Training Humans for the Human Domain
ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLE BARRACKS PA STRATEGIC STUDIES INSTITUTE
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This monograph offers an outline for educating U.S. and allied service personnel in fundamental human domain skills and argues against their being overlooked in favor of technical solutions. Experience from Afghanistan and Iraq has demonstrated the vital nature of understanding human terrain, with conclusions relevant far beyond counterinsurgency operations in the Islamic world. Any situation where adversary actions are described as irrational demonstrates a fundamental failure in understanding the human dimension of the conflict. It follows that where states and their leaders act in a manner that in the United States is perceived as irrational, this too betrays a lack of human knowledge. The monograph highlights specific elements of psychology, theology, anthropology, sociology, and linguistics as key requirements for the understanding of human terrain, which is necessary for avoiding mirroring projecting Western assumptions onto a non-Western actor and therefore failing correctly to assess the options available to that actor. The monograph argues for stronger Red Team input into planning and decisionmaking. These Red Teams need to be equipped with expert levels of knowledge of all the social sciences discussed as applied to their target subject in order to provide reliable and well-founded simulations of adversary decision processes. But over and above this, familiarity with the same principles should be far more widespread both among junior military personnel engaged in any kind of interaction with human allies or adversaries, and among the senior audience assimilating Red Team input into planning. This is because this input will by its very nature be counterintuitive for individuals not specializing in the region concerned. Commanders will receive advice that appears to make no sense, in isolation from their other data streams and apparently contradicting them.
- Sociology and Law
- Military Forces and Organizations