This article by Brigadier (BRIG) Chris Smith was first published in the Autumn 2018 Australian Army Journal. BRIG Smith examines military concept writing in terms of ‘explorative’ concepts (an abstract form) and ‘intentional’ concepts (a seminal form, describing or prescribing an intended way of waging wars).
BRIG Smith’s article commences by detailing the differences between intentional and explorative concepts. He contends that militaries ought to be cautious about intentional writing because it may suppress ideas, and therefore hinder innovation, whereas explorative consequences overcome this weakness and promote innovation.
The article concludes by recommending an approach to modernisation where the Army seeks to overcome adversaries’ advantages through encouraging ideas and seeing where these innovations may lead, rather than a prescribing a blueprint for waging future wars.