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Foreign Military Culture White Paper

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Marine Corps Center for Advanced Operational Culture Learning Quantico United States

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Conducting missions with foreign militaries is challenging as differences in structure, language, culture, and equipment create friction points in an already complex operational environment. Even when two foreign militaries have similar structures, tactics, and materiel, many non-quantifiable, cultural elements such as morale, unit cohesion, and leadership affect how they act and interfere with understanding, cooperation and the ability to act jointly. This problem is greatly compounded when the foreign military is an actual or potential opponent, and direct observation of and interaction with that force as a means of understanding how it behaves is impossible. This publication will not attempt to answer the question of how these cultural elements influence the behavior of a foreign military. Instead it provides Marines with a foundation to help them understand the military culture of foreign countries. It also provides a common set of considerations and vocabulary in the exploration of military culture. This publication helps Marines create a mental map for navigating the complexities of a foreign military culture. Successfully constructed, this mental map should enable Marines to better understand foreign military organizations and their personnel and increase mission effectiveness.

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Technical Report




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Approved For Public Release;

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