on the FOB and were of a different ethnicity to the majority of AIF. There was no progressive pay scale for interpreters (they were all paid the same) and therefore no system for rewarding
those who were better English speakers with demonstrated dependability.

Insights/Lessons Learned:
• Interpreter performance is inconsistent because of age, gender, ethnicity, and full or part-time employment.
• Units are more successful with interpreter performance if a sense of trust, safety,
loyalty and a personal relationship is developed.

DOTMLPF Implication/Recommendation:
• A pay scale should be developed to reward interpreters for quality performance.
(Leadership and Education)

Topic F: Interpreter Support

(ART 1.4.2 Provide Intelligence Support to Information Operations)

Observation: Interpreter support to the brigade is inadequate.

Discussion: The number of interpreters available within the brigade is inadequate. Units have dynamically moved interpreters, based on mission requirements, to various elements across a spectrum of functional disciplines (civil affairs, intelligence, PSYOPS) and areas of responsibility in order to meet mission requirements. The brigade had to rely on non-cleared linguists, for key positions such as PSYOPS and CA team support, because of the shortage and availability of linguists and their clearance levels. The screening process for linguists is limited
and the veracity of their work sometimes goes without substantiation.

Insights/Lessons Learned:
• The Army linguist pool was inadequate and therefore reliance on contracted interpreter support was necessary.
• Units must exercise and retain flexibility to employee interpreters based on mission

DOTMLPF Implications/Recommendations:
• Units require sustained level-two contract support. (Organization)
• Contracted interpreters should be required to remaining with the unit until redeployed. (Organization)
• National-theater level counter-intelligence screening support (i.e. United States Army Intelligence & Security Command INSCOM) should be required for interpreters
deployed in theater. (Organization)
• DA should ensure attached PSYOP teams have at least one level-two linguist.


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