Military operations have taken place since time in human history. These operations take place within a given jurisdiction and without. These operations are under the government sponsorship or by the international agencies. There are so many reasons for military operations depending on the depending on the people concerned. Military operations are complex and affected by various factors. Discussed in this work are issues on culture and military operations. The paper evaluates the influence of groups such as government funded, non-governmental, international agencies and civilian groups. The work also mentions the influence of language, religion among other thing that challenges multicultural military operations. The conclusion gives the overview of the work.
Over the decades, there have been the increased military operations in the international scene. These operations do not just happen; they face many challenges including cultural diversity of military and the host country. For example, we have the famous NATO operations that take place time and then in different parts of the world. The group deployed comes from different cultural back grounds both in military, and their social back ground. The group comprises of member from different nations, and they operate in a different nation. In this case, the group faces the real issues of multicultural. These operations aim at either peace keeping or just conflict of interests.
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In a multicultural operation, there are various groups, which portray cultural diversity. They are the main concerns in any operations. There are different military groups, political functions, regional parties, governments, and non governmental organization. These groups have their own cultural believes and practices that in one way or the other affects military operations.
The armed forces usually consist of groupings such as Army, Navy, Air Force, and Border Control among others. These groups have their own culture, training and terms of operations (House et al, 2004). During the time of military operation, the diversified groups come together for the purpose. There is usual the need to have the group integrated in order to achieve the objective required. Each of the group has its own equipment and style of operation.
Another cultural issue surrounds the government owned or sponsored groups and agencies (House et al, 2004). These groups may comprise agencies such as United Nation agencies, National Health Departments, Energy Control Agencies, human rights agencies and intelligence Agencies among others. Each group has its own objectives, means of operation policies, agenda and ideas. These aspects make them have different cultural characteristics. They have different views about the operation, and they cannot be ignored by the operation planners. Before the military mission begins, it is immensely beneficial to involve them as much as possible. They can be involved in the planning process. This gives them a chance to incorporate their objectives and work hand in hand with the operation.
Non governmental organizations have their take in the cultural diversity in any military operation. They do not represent any group, government or a state (House et al, 2004). They have significant influence in the society, and there fore, they cannot be ignored. Examples of this category of the organization include Doctors Without Borders, Amnesty International, Red Cross and Green Peace among others. Their objectives, mission and operational structures, are worth to be considered by any military operation planner. Most of these groups advocates for more of humanitarian means than the brutal military operation (Studer, 2001). Some times it is difficult to incorporate them in the planning process. Some comes out where the operation has started the military officers are on the ground executing their duties. In this case, the military commandants should arrange meetings with these groups as they come up. It calls for compromise and flexibility for the two groups to come into a mutual agreement. This reduces any mistrust and stereotypes between the opposing sides making the mission a success.
Civilian population has particularly significant cultural implications in military operations. It is the largest group and usually possesses the most diverse cultural values. This group is the most affected group and reacts to military operations in diverse directions. It is the most influential group as most of military operations assume to be for protecting and supporting the group. The cultural diversity of this group affects the military operations substantially (Studer, 2001). Some cultural practices do not support the use of military operations, while other will react negatively. Other groups will try to fight back in the name of protecting their culture and natural nature of their land. Before any military operation starts, there is the need to involve this group in order to be sure they are going to support the operation.
In any military operation, especially international the organizers should respect the culture of the host nation. The armed military men and women should recognize the cultural and social organization of the people and the region of operation. They must be ready to learn how the social systems and the value accorded by the people. The exposure is hugely significant to ensure cultural respect is the order of every day for the whole operation period.
International military operation faces several challenges as a result of cultural diversity. Some of these challenges are natural while others are artificial. These include language, religion, national interest of the participating nations, delays due to decision by compromising each party. Differences in national cultures such as history, food habits, and chain of command among others also form part of cultural issues affecting military operations.
Language is tremendously significant as the means of communication. Armed forces from international organizations such as NATO come from different languages dominated nations. This may sometimes bring about poor communication and lack of proper coordination of the officers involved. The grounds of operation or the nation where the operation is taking place have their own language as a means of communication. Some of the personnel should know or can learn within the shortest time possible the national language used by people. They need to be trained in at least the basic language requirement.
Religion is an extremely fundamental aspect in cultural practices. The religious practices affect military operation in various aspects. The armed forced deployed should try as much as possible to respect the religious practices of the nation and the people where they operate. Any indication of religious intimidation has caused a lot of default on the receiving end. For example, when USA attacked Iraq it termed to be a war against Muslims which resulted into jihad- war. The military personnel should be trained or undergo several lectures in order to appreciate and respect the religious believes and practices of the people where they operate.
In conclusion, military operation in a multicultural environment is more than weapons, military and physical strengths. Efforts should be made to incorporate cultural considerations during planning and execution of the operation. The agencies and organizations operating on the ground of military operation should be incorporated as much as possible. Issues of language, religion, and other cultural diversity should be a key consideration of any military operation.