DOD Strategic Religious Engagement: A Luxury or a Necessity?
ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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Recent worldwide events underscore the urgency of formulating U.S. foreign policy that takes account of the motivations of religious actors. The inability of the government to sufficiently integrate credible religious engagement into its diplomatic tool kit will damage its foreign policy efforts and endanger the security of the nation. Strategic religious engagement is not a luxury the U.S. can afford to ignore. Instead, it is a critical, but often neglected, component of U.S. foreign policy that has great potential to shape and deter conflict. The Geographical Combatant Command is one element of national power that is uniquely organized and well-prepared to conduct religious engagement along tense, international religious fault lines. This paper explores how, in a season of declining resources, the U.S. Government can leverage the Combatant Command s diplomatic and informational strengths to build trust, marginalize religious extremism, and keep minor regional friction points from exploding into major issues.
- Government and Political Science
- Humanities and History
- Military Forces and Organizations