Cultural Awareness in Military Intervention

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“Revenge was also held of more account than self-preservation.” -- Thucydides, The Peloponnesian War The United States (US) must realize cultural awareness across the operational environment in Iraq in order to solidify regional security and further American interests in the Middle East. Ethnicity is a critical contextual factor in Iraq which is contributing to the great difficulties in the nation’s socio-cultural and political situation and directly impacting the outcome of the United States’ military and diplomatic initiatives we have undertaken. The long-term viability of Iraq as a country and regional power depends on the separate ethnicities within the country being able to forge an Iraqi nation. This paper will begin by giving a brief overview of the major ethnic groups within Iraq, analyze how these groups affect the socio-cultural and political situation in Iraq and finally go on to cover the specific military and diplomatic initiatives the US has been implementing and how the different ethnic groups are each influencing their outcome. Any discussion concerning ethnic groups situated within the borders of Iraq must first begin with an overview of the major parties which play various roles within the GoI. Beginning with the largest ethnic group, the Iraqi Arabs constitute about 75-80% of the total population. The lives of this group of people are heavily influenced by their religion, with the vast majority being Muslim, following either Shi’a or Sunni Islam. The next largest ethnic group in Iraq is the Kurds who make up approximately 15-20% of Iraq’s total population. They are non-Arabic and related to Persians but see themselves as a distinctive cultural group composed primarily... ... middle of paper ... ...o-cultural and political situation may have a severe impact on the US’ military and diplomatic initiatives we have undertaken in order to obtain key strategic goals in Iraq and the Middle East. If the people of Iraq have any hope of establishing a lasting nation that will be a major player on the world stage they must unify Iraq under one government. I began this paper with a brief overview of the major ethnic groups within Iraq, I then analyzed how these groups affect the socio-cultural and political situation in Iraq and finally covered the specific military and diplomatic initiatives the US has been implementing and how ethnicity is influencing these actions. Iraq was once the seat of a major world power and it has the potential to be a powerful nation again, the question is will the separate ethnic groups within Iraq ban together to form a unified Iraq.

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