The Concept of Strategic Culture: Caveat Emptor

  • Jack Snyder


The most sophisticated American thinking about national security, derived in the 1960s from abstract game theory by Thomas Schelling, has proceeded from the assumption that there is a single, universal strategic rationality, which will be adopted by ‘any player who had his wits about him’. During the arms control heyday after the signing of SALT I, a vulgar version of that assumption held that Soviet strategic thought lagged behind the thinking of American strategists, but that this gap could be erased by using arms control negotiations to educate the Soviets. Then, the Soviet Union would come to share such American ideas as ‘killing weapons is bad, killing people is good’.1


Political Culture Cultural Explanation International Security Military Strategy Caveat Emptor 
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Copyright information

© Carl G. Jacobsen 1990

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  • Jack Snyder

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