Author Biography

Garrett Pierman is a second-year PhD student in Political Science at Florida International University, focusing on Political Theory and International Relations. His research interests are primarily in normative political theory as well as the role that ideology and religion play in violence of the structural, interpersonal, and interstate varieties. He also frequently considers the role of technology in human lives as well as defining the forces of globalism as they relate to ideology and violence.



Subject Area Keywords

Afghanistan, Al-Qaida, Asymmetric warfare, Counterterrorism, History, Ideology, Iraq, Strategy


This article addresses the Realist assumption that only actors that are states can be considered to have a strategic culture. The primary issue raised is the question of the ability of non-state actors to have a strategic culture. Al-Qaida is used as a theoretical case study. Ultimately this article rejects the idea of territoriality in strategic culture formulation and calls for academics and policymakers alike to adopt a broader conception of actors on the international, stage. This broader conception of actors would necessitate rich case studies to be done in the future in order to seek an understanding of the strategic culture of the non-state actors which academics and policymakers must deal with in the modern security environment. In particular, the article finds that the assumptions held about al-Qaida thus far are wrong and, in reality, the group has ambitions that are cosmic in nature, which will necessitate change in the strategies used to fight against terrorism.