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Thinking and Acting in Military Pedagogy

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Hubert Annen, Can Nakkas and Juha Mäkinen

Military pedagogical research and teaching has made headways. There is still no internationally accepted unified field theory, but the diversity and heterogeneity of military pedagogy reflects the complexity of modern military tasks and enables the scientific debate on military ethics and morale, military education and interculturality. While political and educational developments have caught up with some of the topics addressed, changes in the military and the political and educational landscape will always necessitate this branch of academia to continuously adapt to the needs of the armed forces and their servicemen and -women. Insofar, the diverse contributions in this volume offer valuable insights into current military pedagogical thinking and acting.

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Hubert Annen & Can Nakkas: Preface

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7 Hubert Annen & Can Nakkas Preface Vegetius’ well-known and often misused proverb “si vis pacem, para bellum” (i.e., if you want peace, prepare for war) unavoidably leads to the conclusion that if you prepare for war, you want soldiers. Obviously, the better soldiers you have and the better they are trained, the more victorious – if not necessarily more peaceful – you will be. Evidence for this most basic military pedagogical think- ing dates back as early as 1100 BC, when the Israelite judge Gideon engaged in one of the earliest documented assessments for “military personnel” (Jgs 7, 1-7), and it found its pinnacle in Napoleon’s famous saying that an army’s effectiveness depends on its size, training, experience, and morale, but that morale is worth more than any of the other factors combined. He arguably even was the first to quantify the psychological factor in war, claiming that in war moral power is to physical as three parts out of four. The bottom line is that wars are both fought and won respectively lost by humans. Times have changed considerably since then, and while the ontological aspect of war itself may not have changed: the nature of conflict definitely has, and with it the nature of victory and military success. The emergence of a plethora of buzzwords (RMA, C4ISTAR, EBO, asymmetrical warfare, etc.) in military science during the last twenty years is an indicator of the obvious attempt to come to terms with this expansion of battlespace. Seldom has Clausewitz’ axiom that...

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