American Culture, Military Services' Cultures and Military Strategy   [open pdf - 4MB]

From the thesis abstract: "The knowledge of one's culture is critical for success in statecraft and strategy. Yet, perhaps because it is so pervasive, the influence of one's own culture on strategy, defense preparation, and the conduct of war tends to escape notice. The influence of American culture on strategy, however, does not escape the notice of America's potential enemies. This thesis explores the American approach to strategy from a cultural perspective. It examines characteristics of American culture and the cultures of the four U.S. military services, which influence the U.S. strategy-making process. It explains how these characteristics formed and how they might influence American strategy. Unlike traditional explanations of the U.S. military cultures, such as Carl Builder's The Masks of War, this analysis examines the services' cultures from a more operational perspective. This thesis emphasizes the role the services' respective operating environments play in shaping their divergent perspectives on strategy, joint command structures, and doctrine. Cultural self-knowledge allows American strategists to recognize when aspects of American culture and the cultures of the services make some strategies possible, desirable, or unimaginable. It allows American strategists to recognize when political leaders goals and the services' strategies may be poorly matched."

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Naval Postgraduate School, Dudley Knox Library: http://www.nps.edu/Library/index.aspx
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