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Culture, Conflict, and Counterinsurgency$
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Thomas H. Johnson and Barry Zellen

Print publication date: 2014

Print ISBN-13: 9780804785952

Published to Stanford Scholarship Online: September 2014

DOI: 10.11126/stanford/9780804785952.001.0001

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(p.1) Introduction
Culture, Conflict, and Counterinsurgency

Thomas H. Johnson

Barry Scott Zellen

Stanford University Press

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?

Keywords:   culture, culture and conflict, cultural understanding, cultural data, counterinsurgency, cultural information, cultural intelligence, cultural coding, shura, pashtunwali

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