Accession Number:

ADA470473

Title:

Military Effectiveness: A Reappraisal

Descriptive Note:

Monograph

Corporate Author:

ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS SCHOOL OF ADVANCED MILITARY STUDIES

Personal Author(s):

Report Date:

2007-07-01

Pagination or Media Count:

57.0

Abstract:

Military effectiveness is a common goal among military forces, but it is an ill-defined concept. Two divergent theories cover the ground of military effectiveness. One looks at the interaction of social structures, whereas the other looks at the effect organization has on military effectiveness. Using the interwar German military as a case study, both concepts are reviewed and seams are found in both approaches. Even when evaluating with both criteria, the answers do not consistently add up to the intuitive solution. A possible explanation lies in several areas left outside of the sociological and organizational approaches to measuring military effectiveness. Key findings of this monograph are the importance of adaptability in military organizations, and the crucial role played by the linkages among all levels of war. These linkages are an element of multiple ends, ways, means chains that also exist at and between each level of war. Finally, the importance of context cannot be ignored. Any potential adversary will be actively searching for ways to improve his own security situation without regard for the security of ones own nation. Tactical and operational level overmatch is no longer enough to ensure the security of the nation. It is a useful and necessary ability, but without the corresponding tight linkages to the higher levels of warfare it may lead to ultimate failure. An excellent test case for evaluating military effectiveness in all its dimensions is the German military during the interwar period. Coming out of the spectacular failure of the Great War, the German military was completely fettered by the Treaty of Versailles it was limited in all four horizontal components as well as most of the vertical ones. But it was fairly well unbounded in the field of adaptability. Taking the two lenses of sociological thought and organizational method, this study looks at the interwar German military across the previously defined horizontal and vertical slices.

Subject Categories:

  • Humanities and History
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

Distribution Statement:

APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE