Foreign Policy Research Institute A Nation Must Think Before it Acts Does Military Culture Matter?

Does Military Culture Matter?

History, with its grim landscape of defeated armies and shattered nations, would certainly suggest that military culture matters. But how and why that is so is not entirely clear. Unfortunately, historians have done little work on the subject, focusing for the most part on more immediate factors such as leadership, doctrine, or training to explain victory or defeat.l Even works specifically examining military effectiveness and innovation tend to discuss military culture as a tangential issue. ’ Yet, military culture may be the most important factor not only in military effectiveness, but also in the processes involved in military innovation, which is essential to preparing military organizations for the next war.

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