Translations of this item: Arabic-speaking armies have been generally ineffective in the modern era. Egyptian regular forces did poorly against Yemeni irregulars in the s. Why this unimpressive record? There are many factors—economic, ideological, technical—but perhaps the most important has to do with culture and certain societal attributes which inhibit Arabs from producing an effective military force.
It is a truism of military life that an army fights as it trains, and so I draw on my many years of firsthand observation of Arabs in training to draw conclusions about the ways in which they go into combat. The following impressions derive from personal experience with Arab military establishments in the capacity of U. Including culture in strategic assessments has a poor legacy, for it has often been spun from an ugly brew of ignorance, wishful thinking, and mythology.
As these examples suggest, when culture is considered in calculating the relative strengths and weaknesses of opposing forces, it tends to lead to wild distortions, especially when it is a matter of understanding why states unprepared for war enter into combat flushed with confidence.
The temptation is to impute cultural attributes to the enemy state that negate its superior numbers or weaponry. American strategists assumed that the pain threshold of the North Vietnamese approximated their own and that the air bombardment of the North would bring it to its knees. It is particularly dangerous to make facile assumptions about abilities in warfare based on past performance, for click here evolve and so does the military subculture with it.
The dismal French performance in the Franco-Prussian war led the German high command to an overly optimistic assessment prior to World War I. Culture is difficult to pin down. It is not synonymous with an individual's race nor ethnic identity. The history of warfare makes a mockery of attempts to assign rigid cultural attributes to individuals—as the military histories of the Ottoman and Roman empires illustrate.
These problems notwithstanding, culture does need to be taken into account. Essay On Why I Want To Join The Army, awareness Essay On Why I Want To Join The Army prior mistakes should make it possible to assess the role of cultural factors in warfare. John Keegan, the eminent historian of warfare, argues that culture is a prime determinant of the nature of warfare.
In contrast click the usual manner of European warfare which he terms "face to face," Keegan depicts the early Arab armies in the Islamic era as masters of evasion, delay, and indirection. Lawrence termed "winning wars without battles. It may well be that these seemingly permanent attributes result from a culture that engenders subtlety, indirection, and dissimulation in personal relationships.
Along these lines, Kenneth Pollack concludes his exhaustive study of Arab military effectiveness by noting that "certain patterns of behavior fostered by the dominant Arab culture were the most important factors contributing to the limited military effectiveness of Arab armies and air forces from to The barrage of criticism leveled at Samuel Huntington's notion of a "clash of civilizations" 17 in no way lessens the vital point he made—that however much the grouping of peoples by religion and culture rather than political or economic divisions offends academics who propound a world defined by class, race, and gender, it is a reality, one not diminished by modern communications.
But how does one integrate the study of culture into military training? At present, it has hardly any role. Belbutowski, a scholar and former member of the U.
Delta Force, succinctly stated a deficiency in our own military education system: The Vietnamese communists did not fight the war the United States had trained for, nor did the Chechens and Afghans http://agnix.info/edu-help/top-presentation-proofreading-website-gb.php the war the Russians prepared for.
This entails far more than simply retooling weaponry and retraining soldiers. It requires an understanding of the enemy's cultural mythology, history, attitude toward time, etc. Mindful of walking through a minefield of past errors and present cultural sensibilities, I offer some assessments of the role of culture in the military training of Arabic-speaking officers.
I confine myself principally to training for two reasons. First, I observed much training but only one combat campaign the Jordanian Army against the Palestine Liberation Organization in Secondly, armies fight as they train. Troops are conditioned by peacetime habits, policies, and procedures; they do not undergo a sudden metamorphosis that transforms civilians in uniform into warriors. In every society information is a means of making a living or wielding power, but Arabs husband information and hold it especially tightly.
Having learned to perform some complicated procedure, an Arab technician knows that Essay On Why I Want To Join The Army is invaluable so long as he is the only one in a unit to have that knowledge; once he dispenses it to others he no longer is the only font of knowledge and his power dissipates.
This explains the commonplace hoarding of manuals, books, training pamphlets, and other training or logistics literature. On one occasion, an American mobile training team working with armor in Egypt at long last received the operators' manuals that had laboriously been translated into Arabic. The American trainers took the newly-minted manuals straight to the tank park and distributed them to the tank crews. Essay On Why I Want To Join The Army behind them, the company commander, a graduate of the armor school at Fort Knox and specialized courses at the Aberdeen Proving Grounds ordnance school, collected the manuals from the crews.
Questioned why he did this, the commander said that there was no point in giving them to the drivers because enlisted men could not read. In point of fact, he did not want enlisted men to have an independent source of knowledge. Being the only person who can explain the fire control instrumentation or boresight artillery weapons brings prestige and attention.
We provide excellent essay writing service 24/7. Enjoy proficient essay writing and custom writing services provided by professional academic writers. Why Arabs Lose Wars. by Norvell B. De Atkine Middle East Quarterly December agnix.info May (This essay was originally published in Hackers & Painters.) If you wanted to get rich, how would you do it? I think your best bet would be to start or join. Essays - largest database of quality sample essays and research papers on Why I Want To Become A Nurse. Applying to college and trying to find all the correct essay prompts? Search for your school’s prompts in our database and easily find the prompts and CollegeVine.
