Military Leadership in the Year 2000 and Beyond

There is often a mismatch between what is predicted and what comes to pass.
Complete libraries of prophetic books have been written in which the human race
achieves extraordinary technological and social advancement. Such prophecies
normally prove to be beyond our grasp, and yet within these writings there are often
predictions that are realised, for good or ill. But in looking back 50 years it is clear
that whilst much has changed enormously, many aspects of life have hardly changed
at all. Those who have tried to anticipate changes in military philosophy and practice
have often found success equally elusive. But as Churchill once said “You had better
take change by the hand, otherwise it will take you by the throat”.
The military community, not least the British, is often thought of as being
conservative in outlook. As a criticism, this sometimes stems from a superficial
understanding of the nature and complexity of war, and the immense risks involved
in a country committing itself to war. Since the collapse of the Warsaw Pact, many
have questioned whether the armed forces, as they are currently structured, will be
able to deal with the military challenges that lie ahead. Some are also querying
whether the qualities that we currently seek in our military leaders are those that we
shall need in the year 2000 and beyond. What is immediately obvious is that the year
2000 is only 5 years away. We have already recruited, selected and, to a greater or
lesser degree, trained those who will be our senior officers up to the year 2025-2030.
If there are fundamental changes in the qualities of leadership required between now
and then, we are already too late.
In seeking to identify what changes, if any, might become necessary in the
theory and practice of military leadership to meet the challenges of the new
millennium, I intend to identify the trends that have influenced the evolution of
leadership in the past and, in so doing, attempt to draw some conclusions as to the
future.
The perspective will be largely British, and there are two particular aspects of
the British armed forces that exercise a substantial influence on the way that I view
the question of military leadership. Firstly, apart from such things as naval “press
gangs” and other unethical or illegal methods of forcing individuals to join the
armed forces, there have been only approximately 20 years of national conscription
strong. Secondly, there has been only one year (19Ö8) since 1945, in which a soldier
has not been killed on operational service. As a result, the Army has a considerable
depth of operational experience, mostly at low level.
From the end of the Korean War, the Cold War put the international situation
into a straight-jacket and placed severe constraints upon diplomacy. The ‘insane’
logic of nuclear deterrence dissuaded the major powers from direct conflict, and
where national interest was presumed to be threatened outside the confines of
Western Europe, resolution was often sought through the efforts of one or more
proxy protagonists. The scope of these conflicts was limited, though the level of
violence was often extreme. On both sides of the Iron Curtain, military commanders
were faced with a largely unchanging situation: the “comforting certainties” of the
Cold War. All this changed in 1989, and 18 months later the Gulf War was fought,
something which would have been highly improbable, if not impossible, a year
before. Does this new situation in which we find ourselves represent such a profound
change to the military environment that military commanders will have to alter the
way they exercise leadership in the future?
Before we can address this question, we need to define what leadership is for
and what does it do? Field Marshal Montgomery defined leadership as:
“The will to dominate, together with the character that inspires confidence”.
President Truman as:
“A leader is a man who has the ability to get other people to do what they don't
want to do and like it”.
Field Marshal Slim as:
“Leadership is a mixture of example, persuasion and compulsion...in fact it is
just plain you”.
In another quote, Sir John Harvey-Jones, an ex-Royal Navy pilot but more
famous as an industrialist, defines leadership as follows:
“I lead by example and persuasion and a hell of a lot of hard work, not on the
basis of power or authority. My skills are to help a large number of people to
release their energies and focus themselves. It is switching on a lot of people
and helping them to achieve the common aim. People only do things they are
convinced about, one has to create the conditions in which people want to give
of their best.”
There is little or no difference between these definitions apart from emphasis.
In many ways they say as much about the personality of the writer as they say about
leadership, and they can just as easily be applied to other professions. But we could
define leadership as that which gives a group its essential direction and cohesion.
The study of leadership is often centred upon the qualities required to be a
leader. What does the person have to be, rather than what does he have to do? Field
Marshal Slim, the US Army, and Field Marshal Harding selected the following lists
as being the essential qualities of a leader.

The first point of interest is that of all the qualities mentioned, only three are
common to each list; courage, initiative, and integrity, though they are arguably the
most important. The second is that there is no conflict between the qualities in any
of the three lists. Thirdly, both Slim's and Harding's lists are at least 40 years old,
thus have stood the test of time. Almost all could as easily be applied to Genghis
Khan, Tamerlane, Hitler, or Stalin; as they could to Montgomery or Eisenhower.
