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Cultural Property Protection
Iraq Cultural Property Law, 2002
The Impact of War on Iraq's Cultural Heritage

Italian soldier standing atop the giant zigurrat at Ur, Dhi Qar province, southern Iraq. July 2004. Photo © Micah Garen. All rights reserved. 

"Before any conflict begins, civilian and military leaders must
understand the kind of war upon which they are engaged."

                                           — Clausewitz, On War (1832)

Any mistake or miscalculation in identifying the nature of the conflict or the terrain can damage or destroy cultural property.

Archaeological sites, religious and historical monuments, museums, libraries and the cultural property found at these sites must be safeguarded and protected. 

We demonstrate our respect for cultural property by adhering to the terms of The 1954 Hague Convention for the Protection of Cultural Property in the Event of Armed Conflict.

Safeguarding cultural property while in-theater is not only a legal obligation. It plays a vital role as a force multiplier — winning hearts and minds among local populations by sending the message that the U.S. military is the most respectful and professional fighting force in the world.

The doctrine, theory and techniques that enable U.S. forces to perform this important duty are discussed in this training module. The advice and information contained in these pages provide the basics of cultural property protection for personnel serving in the Iraq theater of operation.

Civil Affairs officers should continue to view "Civil Affairs, Monuments, and Archives, Guide," U.S. Army Publication GTA 41-01-002 (March, 2005) as their primary resource and consider this training module as a supplement or adjunct to their more specialized training.