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Military capability is defined by the Australian Defence Force as "the ability to achieve a desired effect in a specific operating environment". It is defined by three interdependent factors: combat readiness, sustainable capability and force structure.
In terms of technologies, weapons and equipment use, it represents assets, that exist to perform specific functions in relation to requirements of the statement about present or future military operations as derived from the national defence policy (strategic). A national Capabilities Development Plan seeks to provide a global understanding of capability needs, capability trends and potential capability shortfalls.
Military capability is often referred to in terms of low, medium and high, although this usually refers to the type, quantity and sophistication of technology being used in combat operations, and the severity of threat to security of the state.
Maintaining military capability requires modernisation of military technology, particularly prevalent in Europe since the Middle Ages due to the arms race that commenced with the introduction of artillery and later firearms into warfare.
- IAP: Information Acquisition & Processing - Knowledge
- GEM: Guidance, Energy & Materials - Engagement
- ESM: Environment, Systems & Modelling - Manoeuver
Existing military capability in armed forces will be employed, and only minor enhancements are possible in a short conflict. The context within which the military capabilities are used such as the geography of the area of operations, the culture and demography of the enemy, and the preparedness of the opposing forces, generally can not be altered at the start of the conflict.
It is a major part of military science to find methods of defeating the enemy with available capabilities using existing and new concepts. Successful use of military capability by employing these concepts and methods is reflected in the effects on the enemy ability to continue to resist, subject to Rules of Engagement (ROE) range of political, legal and ethical factors. Military capability is often tested in peacetime by using the scenario methodology to analyse performance, often as a war game. It is
The military's strategic role is to advise civilian leadership on the capability of military forces to execute specific missions.
Future military capability is developed based on the analysis of experimentation and testing of existing capability performance, and future capability decisions are made based on the armed forces being able to meet the challenges of a range of possible future scenarios. This is arguably a difficult task to accomplish due to the lack of predictability about future threats, changes in defence policy, and the range of response options and their effects that a government may want as a matter of future national defence policy.
The difference between expected and deliverable military capabilities is called the military capability gap, although the same term is also sometimes used to compare capabilities of potential future belligerents.
Military capability and Sustainability
Economic growth is one of the main factors that determines the military capability. It means that wars can be one of the factors threatening the Sustainability of the Biosphere, because unlimited economic growth cause Environmental problems, that can exceed Planetary boundaries. Economy without economic growth is generally defined as Steady-state economy. Without Global Peace and international cooperation country that will limit its economic growth achieve lower military capability, then a country that will not do it. The result may be a conquest of the first country by the second. In such conditions there is very low probability that a steady state economy can exist.
Citations and notes
- p.15, Hinge
- Steering Board Decision on Key Operating Rules for the R&T Operational Concept 
- p.72, Newell
- Donella H. Meadows, Jorgen Randers, Dennis L. Meadows. Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update. White River Junction, Vermont : Chelsea Green, 2004.
- Allan Schnaiberg. The Environment: From Surpus to Scarcity. New York: Oxford University Press.
- "Charter of the Global Greens" (PDF contains full charter). Global Greens. Dakar. 2012.
- MICHAEL BECKLEY, MICHAEL (19 Feb 2010). "Economic Development and Military Effectiveness". The Journal of Strategic Studies. 33: 43–79. doi:10.1080/01402391003603581. Retrieved 15 May 2019.
- Hinge, Alan, Australian Defence Preparedness: Principles, Problems and Prospects : Introducing Repertoire of Missions (ROMINS) a Practical Path to Australian Defence Preparedness, Australian Defence Studies Centre, Canberra, 2000
- FM 100-61 Armor and mechanized-based Opposing Force Operational Art, Headquarters, Department of the Army, Washington, DC, 26 January 1998
- Newell, Clayton R., Framework of Operational War, Routledge, 1991
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