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Strategic Culture of United States

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Authors: Junaid R. Soomro and Nadia Shaheen

Strategic culture provides the analytical lens through which to understand of view the communities fundamental the international predicaments and the inspirations of the state activities. Strategic culture is an elementary attempt to assimilate cultural considerations, cumulative historic remembrances and their influences in the analysis of state security policies and national interest.  Strategic culture of the nations flows from its geography and resources, history and experience and society and political structure. It represents the approach that a given state has found successful in the past.

Although not unable to change, it tends to evolve slowly. It is no coincidence for example: Britain has historically favored  sea  power  and  indirect  strategies and  eschewed  traditional maintenance of large country. Israel, despite lacking geographic depth has small but educated population and technological skills which have produced a strategic culture that emphasizes the strategic preemption, offensive operations increasing and initiated advanced technology. Australia’s minimal geographical status, its continental rather than maritime identity, its formative military experiences have shaped its way to war. These case studies examine the US’s strategic culture.

United state is the world’s powerful nation so, it is essential for friends, enemies and neutrals to understand its strategic culture. American strategic culture emphasizes liberalism, idealism and views war as a discontinuation of policy. The way of war of USA is through direct strategies which include an industrial approach to war, fire power and technology intense approaches to combat. If we determine who is the transmitter of strategic culture either state or military. In USA, Army is the institution of strategic culture.

Geography and history has shaped the American National strategic culture. USA did not have to exhaust itself by preparing for and waging war against its neighbors separated it from other countries particularly, the European great powers. American strategic culture was shaped by long periods of peace during conflicts around the world, the Civil War, World War I, and World War II – defined as struggle of good versus evil.

United States has always enjoyed free security because of its insular position and weak neighbors. It is shielded by the Atlantic and Pacific Ocean. “Anxieties about security have kept the growth of optimism within bounds among other peoples…the relative absence of such anxieties in the past has helped, along with other factors, to make optimism a national philosophy in America.” American strategic culture explicitly rejects the European tradition of power politics. Rather, from the founding Americans have seen themselves as exceptional.  This exceptionalism has influenced the way the United States deals with others. Thus, these are the basis on which they have formed their national strategic culture.

America has full military strategic structure. Military culture is only constant in USA’s policy makings. Fire power has been the most unique approach for combating which USA followed since American Civil war. Most common characteristics of the American way of war include extreme aggressiveness, quest of decisive battle and deployment of maximum efforts to defeat the enemy. It had throughout the history has perused much wider range strategies U.S. military, led by Army Chief of Staff George C. Marshall, sought to concentrate forces for a cross-channel invasion at the earliest possible time.

Lippmann observed, American strategic culture “does not recognize that America is one nation among many other nations with whom it must deal as rivals, as allies, as partners.” Rather, “an aggression is an armed rebellion against the universal and eternal principles of the world society. No war can end rightly, therefore, except by the unconditional surrender of the aggressor nation and by the overthrow and transformation of its political regime.”

The impulse to transform the international system in the service of liberal democratic ideals forms a thread that runs throughout American history.  The Clinton administration’s national security strategy of engagement and enlargement  and the George W.  Bush administration’s commitment to spreading democracy, expressed most powerfully in his second speech have been common in their strategic planning.

Europeans were more of Realistic views and found individualism as danger during Cold war era. George Kennan on American diplomacy in 1950 explained that American approach international relations is depicted in its legalism and moralism.

In 1936, America believed that, strategy and policy both are different. Strategy takes place where policy ends. Hence, American’s have always thought astrategically.  The combination of the rejection of power politics and discontinuity between policy and strategy has strengthened the American strategic culture. The United States has thus displayed a strong and long-standing predilection for waging war for unlimited political aims. If there was no intervention of civilians during Vietnam War America would not have defeated. The United States is thus fortunate to have in its war on terror an adversary such as Osama bin Laden, an individual who viscerally hates the United States and all it stands for.

