Integrating Language and Culture
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Integrating Language and Culture

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Deborah M. Ellis
246x189x4 mm

Foreign language proficiency and cultural understanding are and will remain critical skills for United States Army personnel. The Department of Defense (DoD) has recognized the importance of foreign language skills to national security. Future conflicts will be asymmetrical with more ethnic and religious issues as the source of conflict. An understanding of language and culture is just as important as understanding the enemy order of battle. However, accurately anticipating future linguist requirements is a formidable task. This monograph determines whether or not the United States Army has sufficient foreign language and culture skills to meet its requirements. If not, this paper will offer possible solutions to the problem and recommendations as to what changes can be made to ensure that the Army continues to produce personnel capable of responding to the threats facing the nation. The thesis is that an understanding of language and culture are an integral part of military operations. Because language is a subset of culture, acquiring a foreign language means that a knowledge of culture is acquired at the same time. The Army must sustain an adequate corps of language trained and regionally oriented personnel in order to remain prepared to face the threats of the COE (Contemporary Operating Environment).

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