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.
This report explores how elite networks among ASEAN countries can contribute to peace and prosperity in the region. Indeed, the building of cross-border elite networks is particularly relevant today given the heightened tension in the region and beyond caused by the ongoing power shift from the West to the East, and from the United States and Japan to China. In fact, with today’s new challenges such as the Sino-US trade war and the ongoing pandemic, it is particularly important to ensure both formal and informal elite interactions among ASEAN members and with the broader Asia-Pacific region, as they can often work as “normal” even during uncertain times.
Läs om “Att Leda Markoperationer” i nytt bihäfte till KUNGL KRIGSVETENSKAPSAKADEMIENS Handlingar och Tidskrift som jag har redigerat tillsammans med övlt Daniel Rydberg.
I detta bihäfte återfinns sex essäer på temat ledning av markoperationer. Dessa är skrivna av de officerare som deltog på det högre officersprogrammets (HOP) valbara kurs ”Markoperationer” under vårterminen 2019. I samband med denna kurs genomförande fick deltagarna skriva essäer inom det övergripande temat ”offensivt/defensivt tänkande, människan och manövern”. Ett urval av dessa essäer återfinns i detta bihäfte.
INNEHÅLL Att leda markoperationer av Mikael Weissmann och Daniel Rydberg Uppdragstaktiken dragen till sin spets: Var går gränsen för svensk tillämpning av uppdragstaktik? av Klas Åkesson Teknologiska systems inverkan på taktiken av Alicia Alkert Konceptuell och kognitiv flexibilitet: Vad krävs för att vi ska kunna återhämta oss från överraskning? av Jan-Åke Andersson Att följa vattnets väg är att följa chefens avsikt av Marcus Rosened Flexibel avvärjningsstrid mot en okänd motståndare av Frans von Fieandt Kulminerar moralen? av Mona Bäck
Reference: Weissmann, Mikael och Daniel Rydberg (reds), Att leda markoperationer, KUNGL KRIGSVETENSKAPSAKADEMIENS Handlingar och Tidskrift, Bihäfte, 2020.
Resumé in english
This volume contains six essays with a focus on how to conduct and lead ground operations. The essays are written by officers of the Swedish Higher Joint Command and Staff Programme. The contributions in the volume all have a focus on ground operations and tactics, but also cover a wide range of questions selected by the contributors themselves. The texts are written in conjunction with a field exercise [fältövning] to the Ardennes, where we put focus on the interplay between theory and ractice. The course itself is part of the Program’s tactical profile. This profile aims to facilitate combining scientific foundations and the proven experience of the military profession. The profile is intended to provide a holistic and professionally-oriented, in-depth understanding of the tactical level.
(NEW ESSAY COLLECTION ON “LEADING LAND OPERATIONS” in Swedish)
Övlt Daniel Rydberg och jag har sammanställt en volym med 29 essäer på temat ledning av markoperationer. Dessa är skrivna av officerare på högre officersprogrammet i samband med en kurs i markoperationer som Övlt Rydberg och jag ansvarade för (”Ledning av markoperationer”). Essäerna berör det övergripande temat ”offensivt/defensivt tänkande, människan och manövern”.
New article on Practical Examination and the Examination of Practice when teaching war studies to cadets and officers (and others) in The Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences Proceedings and Journal. In Swedish, but if interested send a message.
Abstract: The ability to lead armed combat is central to an officer. It is clear that the military professionis about more than possessing theoretical knowledge. Thus, in order to achieve an educationalprogram that includes the skills and abilities of the military profession there is a need to lookbeyond traditional written examination and apply practical examination in various forms.In this article we argue that while all practice can and should be examined through practicalexamination, not everything that is practically examined has to be practice. More specifically,this article will focus on the possibilities and limitations with practical examination. Focuswill be on the education of officers within the context of war studies. The article approachesthe issue on the basis of the legal framework for higher education in Sweden, research onteaching and learning in higher education and practice at the Swedish Defence University. Theoverall purpose is to understand practical examination with regard to what is allowed, howit is done with judicial security, and how it can be done in practice. The article also discusseswhat should be practically examined and how this should be done.
I just published a new article in Baltic Defence College’s Journal on Baltic Security – HYBRID WARFARE AND HYBRID THREATS TODAY AND TOMORROW: TOWARDS AN ANALYTICAL FRAMEWORK.
This article first traces the origin of hybrid warfare and the label game surrounding the concept, asking whether it is merely old wine in a new bottle, and if so, whether it is still a useful concept. It is found that while being old wine in new bottles, it is still a good wine well worth drinking. While there is not much new in the concept itself, it is a useful tool to think about past wars, today’s wars and the wars of the future. Thereafter, this paper analyses how hybrid warfare and hybrid threats are to be understood in the context of peace, conflict and war. It is shown how hybrid warfare and threats fit into our traditional understanding of conflict dynamics.
Just published: Special Issue in Asian Perspective on Power, Narratives, and the Role of Third Parties: Understanding Power (Shift) in East Asia with Mikael Weissmann and Mingjiang Li as guest editors.
Abstract: This article explores why the offensive predominates military tactical thinking. With survey results showing an offensive bias among 60 per cent of senior Swedish officers and as many as 80 per cent in the case of the army, it is clear that this is not just a problem of the past but is equally relevant today. The article asks why there is a tendency to perceive and understand offensive tactics as the preferred choice and the way to conduct battle that should be encouraged and preferred. Drawing on existing research and the findings of a pilot study, ten propositions for why the offensive bias exists are tested using a mixed-method approach. Based on the findings, the article develops a model to understand why the offensive dominates military tactical thinking. It is found that the two key constitutive factors behind the offensive bias are military culture and education. These factors most directly and profoundly influence an officer’s identity, perceptions, and thinking. Military culture and education, in turn, work as a prism for four other factors: military history, the theory and principles of war, doctrine and TTPs, and psychological factors.
Today I am co-authoring an op-ed in SvD Debatt , ”Sverige bör få EU att ställa tydliga krav på Kina”, on how Sweden ought to handle China’s global ambitions. We are arguing that there is a need for a common ground among Swedish actors and to develop a shared position within the European Union and not least to set clear requirements. This is of course not easy, but as China’s ambitions will remain a fact of life there is a need to adapt.
Warfare | Security | Strategy | Hybrid Warfare | Hybrid Threats | Land Warfare & Tactics | China | East Asia | South China Sea | Belt & Road | North Korea | Conflict Management |