Carl Von Clausewitz: The Culture Of Military Subcultures

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The great master of strategy, Carl von Clausewitz, perceived change and military adaptation to new tactics and technologies as a simple matter. He wrote, “if, in warfare, a certain means turns out to be highly effective, it will be used again; it will be copied by others and become fashionable; and so, backed by experience, it passes into general use and is included in theory.” According to Clausewitz, if a new technology works, militaries will accept it and that technology will become a part of the organization. In contrast to Clausewitz, English strategist B. H. Liddell Hart noted that, “the only thing harder than getting a new idea into the military mind is to get an old one out.” Conventional wisdom tends to agree with Liddell Hart…show more content…
The culture of a military organization is based on that organization’s history and values. Inside of the broader context of the military subcultures exist in the form of the Services and occupational specialties. Each of these cultures has their own social status and individual identity that determine what they value and accept. A clear example of this is the USAF’s response to remotely piloted aircraft (RPA) within its pilot-centric culture. Because of the power of culture, innovation is not simply a process of adopting a capability or implementing a change, it is altering the very fabric of culture the pervades military…show more content…
The strategist must determine the interplay between that innovation and the organizational structure that it will impact. The strategist must also understand how the innovation reacts to the history, rules, and values of the members of the organization. This link between an innovation and the social-cultural structure of the military is critical to resolving the paradox of innovating in a change resistance society. While multiple books have been written on this concept, the following highlights three means by which strategic innovators can implement
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