The examination of wars and conflicts of the twenty-first century immediately draws one to the culture and sectarian dimensions of a conflict. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California convened cultural experts, anthropologists, government officials, and strategic analysts to discuss the impact culture has on both conflict behavior and counterinsurgency environments. A number of the study participants have agreed to share their ideas and insights on the nexus of culture, conflict, and counterinsurgency. The scholars reflect on the following fundamental questions; where and how is culture important in a national security and foreign policy context? Is cultural understanding important, or is it merely a fad? What constitutes cultural data? What frameworks should be used to analyze culture? What are the challenges of cultural data collection and application?
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