Future Military Management


International security operations (ISOs), particularly military operations in all context; use of threat of force, use of force by military and operations other than war, with varying degree, but has always dominated the political, economic, and social events and will continue to considerably shape future security environment. ...

Ali Bilgin VARLIK*

International security operations (ISOs), particularly military operations in all context; use of threat of force, use of force by military and operations other than war, with varying degree, but has always dominated the political, economic, and social events and will continue to considerably shape future security environment. The previous boundaries, between military and diplomacy, political and economic coercive measures or cooperation, and social and psychological impacts is getting blurrier. This ambiguity may be attributed to various factors, but none is more prevailing than the consequences of globalization. As a result, future military management will be more demanding, complex and complicated which cannot be tackled by either the government or the military alone. This requires, more comprehensive, more civilian-military harmony and seamless, more effects-based military management.

The purpose of this paper is to setup a system-model for future military management which could meet challenging requirements and prospects of the foreseeable future. The study is composed of four parts: Factors affecting future military management, ingredients of military management, principles of future military management, and a sample system-model for military management.

Factors Affecting Future Military Management
Since security is the primus inter pares compared to all other national interests and/or needs, military has inherently been the major and mostly the most complex bureaucratic structure in nearly all states, and is likely to hold this title in the future too. International and national levels of analysis may help to define factors affecting future military management.

International level of analysis on affecting factors
Anarchic nature of international system, hinders sweeping generalizations for patterns of state behaviours. Except for international conditions which are firmly shaped by hegemonic powers, states act on their own by self-hep motivations for their national interests. As Robert Gilpin (1981) indicated hegemonic powers have historically only emerged after world wars; during peace time, weaker countries have tended to gain on the hegemony rather than vice versa. Comparative studies can hardly distinguish identical or akin characteristics as they had discovered during the “bi-polar world order ‘good old days[1]’“. It is not only the Realists’ institutionalist approach, but also liberal paradigm’s efforts to categorise or theorise state behavioural patterns –such as Democratic Peace Theory– also failed.

The end of the Cold War marked the limits of “after hegemony world order“ which states prefer to follow, at various degree but within the parameters of institutionalised U.S. led hegemonic world order for cooperation. Current world order cannot be explained by that concept anymore. Changes in the world system or balance of power between regional or hegemon powers which alter concept of alliance, band wagoning, interconnectedness or interdependence, force to transform military management. We are living in a “post after hegemony“ world order, in which states cooperates function-base. In this new world order, military management will likely to operate in an international security environment which is more self-dependent, self-sustained, more functional, lose alliance, and case by case in nature.

On the other hand, current and foreseeable future circumstances, which prevail uncertainty and variety in the spectrum of risks and potential threats enforces military management to be more cooperative, more interconnected, and more inter-disciplinary. As argued at the ACT (Allied Command Transformation) (2009) “Multiple Futures Project (MFP) – Navigating towards 2030“, Western World “will need to respond to a wide variety of security challenges that are mainly a consequence of destabilisation and the absence of governance. The MFP forecasts that these challenges will result from unbridled extremism, uncontrolled and illegal migration, and friction caused by resource scarcity“. The composition of the future security challenges will be hybrid. These hybrid threats will be both interconnected and unpredictable, combining traditional warfare with irregular warfare, terrorism, and organised crime (ACT, 2009). Complex and compound structure of the future security challenges obliges nations for comprehensive solutions developed in concert with other international organisations like the EU and UN as well as broad partnership programmes with interoperable capacity and other international actors.

National level of analysis on affecting factors
At the national level, political structure and considerations, economic stakeholders’ ambitions, social, cultural and identity-based features and expectations are the prominent factors shaping military structure and the management. In addition to those, changes in threat perception which leads from seucuritization to desecuritization or vice versa, changes the formation of military management. National security culture which is a product of historical, theoretical, and also practical accumulation of experiences also shapes bureaucratic composition of the military. All these factors are only some of the reasons why the military bureaucracy is so large and complicated. Other constants and variables can be added to those mentioned up to here. These indicators may vary from time to time and from country to country. Every state is its own, their uniqueness or resemblance vary with no generally applicable rule.

Future security environment entails more demanding national expectations for a highly accountable, sufficiently professional, and affordably cost-effective military management. In this environment, previously applicable civil-military relations which either gave military an autonomy on its expertise of put more emphasis on the civilian control on military will no longer be valid. A new civil-military approach which not only possess democratic control of military but also enable complementary civil-military affairs in harmony will prevail in military management. All elements of national powers will be intermingled with military management.