However, the qualities of "integrity" and "justice" are an explicit reference to the
moral element of leadership which is the crucial difference between military
command and “gangsterism”.
Though there is a need to try to break down leadership into its component parts,
both to improve our understanding, and to provide a vehicle by which we can teach,
the process tends to create artificial divisions between human qualities that are
themselves difficult to define accurately. It is also difficult to apply any sensible
weighting to individual qualities. An abundance of one quality in a senior officer
may be a good thing; in a junior officer it may be a positive hindrance.
British military doctrine states that fighting power is based upon physical,
conceptual and moral components, and that command is split it into three separate
parts: leadership, control and decision making; what the leader has to be, and what
the leader has to do. Thus, though leadership provides direction and cohesion, it is
not in itself command. What a leader has to do will depend upon the situation in
which he finds himself, and the tools that he is given to do the job. What he has to
be, presents a far more difficult question.
We must now look back in time to see whether the definitions and qualities of
leadership that we have selected have remained constant through the ages, and what
factors have influenced them in the past. Amongst primitive tribes, there are well
documented examples of tribal leaders exercising a restraining influence during
conflict to prevent bloodshed from getting out of hand. Paradoxically, the
development of more sophisticated economic and political structures resulted in
more violent rather than less violent war. Military and political leaders were very
often one and the same person and a “heroic style” of leadership developed:
Alexander the Great exemplified this. His soldiers expected him to be where the
battle was at its most fierce, and such was his political and military significance that
he was the "point of main effort", whether he wanted to be or not. But like all
commanders of his time, once battle was joined he found it almost impossible to
exercise any control in the way that we would understand it. In the maelstrom of
swords, shields and spears, there was no way that he could influence events apart
from inspiring his troops by his courage. His leadership and control skills were
exercised in sustaining his army in the field and committing it to battle under the
most favourable circumstances.
However, the “heroic style” had its critics. Onasander, writing his book "The
General" in AD 58, said:
“The general should fight cautiously rather than boldly, or should keep away
altogether from a hand-to-hand fight with the enemy. .. he can aid his army far
less by fighting than he can harm it if he should be killed, since the knowledge
of a general is far more important than his physical strength”.
Julius Caesar held similar views though even he, on occasions was forced to
adopt a more direct approach:
Caesar started for the right wing where saw his men under great pressure.. . .
Caesar saw that the situation was critical, and there was no reserve to throw in.
He snatched a shield from a soldier in the rear. . and moved to the frontline....
His coming inspired the men with hope and gave them new heart.
So, in an age of similar political and cultural structures, when command and
control on the battlefield was at its most basic, different styles of leadership were
already beginning to develop. By the time of Wellington and Napoleon, command
and control had improved only marginally. Weapons, on the other hand, had
improved substantially, and thus the battlefield had become much larger. The
commander, however, still had to be able to see most of, if not all, the battle he was
fighting. Wellington is quoted as having said:
"the reason why I succeeded., .is because I was always on the spot. I saw
everything and did everything myself'.
Because they were exposed to direct enemy fire and often in full view of their
own soldiers, commanders of that era tended to be part of the same "heroic style"
as Alexander and his contemporaries. But the pressure of increasingly accurate and
effective weapon systems and better communications, as well as the cultural and
political changes that were occurring in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries, was
to exercise a profound effect upon the way senior commanders conducted their
business.
In spite of the enhancements to communication systems between 1914-1918
they were still not effective enough to allow commanders to control the enormous
armies that were generated and sustained by the industrialisation of war. Nor were
the communications flexible enough to allow the proper integration of combat arms
needed to break the stalemate of trench warfare, in the way the Germans would do
22 years later. The size and complexity of the armies meant that the separation of
senior commanders and their staffs from their soldiers was already well established.
Generals were content to commit their men to battle, but increasingly cut off from
the reality of what was actually happening. Major General JFC Fuller, a constant
critic of "chateau generalship" wrote:
"the most rapid way to shell-shock an army is to shell-proof its generals; for
once the heart of an army is severed from its head the result is paralysis"
Slim said:
"One of the most valuable qualities of a commander is a flair for putting himself
in the right place at the vital time".
