Cultural Competence and the Operational Level of War
NAVAL WAR COLLEGE NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
Pagination or Media Count:
The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 and subsequent military operations in Afghanistan and Iraq have brought to the forefront the discussion about the role of cultural competency on the battlefield. There has been a rediscovery of the fact that culture and warfare are intertwined. Countless articles on how cultural factors affect the operating environment have been published in various military and academic publications. The majority of these publications have focused on the strategic or tactical level of war. Very little has been written on the role of cultural competency at the operational level of war. The author attempts to do this by examining past, current, and potential U.S. and foreign operational experiences. These experiences are examined within the context of the mission set identified in new strategic guidance entitled Sustaining U.S. Global Leadership Priorities for 21st Century Defense. The author also examines what has been done within the U.S. military to address the cultural competency problem. He concludes that cultural factors will continue to play an important role in mission accomplishment, and that the current cultural education infrastructure is not sufficient to support mission accomplishment. He offers cost-effective solutions for the stated problem set.
- Sociology and Law
- Humanities and History
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics