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Operational research: military judgement and the politics of technical change in the British infantry, 1943-1953

journal contribution
posted on 2023-06-08, 15:27 authored by Matthew Ford
The central claim underpinning the Revolution in Military Affairs is that battlefield imperatives drive technical and more widely social change: that technology evolves according to a logic that starts with the relationship between the offence and defence in battle. Thus the ambition of the military organisation is to develop weaponry that can beat the adversary. A failure to grasp this essential truth leads to defeat in battle. This paper demonstrates how technology change happens in practice. By looking inside the ‘black box’ of the military organisation, what emerges is a more complicated picture that takes into account the way arguments for technical change are constructed and deployed within the bureaucracy based on a variety of battlefield interpretations. This shows that technology development is not necessarily driven by either frontline demands or scientific understanding but in reference to who has organisational power and how they use it.

History

Publication status

  • Published

Journal

Journal of Strategic Studies

ISSN

0140-2390

Publisher

Taylor & Francis

Issue

6

Volume

32

Page range

871-897

Department affiliated with

  • International Relations Publications

Full text available

  • No

Peer reviewed?

  • Yes

Legacy Posted Date

2013-07-26

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