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0000328 - 106 Ryan Close 5 Neither Pigs Nor Parrots a...

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Ryan Close 5 Ryan Close is a Master of Public Affairs candidate at Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs ([email protected]). N EITHER P IGS NOR P ARROTS : A M ILITARY C ULTURE THAT C AN W IN THE P EACE Ryan Close As ongoing operations in Iraq illustrate, the nature of warfare is changing: peacekeeping and warfighting are converging as the space between military and humanitarian activity erodes. Because of the vastly different challenges of fighting wars and handling post-conflict challenges, militaries traditionally train soldiers to be either warriors or peacekeepers. This new type of conflict, however, requires soldiers who are both of these simultaneously. Unfortunately, current organizational culture – focused almost entirely on combat – may prevent the ideo- logical shift within the military that is necessary for molding a new soldier identity. This article addresses this challenge and proposes policy measures that would help transform military culture and better match combat prowess with broad intellectual, political, and social vision. To this end, this article considers how the security environment is evolving, examines how such an environment will severely stress the U.S. military, and of- fers recommendations for cultural change that concern force structure, operational planning, and the selection, training, and promotion of soldiers. I NTRODUCTION The United States military needs a new organizational culture. Though appropriate for winning the nation’s wars, the current culture is much less capable of securing the other objective so important in modern conflict:
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107 Neither Pigs nor Parrots: A Military Culture that Can Win the Peace winning the peace. Despite battlefield success in the conventional phase of its invasion of Iraq, the U.S. is now barely keeping the lid on an ethnic civil war that threatens to boil over. The heart of the problem is that this struggle defies any purely military solution. Instead, Operation Iraqi Free- dom necessitates simultaneous proficiency in the most challenging tasks of both warfighting and peacekeeping: defeating a dangerous enemy while concurrently responding to the human dramas inherent in governing a nation, winning hearts and minds, and protecting a society. This war may be a harbinger of changes to come in the global security environment – an environment where combat and peace support operations are virtually indistinguishable. History and current events, however, suggest that warriors are not good at peacekeeping and peacekeepers are not good at war. 1 A clash of warfight- ing imperatives and post-conflict norms creates cultural confusion within militaries – a problem that often forces these militaries to focus on either combat or peacekeeping, but not both (Franke 1999). This confusion emerges, most obviously, because these two broad types of missions represent diametrically opposed challenges: in simplest terms, one requires soldiers to instinctively shoot, and the other to avoid shooting. Charles Dobbie,
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