Danish COIN doctrin

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This thesis takes you through the quest for a Danish COIN doctrine at the Battalion/Battle Group level. The thesis is based on a wondering about the lack of coherence between the Danish army sending Battle Groups to INTOPS, and not having a COIN doctrine for Battalion level. The Danish principles of war are used to help identify areas where suggestions about a Danish COIN doctrine at the Battalion/Battle Group level could be made. The thesis takes you through five areas which have a bearing on how a future doctrine could look like. It starts with the adversary, and looks on what influence they have on our way of operating, and what can be learned by this in order to develop our doctrine. The thesis is here limited to the current adversary in Afghanistan. Likewise, NATO doctrine for COIN is examined, one should keep in mind that they are a lowest common denominator, which is steered to the doctrine. As in the earlier chapter, the basic principles of war are held against the doctrine, to find the central sub-elements. Next, the parameters from the adversary and NATO are gathered to analyze the parameters that must be valid for a Danish COIN doctrine on Battalion/Battle Group level, in relation to the principles of war. The account for the present solution in ISAF has been done with an interview of a former CO of a Battle Group and a former Operations Officer of a Battle Group, in order to ascertain whether the Battle Groups in general are using the principles of war. This is done to identify areas of focus that can make suggestions for improvements. You come across the UK and U.S. COIN doctrine, in light of their somewhat more extensive experience, combined with our basic principles in order to find sub-elements which may be applicable in relation to a Danish COIN doctrine on Battalion/Battle Group level. At last a summary of the main elements from the first chapters are made in order to identify the crucial doctrinal proposals. The crucial elements are used for a recommendation in order to come up with concrete proposals. The proposals for a comprehensive strategy are based on the English Clear-Hold-Build strategy and an adjustment of the principle “The Aim”. Furthermore a proposal for two new principles of war is made, the principle of flexibility and the principle of morale. The proposals would almost certainly contribute to a more successful solution in a COIN environment, but they might not be definitive.


“Though the strategy of guerrillas is inseparable from war strategy as a whole, the actual conduct of these hostilities differs from the conduct of orthodox operations. Each type of warfare has methods peculiar to itself, and methods suitable to regular warfare cannot be applied with success to the special situations that confront guerrillas”.[1] Således skriver Mao Tse-tung i sit værk om guerilla krigsførelse. Citatet beskriver, at en irregulær modstander ikke kan bekæmpes med traditionel krigsførelse,

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