The militarism of US foreign policy makes analyzing and understanding conflict an imperative part of any reform effort. But bad analysis is rampant. Here are some ways to recognize it.
I do appreciate this piece and I broadly agree. I want to second "the need to study history, memory, geography, politics, religion, ideology, ethnicity, etc." (I would emphatically add "political economy" to your list) as a first order requirement of analysis. But I would add that one needs a lens through which to make sense of those units of analysis and their intersections with each other. For me, the one that makes the most sense of the world around me is a Marxist lens that accounts for (1) the hegemonic global system of meaning-making and political economy that is capitalism, (2) the violent regime of state-based colonialism (historically) and corporate and/or state-based neocolonialism that is required to entrench the hegemony of our political economy, and (3) the actual material impacts and impacts of socially-constructed meaning of those first two things on the lived experiences and interactions of individual people, families, communities, organizations, and governments around the world.
I'm curious if you see this lens as reductionist or essentialist or ideological and, if so, what you would change about it.
Great article and I appreciate the author's note