Vo Viedni sa v dňoch 8. — 9. apríla 2019 uskutočnil „Dialóg OBSE o vojenských doktrínach”. V jeho rámci bol prezentovaný slovenský pohľad na hlavné zmeny vo vojenskej doktríne, ku ktorým došlo za posledných 20 rokov. Príspevok publikujeme v plnom znení.
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Military doctrine from 1990 to 2019
Mr. Chairman, Dear Colleagues,
Let me say, that it is my honour to present Slovak military doctrine insight on current security questions.
At the beginning of this session I would like to stress that the Slovakian doctrinal approach comes from NATO Policy for Standardization PO(2016)0315, where defence standardization is defined as: “the development and implementation of procedures, designs and terminology to the level necessary for the interoperability required by Allies”.
Fundamental to the production of Slovak national doctrines is the explanation and transformation of essential concepts from promulgated allied publications to Slovak military publications, ranging from national defence standards to doctrine, prescription and field manuals.
Basic principle for alliance and Slovak military doctrine is political primacy – which means that doctrine development relies on the political need for military response options to real or possible crisis; the main role of doctrine is to provide the philosophy, principles, practices and procedures required to employ military force. Distinct levels of Doctrines represents the conceptual component of fighting power and the professional body of knowledge of the military trade.
From this point of view I would like to present Slovak insight into the major changes in military doctrine that have occurred over the last 20 years.
The end of the Cold War was a turning point in the development of the political, and therefore security, environment. George Bush spoke of a new world order without violence, in the early nineties. However, in Margaret Thatcher’s worlds, as she wrote in one of her books, we didn’t become safer, we just stopped being careful; that soon became apparent when Iraq attacked Kuwait in what was the first of several Gulf Wars.
From a doctrinal perspective, theses wars did not bring about great change. The Capstone alliance doctrine AJP-01 (A) from 1997 emphasizes and underlines operations as part of a large-scale war conflict. However, this doctrine for the first time states use of NATO forces to support UN, OSCE, and WEU operational capabilities in crisis response efforts. The shift in military thinking from the cold war era towards present security needs was the issue of AJP-3.4 “Non article 5 crisis response operations” – and consequent doctrine series. The degree of difficulty in achieving a common alliance view of the new, unconventional and uncharacteristic „non-combat“ way of using NATO military force is demonstrated by the fact that AJP-3.4.1 – Peace support operation was promulgated in concurrence with events in former Yugoslavia in 2001 and a superior AJ-3.4 – “Non article 5 crisis response operations” only in 2005.
Real and significant changes in the Alliance’s attitude towards the use of military force occurred in capstone document – AJP-01 version “C“ from 2007. It was here that the following appeared:
- other insight to using the term of “war” – The term ‘war’ is widely and often imprecisely used, and has become an unhelpful expression by itself. Neither peace nor war exists in extreme form: perfect peace is utopian; absolute war is a theoretical construct with no restraint on violence. Instead, it is useful to place these extreme forms at either end of a spectrum that expresses the wide variety of continually evolving conditions of relations between states. The term ‘war’ has also a complex legal aspect to it, with International Law regulating the circumstances in which states may resort to the use of armed force.
- On the basis of this thought construct – a “spectrum of conflict” which visualizes levels of violence – NATO adopted a concept of predominant campaign themes (in US – “three block war”):
- a) Peacetime military engagement
- b) Peace support
- c) Security/COIN operations
- d) Major combat/warfighting
These themes distinguish political risk, effect sought, character of combat, and type of adversaries (PS – hostility of factions of conflict, Security /COIN – core of grievance of local inhabitants and warfighting – real military force). And what is important, each of these themes represent a different philosophy, and a different set of principles and practises in the implementation of force.
- ‘Operations are Operations’. All operations can fundamentally be approached in the same manner because military forces must expect to perform a wide range of potentially simultaneous activities across the whole spectrum of conflict, from combat action to humanitarian aid, within short timeframes and in close proximity. What will vary will be the mandates, constraints, and drivers that will be factors in the commander’s mission analysis; campaign plan development, selection and execution; and the force generation process where members can chose to participate in a Non-Article 5 operation.
