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On Flexibility: Recovery from Technological and Doctrinal Surprise on the Battlefield

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This book addresses one of the basic questions in military studies: How can armies cope effectively with technological and doctrinal surprises—ones that leave them vulnerable to new weapons systems and/or combat doctrines? Author Meir Finkel contends that the current paradigm—with its over-dependence on intelligence and an all-out effort to predict the nature of the future This book addresses one of the basic questions in military studies: How can armies cope effectively with technological and doctrinal surprises—ones that leave them vulnerable to new weapons systems and/or combat doctrines? Author Meir Finkel contends that the current paradigm—with its over-dependence on intelligence and an all-out effort to predict the nature of the future battlefield and the enemy's capabilities—generally doesn't work. Based on historical case analysis of successful "under-fire" recovery and failure to recover, he identifies the variables that have determined these outcomes, and he presents an innovative method for military force planning that will enables armies to deal with the uncertainties of future wars "in real time." His proposed method combines conceptual, doctrinal, cognitive, command, organizational, and technological elements to produce optimal battlefield flexibility and adaptability. He then demonstrates that, when properly applied, this method can eliminate most obstacles to overcoming battlefield surprises.


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This book addresses one of the basic questions in military studies: How can armies cope effectively with technological and doctrinal surprises—ones that leave them vulnerable to new weapons systems and/or combat doctrines? Author Meir Finkel contends that the current paradigm—with its over-dependence on intelligence and an all-out effort to predict the nature of the future This book addresses one of the basic questions in military studies: How can armies cope effectively with technological and doctrinal surprises—ones that leave them vulnerable to new weapons systems and/or combat doctrines? Author Meir Finkel contends that the current paradigm—with its over-dependence on intelligence and an all-out effort to predict the nature of the future battlefield and the enemy's capabilities—generally doesn't work. Based on historical case analysis of successful "under-fire" recovery and failure to recover, he identifies the variables that have determined these outcomes, and he presents an innovative method for military force planning that will enables armies to deal with the uncertainties of future wars "in real time." His proposed method combines conceptual, doctrinal, cognitive, command, organizational, and technological elements to produce optimal battlefield flexibility and adaptability. He then demonstrates that, when properly applied, this method can eliminate most obstacles to overcoming battlefield surprises.

36 review for On Flexibility: Recovery from Technological and Doctrinal Surprise on the Battlefield

  1. 4 out of 5

    Eskild Walnum

    Meir Finkel dares to state his own conclusions, in contrast to many other military theorist who focus on restating previously written conclusions. Being an experienced officer himself, Finkel adds some extra reliability to the book. His case studies are relevant to the main thesis of the book, which is how the military best can gain an organizational flexibility to quickly rise after the initial surprise on the battlefield.

  2. 5 out of 5

    Christopher R. Johnson

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  35. 5 out of 5

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  36. 5 out of 5

    Chris Telley

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