All posts by mikaelweissmann

Virtual ISMS Annual Conference 2020

Participated in the Virtual ISMS Annual Conference 2020 hosted by the Finnish National Defence University (FNDU). I presented a paper on the role of the military in the grey-zone at the War Studies in the WG1 session chaired by Marzena Zakowska (War Studies University, Warsaw, Poland) and Eryk Habowski (Polish Academy of Sciences (PAN) and NATO VA Academy at War Studies University, Poland).

For more information visit https://isms2020.mmg.fi/.

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Call for Papers: Land Warfare volume

PDF OF CALL: Call for Papers_Land Warfare_201004 – share

Editors: 
Dr Mikael Weissmann, Head of Research- and Deputy Head, Land Operations Section, Swedish Defence University; Associate Professor in War Studies with a focus on military operations.
Dr Niklas Nilsson, Assistant Professor of War Studies, Land Operations Section, Swedish Defence University. 

As international politics have become increasingly volatile over the last decade, the risk of large-scale military violence has increased. Yet the future character of war remains elusive, due to a range of multifaceted questions relating but not limited to adversaries, allies, technology, geographical scope and multiple domains of warfightingFew would question that large land forces will remain relevant for the foreseeable future, as vindicated in recent years in Eastern Ukraine, Syria, Mali, Yemen and most recently in Nagorno-Karabakh. However, given that the battlefield is in a state of transformation, so is the mission, purpose and utilization of land forces. Indeed, the future conduct of land warfare is subjected to serious and important questions  in the face of large and complex challenges and security threats.   

This anthology consists of two parts, the first focusing on land warfare in general and part two on country-based case studies addressing land tactics and operations in different national contexts. It covers areas such as the future of maneuver warfare, Military Tactical Thinking, Mission Command, Novel Technology, Urban Warfare, Military Leadership, hybrid warfare and the moral component of land warfare. Part two covers tactical thinking and experience in the context of modern preconditions for practicing army tactics and operations, with each chapter assessing army tactics today and in the future.   

Inviting leading international scholars and practitioners, this volume will synthesise the best of theory, best practice and personal experiences. The volume will, while relating to the realities of the modern battlefield, address a number of the key critical questions about the tactics and operations of land warfare. The anthology thus combines a conceptual basis with empirical examples of tactical thinking and practice in the same volume. It emphasizes the importance of understanding the perspectives of our side and out allies, as well as the thinking and practices of potential adversaries. 

By uniting the knowledge of leading scholars and military officers, this volume aims to provide a deeper understanding of the field and its best practices, as well as experiences from a wide set of empirical contexts. Mirroring this, the project while being based at the Land Warfare and Tactics Research Group at the Swedish Defence University, will bring together leading scholars and practitioners in the field from Europe, the US and beyond.  

The target audience for the book is scholars, military officers and security sector practitioners with an interest in land warfare. It assumes a basic understanding of army tactics among its readers, be it theoretical or practical. While the volume will be a peer-reviewed research anthology, it aims to be suitable as a set text or recommended reading for senior officer/higher staff courses, as well as education targeting security sector personnel and advanced university courses as well as others wanting to broaden their horizon in the area of land warfare.Sidbrytning 

We are looking for contributions particularly in the following areas (bot we are open for other suggestions):  

 Army tactics 

Different aspects of tactics (and operations), seen from the lens of the army/land warfare. Focus will be on the modern and future battlefield, critically discussing what tactics mean today. The chapters should be forward looking, with only a limited recapitulation of background and history.  

  • Novel Technology: Drones, AI, autonomous systems and beyond
  • Military Tactical Thinking 
  • Urban Warfare  
  • Irregular warfare & Low Intensity conflicts 
  • Hybrid Warfare/Grey Zone 
  • Military Leadership 
  • Military Ethics 

Case studies 

Case studies addressing land tactics and operations from a national army perspective. Focusing on tactical thinking and experience in the context of modern preconditions for practicing army tactics and operations. Each chapter will make an assessment of army tactics today and in the future.  We are looking for, among others: 

  • The United States    
  • Russia 
  • India 
  • France
  • The Baltics 
  • Finland 
  • Small state perspectives 
  • Other relevant cases 

 There is no set deadline and we will accept proposals on a rolling basis.  

 Send your proposals including abstract and a short bio to Dr Mikael  Weissmann, mikael.weissmann@fhs.se. Do not hesitate to contact him if you want to discuss your proposal or have any other questions on the volume! 

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ISA West 24-27 September, 2020

Presenting paper on the role of the military in managing hybrid threats and hybrid warfare in the grey-zone at the International Studies Association (ISA) West’s annual conference 24-27 September. It was a great panel I would like to thank my panelist at the “Space and Cyberspace” panel and the chair Brandon Valeriano for great comments.

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Analytical Framework for Understanding “Soft Power”

In my new article in Asian Perspective Capturing Power Shift in East Asia: Toward an Analytical Framework for Understanding “Soft Power” in Asian Perspective proposes an analytical framework for analyzing soft power that problematizes the rigid soft power/hard power binary. The framework proposes a way to understand soft power and the hard-soft spectrum of behavior that allows for the inclusion of economic power while still drawing a line between hard and soft power, where not all economic power is soft, but nor is it all hard. Open Access: https://doi.org/10.1353/apr.2020.0016 

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Mainstream International Relations (IR) theory has problems fully accounting for the regional dynamics of East Asia. This article explores whether the pursuit of soft power—a concept that has been given a prominent position in research on East Asian IR—can provide one piece of the puzzle for understanding East Asia’s regional dynamics. This article proposes an analytical framework for analyzing soft power that problematizes the rigid soft power/hard power binary. The framework proposes a way to understand soft power and the hard-soft spectrum of behavior that allows for the inclusion of economic power while still drawing a line between hard and soft power, where not all economic power is soft, but nor is it all hard. It is argued that to keep the concept of soft power relevant in the East Asian context economic power needs to be included. The line is drawn between economic coercion and economic inducement, arguing that when induced there is still a certain level of freedom as one can choose whether the payments or bribes offered are good enough for it to be worthwhile to change one’s preference and behavior. Coercion, in contrast, utilizes a different dynamic where the point is to force someone to do something they are unwilling to do.

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EU-ROK strategic dialogue

On 14 September I participated in the EU-ROK strategic Dialogue organised by the Sofia Security Forum and the Korean Institute for Defence Analysis (KIDA). The Korean and European participants engaged in discussions on a wide range of issues of shared concern, including The dynamics of the security environment in NEA and Perspectives and challenges to the peace process on the Korean Peninsula.

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Attending conference on “The Strategic Triangle in the Arctic”

Attending the SIPRI Webinar Series on “The Strategic Triangle in the Arctic” during the 7-10 September. Very interesting presentations and discussion on the interests of the Arctic and non-Arctic states, on Maritime transport and the changing geopolitical landscape, the changing geopolitical dynamics and military security challenges, and responses to the changing dynamics in the Arctic.

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