Service strategic Culture

Service cultures are hard to change because they are the product of the acculturation of   millions of service members over decades and are supported by a network of social and professional incentives.  Service training and education strengthens the identity of nation. People join the Army, Navy, Air Force, and Marine Corps, not “the military” in the abstract. After the passage of the Goldwater-Nichols Act, the view has got lot fame as it promoted jointness and officer’s service affiliation more than rank, age or combat experience.

An example taken of the way in which service culture manifests itself is in attitudes toward technology. Not all elements of the U.S. military are equally reliant on technology. Because war at sea and in the air is by definition technologically intensive, the Navy and Air Force have tended to emphasize the role of technology in war.  The Army and Marine Corps, by contrast, have tended to emphasize the human element.

The services also vary in terms of their structure and dominant groups. The Marine Corps and Air  Force  are  “monarchical,”  with  powerful  service  chiefs  drawn  from  a  single  dominant subgroup, whereas the Army and Navy are “feudal,” with less powerful chiefs drawn from a variety of subgroups.

The USA’s marine corps is unitary but a monarchial organization. All of its services are cohesive. The 20th century witnessed the Navy’s evolution from a monarchical to a feudal organization. At the dawn of the 20th century, navies were synonymous with surface fleets. During the 20th century, however, the development of naval aviation and submarine forces changed the structure of the Navy fundamentally. Whereas, the Army has tended to assimilate new ways of war into existing branches, the Navy responded to the advent of aircraft and submarines by adding new branches and career paths. As a result, the dominant communities  in the Navy are surface, submarine, and aviation. These three branches collectively control the Navy: Of the last ten Chiefs of Naval Operations, four have been aviators, three surface warfare officers, and three submariners. The Air Force had its origins in, and continues to be defined by, the technology of manned flight.

The  Air  Force  is  divided  into  pilots  and  non-pilots  and  between  different  communities  of pilots. Even though combat pilots make up less than one-fifth of the Air Force, they are the ones who have dominated the service since its inception.59 From 1947 to 1982, the Air Force Chief of Staff was always a bomber pilot; since 1982, the Air Force Chief of Staff has always been a fighter pilot.

Strategic culture indicates that how nations see and identifies their priorities, interest and most pressing threats and how countries give chooses to use its elements of national power, whether state would use “soft power” such as diplomacy and economic influences or it would use “hard power” likewise military power. Strategic culture mostly represents the national border culture. American strategic culture in Syria and Afghanistan is inextricably led to quagmires and jabbing US towards a simply Military centric goals. It is American strategic culture to give prefer military solution to complex problems because US know that it has a military superiority to any adversary and military power seems to offer the potential for beneficial outcomes. US always adopted intricated challenges as a war not because that is a better tactic, but they are good at war. So, we can say that military- centralism is a fundament element of US strategic culture.

But in Afghanistan and Syrian complicated crisis demonstrated that conflicts are not always resolvable by the limited armed forces or may be not resolvable under the current scenario. Therefore, US anticipate believing that if they use instrument of military centric strategy that would work. US strategic culture is also infused with the comprehensive dose of maximalism. US always give prefer to do best efforts to gain biggest outcome or big-win.

In Afghanistan US was goal to top the Taliban government that has been hideout for the Al- Qaida and avert the country to become the hub of international terrorism and the strategic objective was to establish US-backed democratic government, and that is remain today goal. In Syrian issue US aim was to prevent to Islamic State to establish self-proclaim Caliphate that might  be  become  sanctuary of  international  terrorism.  From  the  years,  US  military-centric strategy went virtually unchallenged.

Conclusion: The  enduring  features  of American  strategic  culture,  military culture,  and  the organizational culture of the U.S. armed services have thus influenced how the United States has approached nuclear weapons. As a result, American strategic culture has been dominated by continuity rather than change. Six decades after the advent of the nuclear age, what is notable is the limited enduring impact of nuclear weapons on the way the U.S. military conceives of war.

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Why is Sweden still on standby to join NATO ?

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Image credit: NATO

Russia’s unprovoked war against Ukraine undermines European security order, specifically the Nordic states. Growing security threats galvanised Sweden and Finland, historically nonaligned states to join NATO. Strong Defensive alliance is need of hour for both states. Therefore Finland and Sweden handed over their NATO applications on May 18 2022. Finland’s membership gets ratifies by member states of NATO where Sweden still waits in queue for its accession. This article will explore the reasons for putting Sweden on Stand-by at this belligerent stage.

Sweden had an official non alignment policy. Sweden’s non-alignment policy refers to its stance of neutrality in international conflicts and its refusal to align itself with any military alliance. The policy was officially adopted in 1953, during the Cold War, and has been a cornerstone of Swedish foreign policy ever since. Under this policy, Sweden has refused to join military alliances such as NATO, although it has cooperated with NATO on some issues. Instead, Sweden has sought to maintain good relations with all countries and to act as a mediator in international conflicts. Sweden’s non-alignment policy has allowed it to maintain a high degree of independence in its foreign policy, and has helped to establish the country’s reputation as a neutral and peaceful nation. It has also enabled Sweden to pursue an active role in international diplomacy and conflict resolution.

 But World political dynamics took a swift shift after Russia Ukraine war which increased security threat from Russian side towards. To strengthen itself militarily and on mass demand from nation Sweden ends 200 years of militarily neutrality and seeks to join NATO in May 2022.

Finland and Sweden applied for membership together and Finland gets accession on April 4 2023, becoming 31stmember of NATO. Where Sweden’s path to NATO remains blocked by Turkey and Hungary. Turkey has dragged its heel over Sweden claiming that Sweden doesn’t take turkey’s security concerns seriously. Moreover, Turkey also holds Stockholm responsible for harbouring militant group, The Kurdistan Workers Party (PKK), also known as Kongra Gel, is a militant Marxist-Leninist separatist group, exercising armed insurgency against Turkey for years. On Contrary, Sweden denies these allegations.

Moreover,  in recent weeks Turkey Objected on certain hate crimes in Stockholm. Most condemned incident was burning of Holy Quran near Turkish embassy in Sweden. This blasphemous act was done by Far-right politician and anti-Islam provocateur Rasmus Paludan, a Danish-Swedish national, with a reputation for carrying out similar acts. On this heinous incident, Turkish President Erdoğan responded,

Those who allow such blasphemy in front of our embassy can no longer expect our support for their Nato membership,” Turkey’s president, Recep Tayyip Erdoğan,

Another incident which angered Turkey was hanged effigy of Erdoğan in protests across Sweden, which further fuelled the contention between Ankara and Stockholm. These events definitely deepened standoff with Turkey over Sweden’s bid to join NATO.

By providing strong military alliance NATO also expects a high economic and military contributions from its member states. As a NATO member, Sweden will be expected to provide staff to NATO’s political and military structures. Moreover, Sweden will be expected to contribute approximately SEK 600–700 million per year to NATO’s common budget. It is also the stated target that the organisation’s members commit a minimum of 2 per cent of GDP to defence spending, in accordance with NATO’s Defence Investment Pledge that was adopted at NATO’s Wales Summit in 2014. Sweden continues to invest in defence and will reach NATO’s current level of 2 per cent of GDP by 2026. NATO members also aim to allocate at least 20 per cent of defence spending for defence material and research and development.

Sweden’s accession to NATO can be worthwhile for NATO itself Because Sweden is important to NATO’S defence of Baltics. Swedish cooperation with the Alliance would make protecting the Baltics easier and thereby strengthen NATO’s security guarantee to its member countries. That, in turn, would improve NATO’s ability to deter Russian aggression in the region.

Analysts suggest that hurdles in Sweden’s path to Nato could have been lifted if Turkey general election could go in favour of opposition party.  Since president Erdoğan is considered a sole hurdle in Sweden’s ratification. If the main opposition Republican People’s Party (CHP) and Kilicdaroglu had won, the new Turkish administration would have likely revised some of Erdogan’s more contentious and confrontational foreign policy positions. In that context, a smarter approach by Stockholm and more flexibility from Ankara could lead to Sweden becoming the 32nd member of NATO. Therefore  general elections of Turkey is not only shaping the future of Turks  but for NATO as well.

