rss_2.0Journal of Military Studies FeedSciendo RSS Feed for Journal of Military Studies of Military Studies Feed approach to evaluate the deterrence of limited nuclear attacks<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>A counterforce strategy intends to destroy an adversary’s nuclear arsenal. However, hardening, defences and mobility have made nuclear-delivery systems less vulnerable. Nations may consider limited attacks with one or a few weapons that would not significantly deplete their weapon stockpile or alter the overall nuclear balance. We propose an approach to evaluate limited strikes with regard to military, political, economic and societal aspects. We discuss potential responses along with their compliance to the Law of Armed Conflict (LOAC). We contend that a response should be generally proportional, meaning sufficient to achieve deterrence in the hope of avoiding escalation. Responses that greatly exceed the attacker’s inflicted damage will be perceived as unjust and, if executed, may escalate the conflict. Similarly, declared responses that inflict considerably less damage may not be sufficient to deter since the attacker would end the initial exchange in a better relative position between the adversaries. We conclude that deterrence is improved with a range of nuclear capabilities. Countries limiting responses to only military targets based on a strict interpretation of the LOAC may not have a viable response to deter some types of limited nuclear attacks.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue’ contribution to the transformation of contemporary warfare<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The introduction of unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) in contemporary battlefields constitutes a transformation in warfighting. The consequences of such an innovation can be traced not only to the level of strategy but also in political, economic as well as ethical terms. So far, UAVs have demonstrated decisiveness in non-military contested environments and in conflicts that involve failed states. UAVs, however, have been proved to be militarily effective, but not militarily decisive in conventional wars. Simultaneously, a series of limitations makes over-reliance on them to look faulty. Time will tell whether their further technological advancements will be able to revolutionise the conduct of war.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue the call of duty: Reimagining military service through hero narratives in the US Army’s ‘The Calling’ campaign<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This study employs Erwin Panofsky’s iconographic analysis to decode the 2021 US Army recruiting campaign ‘The Calling’, situating it against the historical backdrop of military recruitment since the all-volunteer force’s inception. Panofsky’s framework allows for a dissection of the campaign’s layered narrative and its animated aesthetics, which notably diverge from prior campaign’s emphasis on the warrior archetype. The analysis progresses from a description of visual and narrative element’s (pre-iconography), to an investigation of symbolic meanings (iconography), culminating in an interpretation of underlying societal attitudes (iconology). ‘The Calling’ reimagines military enlistment as a heroic pursuit, echoing the superhero genre’s origin stories, and emerges as a response to waning interest in military careers. The campaign targets the zeitgeist of the young American population, offering a sense of heroism as compensation in a challenging recruitment climate marked by a robust economy and low unemployment. By presenting service as a ‘calling’, the Army navigates the complex terrain of contemporary cultural values, seeking to resonate with potential recruits on an ideological level, particularly within race and gender minority communities.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of kinetic orbital bombardment<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In this paper, the possible impact effects of orbital bombardment systems and their feasibility are studied. These effects are the projectile penetration into concrete and steel targets and seismic effects. The equations of motion for the re-entry of a projectile and the penetration were solved numerically. The projectile penetration is modelled using the Alekseevskii–Tate model. By varying the altitude (<italic>h</italic>), projectile length (<italic>L</italic>), manoeuvre velocity (Δ<italic>V</italic>) and the target properties, the flight time (<italic>t</italic>), earthquake magnitude (<italic>M</italic>) and penetration depth (<italic>P</italic>) are calculated. The calculations show that the impact of a tungsten alloy rod with a length of 8 m and a 0.4 m diameter results in an earthquake with a seismic magnitude of only 2.5 on the Richter scale. For concrete, the optimal result is obtained for a projectile with a length of 0.56 m. It penetrates 1.79 m with a minimal Δ<italic>V</italic> trajectory. These results show that a kinetic orbital bombardment system is not feasible without major technological developments, the impact angle being a bottleneck of the concept. Moreover, one has to accept very high costs. Without any means to change the attitude of the projectile, using ICBMs or bombers shows a better penetration performance than re-entry.</p> <sec> <title style='display:none'>Highlights</title> <list list-type="bullet"> <list-item><p>Weapons in orbit may provide a strategic advantage. However, they are restricted by international space laws.</p></list-item> <list-item><p>Impact angle of the projectile is a bottleneck for kinetic orbital bombardment.</p></list-item> <list-item><p>Larger impact angles can be achieved, but at the expense of a larger mass-to-orbit.</p></list-item> <list-item><p>A hypersonic drag device may be used to optimise the impact angle and thus improve the system.</p></list-item> <list-item><p>Alternative projectile delivery methods (Bomber, Intercontinental Ballistic Missile (ICBM)) show better performance for both steel and concrete targets.</p></list-item> <list-item><p>Essentially, only penetration phenomena matter because the seismic effects are not significant. Therefore, orbital bombardment systems don’t even resemble weapons of mass destruction (WMD).</p></list-item> <list-item><p>Given their limited effect, destroying a particular target requires a guidance and flight control system, which, given the high velocities, may not be feasible.