The Concept and Framework of Pre-emptive Strategic Development Operations*
By Rene Toomse
The manner in which today’s adversaries wage wars has changed in such a way that Western nations, with their technically superior armies, find it difficult to win wars by ways and means that have worked before. Warfighting against modern insurgents has turned out to be exhausting and endless. While counterinsurgents normally have far better technology, training and weapons than insurgents in on-going conflicts they cannot win quickly and decisively. Many strategies so far have proven impossible to achieve. The “quick in – find – fix – defeat” mindset should, according to current doctrines and policies, work with all the traditional principles of war. Yet still the enemy is not willing to surrender. Something is different in today’s battlefield, perhaps even in the nature of war itself.
The protracted conflicts in Afghanistan and Iraq have dramatically changed the world and its understanding about conflicts. Slowly, but steadily, Western nations are arriving at the conclusion that there is no purely military solution. Yet there are still many complexities to overcome. Additionally, even if the West were to one day conclude the current campaigns, these are unlikely to be the last wars of this type that the West will face.
However, democratic societies need to work hard to prevent wars, as that has been set as one of priorities for NATO. Violent conflict has become discordant to current Western culture. Still, there is a constant need to conduct Crisis Response Operations or be ready to fulfil the obligation of NATO Treaty Article 5. Western nations still need to gather large armies under coalitions and deploy them into crisis areas with the intent to re-establish peace. It has worked most of the time in the past; somehow it does not work so simply anymore. Today’s adversary, usually a non-state actor, is somehow stronger than ever. Despite the lack of equipment and training, irregular enemies cause superior armies to bleed and wage long wars.
Most Western nations mean to be actively engaged in the prevention of conflicts. Yet, despite this shared imperative, there is no common understanding of how conflict prevention should take place. Thereby, while the NATO statement acts as a policy and mandate, there should be practical vision for a concept of operations, organization and methods to meet the need. This article will propose a model and a pre-emptive approach that could be used as a basis for discussion. It is called the Pre-emptive Strategic Development approach. In addition to presenting the theoretical concept, this study will outline a possible organization and actors within it. The intention is to create an approach and organization that can be effective in the prevention of future conflicts.
Read more starting from page 102: http://www.bdcol.ee/files/files/BSRD_VOL14.pdf
* The printed one is not the full study so some loops are not completely closed there. This is the editors' extracted parts from my Masters Thesis written in 2010/2011.