Varying cultures and ideologies have a significant impact on the degree of civil-military cooperation, a problem which has been emphasized by past and present relief workers and by military personnel. In general, relief workers see themselves as nonviolent people who have dedicated part of their lives to assist those who are less fortunate, while in most cases peacekeepers are soldiers trained for war. These different mindsets and ideologies contribute to the negative perceptions that many members of these groups have of the other.
Some military personnel perceive relief workers as peace activists left over from the 1960s, and they tend to underrate the importance of NGOs in humanitarian crises. This has been manifested by military personnel through chauvinistic attitudes, arrogance, and the dismissal of information and opinions offered by relief workers. This disrespect for relief workers can easily destroy the already fragile level of cooperation and coordination existing on the ground. In turn, some relief workers view military personnel as macho machine-gun-toting cowboys.