SMART POWER: U.S. Military Seeks to Avoid Costly Cultural Misunderstandings

September 28, 2012 at 11:20 am 2 comments

Know Your Enemies — and Your Friends

(U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Jonathan Lovelady)

The U.S. military has been trying to improve cultural sensitivity with classes, training programs, video simulations and rules of conduct to help its troops operate in a foreign environment. In an era of asymmetric warfare – where the enemy may be a small guerrilla band or a criminal network – an armed force can no longer ignore where they are fighting and the society occupying the battlespace space.

The alternative could lead to blunders  like the burning of Korans by clueless U.S. troops in Afghanistan.

The process of studying not only your enemy and his tactics but the people around him who could give him shelter or turn him in to the authorities is a big part of the discipline known as human geography. It is cultural awareness – how to avoid social gaffes or breaking taboos – raised to a critical level for intelligence gathering and tactical decision making.

To read more of this story, click here.

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Entry filed under: Afghanistan, Asia-Pacific, Counter Insurgency, Counter Terrorism, International Crime, Iraq, Lessons Learned, National Security and Defense, Skills and Training, Special Operations, Technology. Tags: , , , , , , .

THIS WEEK in the War of 1812 (Sept. 23-Sept. 29) FRIDAY FOTO (September 28, 2012)

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