Given the remarkable improvements in the gathering and passage of
information, and the accuracy and destructiveness of modern weapon systems during
the last 50 years, it is hardly surprising that senior commanders increasingly choose
to fight the battle from some secure bunker out of harm's way. Indeed, many would
say that they presently have little choice in the matter, and find it more and more
difficult to escape from the constraints of their information and communication
systems. But there are examples of senior commanders who believe that their
physical presence on the battlefield is important. In the Second World War,
Wingate, Rommel, and Patton, to name but three, cultivated this latter day "heroic"
style. By contrast there were others, equally effective, who remained remote from
the battlefield. No one has suggested that the “heroic style” should be completely
dispensed with. As long as some element of the armed forces has to close with the
enemy, then attributes such as courage, loyalty, integrity, decisiveness, will be at a
premium among those officers and NCOs in fighting units. Does this mean that the
"heroic style" is dead for senior commanders? Many senior commanders take great
pains to be seen by their soldiers, sometimes taking unnecessary risks. But it may
become an increasingly difficult judgement between the commander being at the
heart of the command web, and being out seeing for himself and being seen, at least
in part, to bear the same dangers and discomforts as his soldiers. It may be that the
choice is more a reflection of the commander's personality and character than the
situation in which he finds himself
There are, of course other factors which have exerted a profound influence on
the style of military leadership. Perhaps one of the most important being social
change. For a man to join the Army as a soldier in Victorian England was often seen
as a family disgrace. To be an officer was not a great deal better. Field Marshal
Robertson, the only Chief of the Imperial General Staff to rise from the rank of
Private Soldier, through Warrant Officer, to Field Marshal, was written to by his
Mother when he joined the 16th Lancers in 1877. She said: "I would rather you were
buried than you wore the red coat of a soldier. " The Army was full of criminals,
drunkards, runaways and social misfits. On the other hand it also provided the only
escape for many honest and principled men from the intense deprivations of 19th
Century urban and rural life. It is sometimes said that if the current British Army
rules about criminality had applied to Wellington's army, he would have been very
lonely at Waterloo. Indeed, Wellington had such a horror of ill-disciplined soldiers
that he opposed, to the end of his life in 1858, any move to prevent soldiers being
subject to hanging and flogging. But society was being increasingly influenced by
more liberal views, much feared and attacked by the forces of reaction at the time,
but dearly evident by the increasing amount of legislation put in place during the
latter part of the 19th and the first part of the 20th century, designed to protect the
rights of individuals. One of the most important manifestations of this was the
concept of state education. Better education of society as a whole and, therefore, of
those who joined the Army meant that they could be more easily and more
effectively trained, and assume greater responsibility. These changes, allied with the
increasing mobility of people and growing aspirations, began to have a similar
impact an the style of leadership as the improvements in weapons and
communications.
Another substantial influence has been changes in the way that states have used
force to resolve discord. From primitive war, through barbarian raiders and the
world wars of the 20th century, to the use of irregulars in wars of national liberation;
change has been a constant feature. For the last 160 years, Clausewitz has been seen
by European powers and the United States, as a seminal military philosopher. His
statement about "war being an extension of politics by other means" has fitted, very
conveniently, the wars between nation states since Napoleon. Though the French
Revolutionary wars provided the first example of"total war" namely the direction
of all available resources of the state to the prosecution of war, Clausewitz
encouraged the use of increasingly violent and all embracing methods in conflicts
between nation states. The concept of the decisive battle, using all the assets of the
state, to destroy the enemy's army and thus their means and will to resist, contrasted
with the more constrained and formalised military philosophy of the 18th century.
We have seen, to a greater or lesser degree, the continuation of his ideas up until the
present day. The Cold War fitted this pattern, to the extent that the potential war
would have been so 'decisive' that no one was prepared to fight it!
The Gulf probably fits the Clausewitzian view, but does Bosnia, Somalia,
Angola or Rwanda? As eminent a military historian as John Keegan now doubts
whether the Clausewitzian template will be as useful a guide in the future as it
appears to have been in the past.
So far we have identified that leadership styles have proved susceptible to changes
in political philosophy and structures, culture, social attitudes, and technology.
But the qualities required of a leader have hardly changed at all; Alexander,
Gustavus Adolphus, Marlborough, and Wellington would have all recognised them
and been confident that they possessed them in abundance. This is hardly surprising
because they tend to be the generically "good" human qualities. Who would dream
of putting "Cunning" down as a quality of leadership? It smacks too much of
dishonesty. And yet probably all great commanders have a streak of cunning that
enables them to outwit their adversaries, or even just to get their way during political
in-fighting.
