The Case of the Different Culture


1. Overall Situation


It is the year 200X. You are a Company Commander in the 10th Mountain Division (Light Infantry). The Division has deployed to the fledging Republic of Paldora in South America. Its mission is to conduct Nation Building Operations and to assist the Paldorans in the maintenance and development of their democratic institutions.


Paldora is a new country. It was founded in 200Y after economic and political turmoil resulted in the disintegration of Brazil. The country is approximately the size of America’s Northeast. Although large in area , it has a small population. Much of the land is part of the Amazon rain forest. Economically the nation is struggling. The Brazilian Civil War destroyed most buisnesses and industry.



2. Extract - Your mission briefing from COL Highpower.


"This is a nation building mission. We are here to assist the Paldorans in building and modernizing their country. In order to succeed, we have to increase the standard of living for the common Paldoran. This means everything from building schools to giving inoculations. Work through the local government officials in your area. We need to show that they are in charge and that we working with them. I don’t want to give the people the impression that we are down here for any other reason than to help their own government.


One of the things you have to be particularly aware of is the fact that the Paldorans are a very mixed bunch. Parts of the population consists of well-to-do middle class that would fit into our culture with ease. Other parts of the country are less advanced. The highlands have a large population of people we might call superstitious peasants. The population of the rain forest consists of tribes who are not all that far removed from the primitive hunter-gatherer society. Whatever your sector is, it is important for you to get a feel for the customs and beliefs of the locals. You have to be the expert in your sector. Because of the size of the area and the differences in people and culture, you will have to use your best judgment in making decisions that will affect the overall success of the mission. I have the utmost confidence in your abilities."


3. BDE S-2 Intellingence Report


Your company has been assigned to one of the rain forest sectors. The tribe that populates your area of operations is the Tiní. We have limited intelligence on them.


History: Little is known about the Tiní prior to 1998. It is only in the past ten years that they have been exposed to the outside world. Prior to that they lived deep in the rain forest. In 1998, Brazil launched massive lumber projects in the heart of the Tiní lands. Because of the lumber operations, we discovered the Tiní people.


General Information: The tribe consists of about 40,000 (est.) men, women, and children. For the most part they are a peaceful society that has adapted quickly to the outside world. Although generally peaceful ,they have a reputation for being implacable enemies when wronged. Neighboring tribes call their warriors the "ghosts that seek vengeance" due to their ability to move through the forest unnoticed.


Culture - The Tiní are a deeply religious people who place great value on ritual and tradition. Both their religion and society place an emphasis on promoting the welfare of the society over the individual. Many considerTiní society a theocracy because the tribal chiefs function as civil, military, and spiritual leaders. Their power derives from their special relationship with the Gods.


4. Tiní Religious Beliefs


a. The world of the Tiní is in perpetual danger of destruction from the forces of Evil, led by the serpent god, Balzaar.


b. The constant efforts and sacrifices of Leal (the great, good god) prevents final destruction of the world.


c. Only those who follow in Leal’s footsteps and sacrifice for the common good of society will be rewarded. The reward will be reincarnation in a higher life form or eternal life with Leal in "Parva" — the Tiní version of paradise.


5. The First Story of Leal, Tiní Legend


(Balzaar is attempting to destroy the world by drying up the earth’s water. Having just finished his second battle against Balzaar, Leal has found a place to rest.)


"As the great god Leal lay hurt and bleeding from his battle with Balzaar, an old woman appeared with cool water and herbs to treat his wounds. As she finished, the Tochis (demon warriors) of Balzaar appeared and attacked. Although Leal ultimately defeated the demons, one of the Tochis chopped off the leg of the old woman. After the fight, Leal cared for the woman. As he was doing this, the serpent god himself appeared and attacked Leal. Weakened by his wounds, the great god was unable to defend himself and suffered wound after wound from Balzaar’s fierce fangs and mighty opé (war axe). In one terrific blow the serpent king severed Leal’s sword hand, leaving him defenseless. As the Evil one coiled for the strike that would destroy Leal, a young girl appeared. Without hesitation she threw herself at Balzaar in an attempt to protect Leal. Infuriated, Balzaar sank his fangs into her throat and then cut her apart with his opé. While the serpent king was distracted, Leal regained his sword and with a mighty swing cut off one of Balzaar’s heads. Howling with rage and pain, the serpent king fled.


Leal then went to the hurt old woman and the body of the young girl. He touched some of his blood to the woman’s leg and healed it, saying, "In helping me you have helped all of mankind. You shall be reborn a great and wise queen." He then approached the young girl’s body and said, "You who have sacrificed all for mankind shall receive eternal bliss." He then raised her spirit up to paradise.


6. Situation to Date


After three weeks in sector you are making excellent progress. Your troops have already built a small clinic that is providing needed medical aid. You also have begun building a new school and a levee to protect crops from flood damage.


Relations with the Tiní are good. They are a friendly, generous people who appreciate your efforts to help them. They have been assisting your soldiers on all the projects. Many of the tribes have unofficially adopted members of your company and provide them with food.


As your first month draws to a close you receive an invitation to the "Moon Ceremony." This ceremony signifies the triumph of Leal over Balzaar in their continual struggle. You and many of your men attend. Tribesmen pour into the area for the semi-annual ceremony. After a dinner feast, the actual ceremony occurs. Several warriors lead an elderly woman and young girl to an open area. Amid great ceremony, they reenact the fight of Leal and Balzaar. As the ceremony concludes two of the tribal leaders suddenly step out carrying opés. With practiced blows they kill and dismember the woman and child. Their act brings forth a wave of cheering and chanting from the assembled tribesmen.


Stunned by the sudden change of events, you ask the tribe’s chief for an explanation. He tells you, "These two have gone to help Leal fight Balzaar. By their willing sacrifice they ensure the continuation of the circle of life. Great honor and rewards shall they receive in their next life with Leal in eternal paradise."


As you leave the ceremony, you can see the incidents have horrified and angered your soldiers. One of your troops gets into a scuffle with the executioners. Only quick intervention by your First Sergeant prevents it from getting out of hand.


During the night, your First Sergeant comes to see you and tells you the soldiers are in an ugly mood. The ceremony horrified them. The elderly woman was a friend of your troops. Rumors are flying that the "Moon Ceremony" runs for three days, repeating the ritual of sacrifice each day; so more people will die tomorrow. Your soldiers are talking about what they can do to stop it.


The next morning you confirm that the ceremony does run for three days More executions are scheduled. On your rounds, you feel the tension in the air. Several times you have heard your men talking. They are saying things like "This is plain wrong," and "We have to stop it." Concerned, you radio higher for guidance, but none comes. You are the leader on the ground; make a decision.


7. Task Force Rules of Engagement (ROE)


1. American troops have the right of self-defense at all times. The use of deadly force is authorized to protect the lives of our soldiers.


2. Deadly force is authorized to protect the lives of Paldoran Nationals.


3. Riot control agents and weapons can be used at the discretion of company commanders.


4. The use of force should be a last resort. When faced with hostile situations, soldiers and units should first issue verbal warnings, then use warning shots and physical force prior to using deadly force.