Religion: A Factor for Peace and Stability in Iraq
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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The Combatant Commander can leverage the power of religion to effectively reduce insurgencies in Iraq by accessing and engaging the culture through religious leadership. The framework of religions control of resources, interpersonal relationships, communications, and expertise in a given cultural milieu can be assets in the post-conflict and stability operations planning the end state being a durable peace in Iraq. This paper makes the following recommendations 1. Develop relationships with indigenous religious leaders and institutions in Iraq society to win their trust and confidence 2. Develop and add to planning doctrine a thorough understanding of the role of religion in a society and the way to foster trust with religious leadership 3. Add to operational planning doctrine assessment criteria of dominant religions, religions role in the political process, and religious tolerance 4. Integrate religiously-oriented NGOs and other faith-based peace-building entities and their resources into planning considerations 5. Establish by DOD a civilian special subject matter expert on the COCOM staff, the Religious Advisor RELAD, following the model of the Political Advisor POLAD. 6. Foster relationships with religious leaders, by RELAD, through official conferences sponsored, facilitated, and led by international peace building organizations, and workshops facilitating peace.
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