Globalization heightens the need for cross-cultural understanding and commmunications for people around the world, regardless of their profession. However, nowhere is this need more critical than in our military and their efforts overseas. The potential for cross-cultural incidents to escalate into international-level consequences threatens U.S. security interests and personnel at home and abroad. Our peacekeeping and stability operations in the most fragile regions of the world place unprecedented demands on personnel. Beyond equipping our men and women in uniform militarily - with the latest weaponry and technology - we must equip our troops with the equally essential tool of cross-cultural competence. Such competence enables effective interactions with people who are culturally and fundamentally different from ourselves, including the Afghans and other Middle Eastern cultures. Only when our military have effectively trained Afghan security forces to assume responsibility for stabilizing their own country can all our troops return home safely.