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Understanding Afghan Culture

Newsletter 12-18
September 2012

CALL Newsletter 12-18: Understanding Afghan Culture

Table of Contents


This newsletter contains a collection of previously published articles that focus on Afghan culture and provides insight into effectively communicating with Afghans in order to achieve positive results. More specifically, the articles contained in this newsletter highlight methods to initiate and improve relationships with Afghans, the difficulties and challenges leaders and Soldiers experienced in communicating with Afghans, what worked and did not work, and how to foster and improve meaningful relationships with Afghans to achieve the desired outcome.

The articles in this newsletter cover a range of topics centered on developing an ability to quickly and accurately comprehend Afghan culture, then appropriately and effectively engaging Afghans (Individuals, groups, tribes, organizations, and military) to achieve the desired effect, despite not having an in-depth understanding of the Afghan culture.

The specific intent of the newsletter is to provide a situational awareness of some aspects of the Afghan culture and best practices and lessons learned to facilitate improved relationships with Afghans in mitigating challenges to achieve desired results. The articles should not be considered as all-inclusive. More specifically, this newsletter is an effort to capture thought provoking articles published in recent professional journals to inform leaders and Soldiers on relevant Afghan culture observations, insights, and lessons to improve situational awareness and understanding when interacting with Afghans.

In many instances, the ideas presented in these articles are personal opinion, and in some cases, not approved Army doctrine. The recommendations in these articles should always be validated with the latest approved Army and joint doctrine.

The Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) acknowledges and thanks the professional journals and authors who permitted the reprinting of these articles.

CALL editors note: Minor modifications to format were made by CALL editors to support the CALL newsletter format and in some instances pictures that were not referenced in the narrative were deleted to save space. Additionally, biographies were eliminated to avoid release of personal information.

Download CALL 12-18 Newsletter [PDF]

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