Ingredients of Military Management
Basic components of military management can be grouped under three main titles; political-military affairs, administrative, planning and operations, and defence planning and programming. Subfields of these are listed as below:
  • Political-Military Affairs
  • Security assessment
  • Formation of national powers for national security
  • Security/military diplomacy
  • Civil-military relations
  • Military-public relations
  • Human Resource Administration
  • Officer and NCO education
  • Recruiting
  • Contracting
  • Dischargement and retirement
  • Military law and professional ethics
  • Planning and Operations
  • Force planning
- Force making (force establishment)
- Force allocation
- Force reduction
  • Force protection
- Survivability of the military power
- Sustainability of the military power
  • Doctrine, training and exercise
  • Management of war and operations other than war
- Military strategy, operative, tactics, techniques, and procedures
- Intelligence, surveillance, reconnaissance, and early warning
- Operation, logistics and maintenance, command, control, communication, and computer
  • Defence Planning and Programming
  • Budgeting
  • Procurement, and acquisition
  • Military sales
  • Military technology research and development

Principles of Future Military Management
These four main areas of military management require segmental principles based upon their futures. For political-military affairs basic principles for future military management can be summarized under eight principles: Democratic civilian control of military; political-military integration; goals, objectives, and end states; optimization; pro-activity; elasticity; independence, self-sustainability, and sovereignty; institutionalization; cooperativity and comprehensive approach; strategic communication.

Basic needs for human resource administration are commitment, competence, cost management and compatibility (Upadhyay, 2020). In order to meet these requirements basic principles can be gathered under nine folds; individual growth; right selection; fair participation, performance management (pay, promotion, and incentives); learning and development; continuity and change (succession planning, organizational development and transformation); teamwork; leadership; hierarchy and discipline; adherence to low and order; information system and data analysis.

A combination of U.S (JP 3-0, 2011), U.K (JDP, 2014), and Russian (Glantz, 1991) principles of war meet almost all requirements of military planning and operations. These are: high readiness; initiative; objective (direction); offensive; economy of force and concentration (mass); mobility and manoeuvre; unity of command; security; sustainability, continuity, determination and endurance; agility; flexibility, surprise; applicability (simplicity); crisis management; morale.

Principles for defence planning and programming can be summarised under four topics. These are: competitiveness; sustainability; self-reliance; cooperativeness; industry-segment configuration and interlinkage (between all scale manufacturers); affordability; cost-effectiveness; optimization; life-cycle prudence; differentiation, innovation, and supply-base production; prioritization; inclusiveness; modularity; interoperability, affordability, applicability, timing, market making and marketing.

Sample System-Model for Military Management
Are those four elements (Political-Military Affairs, Human Resource Administration, Planning and Operations and Defence Planning and Programming) constitute a system. Even though at the first glance these elements may seem standalone areas of occupation and expertise one can not manage properly each and every element without strictly taking into consideration the others. In another word, it is hardy possible to run these functions without building systematic structure which also include the others. Indeed, they are separate but inseparable. Only a systems model can promote dialogue between these autonomous areas of study. For example, for a military planning or operation political guidance is vital. Similarly, an armed forces raise personnel for operational needs and the man/women on the field need to be trained based upon a doctrine and the military equipment and arms are to be suitable for the doctrine. So military management can be tackled within the concept of a system model.

Military is a dynamic/active system; an activity structure or component that interact in behaviours and processes. In the sample system argued here the are three elements of the system. Inputs are factors affecting future military management, the process is composed of four ingredients of military management together with the principles and procedures how to conduct these sub-systems. The outcome is preserving peace, gaining national interest or wining war. The feedback is the after-action reviews, lessons learned, pools, statistics and the others.


Governments across the globe have decided to reform their military,
making them technologically more sophisticated, increasingly flexible, leaner and
more efficient.
- personnel management, public budgeting and financial management, contracting, and planning.
- defense transformation, planning, budgeting, personnel,
weapon systems management, doctrine development, military–civilian relationships, professional education, professional ethics, and overviews of the military
The revolution in military affairs, first adopted as a reform process in the United
States, has spread globally, though varying by country and region, with its resemblance to American reforms being influenced by national military culture, history,
economic situation, and the regional security situation (handbook, xxiv)

Gilpin, Robert. (1981). War and Change in World Politics. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.
Mearsheimer, John (1990). Why We Will Soon the Cold War. The Atlantic (August 1990), pp. 35-50.
Mearsheimer, John (1990a). Back to the Future: Political Instability in Europe After the Cold War. International Security (Summer 1990), 15 (1), pp. 5-56.
ACT (Allied Command Transformation) (2009). Multiple Futures Project – Navigating towards 2030 (Final Report – April 2009). NATO/ATC.
Upadhyay, Isha. (16 Dec 2020). Nine Basic Principles of Human Resource Management, https://www.jigsawacademy.com/blogs/hr-analytics/principles-of-human-resource-management/
JDP 0-01 (Joint Doctrine Publication 0-01) (5th Edition). (2014). (U.K) Ministry of Defence, Chief of the Defence Staff, Development, Concepts and Doctrine Centre, https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/389755/20141208-JDP_0_01_Ed_5_UK_Defence_Doctrine.pdf
JP 3-0 (Joint Publication 3-0) Joint Operations. (11 August 2011). U.S. Chief of Staff, http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/new_pubs/jp3_0.pdf
Glantz, David. (1991). Soviet Military Operational Art: In pursuit of deep battle. London: Frank Cass

* Associate Professor, İstanbul Arel Uni., International Relations Branch, alibilginvarlik@arel.edu.tr., bilginvarlik@gmail.com. ORCİD:0000-0002-5265-2321
[1] At the end of the Cold War John Mearsheimer (1990; 1990a); claimed that the U.S. would soon miss “the good old days.“

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