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Neither Pigs Nor Parrots: A Military Culture That Can Win the Peace

Author(s): Close, Ryan

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Abstract: As ongoing operations in Iraq illustrate, the nature of warfare is changing: peacekeeping and warfighting are converging as the space between military and humanitarian activity erodes. Because of the vastly different challenges of fighting wars and handling post-conflict challenges, militaries traditionally train soldiers to be either warriors or peacekeepers. This new type of conflict, however, requires soldiers who are both of these simultaneously. Unfortunately, current organizational culture – focused almost entirely on combat – may prevent the ideological shift within the military that is necessary for molding a new soldier identity. This article addresses this challenge and proposes policy measures that would help transform military culture and better match combat prowess with broad intellectual, political, and social vision. To this end, this article considers how the security environment is evolving, examines how such an environment will severely stress the U.S. military, and offers recommendations for cultural change that concern force structure, operational planning, and the selection, training, and promotion of soldiers.
Publication Date: 2007
Type of Material: Journal Article
Journal/Proceeding Title: Journal of Public and International Affairs
Version: Final published version. Article is made available in OAR by the publisher's permission or policy.

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