Contact was the section of the Culture responsible for foreign interaction and military matters.
During the Idiran-Culture War, Contact acted as the Culture's armed forces. Purpose built Culture warcraft were rare in the early years, and were substituted by General Contact Vehicles and General Contact Units. These ships were heavily engaged and outnumbered.
Contact always contained specialist sub-divisions. The Numina, Quietus, and Restoria divisions were formally created during a reorganization during the mid-3nd millennium CE.
- Main article: Special Circumstances
Special Circumstances was originally a part of Contact. After the early years of the Idiran-Culture War, while still relatively young, SC was formally divested from Contact and became an independent organization. The split occurred because SC's activities could not be morally justified within Contact. Contact was frequently seen as being second best to SC.