Learning From (Recent) History? – An Assessment of CF Joint-Level Learning, Innovation, and Adaptation Activities


  1. Chuka, N.
Corporate Authors
Defence Research and Development Canada, Centre for Operational Research and Analysis, Ottawa ON (CAN)
Employing the body of historical literature on military learning, innovation, and effectiveness, this study establishes a comparative framework that identifies four primary requirements for a modern military force to be able to learn from operations, innovate, and better prepare for future warfare. The four major requirements are: 1) a sound policy and military strategic assessment framework; 2) institutional structures and processes to facilitate learning and innovation; 3) an intellectual environment conducive to honest self-reflection and the tolerance of constructive dissent; and, 4) properly trained and educated military and civilian staff to conduct research and analysis. The paper also argues that lessons based on analysis of empirical evidence derived from operations should be the primary driver of doctrine revision and development, concept development, and experimentation. This study then goes on to compare recent DND/CF joint-level activities related to learning and innovation to the framework. The purpose is to identify areas that can be improved, elements that may be currently overlooked, and areas where activities might be rationalized to improve the learning and innovation process. For the most part, only post-transformation (circa 2006) efforts will be considered although reference will be made to some pre-transformation structures and activities. The evidence suggests that while DND and the CF possess a reasonable set of structures and organizations to facilit

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lessons learned;learning;innovation;military effectiveness;concept development;futures analysis
Report Number
DRDC-CORA-TM-2013-248 — Technical Memorandum
Date of publication
01 Mar 2012
Number of Pages
Electronic Document(PDF)

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