“The Importance of Cultural Knowledge for today’s Warrior-Diplomats”

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Cultural Awareness Army

In conducting the Global War on Terrorism (GWOT), working with coalition partners and projecting influence worldwide, the Armed Forces of the United States (U.S.) will continue to be sent to the far corners of the earth to perform wide-ranging missions such as stability operations, nation building, peace-keeping duties, and humanitarian assistance. These types of operations all require competencies far beyond traditional war-fighting skills. All leaders in the military, whether at the tactical, operational, or strategic level, need training, education, and new skill sets as they function as “warrior-diplomats.” If cultural knowledge is critical for U.S. armed forces to both defeat adversaries and work successfully with allies, what is and can be done by the United States Army to address this shortcoming?

This paper will first show how a lack of cultural knowledge has hindered U.S. military and diplomatic efforts, then identify
gaps in the current Army structure in providing cultural knowledge, and next review historical examples of the value of cultural knowledge in military operations. Following a survey of training programs currently implemented in the Army, the paper will conclude with recommendations to develop and employ a more culturally adept force.

Read more >  Lieutenant Colonel Carolyn F. Kleinerkk

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