Military Cross-Cultural Competence: Core Concepts and Individual Development

Militaries—at least those of industrialised countries—are quite adept at generating a limited amount of procedural and declarative knowledge about other cultures when they deem it valuable in achieving operational success. This often takes the forms of pre-deployment briefings, awareness training, pocket references (i.e., “smart cards”), etc. These efforts have demonstrated generally positive results (along with some inevitable but unanticipated negative consequences) by facilitating mission accomplishment and reducing suffering, injury, and death of both combatants and civilians.  Nevertheless, these efforts are generally narrow, superficial, short-term responses to pressing needs.