Religion: A Missing Component of Professional Military Education   [open pdf - 3MB]

"In this paper, I propose that the study of religion, as a principle of PSO [Peace and Stability Operations], be included in PME [Professional Military Education] at the tactical, operational, and strategic levels. The near complete absence of religion as a core academic subject in PME curricula is shortsighted and ignores the growing presence of religion, and its potential as a driver of peace as well as violence. Post-9/11, a substantial degree of focus has landed on the divisive aspects of religion, ignoring the many potentially positive roles religion and religious actors can play in PSO. Clearly, individuals can cynically employ religion to advance their political, economic, and social goals. Others have focused on the disruptive and conflict-ridden aspects of religion. It is not my goal to contribute to the narrative that calls for non-engagement with religion. I suggest just the opposite. Though the points I make in this paper can be applied at all PME levels, I will restrict the focus of my paper to the need for correcting the failure to teach about the role of religion in society, including in conflict, in-depth, at the strategic and operational levels. […] Throughout I discuss the enduring global presence of religion, address religion as an aspect of military tactical, operational, and strategic thinking, examine the presence and depth of religion-centered instruction in PME, and lastly make recommendations for expanding the study of religion in PME."

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U.S. Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute: http://pksoi.army.mil/
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