Develop Cross-Cultural Competence
By Lieutenant Commander John F. Bradford, U.S. Navy, and Annette Bradford
At the core of the new U.S. maritime strategy, Cooperative Strategy of 21st Century Seapower, is the concept that the Sea Services must expand combined efforts with a broad set of global maritime partners. These partnerships will certainly include other nations' maritime forces, but they will also embrace international organizations, commercial operators, and local mariners. The diversity of partners in their type and focus of work, areas of expertise, and cultural backgrounds will generate unique challenges in building strong relationships. Hence the strategy states: "The Sea Services must become adept at forging international partnerships," which "must be built over time so that the strategic interests of the participants are continuously considered while mutual understanding and respect are promoted." In other words, we must enhance our cross-cultural competence.