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The Military's Business

The Military's Business
Designing Military Power for the Future

$35.99 (P)

  • Date Published: March 2015
  • availability: In stock
  • format: Paperback
  • isbn: 9781107477353

$ 35.99 (P)

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About the Authors
  • If the military were a business, would you buy shares? Over recent years, Western armed forces, particularly the US, have been costing more yet achieving less. At the same time, austerity measures are reducing defence budgets. This book uses defence data to examine the workings of modern Western militaries and explore what kind of strategies can overcome this gap between input and output. Instead of focusing on military strategy, Mikkel Vedby Rasmussen seeks to draw on the ideas of business strategy to assess alternative business cases - reforming military HR to combat instability in the 'Global South' or utilising new technologies to overcome the prohibitive costs of current systems. Analysing the philosophical, strategic and budgetary underpinnings of these alternatives, he concludes that a more radical break from current military organisational practices is needed which would allow them to fit within a nation's overall national security system without ever-increasing budgets.

    • Presents a new design strategy for more efficient armed forces, utilising insights from business strategy as well as military strategy
    • Features strategic analysis based on defence budgetary data
    • Suitable for use in professional military education as well as at university level
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    Reviews & endorsements

    "Why are Western armed forces achieving less and costing more, asks the author. Why, we might add, if the trend continues they seem to be fated to occupy a modest evolutionary niche? Rasmussen has produced not only a lucid, informed and compelling critique of the West’s failed military business model but also a set of prescriptions it would be wise to take on board before it is too late."
    Christopher Coker, London School of Economics and Political Science

    "In this brilliant book, Rasmussen explores why states are getting ever less bang for their bucks. Finding that defence "shopping lists" have replaced "strategy", he draws on business studies to show how Western militaries need to be redesigned for the 21st century. In an age of continued austerity, with Europe facing military challenges to the east and the south, this really is an essential read."
    Theo Farrell, Head of the Department of War Studies, King's College London

    'The Military’s Business is both a crash course in military and business strategy and an empirical analysis of historical developments. At its finest, the book manages to apply philosophical terms to mundane phenomena such as defense procurement and management and, in doing so, it makes a number of interesting reflections on how societies think about and utilize their militaries.' Nikolaj K. Andersen, Global Readers' Club (

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    Product details

    • Date Published: March 2015
    • format: Paperback
    • isbn: 9781107477353
    • length: 232 pages
    • dimensions: 228 x 152 x 12 mm
    • weight: 0.36kg
    • contains: 9 b/w illus.
    • availability: In stock
  • Table of Contents

    1. Introduction
    2. The modern military system
    3. The modern military system: the US case
    4. The counterinsurgency business model
    5. Converging technologies business model
    6. Designer wars.

  • Author

    Mikkel Vedby Rasmussen, University of Copenhagen
    Mikkel Vedby Rasmussen is a professor at the University of Copenhagen. He is currently on leave working on policy development in the Danish Ministry of Defence. Rasmussen has previously headed the Centre for Military Studies and the Danish Institute for Military Studies in Copenhagen. He was published widely on security and defence matters, including The Risk Society at War (Cambridge University Press, 2006).

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