Unfamiliar allies: Australian cross-cultural communication in Afghanistan and Iraq during the war on terror

Gehrmann, Richard (2020) Unfamiliar allies: Australian cross-cultural communication in Afghanistan and Iraq during the war on terror. In: Communication, interpreting and language in wartime: historical and contemporary perspectives. Palgrave Macmillan Ltd., Cham, Switzerland, pp. 45-69. ISBN 978-3-030-27036-0

Abstract

This chapter explores the social history of Australian military communication with their United States and Dutch allies in Afghanistan and Iraq. In spite of a long history of military association with the United States, challenges emerged both from the management of American expectations and from everyday Australian interactions in an ultra-patriotic American military culture. As subordinate partner Australians understood American military language and communication, frequently adopting lexical aspects of the American military, but despite some differences cross-cultural communication problems were overcome. Australians in Afghanistan worked with the Dutch, a relatively unfamiliar ally with no recent history of shared military cooperation. The open and progressive social culture of the Netherlands was reflected in aspects of Netherlands military communication and practice, and it became apparent that Dutch liberal social values and consensus based military culture differed from Australian military expectations. Despite military cooperation in war and the high levels of English spoken by talented Dutch soldiers, a degree of distance remained between the Dutch and Australian military. Understanding the ways in which ordinary members of the military understand cross-cultural communication with allies will do much to advance understanding and shape future experiences


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Item Type: Book Chapter (Commonwealth Reporting Category B)
Refereed: Yes
Item Status: Live Archive
Additional Information: Accepted version embargoed until 1 Jan 2021 (12 months) in accordance with the copyright policy of the publisher.
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Humanities and Communication (1 March 2019 -)
Faculty/School / Institute/Centre: Current - Faculty of Business, Education, Law and Arts - School of Humanities and Communication (1 March 2019 -)
Date Deposited: 21 Nov 2019 06:05
Last Modified: 25 Nov 2019 23:35
Uncontrolled Keywords: Iraq war; Afghanistan war; military allies; Uruzgan province; cross-cultural communication
Fields of Research : 21 History and Archaeology > 2199 Other History and Archaeology > 219999 History and Archaeology not elsewhere classified
21 History and Archaeology > 2103 Historical Studies > 210303 Australian History (excl. Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander History)
16 Studies in Human Society > 1606 Political Science > 160604 Defence Studies
Socio-Economic Objective: A Defence > 81 Defence > 8101 Defence > 810103 Command, Control and Communications
A Defence > 81 Defence > 8101 Defence > 810109 Personnel
E Expanding Knowledge > 97 Expanding Knowledge > 970121 Expanding Knowledge in History and Archaeology
Identification Number or DOI: 10.1007/978-3-030-27037-7
URI: http://eprints.usq.edu.au/id/eprint/37387

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