The resources and capabilities of the armed forces are a direct consequence of the state policy of militarization. However, there are factors that have effects on this area indirectly, thereby determining certain conditions of interaction with other industries. The social class of the military may be affected by external influences that entail changes in the mode of operation of the armed forces and make them adapt to current conditions.
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In order to analyze some of the criteria that are essential to consider when evaluating the activities of the defense sector, it is important to resort to the information provided in academic studies. This work is aimed at identifying significant factors that influence the activities of the military and modern national security standards.
Effect of the Evolution of Technology on Decision Making
Although the Department of Defense (DoD) is the agency that has sufficient authority to achieve its goals, its activities depend on some external factors. In particular, the decision-making process of the members of this structure is inextricably linked with the constant development of technology. Updating the resource base is the criterion that affects the equipment of the army and, as a consequence, its capabilities.
According to Andersson et al. (2015), systems engineering developments help to formulate specific strategies “and can support military decision-making regarding technology in forecasts, defense planning, development, utilization and the lessons learned process” (p. 23). Therefore, updating the resource base is a significant factor that determines the nature of innovations in the defense sphere, tactical moves during military operations, and the nature of changes in the structure of armaments.
When evaluating the activities of the DoD, the analysis of technological innovations allows for a number of important procedures. One of them is defense planning, and its provisions should be necessarily taken into account. As Andersson et al. (2015) note, this strategy gives decision-makers an opportunity to think out a strategy to ensure the security of the country’s territorial integrity in advance by locating appropriate combat units. Constant innovations in the military-industrial complex and the high dynamics of the latest developments in the production of weapons allow planning the location of heavy military equipment and its number.
This, in turn, affects the response from potential opponents, and such a confrontation algorithm is a direct consequence of the emergence of new products in this sphere. The use of high-precision missiles, anti-aircraft artillery, and other modern pieces of equipment has significantly changed the course of military operations over the past decades. Tactical decisions directly depend on the power of the available weapons base. Therefore, the development of technology in the military sector is an essential criterion that determines the decision-making process performed by the representatives of the DoD.
In addition to equipping with armament, the constant development of technology also affects virtual resources that are a valuable tool in the modern defense industry. According to Van Puyvelde, Coulthart, and Hossain (2017), military software has been transformed by the introduction of topical and high-performance new products. An ability to control the entire defense complex remotely opens up additional opportunities for decision-makers in this sector and provides more opportunities when planning certain operations.
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Van Puyvelde, Coulthart, and Hossain (2017) give various examples of the equipment that increases the productivity of the DoD and mention high-precision GPS locators, audio and video sensors, heat-sensitive mechanisms, and other valuable developments. All these technologies make it possible to facilitate the work of the military and significantly distinguish modern decision-making practices from those that were maintained previously.
On a larger scale, innovative technologies also influence the decision-making process in the military sector. Snyder and Diesing (2015) argue that the strategic actions of different powers regarding the defense complex are largely dependent on developments in the nuclear industry. The presence of weapons of this type imposes certain obligations on the DoD, and the arms race that characterized the situation in the world in the 20th century has transformed under the influence of new opportunities. The responsibility borne by representatives of military departments has increased, and the decision-making process has acquired significance since the consequences of certain tactical moves may have serious consequences. All these factors form the new picture of strategic planning and largely determine the nature of the DoD’s actions.
Impact of Domestic and Foreign News Media Outlets on National Security
Today, the influence of the media is significant due to free access to all the possible sources of information distribution. News outlets use this property effectively and contribute to the formation of public consciousness, which affects the military sector. According to Asal and Hoffman (2016), the media can have a negative impact on the defense complex. From the standpoint of an information war, the possibility of transferring and stealing valuable data opens up broad prospects for criminal activities.
The authors note that “understanding how the mass media motivates groups to launch foreign attacks is an important part of the effort to reduce the incidence of these costly strikes” (Asal & Hoffman, 2016, p. 382). An opportunity to influence public opinions regarding the assessment of the military potential and the powers of the armed forces increases the effect of news channels. Foreign agencies may offer false facts and propaganda ideas, which affects the situation in the country adversely and suggests the need for countermeasures taken by the DoD. The fight against such methods of information war is an urgent task; nevertheless, this problem exists, and its influence is significant.
National security is the important component of both foreign and domestic policies of countries, and counteraction to the formation of negative information flows is also relevant in the framework of domestic protection programs. Opposition and other forces aimed at reorganizing power and changing the current regime through revolutionary actions are often the cause of martial laws. Such events endanger the lives of civilians, which is unacceptable in modern civilized society.
