The ongoing presence of U.S. and NATO military, security and aid organizations within Afghanistan underscored the need for greater cross-cultural understanding and improved communication across the stake holding cultures.
Much of the recent literature on the work of U.S. personnel within Afghanistan considers the positive impact that genuine cultural competency can have on state-building and infrastructure improvement efforts (Andersen & Kooij, 2007; Barakat & Wardell, 2002; Dupree, 2002; McNerney, 2005-2006; Thompson, Adams, Taylor & Sartori, 2007). A critical element of these efforts is the development of effective translation and accurate cultural mediation (Norton & Kamal, 2003; Ross, 2008). These various forces shaped the lived experience of the participants of the study are among the many causes which may have led them to decide to become a translator and cultural mediator between Afghan society and those of the U.S. and its NATO allies.
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