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Cultural Perspectives

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Believe it or not, the United States military has been at war for almost 12 years straight. After a long and exhausting battle in Iraq we have unfortunately entered into conflict with rebels in Afghanistan. All of this fighting and time spent in theater has taught military members many lessons. Maybe the biggest lesson learned is that we need more cultural awareness among all branches of the military. In this paper we will analyze this cultural issue and how it affects the United States military along with the people of that country. We will also identify ethical perspectives in the organization and compare these ethical perspectives across cultures involved in military operations. The purpose of this essay is to identify the cultural issue and try to understand how cultural awareness can help the military as an organization. According to the United States Army, culture is a system of shared beliefs, values, customs and behaviors that members of a society use to contend with their world and with one another. It is believed by many military leaders that cultural awareness is the key to faster and more accurate decision making. On the belief that future wars will be similar to the last two we must spend more resources on getting to know the culture and the people that soldiers are interacting with everyday. For example, how would you react if you were walking down the street and someone sticks their middle finger up at you? Well for anyone used to American culture this would be derogatory. Now the same situation in a middle eastern country, such as Iraq, would not be the same reaction. You can see the challenge of knowing simple things such as cultural awareness and how culture can be used to anticipate enemy actions and choices in military operations. There are challenges in any new idea especially when you have a organization that is the size of the United States...

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