- The Operational Environment is Complex/Comprehensive Approach. All military planning must be coherent with other non-military and potentially multinational and non-governmental initiatives intended to stabilise and create a self-sustaining secure environment. A military response must therefore be integrated into a wider overall framework or a collective strategy. In taking these and other security factors into account there is no fundamental difference in the planning and execution of any operation across the full range of NATO’s military capabilities.
- A Single Doctrine for Operations. The Alliance has a single doctrine for operations, this doctrine provides a framework of understanding for the approach to all Alliance operations; no distinction is made between types of operation unless important. There is no difference in doctrine at the level of philosophy and principles due to differing mandates or types of operation. Such differences may become evident at the lower doctrinal levels.
- Types of military activities – The broad range of activities available for planning and execution of operations can be divided into four categories: offensive, defensive, stability and enabling. These activities can be further broken down into tactical activities (more than fifty tactical activities – possible topics for training). Together they offer the commander the military options – set of tools to accomplish missions within a campaign. All campaigns and operations are inherently joint and some of these activities and tasks may also be performed by all Services.
All these concepts represent a significant change in the view of using the armed forces as a tool of power. Meanwhile the roles of the strengthened forces in the stabilization process are significantly expanding; we can notice a shift of their roles to the position of military contribution, to the overall comprehensive effort.
Further changes in approaches to the role of military force were initiated by the financial crisis in 2008, which modified countries‘ views on their national security (or, as assessed at Geopolitics futures 2017 by George Friedman – The Germans discovered that they were primarily Germans, Greeks were primarily Greeks … the shirt is closer than a coat) – in other words, it was the beginning of the gradual return of the main role of the armed forces to the defence of their own territory. This tendency was confirmed in 2014 after the annexation of Crimea and events leading to the genesis of intrastate conflict in eastern Ukraine.
In today’s Europe a top security theme is “hybrid war.” Present conflict in the vicinity of EU borders is entirely different than the last HW in Asia or Africa. This HW is led by experienced and sophisticated regular staffs and units with good and consistent doctrine. HW leaders perfectly know all factors of operational environment, they have a full understanding about core of grievances of local inhabitants, they have sufficient resources and their goals have been prepared with a long-term perspective.
The professional public in NATO does not recognize the concept of hybrid warfare as a new type of conflict. The term used in conjunction with the word hybrid is a hybrid threat. This is defined as: A type of threat that combines conventional, irregular and asymmetric activities in time and space. It follows from this definition that, even in the case of activation of this threat, this is not a new type of war. Unlike NATO, General Gerasimov, in his concept of permanent war, does not avoid the term of war, which can be summed up as follows – War is not about territories, but about what people think. “The very ‘rules of war’ have changed. The role of non-military means of achieving political and strategic goals has grown, and, in many cases, they have exceeded the power of force in their effectiveness. It is not known who or what is the enemy to be fought. When a country is attacked by conventional armed forces, it is usually clear how to respond best, but a question is how to act when it is attacked by a mixture of information campaigns, backdoor proxies and Special Forces? What kind of response is the best, how can armed forces contribute, and what are the implications of this for the composition of forces?
From a doctrinal point of view, the fundamental question is – how can the use of military force with its capabilities contribute to the resolution of a crisis situation – to defeat, disrupt, or discourage the particular adversary that caused the crisis. The answer may be that the applicable doctrine exists and that is – AJP-3.4.4 COIN. Although it was developed based on the experiences from Iraq and Afghanistan, where the operating environment is vastly different, basic human values are the same – the desire for safety, security, peace for work, and the upbringing of future generations.
In conclusion – At present, military doctrines do not speak about the ambitions behind the use of military force, but rather about using capabilities of a military contribution to the overall strategic effort of the state or alliance.
Doctrinal paradox (Army doctrine primer (GB))
Erwin Rommel: The British write some of the best doctrine in the world; it is fortunate their officers do not read it.
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Ilustračné foto: https://pixabay.com/sk/photos/vojenskej-mu%C5%BEov-odlietaj%C3%BAce-slu%C5%BEba-569899/