Designing a NATO that Thinks Differently for 21st Century Complex Challenges
The 21st century presents novel and increasingly complex security challenges for the international defense community and NATO in particular. Western armed forces as well as intergovernmental military alliances, such as NATO, appear increasingly unable to deal with these problems using traditional planning and organizing methodologies alone; what used to work effectively no longer seems to possess the same precision and control. Traditional military decision-making and problem-solving methodologies are insufficient tools for what is increasingly seen as a postmodern era of conflict and security challenges. The authors promote the relatively new and organizationally disruptive theory and practice known as ‘military design’ as an important area for NATO educational development and implementation into practice as well as doctrine. Many nations within the NATO alliance have already implemented their own unique military design methodologies, and eventually as a force for complex security challenges NATO will need to consider design within a NATO formation. The authors establish the distinctions between military design and military planning, how NATO can implement design in practice and education, and why NATO requires design and traditional planning together in the context of emergent 21st century challenges. The window for rapid innovation and organizational transformation using military design is now, with the call for a design framework that is flexible towards unique NATO requirements and possessing essential qualities indicative of appreciating and addressing many emergent and novel challenges confronting the alliance.