On the Uses of Cultural Knowledge


Culture has become something of a buzz word among America’s military leaders. Faced with an brutal civil war and insurgency in Iraq, the many complex political and social issues confronted by U.S. military commanders on the ground have given rise to a new awareness that a cultural understanding of an adversary society is imperative if counterinsurgency is to succeed.

Dr. Sheila Miyoshi Jager, author of this new study, explores the role that cultural knowledge must play in thinking about a new strategy for counterinsurgency. Although the importance of cultural awareness and understanding of adversary societies has been widely recognized as essential to operations and tactics on the battlefield, its significance has been largely ignored in formulating the broader strategic goals of counterinsurgency.

The author highlights the importance of culture, and cultural awareness, in formulating a broad strategy for counterinsurgency which also has wide-ranging implication for U.S. foreign policy.


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