Accession Number : ADA562305


Title :   That's Not What I Joined to Do, Sir -- Understanding Military Culture and Ethos is Critical for the Correct Use of the Military Instrument of Power


Descriptive Note : Master's thesis


Corporate Author : NATIONAL DEFENSE UNIV NORFOLK VA JOINT ADVANCED WARFIGHTING SCHOOL


Personal Author(s) : Harris, Giles R


Full Text : https://apps.dtic.mil/dtic/tr/fulltext/u2/a562305.pdf


Report Date : 21 May 2012


Pagination or Media Count : 95


Abstract : The first, the supreme, the most far-reaching act of judgment that the statesman and commander have to make is to establish by that test the kind of war on which they are embarking; neither mistaking it for, nor trying to turn it into, something that is alien to its nature. This is the first of all strategic questions and the most comprehensive (Clausewitz). This thesis argues that an understanding of the culture and ethos of the military is critical to the correct use of the military instrument of power. Although warfare itself changes through time, the nature of war and those who fight it remain constant. It is why our military culture and ethos is designed for fighting and winning wars, and runs from the bottom to the very top of the military institution. Strategies that ask for anything else of the military court strategic failure; they ignore the military's raison d'etre. Sun Tsu says if you know yourself and your enemy you will not lose a hundred battles. How well do we know ourselves? This thesis will frame the issue by using Barlett's model of Ends, Ways, and Means. It will establish What Liberal Democracies Want (the Ends), their Grand Strategy for achieving it (the Ways), and the current and projected use of the Military Instrument of Power (the Means). This will give us reasonable assumptions on the roles and expectations for the military in the future, and inform our analysis of mismatches with the military's current culture and ethos. The focus of this analysis will be on the rank and file (The Man with the Weapon), the military leadership (The Man with the Plan), and the political leader (The Man with the Power). The analysis will lead to recommended discussion areas for establishing the extent to which military culture and ethos should change in line with the changing demands on the military (a Revolution in Military Affairs) as opposed to being firmly re-aligned to the enduring nature of war (a Return to Hard Power).


Descriptors :   *CONFLICT , *CULTURE , *ETHICS , *FOREIGN POLICY , *MILITARY FORCES(UNITED STATES) , *MILITARY HISTORY , *MILITARY STRATEGY , *UNITED STATES GOVERNMENT , AFGHANISTAN CONFLICT , COUNTERINSURGENCY , DECISION MAKING , GOVERNMENT(FOREIGN) , IRAQI WAR , JOINT MILITARY ACTIVITIES , LEADERSHIP , POLITICAL ALLIANCES , THESES , VIETNAM WAR


Subject Categories : Government and Political Science
      Humanities and History
      Military Forces and Organizations
      Unconventional Warfare


Distribution Statement : APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE