The Decision Point: Military Command in the 21st Century


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Professor Anthony King gives a talk for the Changing Character of War seminar series. Command has long been a major concern for military historians and security studies scholars. Focusing on the divisional headquarters and specifically on staff procedure, the 'decision point', this paper analyses the transformation of command in the 21st century. It claims that in contrast to the 20th century, when forces institutionalised a relatively individualised system of command, command in the 21st century has become a highly professionalised and collectivise practice. Specifically, through devices like the Decision Point, staff play an increasingly important role in structuring and directing the decision-making process. Professor Anthony King is Professor in War Studies at the University of Warwick. He specialises in the study of the war and the armed forces and is particularly interested in the question of small unit cohesion. His most recent publications include The Combat Soldier: Infantry Tactics and Cohesion in the Twentieth and Twenty-first Centuries (Oxford, 2013) and (ed.) Frontline: Combat and Cohesion in the Twenty-first Century (Oxford, 2015).

68 episodes