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The Culture of Military Innovation: The Impact of Cultural Factors on the Revolution in Military Affairs in Russia, the US, and Israel.

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ISBN-13: 978-0804769525
ISBN-10: 0804769524
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Editorial Reviews


"Recent and ongoing conflicts have exposed fundamental flaws in what became RMA orthodoxy. The Culture of Military Innovation is useful, in part, because Adamsky illuminates many of the socio-cultural factors that help explain the broad acceptance of false assumptions among military strategists and the propensity of both state and non-state actors to develop military capabilities based on idealised visions of future armed conflict. His study also illuminates the relevance of cultural analysis to self-reflection and criticism."—H.R. McMaster, Survival

"Despite the fact that the information- and precision-based RMA has not completely revolutionized all warfare, Adamsky properly recognizes strategic culture as a major factor in military innovation."—Peter R. Mansoor, Foreign Affairs

"The comparative cultural analysis is comprehensive, thoughtful, and interesting, and the book should be well-received and appreciated by academics and practitioners alike... Adamsky's analysis is impressive and persuasive. The empirical chapters are rich and deep, but also concise, clear, and accessible. From a theoretical perspective, the book is an excellent example of cultural analysis."—David W. Kearn, Jr., St. John's University, Political Science Quarterly

"Dima Adamsky's The Culture of Military Innovation is an account of how one intellectual paradigm, called the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA), rose and fell in the militaries of the USSR, USA and Israel . . . The study distinguishes itself within its subdiscipline for its excellent sources (archival material from all three countries and interviews in Israel), skillful argumentation, and very intelligent case selection. Adamsky's cases connect logically and make for compelling reading."—Thomas Crosbie, Yale University, Canadian Journal of Sociology

"Adamsky has written a theoretically robust and empirically compelling account of the development of the revolution in millitary affairs (RMA) in the Soviet Union, the US, and Israel . . . Adamsky's account is brief, but it will be of value to both academics and practitioners. Recommended." -R.M. Farley, CHOICE
"This is an outstanding study of comparative strategic culture and the Revolution in Military Affairs. Drawing on exhaustive research, it explains why the Soviets were the first to theorize about the RMA, the Americans were the first to develop RMA technologies, and the Israelis were the first to fight an RMA war."—Theo Farrell, Professor of War in the Modern World, King's College, London
"This book is a focused, disciplined, and brilliant effort to use the concept of strategic culture to explain how three countries proceeded in very different ways to develop new ways of warfare based on information technology. It breaks new ground intellectually, in its research and in its analysis, and helps men and women in the world of government better understand the world in which they operate."—Stephen Peter Rosen, Professor of National Security and Military Affairs, Department of Government, Harvard University
"Adamsky's cultural perspective explains why the armed forces of the US, USSR, and Israel were so different from one another in grasping the significance of the Revolution in Military Affairs (RMA) since the 1970s. This rich, sophisticated, and nuanced study is indispensible for students of the RMA, military revolutions, and strategic cultures."—Azar Gat, Ezer Weitzman Professor of National Security, Tel Aviv University
"Culture dominates technical choice—a lesson of both practical and theoretical importance that emerges from this acute study of three of the world's most sophisticated militaries. Adamsky's mastery of three military literatures and the relevant social science makes this a pathbreaking work in strategic studies."—Eliot A. Cohen, Robert E. Osgood Professor of Strategic Studies, School of Advanced International Studies, Johns Hopkins University
"For Americans, the hardest 'cultural intelligence' lesson contained in The Culture of Military Innovation is that the possession of cutting-edge technology does not invariably lead to strategic genius. It thus behooves the Intelligence Community to monitor the 'dreamers' who sometimes suggest ideas, operational concepts, and applications that appear beyond their capabilities. As Adamsky suggests, ideas that appear fanciful to pragmatic Americans, might actually be a harbinger of systemic effects that will become manifest in the decades ahead."—James J. Wirtz, International Journal of Intelligence & Counter Intelligence
"This carefully researched work presents a detailed case study in comparative strategic culture and the revolution in military affairs . . . an ideal reference for strategists, scholars, armchair generals, and those interested in applying cultural models to organizational behavior."—Gene Klann, Military Review
"Adamsky's book is an indispensible guide not only to the Israeli experience with the RMA, but also to the manner in which armed forces around the world respond to upheavals in the nature of warfare."—David Rodman, Israel Affairs
"If you have ever wondered what would happen if postmodernism became a template for organizational management, read this book . . . [T]his book has the potential to raise provocative and important issues for scholars studying the state. For this reason, the book will be of interest to scholars studying peace and war, and it has the potential to attract those interested in politics and culture—and their intersection."—Gregory Hooks, American Journal of Sociology
"The future of innovation in the military realm is by no means over . . . Greater wisdom concerning novel innovations in technology and the nature of war is required. The analysis offered in this ex

About the Author

Dima Adamsky is a fellow at the National Security Studies Program at Harvard University. He has been a visiting fellow at the Institute of War and Peace Studies, Columbia University, and at the Norwegian Institute for Defense Studies.


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Product Details

  • Paperback: 248 pages
  • Publisher: Stanford Security Studies (January 27, 2010)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0804769524
  • ISBN-13: 978-0804769525
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 0.7 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 15.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (3 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #173,111 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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6 of 6 people found the following review helpful By E. Klann on October 4, 2010
Format: Paperback
This meticulously researched volume presents a rigorous case study in comparative strategic cultures and the revolution of military affairs (RMA). It addresses two central questions: first-- what explains how military innovations, based on similar technologies, develop in different nation states? Secondly--how does a "new theory of victory" originate in different cultural settings? It compares and contrasts the cultures of the United States, Israel, and Russia and how they have approached and interpreted the changing nature of warfare. According to the author, the most recent roots of RMA can be traced to the mid 1970s when standoff precision-guided munitions (PGM) were introduced. The Russians were the first to recognize that PGMs would radically change modern warfare and constitute a fundamental discontinuity which they called the military-technical revolution (MTR). RMA and MTR are terms describing "radical military innovation that render existing doctrine and forms of combat obsolete."
Mr. Adamsky contends that the cognitive art of each national culture dominates and conditions the manner in which their militaries integrate strategy, doctrine, operational concepts, organization, and new weapons technology.
The author argues that the American way of war has relied on material superiority, massive firepower, and advanced technologies over a fighting style focused on an intellectual approach of creative maneuvering and strategic innovation. This evolved from an American cognitive style that is inductive, logical-analytical, and centered on the object being independent from the context in which it is embedded.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful By Mark Clenow on February 8, 2010
Format: Paperback
Author offers a new and fascinating perspective on the development and application of the new military strategy in the last chapter of the Cold War. His extensive and scrupulous research on this matter presents Soviet Union as a herald of the new paradigm in military affairs, the United States as a technological creator of the new set of military tools and Israel as a pragmatic user who puts these two - theory and practice to the test, ironically against the previous generation Soviet military machinery and theory of it's Arab allies. The book is very professionally written but at the same time is easy to read. It's a must have piece not only for a professionals but also for a wider circle of military enthusiasts around the world.
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1 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Eldad Shamash on March 27, 2011
Format: Paperback
The author manages to describe in a very light but thorought way the comparison between three major forces that colided in the '70 - '80 world wide and specificaly in the courtyard of the middle east - what happens when one has the knowledge and technology, but no dctrine; one has the doctrine without means and one liitle praticipant that lacks both but gains warfield experience that both giants can learn from.
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