The Future of War: Organizations as Weapons / Edition 1

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Overview

Many analysts have heralded the U.S. military’s Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA), a qualitative improvement in operational concepts and weapons that transforms the nature and character of warfare. Focusing on military technology, most argue that the new sensor, surveillance, communications, and computational technologies will usher in a period in which U.S. military capabilities will far exceed those of potential competitors. Developments in such fields as nanotechnology, robotics, and genetic engineering will greatly influence new weapons designs of the twenty-first century.

These discussions about military revolutions, however, too often ignore or only pay lip service to the role of military organization in improving combat capability. They downplay the relationship between organizational structure and outcomes, the difficulties of coordinating large organizations composed of many people and offices having specialized roles, and the challenges of calculation, attention, and memory that face individuals making decisions with inadequate or ambiguous information under short deadlines or stressful situations.

Mark D. Mandeles argues that the key to future combat effectiveness is not in acquiring new technologies but rather in the Defense Department’s institutional and organizational structure and its effect upon incentives to invent, to innovate, and to conduct operations effectively. Doing so requires the military establishment to resist incentives to substitute short-term technological gains for long-term operational advantages and to maintain incentives for effective long-term innovation.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
"Pathbreaking and thoroughly researched. The author’s thesis that ‘organization’ is shaped by the institutional setting is well illustrated by his analysis of the Gulf War air campaign, which provides a case-in-point as to why much hard thinking . . . needs to be given to how command and control should be organized in the context of the changing new technology. Hopefully, this study will provide a wake-up call."

"The Future of War offers a basis for the U.S. Department of Defense to create an organizational self-correcting capability with long-lasting advantages to America’s strategic position. [It] is a must read for military officers, civilian analysts shaping national security policy, and the academic community."

"This book will explain to scholars and students of modern complex organizations what transformation means to the Department. It will show why organizations are weapons and why the Defense Department is laboring to build organizations that will in fact dominate the future of war."

"The Future of War is a strikingly original and incisive study of the manner in which the critical factors comprising a revolution in military affairs--organization, technology, doctrine, and people--connect and interact. The writing is clear and direct; the research is impressive in depth and breadth. It is highly recommended for military professionals and civilian analysts engaged in shaping national security policy."

"Mandeles's analysis is rooted in history. And he handles it right. . . . An important read for anyone interested in military policy."

"This book is a thoughtful and engaging corrective to the now endless shelves of writing on applied technologies as the recent Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) debate morphed into the era of transformation."

". . . .a valuable contribution to the literature of military innovation and revolutions in military affairs (RMA)."

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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781574886313
  • Publisher: Potomac Books Inc.
  • Publication date: 10/31/2005
  • Series: Issues in Twenty-First Century Warfare
  • Edition description: New Edition
  • Edition number: 1
  • Pages: 224
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 0.50 (d)

Meet the Author

Mark D. Mandeles, PH.D., is the president of J. de Bloch Group, a defense consulting firm. He has been a professor of security studies at the American Military University and has had a long and distinguished career in academe and as a defense analyst. He is the author of American and British Aircraft Carrier Development: 1919-1941 and The Development of the B-52 and Jet Propulsion. He lives in Fairfax, Virginia.
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Table of Contents

Ch. 1 Introduction 1
Ch. 2 History, inferences, and learning 7
Ch. 3 Levels of analysis, trade-offs, and the future of war 31
Ch. 4 Command and control at the dawn of a military revolution 59
Ch. 5 Network-centric warfare 89
Ch. 6 Comparison of organizational structures 119
Ch. 7 A military revolution by the mid-twenty-first century 173
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