Now to the future. Professor Kurt Gastigeier, a Swiss strategic writer, sees the
threats to world order in the following terms: the disintegration of the Warsaw Pact
released the brake. Ideas of strategic balance, and spheres of influence suddenly
seem outdated. A multiplication of what he calls "actors" and "issues" have made
international relations far more complex and less controllable. And if this is not bad
enough, the "actors" whether they are states, religious or ethnic groups, or even
organised crime, have at their disposal the military means, and the determination and
will to use them. This has the potential to cause substantial security problems for
other states, international organisations, and existing alliances. It is also likely that
issues will be far more difficult to resolve, particularly because they are likely to be
predominantly intra-state. In the same way pressure will increase on countries
confronted by population increase, climatic change, and increasing nationalism. The
scramble for natural resources, particularly water, will become even more acute as
countries attempt to develop their economies. Such complexities may not be
immediately apparent to, nor readily understandable by, the public at home. It will,
therefore, become all the more difficult to convince people why it is necessary to
commit troops in support of operations in a "faraway place of which we know little."
From this analysis, there is a growing view that nation states will become less
inclined to go to war for territorial or political reasons. There is a increasing
sensitivity to the human and material cost of war, particularly amongst developed
countries. Society is becoming less resilient to casualties. Losses suffered in the
course of an operation not believed to be directly in the national interest, may be
increasingly difficult to sustain. Politicians, to ensure public support, will inflate the
expectation of a speedy, successful and relatively casualty free operations, as we had
in the Gulf. Fewer people will understand the inevitability of Clausewitz's “friction
of war”, resulting in reverses and losses. This will be exacerbated by the immediacy
and impact of television pictures and news reports and the tone of the coverage:
detached and questioning. Political sensitivity and a growing lack of military
experience in public life will add to the problems that confront contemporary
commanders. Unclear political and military objectives, limitations on commander's
freedom of action, and interference in the tactical battle, may be just some of the
difficulties that may emerge. On the other hand, it does not sound very different to
some of the problems that confronted Wellington in the Peninsula. His dispatches
written between 1808 and 1814 are often concerned with interfering politicians with
hidden agendas, inefficient and penny-pinching civil servants, incompetent officers,
and poorly trained and ill-disciplined soldiers. You may feel that I have painted far
too dark a picture here. Most countries that have deployed troops to the former
Republic of Yugoslavia have actually been remarkably steady in the face of the
deaths, injury and hostage taking. But I believe the trend is against us.
Some of the most profound changes are taking place in the society from which
the armed forces are drawn. The relationship between the armed forces of a state and
the public vary from country to country. Given that those who enlist, and this may
be more noticeable where there is conscription rather than a volunteer army, bring
with them many of the current attitudes of society. With 75% of British officer
cadets at Sandhurst being graduates, with an average commissioning age of 23 and
a half, their personalities and characters are largely formed. In comparison to
previous generations, they are less physically and mentally robust and are often
unsettled as much by the mental challenge of physical activity as the physical
Activity itself. At school and home they are encouraged to seek alternative options
if their initial choice becomes difficult. There is more stigma attached to failing than
voluntarily withdrawing from training, and they are not used to being told what to
do and being expected to do it. They are often, however, desperately seeking the
structured and value based society that the Army offers, but are still inclined to
choose those standards they find most convenient and reject some of the others.
However, it is the battle between the "Gesellschaft" and the "Gemeinschaft"
culture that I contend is one of our greatest problems. If society really does begin to
support the view that individual rights are more important than the common good,
it will set the armed forces some very demanding challenges. Indeed, the
contradictions may become so great that the military ethos is debased and the
usefulness of the armed forces substantially degraded. Armed forces, with their
requirement for duty and obedience, have to establish and sustain that they have the
right to be different from the rest of society. In Britain it is as much the pressure of
legislation, some national and some European, that is causing current problems.
Much of it is drawn up to meet the demands of the civilian workplace and is largely
unsuited to the military environment. By definition, armed forces work in dangerous
places, and commanders will often be required to make the training environment
hazardous in order to prepare their soldiers for operations. Are we to put safety nets
on obstacle courses, or further reduce the realism of field-firing? If we do, it is likely
that this will reduce effectiveness and raise the number of unnecessary casualties on
operations. The considerable increase in people taking us to court is all part of this
same trend. At the moment common sense prevails, but for how long?
