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Civil-Military Cooperation: A Way to Resolve Complex Crisis Situations

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Journal Article

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Civil-Military Cooperation Centre of Excellence in the Netherlands Hague Netherlands

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Discussions about the most effective, efficient, and sustainable approach to resolving complex crisis situations have a long historical tradition, even if ongoing debates among politicians and researchers may suggest otherwise. The discussions about developments in Iraq, Sudan, Somalia, and Afghanistan, as well as evaluations of the disasters in Haiti and Pakistan, call for all participants to find new solutions in response to obvious deficits and the looming prospect of failure. This holds especially true with regard to the question of when, where, and how the military instrument should be integrated with the activities of all the other actors involved in the resolution of complex crisis situations based on an overall political rationale. However, an analysis of relevant publications in military and security policy or social science over the last few years clearly shows that different perspectives prevail. From a military viewpoint, the focus is typically on determining the right tactical approach, and the broader debates are only tangentially helpful. By contrast, the civilian side emphasizes that the resolution of complex crisis situations should primarily be obtained through civilian tools.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics

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