In military terms this means that very little cross-training is accomplished and that, for instance in a tank crew, the gunners, loaders, and drivers might be proficient in their jobs but are not prepared to fill in for a casualty. Not understanding one another's jobs also inhibits a smoothly functioning crew. At a higher level it means there is no depth in technical proficiency. Training tends to be unimaginative, cut and dried, and not challenging. Because the Arab educational system is predicated on rote memorization, officers have a phenomenal ability to commit vast amounts of knowledge to memory.
The learning system tends to consist of on-high lectures, with students taking voluminous notes and being examined on what they were told. It also has interesting implications for foreign instructors; for example, his credibility is diminished if he must resort to a book.
The emphasis on memorization has a price, and that is in diminished ability to reason or engage in analysis based upon general principles. Thinking outside the box is not encouraged; doing so in public can damage a career. Instructors are not challenged and neither, in the end, are students.
Head-to-head competition among individuals is generally avoided, at least openly, for it means that someone wins and someone else loses, with the loser humiliated.
This read more has particular import when a class contains mixed ranks. Education is in good part sought as a matter of personal prestige, so Arabs in U. Often this leads to "sharing answers" in class—often in a rather overt manner or junior officers concealing scores higher than their superior's. American military instructors dealing with Middle Eastern students learn to ensure that, before directing any question to a student in a classroom situation, particularly if he is an officer, the student does possess the correct answer.
If this is not assured, the officer will feel he has been set up for public humiliation. Furthermore, in the often-paranoid environment of Arab political culture, he will believe this setup to have been purposeful.
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This student will then become an enemy of the instructor and his classmates will become apprehensive about their also being singled out for humiliation—and learning becomes impossible.
Arab junior officers are well trained on the technical aspects of their weapons and tactical know-how, but not in leadership, a subject given little attention. For example, visit web page General Sa'd ash-Shazli, the Egyptian chief of staff, noted in his assessment of the army he inherited prior to the war, they were not trained to seize the initiative or volunteer original concepts or new ideas.
This problem results from two main factors: Most Arab officers treat enlisted soldiers like sub-humans. When the winds in Egypt one day carried biting sand particles from the desert during a demonstration for visiting U.
The idea of taking care of one's men is found only among the most elite units in the Egyptian military. On a typical weekend, officers in units stationed outside Cairo will get in their cars and drive off to their homes, leaving the enlisted men to fend for themselves by trekking across the desert to a highway and flagging down busses or trucks to get to the Cairo rail system.
Garrison cantonments have no amenities for soldiers. The same situation, in various degrees, exists elsewhere in the Arabic-speaking countries—less so in Jordan, even more so in Iraq and Syria. The young draftees who make up the bulk of the Egyptian army hate military service for good reason and will do almost anything, including self-mutilation, to avoid it. In Syria the wealthy buy exemptions or, failing that, are assigned to noncombatant organizations.
As a young Syrian told me, his musical skills came from his assignment to a Syrian army band where he learned Essay On Waste Treatment play an instrument. In general, the militaries of the Fertile Crescent enforce discipline by fear; in countries where a tribal system still is in force, such as Saudi Arabia, the innate egalitarianism of the society mitigates against fear as the prime motivator, so a general lack of discipline pervades.
The social and professional gap between officers and enlisted men is present in all armies, but in the United States and other Western forces, the noncommissioned officer NCO corps bridges it.
Indeed, a professional NCO corps has been critical for the American military to work at its best; as the primary trainers in a professional army, NCOs are critical to training programs and to the enlisted men's sense of unit esprit. Most of the Arab world either has no NCO corps or it is non-functional, severely handicapping the military's effectiveness. With some Essay On Why I Want To Join The Army, NCOs are considered in the same low category as enlisted men and so do not serve as a bridge between enlisted men and Essay On Why I Want To Join The Army.
Officers instruct but the wide social gap between enlisted man and officer tends to make the learning process perfunctory, formalized, and ineffective. The show-and-tell aspects of training are frequently missing because officers refuse to get their hands dirty and prefer to ignore the more practical aspects of their subject matter, believing this below their social station.
A dramatic example of this occurred during the Gulf war when a severe windstorm blew down the tents of Iraqi officer prisoners of war. For three days they stayed in the wind and rain rather than be observed by enlisted prisoners in a nearby camp working with their hands. The military price for this is very high.
Without the cohesion supplied by NCOs, units tend to disintegrate in the stress of combat. This is primarily a function of the fact that the enlisted soldiers simply do not trust their officers. Once officers depart the training areas, training begins to fall apart as soldiers begin drifting off.
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An Egyptian officer once explained to me that the Egyptian army's catastrophic defeat in resulted from a lack of cohesion within units. The situation, he said, had only marginally improved in Iraqi prisoners in showed a remarkable fear and enmity toward their officers.
Decisions are made and delivered from on high, with very little lateral communication. This leads to a highly centralized system, with authority hardly ever delegated. Rarely does an officer make a critical decision on his own; instead, he prefers the safe course of being identified as industrious, intelligent, loyal—and compliant. Bringing attention to oneself as an innovator or someone prone to make unilateral decisions is a recipe for trouble. As in civilian life, conformism is the overwhelming societal norm; the nail that stands up gets hammered down.
Orders and information flow from top to bottom; they are not to be reinterpreted, amended, or modified in any way. This author has several times seen decisions that could have been made at the battalion level concerning such matters as class meeting times and locations requiring approval from the ministry of defense. All of which has led American trainers to develop a rule of thumb: