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Über dieses Buch

Since the end of bipolarism, the concept of asymmetric warfare, and of asymmetric conflict in general, has been increasingly applied with regard to armed forces activities and tasks. This book presents the findings of comparative empirical research conducted in selected military units by a group of distinguished experts on military organization, who hail from the eight participating countries: Bulgaria, Cameroon, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Lithuania, the Philippines and Spain.
It discusses remarks made by military leaders with extensive experience in the field regarding current doctrines on military leadership and their applicability in the field, as well as proposals and suggestions for new directions.

“It is a complex relation, always based on respect and politeness, but often with mismatched interests.” (Army Colonel).

“It makes you realize that there is a cultural gap. You must firstly understand who you are going to relate to, and the culture of these people, and then try to establish a certain kind of relationship. Often the platoon commander states his objective and must try to establish a relationship, contact with the village chief.” (Army Lieutenant, Platoon Commander).

“[In Afghanistan] We had meals with the locals, sometimes the food didn’t taste good, but you had to eat it if you wanted to be welcomed back again” (Army Captain, Company Commander).

These are just some of the many voices stemming from the ground in diverse international asymmetric conflict theatres (in Iraq, in Kosovo, in Afghanistan…), comments by military officers, commanders at different hierarchical levels, asked to reflect on their experiences as military leaders in crisis response operations.

Military professionals, and military leaders in particular, perceive themselves as facing ambiguous situations that require an update in their professional training, and new skills to confront unexpected and unpredictable factors. Drawing on lived experiences, the book offers insights into what a new kind of leadership means when leaders have to cope with diverse and unclear missions. It also addresses leadership styles and behaviours, as well as individual adaptive behaviours on the part of military leaders, with special reference to middle and middle-high level ranks, such as captains, majors and colonels.

Given its scope, the book will appeal not only to military professionals and military affairs scholars and experts, but also to readers interested in gaining a better understanding of the challenges that international expeditionary units are facing in crisis areas around the globe.



A New Kind of Leadership?


Asymmetric Warfare Operations. Research Framework and Some Methodological Remarks

Since the end of bipolarism the concept of asymmetric warfare, or the more general term of asymmetric conflict, began to be more and more used in connection with conventional armed forces activities and tasks. The term was considered more adequate and inclusive of the wide variety of international missions performed by multinational military units, ranging from classic UN peacekeeping to counterinsurgency operations.
Marina Nuciari

What Does Leadership Mean?

A study on military leadership in situations of asymmetric conflict must necessarily ask the question of exactly what leadership is. The hypothesis of this study is that the way of understanding leadership has changed over times, in relation to the socio-cultural changes of the parent society. By analysing "the problematic space of leadership", this study shows that military leadership is changing, and the relational aspect takes on ever greater importance, along with the ability to act concerning emotions.
Eraldo Olivetta

From Culture to Leadership

In the theaters of operations where missions take place and in which international military contingents are used, a plurality of actors belonging to different cultures are operating. The results and the achievement of the objectives of missions also depend on the ability of the military forces involved to establish good relations with the other actors present in the area in which they are called upon to operate and, to do this, it is important to establish effective methods of communication. This work intends to demonstrate, through the experience gained by soldiers from different countries in a plurality of missions, that the ability to relate to cultures that are different from one's own takes on a relevant role for the purpose of adequate operational efficiency.
Eraldo Olivetta

Leadership Problems for Armed Forces in Asymmetric Warfare Operations


The Education and Training of Military Leaders for Crisis Management Environments: Perceptions of Its Suitability for Adaptive Expertise

The chapter analyses military leaders’ perceptions of the military education and training they receive for their missions. Officers are professional experts on leadership. The question of how to prepare and train leaders to meet the challenges posed by the complexity of their work environment is crucial both for their survival and the success of their mission in a crisis management context. The chapter focuses primarily on military leaders’ own experiences of how training facilitates their adaptive expertise for crisis management environments. It argues that in complex, demanding and unfamiliar situations adaptive experts can adapt their knowledge to novel situations and become accustomed to change. The results also allow us to suggest the kind of training and preparation is necessary to meet and overcome the challenges inherent in crisis management environments.
Soili Paananen

Military Interaction with Local Actors

The relationship between soldiers and local actors is key to the successful development of Peacekeeping Operations (PKO). In the last decade, an emphasis has been placed on these actors mainly local authorities, populations and NGOs-acceptance of the international missions in order to ensure greater effectiveness. Thus, the purpose of this study is to explore military actions in PKO from a micro-level, focusing on the multiple forms of interaction with those local actors from the point of view of the PKO officers. The most important conclusion drawn is, to these officers, relationships were mainly positive; which in turn provides more information on two important issues: it is possible that positive perceptions add trust to international missions and it shows a general acknowledgement of the army’s leadership role and its empathy towards local populations.
Marién Durán, Adolfo Calatrava

Relationships in Multinational Missions and Operations: Military-To-Military Dimension

This chapter is based on an analysis of the experiences in multinational missions and operations of the military from eight countries: Bulgaria, Cameroun, Denmark, Finland, Italy, Lithuania, Philippines, and Spain. It is expected the analysis to further deepen theory and expertise on managing multinationality in coalition operations to successfully meet the desired end state of these operations. Some of the conclusions might be useful also for improving professional military education and training, as well as leadership skills to work in a multinational environment. The following key issues are discussed in the chapter: (a) Coalition hierarchy and degree of autonomy for making independent decisions; (b) Command relationships within coalition forces and patterns of everyday personal relationships among coalition partners; (c) Interoperability issues in multinational coalition forces; (d) Interactions of coalition forces with local militaries. In conclusion, some implications for practice regarding the planning and execution of multinational military operations, as well as professional military education and training of the participants in such operations are summarised.
Yantsislav Yanakiev

The Rules of Engagement. An Essential Tool in Need of Improvements

The rules of engagement (ROE) are designed for maximum protection of the local population and the final success of the mission; however, in high-risk situations and other rare cases they provoke a deep sense of vulnerability. Because of ROE’s necessity in international asymmetric warfare missions and of their controversial nature amongst those who have to act following them, this work will try to find out what is the reason for ROE to exist in these operations and the perceptions about ROE from militaries who have been involved in asymmetric warfare missions. This chapter, through in-depth semi-structured interviews with more than 700 military personnel from twelve countries, also intends to check the extent to which ROE are followed by the military and what irregularities the military sees in their practice. Among the respondents the causes of inadequate valuation include: unexplained, restrictive, nonspecific, helplessness, lack training, inapplicable and refused by soldiers.
Rafael Martínez

Reasons for and Solution to Morale Problems as Seen by Officers from 7 Nations

216 officers from seven nations: Bulgaria, Cameroun, Denmark, Finland, Italy, the Philippines, and Spain were asked their perception of the “unit´s morale” during deployment abroad in asymmetric wars. Half of them saw no morale problems. Major national differences appeared here as only 20% of Spanish officers reported morale problems whereas 90% of Danish officers did. The other half of 109 officers did mention 160 reasons for a drop in morale related to either War, leadership, or individual problems. The 109 officers’ views are distributed rather equally on the three categories. Nevertheless, a majority of Danish officers (15 out of 17) reported war factors. In contrast, 10% or less of officers from Spain, Finland, Bulgaria and the Philippines gave the same answer. Over half of the Italian officers saw leadership factors causing morale problems (14 out of 26) while no officer from the Philippines and a few from Spain did so. Almost three out of four officers from the Philippines found that individual problems created morale problems. Only one out of five officers or less from the other nations identified the same cause. Some of the national differences are tentatively explained. Of the 75 solutions suggested, 75% said it was for the military leadership to remedy. The result of the study for the concept of morale and how to handle morale problems in a military unit operating in asymmetric warfare is discussed.
Henning Sørensen

Operational Experience

There were eight countries who participated with a number of interviews in this study. It was obvious that their participation in operations varied according to the type of operation. For instance operations in Afghanistan and Iraq aimed (aim) to recover these two countries after full scale military conflicts that ravaged them and destroyed economic and social fabrics of the state and communities. So that they went through those last phases in the wake of combat operations as stabilization and reconstruction operations. In some other of the researched operations the military personnel participated in peacekeeping missions that had been consequence of civil strife, genocide and national calamities. Whilst the former occurred by using full size military formations from all services in joint operations, the latter happened only after the UN, the EU or other international organizations had decided to deploy missions in order to transform afflicted nations and regions back to normal. Although all of these operations differ in goals and characteristics, after a close look one may say that they have some similarities as well.
Peter Georgiev Dimitrov

Logistic Mission Processing

In the 20 of century NATO followed the principle that logistics was a national responsibility. Accordingly, its only focus at that time was the establishment of and compliance with overall logistics requirements. By January 1996, NATO logisticians recognized the new challenges facing the Alliance. In particular, the downsizing of military resources underscored the necessity of increased cooperation and multinationality in logistic support. Viewed from the life cycle perspective, logistics is the bridge between the deployed forces and the industrial base that produces the weapons and materiel that the forces need to accomplish their mission. It is important to recognise that the various logistic and logistic-related functions come together to form the totality of logistics support. This chapter is based on analysis of the experiences which is accumulated in multinational missions and operations. This experiences are presented and analysed to identify common issues related in logistic support that deserve attention. Operations are quite different, as well as the national experiences, that why it is difficult formulate criteria for comparative cross-country analysis. When it is possible, commonalities and differences among the national cases are also commented. The following key issues are discussed in the chapter:
  • Provision of individual equipment
  • Military equipment and armament;
  • Accommodations;
  • Medical service;
In conclusion some implications for practice regarding planning and execution of multinational military operations, as well as lesson learned and best practice implementation in training of the participants in such operations are summarized.
Plamen Petkov

Engaging Locals: Operational Experiences of Military Officers in Overseas Non-combat Missions

Commanders perform a variety non-combat tasks for which they engage civilian actors. These dyad engagements are contingent on the nature of the military units and stratified according to rank. The commanders' relationship with civilians appear pragmatic and un-institutionalised given language difficulties and short deployment horizons. Commanders understand local politics and employ strategies towards building social capital with formal and informal civilian leaders alike. Their relationship with local authorities is nuanced by interdependency in resources, communications and rules. They have limited engagement with humanitarian actors and media.
Rosalie Arcala Hall, Duvince Zhalimar Dumpit

Operational Experiences in Missions: Country Case of the Cameroonian Army

Cameroon has a modest record of deploying peacekeepers in UN and African-led missions. In recent years, Cameroon’s major deployments have focused on the Central African Republic (CAR).
Blaise Nkfunkoh Ndamnsah

Experiences of Dutch Junior Leadership in Uruzgan (Afghanistan) between 2006 and 2010

‘Only the Dead Have Seen the End of War’ (Plato)
The outcome of this research provides fundamental information, knowledge, and facts how Dutch junior officers applied their leadership skills during this counterinsurgency mission and how they experienced their assignment, not only as a military professional but also as a person. The interviews showed that these junior leaders were well prepared for their tasks. They were competent leaders who were cultural aware, which is a critical competence in counterinsurgency environments. The interviews also showed these junior leaders were not perfect, but competent enough to reflect on their experiences and decisions, ready to learn from them. To develop military leadership skills, the Dutch Army needs missions like these to keep up a sufficient level of professionalism. Missions of the size like the one in Afghanistan between 2006 and 2010 are probably not possible anymore, not now or in the near future and not in the long run because of the number of budget cuts since 2010. This will surely have a negative effect on the level of professionalism of our soldiers, for when there aren’t challenging missions, military professionalism can hardly prosper.
Jos Groen, René Moelker
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