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War's Didactics A Theoretical Exploration on how Militaries Learn from Conflict A Theoretical Exploration on how Militaries Learn from Conflict



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... Acting in a multi-national operational theatre allows for copying of tactics, techniques, and procedures from befriended militaries. As 'deployed units and their commanders should be empowered to experiment with battlefield solutions to overcome tactical problems', 59 the Dutch deliberate isomorphic approach supported them in doing so. As the units in-theatre initially were unable to convince their chain of command of the fact that this threat was significantly different than that faced before, they themselves initiated a series of bottom-up innovations. ...
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Absorbing emerging technologies is crucial to the success of intelligence and security organizations. Scholars, however, tend to overlook the role of cultural traits in this process. Focusing on military organizations, this paper questions how military organizational culture shapes the absorption of emerging technologies. It draws upon literatures of military innovation, technology absorption and military sociology and empirically studies the absorption of counter improvised explosive devices technologies within the Netherlands Armed Forces. This paper argues that cultural influence on technology absorption becomes apparent in the innovation drivers, the distinction between war- and peacetime and the gradual shift of organizational identities.
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This article examines the development and performance of formal organisational learning processes in the Ukrainian Armed Forces (UAF) during the Donbas War (2014-present). Through original empirical research conducted with UAF personnel and documentary analysis, the article develops understanding about the detail of UAF lessons-learned processes and their effectiveness in helping to recalibrate UAF activities to operational demands. The article finds that the performance of UAF lessons-learned processes during the Donbas War has, on the whole, been poor. Since the escalation of Russian aggression in 2014, some positive steps which have been taken to implement best-practices in UAF lessons-learned processes. However, the article uncovers a number of organisational activities, structures and processes which could be improved to weaken the negative impact of bureaucratic politics and organisational culture on learning. It concludes with recommendations for the further development of UAF lessons-learned processes. The article highlights the particular importance of improving the capacity of the civilian leadership to exert effective oversight of military learning and of US and NATO support for these efforts.
Counterinsurgency has staked its claim in the new century as the new American way of war. Yet, the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq have revived a historical debate about the costs - monetary, political and moral - of operations designed to eliminate insurgents and build nations. Today's counterinsurgency proponents point to 'small wars' past to support their view that the enemy is 'biddable' if the correct tactical formulas are applied. Douglas Porch's sweeping history of counterinsurgency campaigns carried out by the three 'providential nations' of France, Britain and the United States, ranging from nineteenth-century colonial conquests to General Petraeus' 'Surge' in Iraq, challenges the contemporary mythologising of counterinsurgency as a humane way of war. The reality, he reveals, is that 'hearts and minds' has never been a recipe for lasting stability and that past counterinsurgency campaigns have succeeded not through state-building but by shattering and dividing societies while unsettling civil-military relations.