Tag Archives: Swedish Defence University

Explaining the offensive bias in military tactical thinking

New article with LtCol (ret) Peter Ahlström in Defence Studies that explores why the offensive dominates military tactical thinking. Our article, “Mirror, mirror on the wall, who is the most offensive of them all? – Explaining the offensive bias in military tactical thinking” is published open access, so anyone can download the article free:
https://doi.org/10.1080/14702436.2019.1599287 .

Abstract:
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.

KEYWORDS: Militarycult of the offensiveattackoffensivetactical thinkingtacticseducationmilitary cultureSwedenarmy

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First spring seminar with the Hybrid Warfare Research Group

On April 4th Dr Johan Engvall ot the Swedish Defence Research Agency (FOI) will visit the Swedish Defence University’s Hybrid Warfare Research Group. He will speak on his recent report “OSCE and Military Confidence Building: Lessons from Georgia and Ukraine” .

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Ny antologi: Tankar om Defensiven

Föreliggande bok är resultatet av två fältövningar utförda av Marksektionen (vid Taktikavdelningen) på Försvars-högskolan. Exemplen är hämtade från de båda världs-krigen, Narva 1944 och Caporetto (idag: Kobarid) 1917. Exemplen rör synen på offensiv och defensiv såsom tankemodeller. Artiklarna relaterar de historiska skedena till dagens svenska Försvarsmakt som i hög grad ser offensiven som det förhärskande begreppet av det två. Fältövningar är en metod som utvecklats vid Försvarshögskolan sedan lång tid och som Marksektionen i sin tur har förfinat som undervisningsmodell för professions-nära officersutbildning. Boken är tänkt att användas som stöd i den marktaktiska utbildningen.

Jeppsson, Tommy, redaktör. Tankar om defensiven. Kungl Krigsvetenskapsakademien & Försvarshögskolan, 2018, http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-8753 .

Mitt eget bidrag är ”Offensivens roll i taktiskt tänkande: Slaget vid Caporetto 1917”[The role of the offensive in tactical thinking: the case of Caporetto 1917] skrivet tillsammans med Övlt Peter Ahlström.

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Paid PhD position in International Relations

We are looking for a PhD candidate for our Pwer Shift in East Asia project. It is a paid PhD position in International Relations at the Stockholm University Graduate School of International Studies.The position has a specialization in East Asian Security, with a focus on the question of a regional power shift. It is fully funded with scholarships for three years and a salaried position during the fourth and final year. The position is based at Stockholm University but the PhD candidate will also have a second workplace at the Department of Security, Strategy and Leadership at the Swedish Defence University.

Please find more details here: http://www.su.se/english/about/vacancies/vacancies-new-list?rmpage=job&rmjob=727&rmlang=UK

Deadline: 1 Dec 2015

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