Through the Lens of Cultural Awareness: A Primer for US Armed Forces Deploying to Arab and Middle Eastern Countries

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9780160774669: Through the Lens of Cultural Awareness: A Primer for US Armed Forces Deploying to Arab and Middle Eastern Countries

One of the distinguishing characteristics of the Long War, as the Global War on Terrorism is now known, is the cultural environment in which it is being fought. In truth, however, the US Army has routinely operated in unfamiliar cultural environments throughout its long history. The conditions in the Middle East today may be the most difficult in a very long time, and the Army is making tremendous efforts to become more effective. Among the key points the author makes in this study is the need for leaders to understand how culture affects military operations. This study goes beyond our normal practice of offering insights from the past as it offers specific policy prescriptions for tomorrow. LTC Wunderle briefly touches on some of the historical roots of Iraqi and Middle Eastern culture, but he focuses primarily on cultural conditions in Iraq today. He also presents ideas for modifying a number of the US Army’s military decisionmaking processes and training programs

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About the Author:

LTC William D. Wunderle is currently serving in the Joint Strategic Plans and Policy Directorate (J5) on the Joint Staff as a Political Military Planner with responsibility for Iran, Syria, Lebanon, and the Palestinian Authority. Prior assignments include Senior Army Fellow at the RAND Corporation; principal US advisor to the Saudi Arabian Ministry of Defense and Aviation Joint Staff; Chief of Plans, Operations Officer, and infantry company commander with the 82d Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina; and Chief of Strategic Plans for US Army South and J3, Joint Security Brigade, Operation Safe Haven. Wunderle served as a consultant for the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Technologies Enhanced Learning Environments with the Creative Technologies (ELECT) project—a PC-based, bilateral contact-training module that allows US Army leaders to plan and conduct a series of bilateral meetings. Wunderle is a nonresident associate at Georgetown’s Institute for the Study of Diplomacy and an adjunct instructor for the University of Maryland University College.

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