Today I and Dr Niklas Nilsson received a Research Initiation grant (F20-0119) from the RJ Foundation for developing an International Network in War Studies for Research on Land Operations and Tactics.
International politics has become ever more volatile over the last decade, increasing the risk of large-scale military violence. Yet the precise character of future wars will depend on a range of factors that relate to adversaries, allies, technology, geographical scope and multiple domains of warfare. Few would question the fact that land forces will continue to be important in the foreseeable future. However, given that the battlefield is in a state of transformation, so is the mission, purpose and utilisation of land forces. Indeed, serious questions are being asked about the future conduct of land warfare in the face of major, complex challenges and security threats.
The proposed research initiation will zero in on the evolving role of land forces, focusing particularly on the changes that have taken place in the art of commanding and executing combat and on the role of rapid technological innovation and information dissemination in shaping warfare. Furthermore, it is pertinent to revisit the established military theory and thinking (some of it neglected in recent years) with lessons learned from contemporary land warfare.
The initiative will bring together world-leading international researchers on land warfare from across Europe, the US, and beyond. The project will centre around two workshops and exchanges of visiting researchers, exploring a number of key issues from a thematic and an empirical perspective.
Niklas Nilsson, Björn Palmertz, Per Thunholm and my forthcoming book on “Hybrid Warfare: Security and Asymmetric Conflict in International Relations” is now available for pre-order for £17.99. Delivery in April. It will also be available free on-line.
Hybrid Warfare refers to a military strategy that blends conventional warfare, so-called ‘irregular warfare’ and cyber-attacks with other influencing methods, such as fake news, diplomacy and foreign political intervention. As Hybrid Warfare becomes increasingly commonplace, there is an imminent need for research bringing attention to how these challenges can be addressed in order to develop a comprehensive approach towards Hybrid Threats and Hybrid Warfare. This volume supports the development of such an approach by bringing together practitioners and scholarly perspectives on the topic and by covering the threats themselves, as well as the tools and means to counter them, together with a number of real-world case studies.
The book covers numerous aspects of current Hybrid Warfare discourses including a discussion of the perspectives of key western actors such as NATO, the US and the EU; an analysis of Russia and China’s Hybrid Warfare capabilities; and the growing threat of cyberwarfare. A range of global case studies – featuring specific examples from the Baltics, Taiwan, Ukraine, Iran and Catalonia – are drawn upon to demonstrate the employment of Hybrid Warfare tactics and how they have been countered in practice. Finally, the editors propose a new method through which to understand the dynamics of Hybrid Threats, Warfare and their countermeasures, termed the ‘Hybridity Blizzard Model’. With a focus on practitioner insight and practicable International Relations theory, this volume is an essential guide to identifying, analysing and countering Hybrid Threats and Warfare.
Table of content
Foreword – Amb. Fredrik Löjdquist, Ambassador and Special Envoy for Countering Hybrid Threats, Sweden
1. Security Challenges in the Grey Zone: Hybrid Threats and Hybrid WarfareDr. Niklas Nilsson, Dr. Mikael Weissmann, Björn Palmertz, Per Thunholm, Henrik Häggström
2. NATO and Hybrid Warfare: Seeking a Concept to Describe the Challenge from Russia
Dr. G. Alexander Crowther, Research Professor, Florida International University, former Special Assistant to the Supreme Allied Commander, Europe and former researcher in the Strategic Studies Institute and the US National Defense University.
3. An American View: Hybrid Threats and Intelligence
Dr. Gregory F. Treverton, University of Southern California, former Chair of the US National Intelligence Council
4. A Perspective on EU Hybrid Threat Early Warning Efforts
Dr. Patrick Cullen, Senior Research Fellow, Norwegian Institute of International Affairs (NUPI) & member of the “Countering Hybrid Warfare” component of the Multinational Capability Development Campaign (MCDC)
5. Conceptualizing and Countering Hybrid Threats and Hybrid Warfare: The Role of the Military in the Grey-zone
Dr. Mikael Weissmann, Associate Professor, Head of Research at the Land Operations Section and Co-Convener of the Hybrid Warfare Research Group, Department of Military Studies, Swedish Defence University.