In this situation, new outlets play a significant role in shaping citizens’ opinions regarding the current situation since such channels serve as the only possible way of learning about all the changes that occur in the country. Reddick, Chatfield, and Jaramillo (2015) note “the added effect of the media acting as a source of control over the abuse of government and information rights” (p. 132). It means that domestic news outlets sometimes may do no less harm than foreign ones, and despite the freedom of the press, the issue is tightly controlled to avoid public disturbance. Therefore, tracking all the provocative news is the urgent task of national security representatives, and appropriate measures are taken to eliminate false facts.
Bias and the distortion of facts are included in the list of key problems that are caused by unscrupulous media. In order to achieve the strongest effect on the target audience, some news channels resort to double standards and the reflection of what may cause the greatest public response. As an example of such a problem, Zeitzoff, Kelly, and Lotan (2015) mention the civil war in Libya and note that some foreign media have benefited by viewing local events from different angles.
The national security of this country was under threat since the dual interpretation of certain news could lead to even greater casualties because of the disagreement of the conflict parties by each other’s regimes. The authors focus on eastern regions and cite the examples of Israel, Iran, and other states with unstable political situations (Zeitzoff et al., 2015). Foreign news agencies receive significant profits by offering information about accidents in these countries. However, the biased attitude of certain publications is fraught with additional problems for the national security of these states. Therefore, the influence of the media is reasonable and controversial from the point of view of authenticity.
Influence of Various Issues on the Military
Those trends that are supported in the country and are the reflection of the national course of development affect the military sector and its policies. For instance, social problems considered in the context of the armed forces may have an effect on the formation of certain opinions concerning the DoD and its power. Johnson, Rosenstein, Buhrke, and Haldeman (2015) cite an example of the policy aimed at maintaining a loyal attitude towards the military with non-traditional sexual orientation.
Despite the fact that this law does not affect the quality and strength of the army directly, its consequences have an indirect effect. The authors note that in the long term, “military mental health providers will have little recent experience in service delivery to openly LGB clients” due to ambiguous opinions (Johnson et al., 2015, p. 107). Therefore, social phenomena are reflected in the practice of the military, albeit indirectly.
Environmental issues also do not bear a direct impact on the activities of the armed forces. However, following certain trends allows the military to increase its credibility among the population. Stark (2016) mentions one of the cases when the representatives of the armed forces made a significant contribution to preserving natural resources and carried out significant work aimed at the protection of endangered species. This approach characterizes the activities of the DoD as an effective and useful public practice and forms a positive opinion among civilians.
In terms of ethical issues, the situation in the armed forces is ambiguous. Despite the desire of the DoD to achieve the most legitimate actions of subordinates, conflicts and scandals occur periodically. According to Asencio, Byrne, and Mujkic (2017), “in pursuing military objectives during combat operations, humanitarian aid missions, and other engagements, military personnel oftentimes engage in unethical behavior” (p. 417).
This, in turn, imposes certain obligations on the DoD and its activities. Such problems require increased attention to all the incidents involving the abuse of authority, unjustified cruelty, and other manifestations of unethical behavior. Asencio et al. (2017) note that special training programs for the military are developed in accordance with the learning curriculum and the DoD is responsible for promoting the clear vision of morality and ethics among the military personnel. This practice proves the leadership’s interest in improving the quality of national security and training qualified professionals.
Legal issues related to the activities of the military, as a rule, are seriously reflected in the national policy of ensuring national security and respect for the rule of law. As Asencio et al. (2017) remark, standard practices provide for unquestioning obedience to the orders and prohibitions imposed by the DoD legislation. The educational preparation of professional armed forces implies training in various fields, including the legal aspects of their activities.
Military service is the sector where following orders given by the leadership is not only mandatory but also a legally established principle. As a result, any changes in the armed forces’ mode of operation leave an imprint on the involvement of the military and the characteristics of their activities. Therefore, this aspect is one of the most significant and affects the peculiarities of military service to the maximum extent possible.
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The representatives of the military sphere are subject to a number of influences that are associated with the armed forces’ mode of operation and impose certain obligations. Some factors have an indirect effect, for instance, social and environmental issues. However, legal and ethical nuances are the significant aspects of military practice. Based on evidence found in academic sources, it can be noted that domestic and foreign news media play an essential role in forming citizens’ opinions regarding the concepts of national security. Technological innovations also have an impact on the course of development of the military sector and determine the relationship among countries in the context of their armed potential.
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Asal, V., & Hoffman, A. M. (2016). Media effects: Do terrorist organizations launch foreign attacks in response to levels of press freedom or press attention? Conflict Management and Peace Science, 33(4), 381-399. Web.
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