Factors that Influence Military Innovation
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Just within the scope of this particular research, the paper analyses factors other than technology that tend to impact on military innovation. The particular argument highlights various factors that are actually very important when it is a question of application of some given strategies to ensure innovation within the military force. Just to mention a few, there are the changes in a given military structure, competition among different nations and also consequences due to a war in a particular society, and this is with regard to the periods of 1st and 2nd world wars. The modern social scientists have ensured a number of that examine the exact origin of the so called disruptive innovations. However, when considering the literature as pertains to military innovations is quite vast, each and every models that is put into operation is normally taken from some two larger theoretical perspectives, the theory about balance of power and then the organizational theory.
In an attempt to explore more about the military innovations, various schools may be discussed. The first that was represented by Barry Posen tries to comprehend innovation just as it is related to the key changes in the international balance of power and the existing competition between the nations. When considering this particular structural realistic perspective, Posen makes an attempt to pinpoint the most notorious external threat and civilian intervention as the most effective determinants that lead to innovation. In trying to shape up the argument that the existing competition between given nations normally has a greater explanatory power as compared to the organizational theory, Posen alleges that a state’s ability to innovate may be termed as its security information function. Considering that states behave rationally, in order to counter the ill-effects due to insecurity, they tend to either acquire allies or even the internal balance-by ensuring strengthened militaries.
The times when the security threats go low, civilian leaders tend to be satisfied with the incremental improvement. However when the threats go high, so are the tied up incentives in way for achievement of disruptive innovation. Posen gives the Germany’s Blitzkrieg development during the 1930’s as a good example. He suggested that civilian intervention leads to military innovation either directly or indirectly. This is through officers Posen refers to as ‘mavericks’.
The mavericks normally produce civilians having the military expertise they do not have and at the same time having an insider who has the ability to steer the organization up to the given required innovation trajectory. Generally, predictions by the Posen’s model are that in order to ensure that there is motivation of the civilian leaders to get included either directly or indirectly using the military mavericks as the major proxies and hence force the military department to instantly change; nations must get subjected to competition between one another. Apparently when the security threats are relatively low, the civilian leaders tend to be satisfied with the incremental improvements.
There was another school by Steve Rosen, which makes an attempt to comprehend innovation through the examination of variations within the military structure. Considering the organizational theory, Rosen alleges that military organizations are in a position to innovate on their own. He views the impetus for reformation as originating from within, owing to the variations within the military structure, besides positing that besides civilian intervention that is not required, also that is generally also counts. According to him, military organizations are normally stimulated by the particular variations noticeable within the environment.
He however believes that the origin associated with innovation is when branches belonging to the same service vie to become their given service’s main security guarantor. Overlapping of their capabilities results to increased competition, and the most senior military leaders both tend to encourage cum moderating these evident internecine squabbles. It is worth noting that innovation takes its due course the moment emerging war fighting parties acquire moral and any other relevant form of support among the senior military leaders after which it is endorsed by the civilian leaders. Assertions by Rosen had it that innovations greatly require ‘product champions’-those of the senior officers who advocate constant innovative approaches to open promotion paths and welfare for other reformers.
After a scrutiny of the US Navy and also the Marine Corps, Rosen asserts that ‘mainstream’ senior officers in the military department mostly adopt a two-part strategy in order to ensure fostering innovation. The most prerequisite attempt is challenging of the old and crude methods of waging war and at least some other newer ways and concepts for their replacement, through the means of changing the structure with regard to the military.
The other section focuses on political struggle management which is inherent in any step in the course of new concepts implementation. An implementation that can be termed as successful, Rosen posits, is prerequisite and it can be maintained through the creation of stable career paths and hence flag rank for the younger officers who prefer experimenting with the new concepts and development of not only innovative tactics but also techniques.
Another proposition is that intervention from civilians can prove quite working when it is a question of promotion of innovation it at all it offers support to military leaders in their strategies to ensure new war fighting methods. Rosen differentiates this particular intervention from the civilian intervention model and the argument is that the newer concepts tend to come from within the military. Rosen also strongly disagrees with the allegations that the military mavericks are more suitable as advocates of transformation.
Still it is quite important to note that special training; not just mere training of the officers could quite be effective in creating room for military innovation. Officers ought to acquire training that makes them able to deal with any given situation without specifications. It is evident of how some officers were unable to handle some situations in the course of their operation, finally exposing lack of the standard prowess in handling varied issues. This is do saddening as they ultimately lose trust even in the eyes of the public. Special training enables officers even to handle issues out of their line of operation but still they manage to work perfectly. Innovation will hence be evident in such cases (Adamsky, 2010).
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