While it is impossible to predict the values and beliefs of future generations, a modest forecast is made by tracing global trends in the use of language and media, as well as in the use of information and communication technologies. The potential implications of these culture and identity trends for the strength of the U.S. “signal” in the global info-communication sphere are analyzed. The author suggests that the information that will dominate the 21st century, particularly the beliefs and values of foreign societies, may increasingly and more directly impact our own national security, making it ever more critical for policymakers to understand issues of cultural change and identity formation from a strategic perspective.
Dr. Pauline Kusiak is a foreign affairs specialist in the Office of the Under Secretary of Defense for Policy. In this position, she has worked in the areas of strategy, stability operations, and special operations and combating terrorism. Dr. Kusiak was the first program manager for the DoD’s Minerva Initiative, a basic social science research initiative launched by Secretary Robert M. Gates in 2008. Before joining OSD, she worked as a social and cultural research specialist for the U.S. Army Special Operations Command at Fort Bragg, NC.