Non-technical Interoperability: The Challenge of Command Leadership in Multinational Operations
QINETIQ LTD FARNBOROUGH (UNITED KINGDOM) CENTRE FOR HUMAN SCIENCES
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Interoperability in multinational forces generally refers to compatibility of hardware and software. Connectivity alone, however, does not confer capability and must be accompanied by interoperability of people, process, and organization. A series of research studies has been conducted aiming to identify and understand non-technical factors that have the potential to impinge on optimal inter-working in multinational forces. This paper summarizes the findings of a study that investigated command leadership in multinational forces. This work set out to investigate the challenges faced by senior commanders when tasked to lead personnel from other nations and to capture information as to how these challenges have been addressed in the past. 10 senior British military commanders with experience of multinational command were interviewed. Six of the participants held 1-star rank or above and all three services were represented. Issues raised included the frictions involved in balancing national political-strategic requirements with military effectiveness, the need to adapt command and leadership styles to the contingents under command, and the challenges of rapidly developing effective working relationships with national contingent commanders. A number of approaches to enhance the effectiveness of command are suggested including enhanced preparedness via education, career management, and training.
- Military Forces and Organizations
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics