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  • 51.
    Ångström, Jan
    et al.
    Swedish National Defence College, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Division of Strategy.
    Widen, Jerker
    Swedish National Defence College, Department of Military Studies, War Studies Division, Sektionen för marina operationer (KV Marin).
    Contemporary military theory: the dynamics of war2015Book (Refereed)
  • 52.
    Ångström, Jan
    et al.
    Uppsala universitet, Department of Peace and Conflict Research.
    Widén, Jerker
    Swedish National Defence College, Department of Military Studies, War Studies Division, Sektionen för marina operationer (KV Marin).
    Adopting a Recipe for Success: Modern Armed Forces and the Institutionalization of the Principles of War2012In: Comparative Strategy, ISSN 0149-5933, E-ISSN 1521-0448, Vol. 31, no 3, p. 263-285Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    The prevailing explanation of the institutionalization of the principles of war is misleading. Although the introduction of the principles into Western doctrine coincided with total war and the need to train unprecedented numbers of soldiers and junior officers in tactics, the fact that the principles disappeared from doctrines immediately prior to and during the Second World War suggests that they were not institutionalized to meet an increased need to educate the military. Instead, we test two other explanations: one drawing on the principles’ military effectiveness and one drawing upon the principles’ explanatory power. We find that neither one of these hypotheses stand. Instead, we conclude by elaborating on how the institutionalization of the principles of war can be made understandable using non-rationalist frameworks, in particular the growth of a particular kind of identity of staff officers in the late nineteenth and early twentieth century. According to this framework, the two world wars interrupted—rather than promoted—the institutionalization of the principles, since the wars with their large death tolls and mass recruitment increased the difficulties of creating a separate and unique identity for the burgeoning corps of staff officers.

  • 53.
    Ångström, Jan
    et al.
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership (ISSL), Division of Strategy.
    Widén, Jerker
    Swedish Defence University, Department of Military Studies, War Studies Division, Sektionen för marina operationer (KV Marin).
    Religion or reason?: exploring alternative ways to measure the quality of doctrine2016In: Journal of Strategic Studies, ISSN 0140-2390, E-ISSN 1743-937X, Vol. 39, no 2, p. 198-212Article in journal (Refereed)
    Abstract [en]

    In this article, we address the often ignored issue of quality standards for doctrine. In doing so, we contribute to the existing literature on military doctrine, since much of previous research has focused on outlining the effects of doctrine or the causes of particular doctrinal content, rather than how we should measure its quality. The predominant way of understanding quality of doctrine is based on the rationalist understanding of doctrine as a force multiplier. However, rationalist aims do not necessarily tell us anything about the contents of doctrine. Hence, a doctrine can be seemingly of high quality, but ultimately impede or lead armed forces astray. Rather than focusing on the utilitarian side of doctrine, we suggest that doctrine should mainly be understood as articles of faith or a belief system. And thus the quality of doctrine becomes inextricably linked to military norms and military identity. Writing doctrine thus becomes part of ritual, rather than reason.

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