Beyond the Commander's Estimate of the Situation: The Role of Culture and Society in the Military Decision Making Process
NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
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Current U.S. military planning procedures were developed during the Cold War. As such, they generally fail to incorporate critical contemporary battlefield variables into the planning processes. Notably absent from deliberate planning is an analysis of the impact of culture and society on the way potential adversaries fight. Todays enemies are becoming increasingly asymmetric, and the problems faced by the United States have shifted from the well-structured problems of the Cold War to the increasingly ill-structured problems of the Long War. The militarys standard planning methodologies were not developed around illstructured problems. Consequently, a single analytic template can no longer be applied with equal success to all problems. An analysis of the dominant Arab culture and of Arab society demonstrates the need to better incorporate intangible elements into our planning procedures. To remain relevant and effective, our planning process must keep pace with change. Military planners must find new planning procedures to augment existing doctrine, incorporate a better understanding of culture and society into current doctrine, expand and change the use of Foreign Area Officers and cultural advisors, and provide more opportunities for advanced civil education for our leaders.
- Administration and Management
- Military Forces and Organizations