Strategic culture refers to the collective beliefs, values, and assumptions that shape a country’s approach to national security and foreign policy. It is a set of norms and practices that guide a country’s strategic behavior in the international arena. The concept of strategic culture is useful for understanding why countries make certain decisions and how they interact with other states.
Pakistan’s strategic culture is shaped by a range of internal and external factors, including its history, geography, religion, and military. The following are some of the major determinants of Pakistan’s strategic culture:
- Historical Legacy: Pakistan’s history as a nation-state is shaped by its separation from India in 1947, which resulted in a bloody partition and the displacement of millions of people. This experience has left a deep imprint on Pakistan’s national identity and its approach to security.
- Geographic Location: Pakistan is situated at the crossroads of South Asia, Central Asia, and the Middle East, which makes it a strategic location for trade and commerce. However, it also makes Pakistan vulnerable to regional conflicts and external influence.
- Religion: Pakistan is a predominantly Muslim country, and Islam has played an important role in shaping its national identity and foreign policy. Pakistan’s leaders often invoke Islamic ideology to legitimize their policies and rally public support.
- Military: Pakistan’s military has played a dominant role in the country’s politics and national security. The military has often been seen as the defender of Pakistan’s sovereignty and has shaped the country’s strategic culture through its influence on policy-making.
- External Threats: Pakistan faces a range of external threats, including tensions with India over the disputed region of Kashmir, instability in neighboring Afghanistan, and the influence of global powers like the United States and China. These threats have shaped Pakistan’s strategic culture by emphasizing the need for security and regional influence.
In conclusion, Pakistan’s strategic culture is shaped by a complex set of historical, geographic, religious, and military factors. Understanding these determinants is essential for analyzing Pakistan’s foreign policy and security objectives.