We addressed earlier the impact improvements in technology have on style of
command? The range, speed of engagement and effectiveness of current weapon
systems puts at the commander's fingertips massive combat power, but with it, great
responsibility. The combat power of the "Tornado" aircraft is many times that of its
predecessors, thus the loss of a comparatively small number of RAF "Tornado"
aircraft in the Gulf was the cause of substantial concern. It was as much about
tactical doctrine and loss of capability as human casualties. The cost and value of
modern weapon systems is such that they can no longer be used in the same way as
a greater number of less sophisticated weapons were used previously. As the value
of weapons increase, the responsibility for committing them tends to rise up the
command chain.
The extraordinary increase in the capacity of surveillance, target acquisition,
communications and information systems has given the commander an almost
unlimited scope to see "the other side of the hill", and to direct his own battle. But
his decisions have become more visible to the outside world and this increases the
pressure on the commander and his decision-making processes. There is potential
for interference in the tactical battle and those tempted to interfere will often be
under pressure from politicians, bureaucrats, senior military officers, both serving
and retired, and vociferous members of the public, often with their own agendas,
who believe that they understand the problem and have the solution - courtesy of
CNN!
Given the uncertainty of future scenarios it is likely that military forces will find
themselves inappropriately structured and equipped for the task that they have been
set. It is paradoxical that the Allied Rapid Reaction Corps, established to fight a
high-intensity war, is much more likely to be used in peacekeeping, or peace
enforcement. As much of its equipment will have been designed to meet the high
intensity end of conflict, it may either be unsuitable, or of value only in a totally
different role. An example of this is the"Warrior"IFV in Bosnia. Its success has been
as much the protection it offers, as its mobility and firepower. Does the impact of
technology mean that we will require a different sort of soldier? In one sense
improving technology should mean that we need less intelligent soldiers, as systems
becoming easier to use and maintain. But as capability increases, so does the
system's value. The soldier must have the wit to use the equipment in the most
effective way. The modern soldier must also be able to cope with a situation when
his equipment either does not work, or it performs well below the standard which
is expected. He cannot afford to be “technologically fragile”. He must be physically
and mentally robust enough to fall back on plain common sense and courage if he
finds that his head-up display, anti-mine boots, climatically controlled suit, and
weapon that can fire around corners is of no value when confronted by a large crowd
of women and children armed with sticks and stones. He must also be intelligent
enough to understand that operations in the future are more likely to be the subject
of external interference. Such interference may be in conflict with the military
decision-making processes, and may even distort his operational procedures. Above
all, both he and his commanders must be able to cope with chaos, reversal or failure.
Another element which has changed immensely in the past 30 years is the
propensity for all parts of a military operation to be judged against a political
agenda. The most senior commanders have always had to cope with political reality.
At the highest level they have always been the interface between the politician and
the soldier. But only in the recent past have the actions of low level commanders and
their soldiers become so politically sensitive. It will almost certainly be too much to
expect soldiers to have a detailed understanding of the political Situation, but they
need, at least, a feeling for the likely implications of their actions. If operations are
to be effectively and sensitively conducted under these circumstances, there is a
requirement for low level commanders, and by this I mean right down to section
commander, to be able to discriminate between an order that must be obeyed (not
a word we hear very often today) and one that needs to be interpreted to suit a
particular situation. Commanders in Bosnia, Angola, Cambodia are doing this every
day; Young officers and NCOs in the British Army have been doing it for 27 years
in Northern Ireland. It is a culture rather than a procedure, and has to be cultivated
and encouraged. As such, it may be more appropriate to a long service, volunteer
army rather than a conscripted army. It is certainly not easy to teach that sort of
judgement - apart from through experience, and experience is liable to become an
expensive commodity in the situations that we may find ourselves in.
Having looked at the environment in which commanders may be working post
the year 2000, there appears to be no compelling reason why the qualities that we
require in our leaders should change in the future. The balance between them will
vary depending on the level of command. Given the changes in society, we may find
that those who join in the future may have a different understanding of the meaning
of some of the qualities such as “loyalty”, “unselfishness”, or “team spirit”; and their
relative importance balanced against the others. The only additions might be,
although they are implicit in the existing qualities, are “intelligence” and, perhaps
more important, “imagination”. It is difficult to see how a future commander can
cope if he does not possess the ability to approach his tasks in an imaginative way.
