Knowing the terrain, both physical and social

Paul at Soft Power Beacon writes about situational awareness in Iraq:

...That said, Behn writes, some Iraqis will get their hair cut like famous Iraqi singers or Brazilian soccer players. None of this appears in any textbook on the Middle East; it's just one more facet of Iraqi society that U.S. forces and policymakers must have people on the ground--outside the Green Zone--to understand.That said, Behn writes, some Iraqis will get their hair cut like famous Iraqi singers or Brazilian soccer players. None of this appears in any textbook on the Middle East; it's just one more facet of Iraqi society that U.S. forces and policymakers must have people on the ground--outside the Green Zone--to understand.

Understanding how society ticks is critical to creating a secure environment. Cops working in gang territory know this, just as our military forces, acting like police forces, must become aware of this. This is situational awareness