Change search
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard-cite-them-right
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf
Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most offensive of them all?: Explaining the offensive bias in military tactical thinking
Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Tactical Warfare Division, Land Operations Section.ORCID iD: 0000-0001-5426-8238
Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, Tactical Warfare Division, Land Operations Section.
2019 (English)In: Defence Studies, ISSN 1470-2436, E-ISSN 1743-9698, p. 1-19Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This article explores why the offensive predominates military tactical thinking. With survey results showing an offensive bias among 60 per cent of senior Swedish officers and as many as 80 per cent in the case of the army, it is clear that this is not just a problem of the past but is equally relevant today. The article asks why there is a tendency to perceive and understand offensive tactics as the preferred choice and the way to conduct battle that should be encouraged and preferred. Drawing on existing research and the findings of a pilot study, ten propositions for why the offensive bias exists are tested using a mixed-method approach. Based on the findings, the article develops a model to understand why the offensive dominates military tactical thinking. It is found that the two key constitutive factors behind the offensive bias are military culture and education. These factors most directly and profoundly influence an officer’s identity, perceptions, and thinking. Military culture and education, in turn, work as a prism for four other factors: military history, the theory and principles of war, doctrine and TTPs, and psychological factors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
2019. p. 1-19
Keywords [en]
cult of the offensive, attack, offensive, tactical thinking, tactics, education, military culture, Sweden, army
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies) Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified
Research subject
Krigsvetenskap
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-8506DOI: 10.1080/14702436.2019.1599287OAI: oai:DiVA.org:fhs-8506DiVA, id: diva2:1303651
Available from: 2019-04-10 Created: 2019-04-10 Last updated: 2019-04-15Bibliographically approved

Open Access in DiVA

No full text in DiVA

Other links

Publisher's full text

Authority records BETA

Weissmann, MikaelAhlström, Peter

Search in DiVA

By author/editor
Weissmann, MikaelAhlström, Peter
By organisation
Land Operations Section
In the same journal
Defence Studies
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)Other Social Sciences not elsewhere specified

Search outside of DiVA

GoogleGoogle Scholar

doi
urn-nbn

Altmetric score

doi
urn-nbn
Total: 100 hits
CiteExportLink to record
Permanent link

Direct link
Cite
Citation style
  • apa
  • harvard-cite-them-right
  • ieee
  • modern-language-association-8th-edition
  • vancouver
  • Other style
More styles
Language
  • de-DE
  • en-GB
  • en-US
  • fi-FI
  • nn-NO
  • nn-NB
  • sv-SE
  • Other locale
More languages
Output format
  • html
  • text
  • asciidoc
  • rtf