Florida International University's Applied Research Center (FIU ARC), in collaboration with FIU's Latin American and Caribbean Center (LACC) and Middle East Studies Center (MESC), has recently formed a partnership with the United States Southern Command (SOUTHCOM). The partnership entails FIU providing the highest quality research-based knowledge to further explicative understanding of the political, strategic, and socio-cultural dimensions of state behavior. The program provides both the public and SOUTHCOM with an autonomous academic perspective to SOUTHCOM research requirements. ARC will apply the strategic culture approach to study Latin American states.
The program defines strategic culture as follows: "the combination of internal and external influences and experiences - geographic, historical, cultural, economic, political and military - that shape and influence the way a country understands its relationship to the rest of the world, and how a state will behave in the international community." FIU will identify and expound upon the strategic and cultural factors that inform the rationale behind the perceptions and behavior of select states in the present political and security climate by analyzing demography, history, regional customs, traditions, belief systems, and other cultural and historical influences that have contributed to the development of a particular country's current security rationale and interpretation of national security.