Why are some military organizations more adept than others at reinventing themselves? Why do some efforts succeed rapidly while others only gather momentum over time or become sidetracked or even subverted? This book explicates the conditions under which military organizations have both succeeded and failed at institutionalizing new ideas and forms of warfare. Through comparative analysis of some classic cases - US naval aviation during the interwar period; German and British armour development during the same period; and the US Army's experience with counter-insurgency during the Vietnam War - the authors offer a novel explanation for change rooted in managerial strategies for aligning service incentives and norms. With contemporary policy makers scrambling to digest the lessons of recent wars in Kosovo, Afghanistan and Iraq, as well as to meet the unfolding challenges of the new revolution in military affairs (RMA), understanding the sources and impediments to transformation has become critical.
'Militaries are notorious for being stuck in tradition, yet sometimes they embrace dramatic new ways of war. This book helps to unravel that puzzle by showing how the particular strategies that managers of reform adopt can either fizzle in failure or unleash stunning change. With fascinating case studies and a nuanced argument, it is necessary reading for students, scholars, and policymakers interested in organizations or security affairs.' Jeffrey W. Legro, University of Virginia, USA '…Managing Defense Transformation fills a gap in that it offers an analytical understanding of the process of military organizational transformation and innovation…The richness of the comparative analysis may even make this work essential for anyone interested in military innovation and favourable conditions for successful military transformations.' Etudes internationales