Air Command and Staff College Maxwell Air Force Base United States
Negotiating across cultures can be very challenging. In fact, there are many different definitions for culture itself. For the purpose of this paper, the definition of culture is the shared values and beliefs of a group of people. Different cultures fall along a scale from low context to high context based on five main factors. Those factors are power distance index, individualism, masculinity, uncertainty avoidance, and view of time. Adding a military context to cultural negotiations only makes the negotiations even more complex. United States US military airmen are responsible for coordinating many different tasks with allied partners. Two major tasks that involve allied negotiations are ground support and airspace usage. These two issues can be highly contentious and they have led to numerous problems for airmen. First, this paper further defines the five main factors of high and low context cultures, and uses these factors to define the US culture in general. Next, this paper examines how US airmen can more successfully negotiate airspace and ground support with its allies by looking at four different partners Germany, France, Japan, and Iraq which span the low to high contextual cultural scale.