Discretion in army force generation
The purpose of the dissertation project study is to appreciate discretion within force generation of Western armies.
Discretion is the freedom to decide how to do in a particular situation. Such appreciation intends to contribute in building an understanding of force generation as a whole, which, since how well forces will fight depends on the preceding generating of those forces, is of greater importance than implied by the limited previous research of it. The intended end-state is revealing how armies trust their professionals to make discretionary decisions in force generation.
The problem this study explores relate to that Western armies espouse command policies advocating decentralization, yet previous research has shown force generation practices as centralized and micro-managed. The distribution of discretion relate to centralization and decentralization, but limited research has investigated the distribution of discretion within army force generation. What the balance between centralization and decentralization looks like within the force generation of Western armies has yet attracted only limited research.
The tentative research question of this study is: How does professional discretion manifest itself in decision-making within Western armies’ force generation?
Department of War Studies and Military History
The Swedish Defence University