Examining the impact of strategic culture on the conception and operation of human ability in war and strategy
The study of human ability in relation to war and the strategic craft is an area of research that is characterised by multiple perspectives and disparate concepts that are all products of their original strategic environment and world context. While consideration of these perspectives is important and informs debate, a critical lens is lacking and few attempts have been made at exploring this topic in a deeper manner. This thesis aims to fill this gap within the literature by examining the potential ways in which strategic culture and the broader cultural context that each strategic canon is situated within, impacts the conception and operation of human ability in war and strategy. This study addresses the central research question in two main ways: firstly, it explores the impact of strategic culture on conceptions of human ability through the medium of strategic theory. Secondly, it assesses the impact of strategic culture on the operation of human ability through ethical and psychological factors alongside conceptions of strategic effectiveness. The thesis finds that not only does strategic culture impact the conception and operation of human ability in war and strategy, but also that conceptions of human ability within different strategic contexts are distinct and that the term human ability is perhaps a more apt and accurate way of framing such conceptions of strategic acumen.