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Armed Conflict and International Humanitarianism - Essay Example

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Since world war two, there have been nearly sixty limited war conflicts which have required intervention from one or more of the global…
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Armed Conflict and International Humanitarianism
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Download file to see previous pages The intervention works with or without the use of force, with or without support from the local population and even with or without legal ambiguities. However, it is my firm belief that without a cultural understanding of conflict and the culture of the people involved in the conflict, no intervention or humanitarian action can be completely successful.
Since the age of traditional war as history has known it to be has more or less ended with the devastating terrorist attacks of 9/11, the war against terrorism has also created situations where humanitarian aid may be required after both the terrorists and the alliance forces have left the region (Akhavi, 2003). The case of Afghanistan is a prime example where humanitarian aid is desperately required after the country has seen both the ravages of the Taliban and the carpet bombers from America. However, the area still remains a conflict zone and must be treated as such.
This also means that conflict must be understood in a cultural context since the reaction, acceptance and acts performed in a conflict zone certainly change from culture to culture (Ehrenreich, 1998). A generation of Afghanis has grown up without knowing a place to call home and have lived with conflict as a part of their lives (Akhavi, 2003). On the other hand, a humanitarian aid worker from Denmark may have a completely different view about both war and humanitarian aid.
It has been accepted by both active soldiers and humanitarian workers that an understanding of culture is essential for conducting any operation in a given environment. However, the need for understanding culture and how the conflict is viewed in a cultural context is even more pressing when the humanitarian work has to be done in an area which is considered to be a combat zone. Moreover, the nature of humanitarian work has broadened enough to the point where the battle for ‘hearts and minds’ does not have to be fought by those wearing red ...Download file to see next pagesRead More
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