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Rising Powers in the Asia-Pacific: Implications for Global Stability



For a long time, the Asia-Pacific region has been the epicentre of rising economic growth and strategic influence, gradually changing the dynamics of world power. Because of the rapid rise of China and India, the increasing influence of ASEAN, and the steady comebacks of Japan and South Korea, its significance has only increased in the twenty-first century. Given the ongoing challenges to the traditional dominance of Western powers, this shifting environment raises intriguing questions about the future of global stability.

The rise of China stands out as the most significant factor in this dynamic. China’s phenomenal economic growth, along with its more assertive foreign policy and military modernization, have propelled it to the forefront of the global stage since the economic reform policies of the late 1970s. The Belt and Road Initiative, companies like Alibaba, and military actions in the South China Sea are just a few of the ways it is increasingly challenging the US-led international order. Due to its second-largest economy, China’s actions and policies have a significant impact on the stability of the world.

Despite lagging behind China, India is another growing Asian power that has started on a path of significant economic expansion. It has the potential to play a significant role in the region due to its distinct demographic dividend, IT industry, and geostrategic location. However, it problems a insufficiency in infrastructure, social inequality, and enduring poverty hinder its potential and raise the level of complexity in the power dynamics of the area.

In the midst of this power shift, Japan and South Korea, two countries that are already major global players, have been rearranging their positions. The balance of power in the region is greatly influenced by their advanced economies, sizable military capabilities, and strategic alliances with the US. A crucial role in the region is also played by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN). A seat at the table for shaping the future of the region has been secured for ASEAN despite its diversity and disparities thanks to its prominence in regional diplomatic structures like the East Asia Summit and the ASEAN Regional Forum.

Additionally crucial to this shifting dynamic are the Pacific powers, particularly the US and Australia. While the US remains the most powerful country on the planet, it must deal with these new regional forces, necessitating a reevaluation of its Asia-Pacific strategy. Australia’s position has changed as well as a result of its efforts to strike a balance between its regional economic interests and its long-standing alliances. The effects of these changing power dynamics on world stability are significant. First, there is a chance that a power vacuum in the area could cause unrest and possible conflict. This is amply demonstrated by the South China Sea dispute, in which numerous nations are asserting territorial claims and frequently supporting them with military showdowns.

Second, the spread of power might also create more significant opportunities for cooperation and multilateralism. However, much of this depends on these countries’ ability to manage disagreements and rivalries as well as build inclusive and effective regional institutions. Thirdly, these changes might result in new economic structures that reshape international economic relationships and structures. The Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership (RCEP), a free trade agreement involving 15 countries in the Asia-Pacific, is a good illustration of this. Last but not least, the changes in power may significantly affect international institutions and norms. As Asia-Pacific nations gain power, they may try to change international institutions so that they better represent their interests.

The main worry, however, is that these changes could result in more tensions and conflicts as countries with various political ideologies and systems compete for influence. For instance, the rivalry between the US and China goes beyond merely a contest of political and economic power. Several things are essential to preserving global stability in the midst of these shifting power dynamics. First and foremost, it is essential to promote a cooperative regional order based on mutual respect and gain. Second, preventing the escalation of regional disputes into conflict requires ensuring that they are settled peacefully in accordance with international law. Third, safeguarding and bolstering regional and international institutions will be essential for preserving stability and offering forums for communication and cooperation.

In conclusion, it is undeniable that the power dynamics in the Asia-Pacific are shifting. For the stability of the world, this evolution poses both danger and promise. How well we navigate this shifting landscape, handle potential conflicts, and seize opportunities for cooperation will determine whether the world can continue to be peaceful and stable.

