Through the Lens of Cultural Awareness: A Primer for US Armed Forces Deploying to Arab and Middle Eastern Countries
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS COMBAT STUDIES INST
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Conducting the Global War on Terrorism GWOT and projecting United States US influence worldwide has meant an increasing number of US diplomats and military forces are assigned to locations around the world, some of which have not previously had a significant US presence. In the current security environment, understanding foreign cultures and societies has become a national priority. Cultural understanding is necessary both to defeat adversaries and to work successfully with allies. As indicated by recent experiences in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Somalia, understanding Islamic cultures is particularly important. This document defines a way US military leaders can prepare for and conduct military operations through the lens of cultural awareness. It provides a method for helping military commanders, staffs, and trainers engage successfully in any type of operation with an emphasis on postconflict stability operations. It also suggests modifications to the traditional intelligence preparation of the battlefield IPB and the military decisionmaking process MDMP to address the analytical difficulties posed by the conduct of military operations within and among different cultures. Initially, this research was undertaken to support military training conducted at the Joint Readiness Training Center JRTC and the National Training Center NTC. In its final form, however, this research will serve to inform additional studies as well as projects, conferences, and training conducted throughout the Department of Defense DOD, Department of State DOS, and miscellaneous intelligence agencies. This study will be of interest to US Armed Forces and intelligence community personnel planning for or conducting operations in Arab and Middle East countries. It will also be of interest to any armed forces, law enforcement, or intelligence community personnel that need to assess the intentions, motivations, and decisionmaking styles of persons from other cultures.
- Sociology and Law
- Humanities and History
- Military Intelligence