Cultural Intelligence for Winning the Peace

Are we engaged in a clash of civilizations? The answer is hardly simple: cultures interact daily, often to everyone's benefit, free of deadly conflagration, and American culture is in the ascendancy. But if the end of the Cold War led many to believe that "globalization" would be accompanied by greater toleration and harmony, 9/11 abruptly ended that delusion.

We soon realized that we must understand the effect of tradition, history, and ideas, especially in areas where Islamist radicals find fertile breeding ground. Superior military power may temporarily prevail against them, but we have learned, at considerable cost, that other militants all too soon take their place, skillfully taking advantage of vulnerable populations. To win the war against our tenacious and unrelenting enemies in the long run, we must take into account the cultural "human terrain" where they operate.

The essays in the new anthology, Cultural Intelligence for Winning the Peace, edited by Dr. Juliana Geran Pilon, address this challenge. They include: the military utility of understanding adversary culture; factoring in culture as we tackle the challenges of asymmetric conflict; the importance of avoiding a ‘cookie cutter' approach to disparate societies; the need to address the constantly changing nature of culture; the phenomenon of female suicide bombers; as well as on-the-job learning for information officers finding themselves ill-trained and under-prepared in Iraq and Afghanistan. And, finally, the need to incorporate cultural considerations in strategic communication, the critically important ingredient of the next - some have called it the fifth - generation of warfare, whose ultimate success is measured by an enduring rather than illusory peace.

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Table of Contents


1 - How Cultural Intelligence Matters
Juliana Geran Pilon

2 - War and the Clash of Ideas
Adda Bozeman

3 - Adda Bozeman and a Bygone Tradition in Foreign Affairs Analysis that Must Be Revived
John Lenczowski

4 - Culture Clash-ification: A Verse to Huntington's Curse
Frederick S. Tipson

5 - Hybrid Wars
Col. John J. McCuen, USA Ret.

6 - Avoiding a Napoleonic Ulcer: Bridging the Gap of Cultural Intelligence (Or, Have We Focused on the Wrong Transformation?)
Lt. Col. George W. Smith, Jr.

7 - The Military Utility of Understanding Adversary Culture
Montgomery McFate

8 - Center of Gravity and Asymmetric Conflict: Factoring In Culture
John W. Jandora

9 - Networds: Terra Incognita and the Case for Ethnographic Intelligence
Lt. Col. Fred Renzi, USA

10 - The Human Terrain System: A CORDS for the 21st Century
Jacob Kipp, Lester Grau, Karl Prinslow, and Capt. Dan Smith

11 - Avoiding the Cookie Cutter Approach to Culture: Lessons Learned from Operations in East Africa
Maj. Christopher H. Varhola, USAR and Lt. Col. Laura R. Varhola, USA

12 - On the Uses of Cultural Knowledge
Sheila Miyoshi Jager

13 - Female Suicide Bombers
Debra D. Zedalis

14 - The Decisive Weapon: The Brigade Combat Team Commander's Perspective on Information Operations
Brig. Gen. Ralph O. Baker, USA

15 - Humint-Centric Operations: Developing Actionable Intelligence in the Urban Counterinsurgency Environment
Brig. Gen. Ralph O. Baker, USA

16 - Transforming the Department of Defense Strategic Communications Strategy
Col. Gregory Julian, USA

17 - Islamism and Stratagem
John J. Dziak

18 - Fourth Generation Warfare Evolves, Fifth Emerges
Col. T.X. Hammes, USMC Ret.

19 - Wars of Ideas and the War of Ideas
Antulio J. Echevarria II