It is the style of leadership that has been most susceptible to change over the
centuries and will probably continue to change in the future. It is more a question
of what the leader does, rather than what he is. So long as they have the ability, they
are trainable. The British have often lagged behind other armies in the training of
senior commanders. It is something that we can no longer afford to do. In multinational
operations, commanders will have to contend with other national military
and political agenda, and the intense scrutiny and dissection of their decisions by a
plethora of institutions outside the chain of command. Thus the first and over-riding
stipulation is that the commander must be physically and mentally robust. To
prepare a commander specifically for this is essential and probably not difficult, but
there is also a requirement to prepare the staff to support him. I would argue that we
must start to encourage officers to be more imaginative in the way they approach
problems from early on in their career. Now that we have managed to escape from
the sterility of repeated exercises in Germany, we have a chance to make training for
high intensity operations more demanding for the commanders. In the same way,
continuing to train for high intensity operations, even though the likelihood is that
the reality will be something less; breeds confidence that you can move up a gear
with some ease if required, and that you can survive whatever is thrown at you.
Commanders of all ranks need to be exposed to greater levels of uncertainty during
training so that they become used to exercising and trusting their judgement. There
is still a tendency to test what the commander knows, rather than how he uses that
knowledge.
If situations are to become less predictable and thus subject to radical change
as operation continues, the art of improvisation becomes increasingly important.
There has been a recent attempt to identify a British style of command. It proved
elusive, to say the least. But one common theme which came through was that
British commanders are expected to be improvisers. They are expected to patch
things up when, as they surely will, things go wrong. Wellington made a revealing
comment when talking about French marshals. He said:
“They planned their campaigns just as you might make a splendid harness; it
looks very well, it answers very well, until it gets broken - and then you are
done for. Now I made my campaigns of rope; if anything went wrong I tied a
knot in it.”
His concept of 'fighting the battle' as it developed, rather than to a predetermined
pattern was neatly summarised before Waterloo. In reply to Lord
Uxbridge's question as to what his plans were for the day. He said:
“Well, Uxbridge, Bonaparte has not given me any ideas of his projects, and as
my plans entirely depend on them, how can you expect me to tell you what mine
are?”
He added:
“One thing is certain Uxbridge, that is whatever happens, you and I today will
do our duty.”
Of course, Wellington had chosen the ground on which he was to fight the battle
and had deployed his regiments in a way that protected them from one of Napoleon's
most potent assets, his artillery. He was also very experienced. But the flexibility of
his approach and his willingness to improvise may be a pointer for us entering a
more uncertain future. A more contemporary example is the improvisation shown
by the Germans on the Eastern Front and in North West Europe during the last war.
Ironically, this was a time when improvisation and flexibility was not a particular
British virtue.
As bas already been discussed, commanders will be under immense pressure to
try to give a multi-national force direction and cohesion, made all the more complex
by working to an international organisation, or a potentially fragile and hastily puttogether
coalition. There will be substantial differences in the way other nation's
officers and soldiers carry out their duties, plus the political infighting and
organisational inertia that seems to be endemic in such situations. The debilitating
effects of such an environment could be ameliorated by exposure to such
organisations earlier in an officer's career, though this does run the risk of the
organisation subverting the officer, rather than the other way round!
Coping with social change is, at present, probably the greatest challenge that
armies face and senior commanders have a great responsibility to sustain the critical
elements of military ethos that enable an army to go to war. It has to be said that we
sometimes do our cause no good by defending practises that are peripheral to this.
We must satisfy the changing aspirations of young soldiers whilst continuing to
justify that the armed forces have to be different from the rest of society. We cannot
do this effectively if we have not ensured that our arguments are sustainable in
public. So often they are generated by a small cabal of officers who see, very clearly,
the military implications, but find it difficult to conceive that there are other
arguments that sound even more plausible in the cold light of the television
interview. The British Army has consistently failed to get its message across to the
public over many of the important issues of ethos, and will not do so until the whole
area is approached in a more professional and dynamic way.
A question has recently been posed: would Montgomery have been able to deal
with the complexities of Bosnia in the way that Generals Rose and Smith have? The
answer is probably no, in the same way that WG Grace would probably not have
scored many, if any, runs in modern day test cricket. The ability is there, but the
attitudes and experience are from a different era. But I have little doubt that had both
Montgomery and Grace he been born in a later age, their innate qualities and
contemporary training and experience would have allowed them to excel in their
chosen professions.
In conclusion, the ability to predict trends is fraught with uncertainty, but there
does appear to be some justification in the view that the qualities of leadership will
remain largely unchanged. However, styles of leadership have altered under the
pressure of external influences, and will probably continue to do so. Therefore the
solution lies in the appropriate training of existing leaders. There appears to be no
requirement to recruit and select people with different qualities.

 

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