Army Chemical Review


Army Chemical Review presents professional information about Chemical Corps functions related to chemical, biological, radiological, nuclear, smoke, flame, and civil support operations.

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 45 of 67

effectiveness of coalitions during conficts. However, during recent conficts (such as the Gulf War and the wars in Bosnia, Afghanistan, and Iraq), signifcant collaboration among allied forces was required—and coalition warfare will likely continue to be the norm in the 21st century. Historical examples illustrate the importance of cooperation among militaries from different nations and societies. During World War I, a lack of cultural awareness and understanding in the German-Ottoman alliance severely weakened the coalition. The German military, staffed with a largely homogenous Prussian offcer corps with limited exposure to other people, alienated its Turkish allies through an attitude of cultural superiority and heavy-handed treatment. Kaiser Wilhelm II's misunderstanding of Islam led him to encourage the Turkish elite to call for a jihad 2 against Christians, with the goal of energizing the Ottoman war effort against France, Russia, and the United Kingdom. The declaration fell well short of achieving the intended effect and, instead, spurred massive religious persecution within the Ottoman Empire and atrocities against Christian Armenians and Syrians. This demonstrates that leaders should be aware of the risks in manipulating cultural sensitivities that they do not fully understand. On the other hand, the alliance between the United Kingdom and Japan during World War I is an example of a successful partnership based on shared cultural understanding. British military leaders, who had inherited a long tradition of cross-cultural communication due to their country's imperial experience, were well equipped to coordinate operations with their Japanese allies against German forces on the Shandong Peninsula in northeastern China in 1914. The Japanese commander, Lieutenant General Mitsuomi Kamio, spoke excellent English and closely cooperated with his British counterpart, Brigadier General Nathaniel Walter Barnardiston. Mutual respect at the highest levels produced good relations, which were especially important since British troops served under Japanese command. This confrms that, to understand foreign militaries, leaders must view them through the prisms of their own foreign cultures. The relationship between U.S. forces and the Chinese Nationalist Army during World War II serves as a case in point. Supplementing unit counts with extra ghost soldiers who did not actually exist, demanding kickbacks for services, and selling intelligence to the enemy were commonplace in the Chinese army. And these actions often undermined its combat performance. American offcers stationed in China were reluctant to give in to corruption, and they refused to play along. This led to a great deal of friction between the allies and, ultimately, to the failure to defeat the Imperial Japanese Army on the Asian mainland. Senior military offcials need to work with their foreign counterparts—not attempt to impose arbitrary orders. And the Gulf War proved that militaries of radically different cultures can work well together. The coalition commander, General Norman Schwarzkopf, diligently worked to comply with the cultural values of the Saudi Arabian hosts by ordering his troops to refrain from culturally offensive practices such as consuming alcohol or holding public religious services. The respect of the Americans for the cultural, ethnic, and racial differences of the Saudis went a long way toward limiting 44 potential sources of friction. For their part, the Saudis relaxed a few of their more stringent laws to accommodate the military needs of the coalition. For example, they allowed female Soldiers to drive military vehicles on Saudi roads. Military training and education also played a role in improving relations between the allies. The Saudi military commander, General Khalid bin Sultan, had attended the U.S. Army Air Defense Artillery School, the U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, and the U.S. Air Force Air War College. Culture helps explain the world view and motivations of potential adversaries. It is also undoubtedly a key determinant in the evolution of military affairs. It underpins the effectiveness of the military and its ability to create operational doctrine. Culture is also a major factor in managing relations between allies. During the two decades since the end of the Cold War, political and military leaders have ignored the impact of culture on military affairs, leading to negative results. In seeking the establishment of more security partnerships, the U.S. military should enhance the cultural education of its midgrade and senior leaders and take this intellectual capability into greater account when making promotion decisions. Benefts of Effective Chemical, Biological, Radiological, and Nuclear Security Environments There are several signifcant benefts to cultural improvements in the multilevel chemical, biological, radiological, and nuclear (CBRN) security environment. Regular Consultations and Sharing of Information and Intelligence The sharing of information among national authorities, partners, and international organizations, where appropriate, helps foster a common understanding of potential WMD proliferation threats from state and nonstate actors; encourages members, partners, and other nations to fully comply with arms control, disarmament, and nonproliferation obligations; and enhances the global response to WMD. This multiorganizational and intercultural dimension plays an important role in the effciency and effectiveness of WMD interventions. Signifcant problems in cooperation arose from cross-cultural differences between the Anglo-Dutch parties involved in the United Nations Peacekeeping Force in Cyprus in 1964 and between U.S.-Danish Stabilization Force in Bosnia participants in 1996. Likewise, tensions emerged between troops as a result of cross-cultural differences during the interactions of German, Danish, and Polish troops in two North Atlantic Treaty Organization institutions in Poland. It is evident that organizational culture is one of the key infuences in the quality of cross-cultural interaction. Safety and Security of CBRN Materials The presence of CBRN materials remains tentative in many parts of the world. In such threatening environments, multilevel security partnerships could explore means to complement existing bilateral, multilateral, and regional cooperative threat reduction programs to secure and reduce global stocks Army Chemical Review

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Army Chemical Review - SUMMER 2013