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The Changing Character of War$
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Hew Strachan and Sibylle Scheipers

Print publication date: 2011

Print ISBN-13: 9780199596737

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2015

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:osobl/9780199596737.001.0001

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American Strategic Culture

American Strategic Culture

Problems and Prospects

(p.431) 23 American Strategic Culture
The Changing Character of War

Antulio J. Echevarria II

Oxford University Press

This chapter examines the concept of American strategic culture and what is assumed to be its ‘subset and product’ — the American way of war. Scholars have yet to reach a consensus on a set of characteristics that define American strategic culture. One can, nonetheless, find traits repeated in the literature. These include a preference for fighting wars as battles; a fascination with technology, also known as technological romanticism; and casualty aversion. The chapter also considers another trait — the American penchant for theorizing when it comes to military affairs — which has been overlooked by scholars of American strategic culture.

Keywords:   war, American warfare, strategic culture, theorizing, military affairs, technological romanticism, casualty aversion

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