Accession Number : ADA494912


Title :   The Cultural Sword: Leveraging Cultural Property in Iraq


Descriptive Note : Research paper


Corporate Author : UNIV OF MILITARY INTELLIGENCE FORT HUACHUCA AZ


Personal Author(s) : Stevens, Erin A


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a494912.pdf


Report Date : Jan 2008


Pagination or Media Count : 6


Abstract : Despite the vulnerability of cultural property throughout history, the United States has been conscious of it during times of war. From the Monuments, Fine Arts, and Archives teams that set out to protect and recover art during World War II to U.S. refusal to attack cultural sites even as Saddam Hussein placed valuable military assets in and around them during the first Gulf War, the United States and its military have protected countless pieces of art and priceless artifacts. Yet U.S. forces were unable to protect Iraqi cultural property in their second Gulf operation. In April 2003, shortly after the U.S.-Coalition-led invasion of Iraq, looters -- among them, museum insiders, professional looters, and opportunistic members of the public -- convened at the museum and approximately 15,000 objects were lost. Nearly 6 years after the looting, the museum remains closed to he public. In October 2008, then-First Lady Laura Bush announced that a 2-year, $14 million grant would be awarded to the National Museum to refurbish its buildings, send Iraqi archaeologists to the United States to train, and open a conservation center in Irbil. The impact of this grant remains to be seen, but it is clear that treatment of cultural property -- whether positive or negative -- can have a great impact on the international community's impression of U.S. forces, the trust of the Iraqi people in the United States, and the ability of cultural property to create a unified sense of national pride. Yet, the United States has thus far neglected to leverage Iraq's cultural property in its information operations and nonlethal targeting. The cultural property of Iraq holds the potential to create a sense of historical unity and greater sense of national pride. If Iraq is ever to come together as a single nation under a single government, both the Iraqi government and U.S. military forces in the country need to highlight the importance of these cultural achievements.


Descriptors :   *INFORMATION WARFARE , *HISTORIC SITES , *PROTECTION , *MUSEUMS , *CULTURE , *IRAQ , *MILITARY FORCES(UNITED STATES) , THEFT , COUNTERINSURGENCY , IRAQI WAR , ARCHEOLOGY , GOVERNMENT(FOREIGN) , ARTIFACTS


Subject Categories : Sociology and Law
      Humanities and History
      Unconventional Warfare


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE