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Strategic Culture-Bangladesh Perspective

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1. A nation exists to lead the way of better living. Strategic Culture (SC) of a nation generates strength that shows the path of prosperity. It is the attitude of a nation in conduct with the others. A nation, big or small, offers many positive attitudes and conducts which are admired, nurtured and cherished by others. It is good for any nation to have the SC articulated, even more imp is to prac and fol them appr.

2. In search of prosperity and accomplishment, nations maintain rich SC. The good, the bad and the odds of the society usually come out from it. If the internal environment of a country is good and if there is maturity in politics, the SC becomes sustainable. While if the internal environment of the country ebbs and flows, the SC shows up accordingly. Born in 1971, BD is yet to define its SC. It has something to offer and many things to be derived from the others. From that perspective, this paper will first define the subj, then disc the SC of a small nation. Then the paper will try to accumulate the SC that BD demo so far and suggest some cultures to be articulated.
3. The aim of this paper is to articulate the SC for Bangladesh.
Definition of SC
4. SC has been defined in different ways. Colin S. Gray defined it as “… consists of the socially constructed and transmitted assumptions, habits of mind, traditions and preferred methods of operation—that is behavior—that are more or less specific to a particular geography based security community”[1]. In other words, it is the sum total of ideas, emotional responses, and patterns of behavior that members of a strat community have acquire and share with each other.
5. SC refers to thoughts, modes and actions based on the perception of national historic experiences. It incl the beliefs and assumptions that frame decisions in interstate relations - to make alliance, to go to war, to be expansionist or to usher the concept of mutual development. SC provides the society with the will and ability for a full and effective use of power.

6. SC draws inputs from different sources. According to Sean M. Lynn-Jones, there are three levels of inputs into a state's SC:

a. Macro-Environmental Level. It consists of geography, ethno-cultural characteristics and history.

b. Societal Level. It consists of social, economic, and political structures of a society.

c. Micro Level. It consists of mil institutions and characteristics of civil-mil relations.

A Glimpse of the SC of Different Countries
7. SC of Different Countries. To form a clear idea on the subj, study on different countries SC is done. A summary on the SC of different countries is att as Anx A. In the field of ldrship and dev of the statehood, Israel is one of the finest countries in the world. It’s a very small state but has strong SC- the country may be one of the most hated one but may be studied for getting insight on its SC. Hence the SC of Israel is projected here.

8. SC of Israel. Some[2] of the articulated Israeli SC are as fol:

a. Jews require a national homeland. That homeland is their ancestral Israel.

b. Israel must be actively defended by all the resources the state can bring to bear. c. As its resources are limited and it lacks strat depth, Israel must rely on deterrence, backed by a rapid mobilization.

d. To hedge against conventional mil defeat, international isolation, and attack with weapons of mass destruction (WMD), Israel must have its own WMD.

e. The capability of WMD should remain officially unacknowledged for as long as possible.

9. Stability of Politics in Israel. Through the ages, Israeli people maint their SC. Change of the governments never derailed Israel from its policies. Such is the str of their SC and such is required from all the nations.
SC of BD
10. Unstructured SC of BD. BD had the opportunity to signal its progressive cultures in the 1970s. It demo some of the finest cultures, but did not sustain. Details on the SC of BD is att as Anx B. Some of the good cultures as demo by BD time to time are as fol: a. ‘Friendship to all but malice to none’ gives an image of Bangladesh as a peace loving and forward looking country as it is. b. BD is a ‘multicultural and tolerant society’ having strong sense of pluralism that people of Bangladesh live together in peace. c. ‘Bangladesh’s commitment to the world peace’ is an imp culture that makes BD an adorable country in all spheres. d. The initiation of SAARC by BD demonstrates its vision in mutual development and that it respects all others rights. e. Management of different issues after the LW indicates that BD can reconcile and prosper. f. BD is progressive moderate Muslim country and demo its strong desire and ability to change in the traditional religious mindset.
11. Impediments. Domestic cultures shape the strat behaviours. BD had a good start in the strat arena but failed to accelerate, rather faltered in subsequent steps. Some of the weaknesses of BD society iro SC are as fol: a. Deviation from the fundamental values of the constitution and the LW. b. Failure of ldrship to bear the secular ideology. c. Bangladesh political society has been fragile and spine less. It automatically adopted the pseudo-monarchy. d. Politics of opposing the opposition persists in BD. Politicians do not carry the good efforts of the opposing political leaders because of Alal-Dulal phenomenon[3]. e. Lack of patriotism among the members of the society is vivid. There is a lack of indoctrination among the people about the sense of ‘Bangladesh is above all else’.
Proposed SC of Bangladesh
12. Pursuance of rich SC would strengthen BD as a nation in the world. Fol are some of the SC that BD may articulate, fol and nurture: a. BD society is based on the peoples will[4]. Population is the source of everything for which BD sustains. Nation pays due attention to the human lives especially for its citizens and does everything poss for impv the qual of their lives. b. Country is above all else. All citizens have the duty and resp[5] of doing well for the country from respective posns. c. BD respects the right of other state and at the same time remains assertive about own. To that end, BD treats its neighbours as the obvious friends and maint friendship with its neighours in real sense. It will remain a country-friends to all and malice to none[6]. d. BD is cmt to international peace[7]. It respects the regional mutual development[8]. It believes in building a safe world; free from poverty, hunger and restlessness. e. BD remains as a moderate Muslim country and has a multi-cultural, multi-religious tolerant society[9]. It will modernize the society upholding its socio-religious cultures. f. BD mil will fol a def strat of deterrence[10] to maint sovereignty and terr integrity. Mil will only be used to sp world peace under an international body. g. BD ldrship is cmt to maint strat obj as set by the nation and the people for maint peace, stability and harmony in the world.

13. Country’s strat behavior may not be responsive to others' choices. It is based on states internal arrangements and external behaviors. A nation’s best step in foreign relation is to have rich SC, emanated from the society through the vision of ldrship. But due to the inability and shortsightedness of ldrship, BD could not cement its posn in the world and is falling behind in strat relations. BD may form a people centric, nation based SC which respects social values and international peace, use mil force for self-def and for the asst of human kind.

14. SC is not a matter of conceptual discourse per se; it is a political tool of the state. BD’s SC has not yet got due attention. Its political ldrship needs to pay more attention and vision on the long term well-being of the state. As the political ldrship remains engaged in power politics, it would be the duty of the intelligentsia to provide the framework of SC of BD. From that perspective, this paper may be a humble beginning in defining SC for BD.


A. SC of Some Countries.
B. Details on the SC of BD.

[1] Colin S. Gray, Modern Strategy, p. 28.

[2] Gregory F. Giles, Continuity and change in israel’s SC, February 18, 2002.
[3] Alal- Dulal phenomenon is a traditional satirist aspect in the society that, what one does the other to do the opposite without any rationale.
[4] Taken from the spirit of the Preface of BD constitution.
[5] Taken from the spirit of Article 21 of BD Constitution.
[6] Taken from the Speech (…‘Friendship to all but malice to none’) of Bangabandhu Sheikh Mojibur Rahman in the UNGA in 1974.
[7] Taken from the spirit of Article 25 of BD Constitution.
[8] BD initiated the SAARC in 1985, which demo its desire for mutual dev.
[9] Taken from the spirit of Article 2A of BD Constitution.
[10] This is to come from the core value of the society and from the teachings of Quran Sura no 8 (Anfal) Ayat 60.…...

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