Culture for Violence: The Strategic Impact of the Olmsted Scholar Program   [open pdf - 1MB]

From the thesis abstract: "In 1959, Major General George Olmsted (USA, ret) founded the Olmsted Scholar Program. Olmsted's goal was to create a cadre of warrior-statesmen who were equipped, through cultural immersion, with language and cultural skills and a uniquely broad perspective. As the underwriter of the current world order, the United States faces an engagement imperative, one which requires its military to engage with partners and adversaries alike. In view of this, the Thesis examines the strategic value of the Olmsted Scholar Program. Building on Stephen Rosen's theory of military innovation, the Thesis shows that the military service branches value Olmsted Scholars, though to varying degrees, for their language and cultural skills. Interviews with retired and active senior military officers reveal that participation in the Olmsted Scholar Program imbues Scholars not only with language and cultural skills, but also with valuable cognitive skills. Though several areas require further research, the Thesis finds that the Olmsted Scholar Program provides strategic value to the US military and the United States."

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