Author(s)Edwards, Jr, James M.
Contributor(s)NAVAL WAR COLL NEWPORT RI JOINT MILITARY OPERATIONS DEPT
KeywordsSociology and Law
Humanities and History
MILITARY FORCES(UNITED STATES)
CENTER OF GRAVITY
PRISONERS OF WAR
*WINNING HEARTS AND MINDS
LAW OF WAR
CONDUCT OF WARFARE
ISLAMIC INTERNATIONAL LAW
UNIVERSAL ISLAMIC DECLARATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
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AbstractThe United States has been involved in a counterinsurgency effort in Iraq since the summer of 2003. Winning the hearts and minds of the people is crucial for the Task Force Commander. The popular support of the Iraqis is the operational center of gravity of the insurgency. To attack the center of gravity, the commander needs to communicate to the Iraqi people in a way that resonates with Islamic culture. Whether it is considered operational fires using Psychological Operations or Information Operations makes little difference if the popular support of the Iraqis can be gained. As long as the center of gravity is attacked making full use of Islamic culture and tradition, popular support for the insurgents can be undermined. To accomplish this, Islamic teachings -- especially as they apply to warfare -- need to be understood. Commanders should understand concepts of warfare within Islamic tradition, and be able to identify similarities and differences compared to the way Americans carry out military operations. Rules of Engagement (ROE), actions taken in accordance with the Law of War, and even the rationale for taking action can all be framed in terms that achieve U.S. operational and strategic objectives, but still reflect Islamic values and culture.
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