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Beyond the Battlefield

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Since the beginning of time, wars and conflicts have been an inextricable part of human history. As such, they have developed in lockstep with the complex interactions between social, political, and technological changes that have shaped our world. Warfare’s methods and goals have undergone a significant metamorphosis, moving from crude and simple engagements to ones that are sophisticated and complex. Armed conflicts have expanded to take on global proportions with the advent of destructive world wars, and are no longer restricted to simple tribal or regional skirmishes. In addition to transcending their religious roots, these conflicts are now driven by nationalistic imperatives, giving rise to wars with geopolitical goals.

However, in the fierce race to reach the pinnacle of technological achievement with the introduction of a revolutionary artificial intelligence-powered search engine, issues of veracity and the widespread dissemination of false information are the most crucial issues of our time. These worries are well-founded because the consequences of a poorly functioning search engine could distort reality, worsen the already virulent spread of false information, and cause irreparable harm to the fabric of truth.

Additionally, warfare has changed from being characterized by linear battles to being characterized by maneuver warfare, placing greater emphasis on flexibility, agility, and strategic maneuvering. Armed engagements have evolved from primitive first-generation manifestations to the complex dynamics of fourth-generation warfare. They now involve a variety of unconventional tactics such as asymmetric tactics, psychological operations, and information warfare. Thus, in order to successfully navigate the complexity of the modern battlefield, this evolution calls for both a thorough understanding of the many facets of modern warfare and the adoption of adaptive strategies.

Simultaneously, the concept of fifth-generation warfare, also known as hybrid warfare, denotes a paradigm shift in contemporary military tactics, where the importance of cultural warfare, information warfare, and unconventional methods surpasses the conventional use of brute force on the battlefield, as seen in third- and fourth-generation warfare. India is said to be using 5th-generation warfare strategies against Pakistan to sow seeds of enmity and spread false information in an effort to block Pakistan’s progress. Moreover, India is using all of its resources to undermine Pakistani society in a number of different domains. Pakistan to modernize its weaponry and armed forces given the strategic landscape of South Asia, which is becoming more complex and volatile, especially given India’s use of fifth-generation warfare against Pakistan.

Relatedly, information warfare has undeniably grown significantly important in the effort to effectively project Pakistan’s narrative both domestically and internationally. A well-calibrated national response reinforced by a clearly defined foreign policy is required in light of the double-edged nature of fifth-generation warfare. Modern times see a rapid spread of irregular wars across the spectrum of conflict, amid intensifying great power competition, as the nature of warfare changes continuously.

Modern warfare has undergone a sea change as a result of the advancement of information technology, which makes it easier for nontraditional actors like violent extremist groups to communicate. We find ourselves ensconced in a world permeated by high tension, accompanied by a flood of tweets, ranging from the tumultuous battlefields in Ukraine to a pernicious terrorist attack on mass transit inside the borders of the United States. Our insatiable appetite for knowledge is driven by a desire to protect our safety, show compassion for those who are suffering, or see wrongdoers brought to justice. Despite our desire for knowledge, we must maintain an appropriate level of skepticism toward the sources that provide it. After all, we are living in a time that is frequently referred to as the “golden age of fake news.

Today’s conflicts are largely not fought between nation-states and their armies; instead, they are increasingly fought with the mighty arsenal of words rather than with traditional weapons. In recent years, policy discussions, popular discourse, and academic analyses have given priority to a particular breed of weaponry: “fake news” and viral disinformation. In reality, disinformation used in warfare in the digital age may not differ much from other forms of warfare; after all, wars are fought to establish power, with some reaping financial rewards while the most vulnerable suffer the most.

The problem of fake news has gotten worse since the Internet and social networks were invented. The conventional news model, which involved a small number of media outlets run by experienced journalists who interviewed reliable sources and meticulously verified the information before it was published, has been overturned by the current media environment. Today, there are numerous channels, a never-ending stream of messages, and an environment where contradictory information is frequently overlooked that all contribute to the relative ease with which conspiracy theories and rumors can spread. The temptation to cling to a simpler fiction rather than taking on the laborious task of dissecting a more complex reality grows as we are frequently presented with contradictory messages.

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