Military Teaching for the Future
The Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences – Proceedings and Journal, 2015
15 Pages Posted: 15 Apr 2015 Last revised: 5 Jun 2015
Date Written: April 13, 2015
With new challenges in both war and warfare one comes to wonder if we do not need new teaching approaches of warfare for the military as well (with the former of interest to the colleagues from the disciplines of international law and relations). The answer is obviously yes; we like to see progression and symmetry in thinking, developing and evolving with COIN operations having become commonplace and new threats emerging, such as hybrid threats or a combination of traditional and hybrid warfare - as is presently being witnessed in relation to Russia’s aggressive operations in Ukraine/Crimea.
This text has dealt with the importance of language in dealing with the logic of practice for tactics. It is an empirical question exactly how this language should be conveyed. Culture, exact situation and purpose are variables that affect the situation in a contextual way. Those dealing with teaching tactics and changing them need to have a tactical language they are comfortable with the meaning of. They do not necessarily have to be aware of the language - that is the task for researchers trying to improve the process of teaching tactics and exposing the logic of practice, of which the language is an integral part. As teaching is a formal process it is not to be excluded that a working procedure without a bias is a preferred prerequisite, in effect a bureaucratic authority at its best. The two tactical examples feature two cases where the bureaucratic tradition was and is strong in combination with personnel being well-disposed for working within a system aligned with the bureaucratic elements. The tools for enabling tactical change have, within these systems, shown to be the communication of and with a specific professional language. With all of this said, the future tactical challenges might look troublesome with a fragmented battlefield and muddled borders between peace and war. And it is challenging for sure. But from the perspective of military teaching it is more about providing the specific input of the tactical teaching suitable for the evolving future tactical scenario rather than any revolutionary modus of teaching.
Keywords: COIN, Hybrid War, Hybrid Threats, Military Teaching, New Challenges for Military Language
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