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Wielding the Military Shield and the Civilian Sword: Norwegian Civil-Military Interagency Cooperation in Afghanistan
ARMY COMMAND AND GENERAL STAFF COLL FORT LEAVENWORTH KS
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In 2009 Norway released a strategy for a comprehensive approach in Afghanistan, one emphasizing the need for improved civilian-military cooperation. This thesis explores the possible impact of the strategy on interagency Unity of Effort UoE. Factors essential for achieving UoE correlate with the challenges related to UoE experienced by civilian and military professionals in Afghanistan. However, the strategy neither promotes the factors essential for UoE, nor does it take steps to mitigate challenges to UoE. Also, the strategy does not explain what a whole of government approach means, nor that it is heavily influenced by the special relationship between the Norwegian government and nongovernmental organizations NGOs. Therefore, the strategy is not likely to have a positive impact on Norwegian civilian-military interagency cooperation in Afghanistan. To mitigate these challenges, Norway should establish a new generic strategy for handling operations like the one in Afghanistan. Unfortunately, there is currently no political will to do so, and involved agencies must take steps to improve UoE within the existing framework. This thesis discusses the value of the 2009 strategy, the process of creating it, the debate it has inspired, and how it has educated people on the importance of UoE the latter might have a positive influence on the conditions necessary for achieving it.
APPROVED FOR PUBLIC RELEASE