6. Understanding Russian Thinking on Gibridnaya Voyna
Dr. Markus Göransson, Assistant Professor and project leader of the Russia program, Swedish Defence University
7. China and its Hybrid Warfare Spectrum
Dr. Lora Saalman, Senior Fellow, EastWest Institute; Associate Senior Fellow, Stockholm International Peace Research Institute
8. Influence Operations and the Modern Information Environment
Björn Palmertz, Senior Analyst, CATS, Swedish Defence University
9. Hybrid Threats and New Challenges for Multilateral Intelligence Cooperation
Henrik Häggström, Senior Analyst, Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies (CATS), Swedish Defence University
10. Cyberwarfare and the Internet: the Implications of a More Digitalized World
Anne-Marie Eklund-Löwinder, Head of Security, The Swedish Internet Foundation and Cryptographic Officer at the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) Anna Djup, Analyst, Information Assurance, Center for Asymmetric Threat Studies (CATS), Swedish Defence University
11. The US and Hybrid Challenges: Past, Present and Future
Jed Willard, Director of the Franklin Delano Roosevelt Center for Global Engagement, Harvard University
12. China’s Political Warfare in Taiwan: Strategies, Methods, and Global Implication
Dr Gulizar Haciyakupoglu, Research Fellow, the Centre of Excellence for National Security (CENS), S. Rajaratnam School of International Studies (RSIS), Nanyang Technological University (NTU), Singapore.
Dr Michael Raska, Assistant Professor, Coordinator of Military Transformations Programme, IDSS, RSIS, Singapore
13. Hybrid Warfare in the Baltics
Dr Dorthe Bach Nyemann, Associate Professor in International Relations, Institute for Strategy, Royal Danish Defence College
14. De-Hybridization and Conflict Narration: Ukraine’s Defence against Russian Hybrid Warfare
Dr. Niklas Nilsson, Assistant Professor, Co-Convener of the Hybrid Warfare Research Group, Department of Military Studies, Swedish Defence University
15. Iran’s Hybrid Warfare Capabilities
Dr. Rouzbeh Parsi, Head of the Middle East and North Africa Programme, Swedish Institute of International Affairs
16. Information Influencing in the Catalan Illegal Referendum and Beyond
Dr. Ruben Arcos, Rey Juan Carlos University
17. Moving out of the Blizzard: Towards a Comprehensive Approach to Hybrid Threats and Hybrid Warfare
Dr. Mikael Weissmann, Dr. Niklas Nilsson, Björn Palmertz
New article co-authored with Elin Norrman on Military Strategic Communication at the Tactical Level in Counterinsurgency Operations focusing on Sweden in Afghanistan. The article investigates the implementation of strategic communication at the lower segment of the military hierarchy in counter-insurgency (COIN) operations. It focuses primarily on the experiences of communicating strategically at the tactical level in manoeuvre forces, using Sweden in Afghanistan as a case study.
It is found that the tactical level often distances itself from the communicator tasks, arguing that this belongs to other units or personnel. However, the tactical level also pinpoints the vital role they play in shaping attitudes and beliefs in the area of operations. The results thus indicate a type of cognitive split in the perception of the communicator role among the manoeuvre forces.
Furthermore, the study reveals several obstacles in effectively executing strategic communication in the military domain. The most prominent areas are contradictions in messages due to force-protection measures and lack of synchronization.
To cite: Norrman, Elin and Mikael Weissmann, “Military Strategic Communication at the Tactical Level in Counterinsurgency Operations: The case of Sweden in Afghanistan,” Kungl Krigsvetenskapsakademiens Handlingar och Tidskrift [Proceedings and Journal of the Royal Swedish Academy of War Sciences], No 3, 2020: 19–47. Full text available from http://urn.kb.se/resolve?urn=urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-9509
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/.
Attended the “PREPARING NATO AND THE ALLIES TO THE FUTURE CHALLENGES” conference organized by Sofia Security Forum, NATO Public Diplomacy Division, NATO CMDR COE, Konrad Adenauer Stiftung and the Bulgarian Naval Academy.
On 22nd-23rd September 2020 I was attending the 11th Baltic Military History Conference at the Baltic Defence College (BALTDEFCOL).
The theme was “Small but Capable? Quality Against Mass in Military History” and very interesting lectures were held by experts and military historians from different countries.
The Land Warfare Research Group (LWRG) at the Swedish Defence University today organised a research seminar on “Russian Deception and the Russian Notions of Future Wars.” At the seminar Dr Markus Göransson, Assistant Professor at the Swedish Defence University and Convenor of the Russia and Eurasia Research Group presented two forthcoming articles on the respectively Russian deception and its notion of future wars.
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.
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
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.
Join my section as Assistant Professor in War Studies. Tenure Track, 50% research. Apply by 18 May.
(Associate senior lecturer is the same as Assistant Professor – it is tenure-track, aimed to those getting their PhD the last 5 years.)