Military Doctrine

Authored by: Harald Høiback

Routledge Handbook Of Defence Studies

Print publication date:  February  2018
Online publication date:  February  2018

Print ISBN: 9781138122505
eBook ISBN: 9781315650463
Adobe ISBN:


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Military doctrine may be defined as the shared software of the military mind. Doctrine makes it possible for huge groups of people to cooperate efficiently in complex and fast-changing environments. Doctrine gave the Roman legions their fighting edge and made Lord Nelson’s fleet invincible. Despite its crucial role in war, the concept of doctrine is strangely underexplored in military literature and textbooks. One of the reasons for this academic neglect is that doctrine has a sinister ring to it. This chapter explains what military doctrine actually is, why doctrine has got undeservedly bad publicity, and why doctrine is still crucial for future military success, particularly in times of peace and in coalitions and alliances. Modern communication technology has increased, not reduced, the need for viable military doctrine.

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