The military scientific research procedure

Andreas Alexa

The military scientific research procedure mainly orientates itself towards the linear research procedure. By applying generally acknowledged scientific and military scientific methods which comply with the criterions impartiality, soundness and validity, comprehensible and verifiable results become possible. Thus, military scientific research on the one hand contributes to the further development of military science as such, on the other hand solution possibilities for current problems also outside the military are pointed out.

Military scientific working in particular means working responsibly. That means straightforwardness, impartiality, the use of clear concepts, completeness, clarity, general validity (within clearly defined limits), and revisability. In this sense it is decisive that propositions and lines of reasoning are phrased comprehensibly and credibly, but for all that as free from manipulative elements as possible.

Purposeful and convenient research in the military field, on the one hand as contract research and on the other hand as self-initiated projects, provides cognitions concerning the object of cognition of military science. Both the consideration and the implementation of the thus achieved knowledge, however, is not in the hands of the military scientist any longer, but is in the sphere of action of the Federal ministry of Defence. A military scientific analysis is not finished until the reference to the present state of the art has been made in the form of a presentation of the results. Here one has to specify or at least to assess to what extent the achieved results can be generalised, thus contributing to the explanation of a higher-level problem. By verifying or falsifying of postulated hypotheses, a contribution to answering the research problem is made. This, however, does certainly not have to be comprehensive; on the contrary, in a manner of speaking, it can orientate towards a subarea of the question.

Military science focusses on the study of principles within the framework of a doctrine oriented towards principles and on reflecting it with regard to the present environment, cogitation, assessment, and permanently exercising. Only in this way achieving scientific knowledge and practical experience, together with their adequate implementation, and true art of leadership is possible.

In the course of the last years, military science in Austria has boomed due to the implementation of advanced technical college study paths in the Austrian Armed Forces as well as because of intensively dealing with this subject matter in both research and doctrine.