1 The importance of military doctrine

Grand strategy is a political-military, means-ends chain, a state’s theory about how it can best “cause” security for itself. 13

I use the term “military doctrine” for the subcomponent of grand strategy that deals explicitly with military means.

Broad categories of military doctrine:

-          Offensive (example, French before WWII

-          Defensive (ligne Maginot)

-          Deterrent Swiss army: inflict pain (lack of assets to defend the homeland)

Military doctrines have IR effect (security paradox): 18-24

Political military integration and the security of states

Disintegrated grand strategies, in which political objectives and military doctrine are poorly reconciled, can lead to both war and defeat—jeopardizing the state’s survival, 25


Innovation (and stagnation can have effects on National security in 2 ways:

-          They can affect integration (positive: smart bombs; BlitzKriege)

-          They can change the likelihood of victory / defeat

2 Explaining military doctrine

Balance of power theories: Waltz

Organization theories: disparate body of theories, but Organization theo”ists explain things by reference to three important causal forces: purpose, people, and environment.

-          Purpose: reason why the organization was created in the first place

-          People: factor of uncertainty

-          Environment: initially, input/output of the organization, creates the need for the organization

Management uncertainty (related to the people part): new chief, new priorities

Environmental uncertainty:

Organizations do what they can to minimize environmental uncertainty:

-          Material dependence

-          Political dependence

Uncertainty and innovations

Organizations innovate when they fail, with outside pressure, or when they want to expand (a possible strategy for expansion).

tendency for offense: more predictability (standard scenario to prepare for).


Military doctrines are important because they affect the stability of the international political system and the security of states. 220

Organization theories

Seem to provide good explanation for ops preferences and behavior of military organizations(222).

In general, predict offensive, disintegrated and stagnant military doctrines.

-          Division of labor -> difficulty of civil servants to evaluate the state’s military needs -> dependence on military organizations for advice

-          Military orgs will try  to escape civilian control in pursuit of their own interests

Balance of power theories


-          The attempts of countries to pass the price of war to other countries (Allies): France underprotecting the Belgian border to buy the time necessary for GB to intervene

-          Integration and innovation in military doctrine: states without allies are more careful to their military doctrine hence integration; imbalance of powers -> inclination towards innovation

Thus innovation and integration should tend to correlate highly with political- diplomatic isolation. 233

The bombing doctrine of the RAF was inconsistent with both the deterrence and buck-passing aspects of British strategy. 234

Personal Notes: both body of theory explain different phenomena (external constraints, internal ones): how relevant is the comparison? Moreover, theories explain trends, does not preclude careful analysis to deduce deviations. The German Army was offensively inclined, but in many ways opposed to the Blitzkrieg strategy required by Hitler. The operational, economic, and political aspects of this 1 Strategy conformed remarkably well to the environmental constraints; , surrounding Germany. An innovation was imposed, more or less against the will of the German Army (24o).

PN: Links military innovation and efficiency to political (IR) and organizational factors.

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