Abaido, Mostafa Muhammad
Officer training in the Egyptian and the United Kingdom armed forces: with particular reference to the influences of culture and changes in the technology of warfare.
PhD thesis, Middlesex Polytechnic.
This thesis is a study of officer training on the Egyptian army in a time of rapid and fundamental change. It attempts to examine the extent to which recent developments in military technology have created the pressures on the Egyptian army to reform and modernise the training programmes at the Military Academy. It also examines the influence of social and cultural factors on the form and content of the training programmes and their effects on the philosophy of those responsible for the reforms.
These issues are examined on a comparative basis with the British system. The British army provides a good comparative base for the study for many reasons. Among them is that it is equipped with the most modern weapon Systems and enjoys a reputation as one of the most professional armies in the world. It is a useful point of reference, particularly with the adopting of new Western weapon Systems by the Egyptian army. it should be emphasised that the intention here is not to assess or evaluate the British system against the Egyptian system, where the environment is both materially and culturally different. The purpose of the study of the British system is to help to clarify and diagnose the Egyptian system.
With Egypt as the main focus of study, the thesis attempts to examine the army elite structure both within the context of the Egyptian society and in a comparative basis with the British army élite. This has been established through an examination of social, economic and educational factors against their historical background in order to locate their positions on the map of stratification and power in the Egyptian society and also to identify their policy towards recruitment and training.
In Egypt the main influence on military élite ideology is likely to come from its own organisational necessities, including national development needs and the necessity of using modem technology as a means for reform in establishing a modem army. This creates the need to provide the full amount of education and training to the student cadets at the Military Academy before they are commissioned. Undergraduate university degree programmes in administration and engineering
sciences for four and five years respectively have been created to meet this requirement. Great emphasis is placed on intellectual developments for assimilation and general level of education, which are useful for national service projects, rather than on the military application side.
In the UK the thesis demonstrates that the military élite established its own ideology based on its own social structure and professional experience. The courses are of short duration, the cadet has to attend non-university graduate programmes for eleven months, and an adequate level of education of the new entrant is assumed. The programmes at Sandhurst are directed to support specific military skills based on professionalism and traditionalism rather than on development of new
trends as undergraduate degree programmes are. This conception has fostered the traditional type of leadership. The implicit assumption has been that the real professional education of an officer begins after his being commissioned, in his practical experience and in the specialised schools of the British army. Technical areas are now separated off from the military technology course and taught at Shrivenham after students have been commissioned.
The field work for the study examined the content of the training programmes, interviewed those responsible for the design and implementation of such programmes, and also, through the administering of questionnaires to cadets and serving officers, tested how far they felt their training needs had been met.
The study demonstrates that technological change has not had identical influence on the two systems of training, since differences are due to social and cultural factors whose effects are not uniform in the two countries.
The thesis also examines the extent to which recent developments in new technology have led to changes in the structure and processes of military organisations and to changes in the content of programmes concerned with leadership training. It identifies the specific military skills required by technologically advances military organisations, especially leadership and technical skills.
It is argued that this analysis should persuade those at the top level of command in military organisations of the need for restructuring of military hierarchies, especially with respect to levels of authority and decision-making at the lower level of command in military organisations. However, major shifts need to take place in attitudes and philosophy towards what is required today in training future officers. Such shifts in the attitudes and philosophy of those who hold power would make a substantial contribution to the development of those new skills which army officers need to deal with the complexities of modem warfare.
||Thesis submitted to Council for National Academic Awards for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy.
||B. > Theses
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