American Exceptionalism and Cross-Cultural Communications

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The study of American exceptionalism and cross-cultural communications has the ability to improve U.S. military effectiveness in USPACOM. Understanding these two cultural principles will improve effectiveness in three ways. First, it allows USPACOM personnel to understand their biases. Second, it gives USPACOM personnel a perspective on how nations in their area of responsibility may potentially view their actions. Finally, cross-cultural communications provides tools for USPACOM personnel to overcome their biases and skepticism from potential partners or adversaries, setting the stage for more effective military engagements. The importance of understanding these two cultural elements will magnify in the future due to the pending shift of United States foreign policy focus to the Asia-Pacific region. Complicating this shift is the complexity of the operating environment. The USPACOM area of responsibility encompasses about half the earth’s surface. Such a large area makes USPACOM a cornucopia of cultural, social, economic, and geo-political diversity. According to USPACOM, their area of responsibility is comprised of 36 nations containing more than 50% of the world’s population and three thousand different languages. These 36 nations vary widely in both economic and military power and religious practices. Given the vastness of the Asia-Pacific region, the United States built a strategy centered on building partnerships in the region. The National Security Strategy outlines the strategy stating, the U.S. will advance its interest “through our alliances, deepen our relationships with emerging powers, and pursue a stronger role in the region’s multilateral architecture.” As a key instrument of U.S. foreign policy, the... ... middle of paper ... ...ercultural Competence, ed. D. Deardorff (Thousand Oaks, CA: Sage, 2009), pp. 123-131. Ceaser, James. W. “The Origins and Character of American Exceptionalism,” American Political Thought 1, no. 1 (2012): pp. 4-10. Cole, Juan, “Anti-Americanism: It’s the Policies,” American Historical Review (October 2006): pp. 1124. The National Security Strategy. Washington, D.C.: The White House, May 2010, pp. 42-43 Peterson, Brooks, Cultural Intelligence: A Guide to Working with People from Other Cultures, (Boston: Intercultural Press, 2004) pp. 108-109. USPACOM Facts, available at http://www.pacom.mil/about-uspacom/facts.shtml USPACOM Strategy, available at http://www.pacom.mil/about-uspacom/2013-uspacom-strategy.shtml Zinni, Tony and Koltz, Tony., The Battle for Peace: A Frontline Vision of America’s Power and Purpose (New York: Palgrave Macmillan Ltd., 2006), pp. 4-6.

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