Viewing Coalition Leadership Through a Cultural Lens

  • Colonel Thomas E. Munsey

Coalitions have proven effective political and military instruments often adding to the legitimacy of military operations. Coalitions have not replaced traditional alliances; but they do have the ability to build upon partner capabilities, particularly regional capabilities as the U.S. increases its engagement in regions in which it has not operated extensively since the beginning of the War on Terror. Much of the work and study on coalition warfare has been in the technical arena to include creating and developing systems and networks that enable multinational communications and ease of information flow. An understanding of the social and cognitive dimensions across cultures is required to effectively lead multinational coalitions and the political purpose of military engagements. The Army should adopt the Cultural Lens Model as a framework for identifying cognitive differences among coalition partners to enable the effective application of coalition military capacity.