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Title: Advancing the state of the art : building the military's organisational cognitive edge.
Authors: Kerk, Kim Por.
Keywords: DRNTU::Social sciences::Military and naval science
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: It is almost a cliche to say that the contemporary strategic environment has evolved and has become increasingly complex. Nevertheless, to the military, such discontinuities in the strategic environment, characterised by the changing nature of threats as well as the complex operational landscape, warrants close study to ensure the continuing relevance and effectiveness of the military as an instrument of power of the state. Military "hard" transformations in fighting capabilities have been accompanied, albeit with some lag, by attempts to transform the military's mode of thinking and planning so as to be more effective in this complex environment. Two theories, Effects-Based Operations (EBO) and Systemic Operational Design (SOD), in development since the 1990s, are the foremost candidates for advancing the state of the military operational art. This paper evaluates the two theories, after visiting the fundamental issues of war any military theory must take account of, and proposes how they could together, advance military thought. But this paper also argues that the infusion of such theories in the military planning processes requires several cornerstones to be laid, in order to be translated into a real cognitive edge for the military. These cornerstones concern the institutional capacity of the military to learn from past wisdoms, the long-term intellectual developmental needs of the professional military officer, as well as a more focused approach to groom officers according to their preferences and natural propensities.
Description: 53 p.
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:RSIS Theses

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