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A Cost Increase Analysis of Weapon Systems Using the Paache Index: Cases from the German Bundeswehr

Abstract

The media and the public often make claims regarding the excessive cost increases in the development and production of major weapon systems such as fighter planes, submarines or tanks. The purpose of this research is in assessing the cost increase of such weapon systems during their procurement periods with the help of the Paasche price index. In contrast to other approaches, which focus upon either the specific situations of single weapon systems or cost increases relative to planned budgets, we compare several projects of military services and their cost increases over time to reveal generalisable trends.

For this purpose, we used a framework model that allows for performance and cost comparisons. This paper primarily emphasises the cost perspective by calculating a Paasche index for each chosen project. As a background case for our analysis, we have used the acquisition projects for major weapon systems in Germany. However, the framework model that this study employs is universally applicable.

In contrast to the public perception of cost increases, we could not find any clear trend that would indicate that modern weapon systems have a significantly higher (or lower) cost increase than was the case for projects several decades before. To give brief insight into the empirical findings, the cost increase ratios of the Starfighter and Eurofighter jets have the same level, while cost increase ratios of other weapon systems (APC tanks, submarines) differ significantly (to the worse and to the better) over time. Our findings imply that there is no general trend that today the costs for weapon systems increase more/less than some decades ago. This paper calculates data only from the regarded seven cases therefore we could not question the causes for this observation on basis of our sample. However, it appears that, within a specific service or a specific vehicle type (tank, fighter jet, ship/boat), cost increases may be similar over time.

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Strategy as Discursive Construction in the Finnish Defence Forces

Abstract

This paper draws upon critical discourse analysis to analyse an empirical study of strategy practices in a military organization. The recent practice-turn in strategy research emphasizes the meaning of discourses, routines and activities in a strategy formation process. Strategy is not understood only as an attribute of an organization, but also as activity; it is something people do and say or leave undone and unspoken. Research concerning strategy practices has, however, ignored military organizations and concentrated mainly on private enterprises and public administration. In this paper we argue that there is a need for a practice-turn in the military context as well. Just as practice theory has proven its usefulness in examining corporate strategies, it can also contribute to our understanding of the actual strategy process in military organizations and help us understand the practices behind formulated strategy.

We focus on the high-level strategic planners in the Finnish Defence Forces and analyse their conceptions of the strategy process. Based on the data of 14 in-depth interviews, the paper's goal is to analyse the discursive elements of strategy talk in a military organization. This paper will concentrate on three central issues. (1) What is the relationship between civil and military strategists while formulating strategy in a military organization? (2) Who are defined as strategists? (3) Are the high-level strategy planners aware of a variety of hidden agendas and power relations that shape the strategy formulation process? Although the discourses and practices we have found are, of course, context-specific, we claim that similar kind of strategic discourses and practices can be found in other military organizations and possibly even in non-military organizations.

Research on civil-military relations has traditionally concentrated on examining the interaction between civil and military organizations but neglected the interaction within these organizations. Our study shows that formulating strategy in military organizations is a complex process far from the Clausewitzian conception that delimits the concept of strategy only to conventional war. Direction-setting, monitoring and allocation of resources are all outcomes of a constant debate between political, military, technological, economical and cultural aspects. Getting to know this kind of process can be beneficial for strategy researchers and managers working in the corporate field as well.

In addition, the Finnish Defence Forces constitute an interesting field for strategy research, as it is one of the three European armies that relies on compulsory military service. The fact that almost every male citizen has served guarantees a special position for this institution in society and particularly in strategy discourses.

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Rethinking the unthinkable – revisiting theories of nuclear deterrence and escalation

political decisions may intensify a crisis. Kahn (1962) called this kind of accidental war a “war by miscalculation” and claimed that it might result from the process generally called “escalation.” A limited move may appear safe, but set into motion a disastrous sequence of decisions and actions. One may readily imagine some intensifying crisis in which neither side really believes the issue is big enough to end in war, but in which both sides are willing to accept some small risk of war. (p. 47) To illustrate how a political confrontation could lead to nuclear war

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Organizational challenges and leaders’ coping strategies: a qualitative study of Swedish military staff organization

unhealthy culture ( Gini 1997 ; Jackall 1988 ). Some researchers have identified particular aspects of ON ( Brown 1997 ; Tobacyk and Mitchell 1987 ). The first of these criteria includes denial . This describes a process when organizations deny facts about themselves using spokespersons, propaganda campaigns, annual reports and myths. The second is rationalization , which happens when organizations develop justifications for their actions, inactions, decisions and responsibilities. The third is self-aggrandizement , which occurs when organizations make claims to

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