Course Description

470.685 - The Challenge of Change: Innovation in Military Affairs

Change is perennial in national security and military affairs, but knowing how, why, and when to embrace change is both difficult and vital. Strategies and tactics may be outdated, new ideas may be resisted, and science and technology continue to change our world faster than we can optimize. The paradox deepens with context: innovation in peacetime has one logic while innovation in war has another. This course unravels the nature of change in military affairs through four themes: ideas, materials, human capital and structure, and, appreciation of the enemy. The course explores these themes through a series of case studies from around the world. Topics include civilian development/military application of science and technology; learning from failure and success (including from other nations); institutional reactions to change; procurement and the role of industry; and, the impact and limitations of individual "champions" of change.