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Revisiting 'The Marines, Counterinsurgency, & Strategic Culture' With Jeannie Johnson On Access Utah


The United States Marine Corps has a unique culture that ensures comradery, exacting standards, and readiness to be the first to every fight. Yet even in a group that is known for innovation, culture can push leaders to fall back on ingrained preferences.

In her new book “The Marines, Counterinsurgency, and Strategic Culture: Lessons Learned and Lost in America's Wars,” USU Associate Professor of Political Science Jeannie L. Johnson takes a sympathetic but critical look at the Marine Corps's long experience with counterinsurgency warfare. Which counterinsurgency lessons have been learned and retained for next time and which have been abandoned to history is a story of battlefield trial and error―but also a story of cultural collisions.

Jeannie L. Johnson is an Assistant Professor in the Political Science Department at Utah State University. Dr. Johnson’s primary research interest, Strategic Culture, examines the impact of national and organizational cultures on the formation of security policy. Dr. Johnson co-edited the volume Strategic Culture and Weapons of Mass Destruction: Culturally Based Insights into comparative National Security Policymaking and is the author, most recently, of The Marines, Counterinsurgency, and Strategic Culture: Lessons Learned and Lost in America's Wars.

Dr. Johnson worked within the CIA’s Directorate of Intelligence as a member of the Balkan Task Force from 1998-1999. Her current academic work includes ongoing efforts with members of intelligence community and Department of Defense to improve cultural research methods and analysis. The cultural research methodology she pioneered with co-author Matt Berrett was featured in CIA’s June 2011 edition of Studies in Intelligence.

Dr. Johnson received her doctorate from the University of Reading in 2013.



Tom Williams worked as a part-time UPR announcer for a few years and joined Utah Public Radio full-time in 1996. He is a proud graduate of Uintah High School in Vernal and Utah State University (B. A. in Liberal Arts and Master of Business Administration.) He grew up in a family that regularly discussed everything from opera to religion to politics. He is interested in just about everything and loves to engage people in conversation, so you could say he has found the perfect job as host “Access Utah.” He and his wife Becky, live in Logan.