</p></list-item> </list> </sec> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue to apples, fighters to submarines: comparative analysis of conventional capability-based signalling capacity through technologically weighted state arsenal indexing<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In this article, I propose a new contribution to the field of comparative analysis of state conventional military capabilities. First, I review perspectives of other scholars on the merits of comparing capabilities, arguing that the most accessible insights lie in evaluating the signals sent by state arsenals rather than in predicting conflict outcomes judging from state armament. Second, I present the Conventional Firepower Potential Indexing (CFPI) method and demonstrate that coding for tactical role and degree of technological sophistication enables previously unfeasible estimative comparisons of deterrent signalling value. Finally, I apply CFPI analysis to the conventional arsenals of the United States and the four states named in that country’s most recent National Defense Strategy (China, Russia, North Korea and Iran), deriving conclusions that would be elusive without accessible comparative analysis.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue weapon systems and IHL compliance: A constrained legal optimisation problem<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Arguments have been made both for and against military use of autonomous weapon systems (AWSs) on the basis of how they will help or hinder a state in meeting its international humanitarian law (IHL) obligations. Often, these arguments are made in isolation, or they fail to address all of the potential compliance concerns related to autonomous weapons. This is not ideal. It means the bearers of legal obligations must locate, assess and piece together the disparate arguments into a coherent structure if they are to know whether they can legitimately utilise a particular autonomous capability and, if so, in what circumstances. This article offers a high-level description of a conceptual framework which can be used to organise and assess legal arguments about autonomous weapons. It proposes that the task of integrating autonomous capabilities into an armed force may be viewed as a constrained optimisation problem wherein the task is to find the optimal balance between the fundamental principles of IHL while also satisfying all normative, technological and strategic/operational constraints.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue deceit within a predominantly true statement using two parallel assessment methods: A pilot study<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>In human intelligence, a verbal statement from a source is seldom 100% true or false, and not very often is the source a total liar or a truth teller. From this standing point, a simple dichotomy of a liar or a truth teller might not offer an adequate diagnostic value for the purposes of human intelligence. A more diagnostic approach would be to assess which parts of the predominantly truthful verbal statement are likely to be true and which parts are assessed to be doubtful. In addition, the use of two parallel methods to detect deceit should improve the diagnostic value of the results. A pilot study in laboratory conditions (<italic>n</italic> = 8, yielding 190 assessment points) utilising an applied mock crime scenario was conducted. Correlation calculations showed that a dual-method approach slightly improved the within-statement truth accuracy, and it was achieved mainly by decreasing the number of false positives. As the truth accuracy was increased, the lie accuracy within the test group slightly decreased. The results confirmed that by applying parallel orienting response (EDA) and cognitive load (speech-related indices)-based assessment methods, it is possible to detect embedded lies successfully in an information-gathering interview setup.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue’s Bills: Engagement-level preponderance and casualties in the French Revolution Wars and Napoleonic Wars, 1792–1815<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This article reports findings from an empirical investigation of the generalization captured in the aphorism that ‘god is on the side with the biggest battalions.’ Departing from the focus on major or decisive battles in previous studies, this quantitative analysis using ordered logit and ordinary least squares regression of two data sets of 945 and 823 large, medium and small engagements between the armies of France and its enemies during the Wars of the French Revolution and Napoleonic Wars from 1792 to 1815 reveals that a preponderance of numbers was positively associated with victory but also higher casualties.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue post traumatic growth after moral- and victim-traumas among Norwegian UN military peacekeepers: the impact of emotional distress and leadership<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This study investigated the relationship between traumatic experiences during peacekeeping operations in Lebanon (UNIFIL) between 1978 – 1998 and post traumatic growth (PTG), recalled and measured 17-38 years after, in a sample of 11 633 Norwegian military. Specifically, the study investigated how victim traumas (lethal danger) and moral traumas (moral failure) related to PTG, measured by the Posttraumatic Growth Inventory (<xref ref-type="bibr" rid="j_jms-2023-0003_ref_009">Cann et al., 2010</xref>). Emotional distress experienced during the traumas served as a potential mediator of this relationship, and leadership by closest superior a potential moderator of the mediation. The results showed a significant positive relationship between number of victim traumas and PTG, while number of moral traumas did not contribute to explain variance above this effect. The trauma - PTG relationship was partially mediated by emotional distress, but authentic- and laissez faire leadership did not moderate this mediation. In sum, the veterans with most traumatic experiences, as recalled 17-38 years later, had higher PTG, and emotional distress related to trauma mediated this growth. The findings indicate that traumatic experiences may represent a resource for growth and subsequent hope for recovery. Given the retrospective study-design which might have hindered accurate measurement of PTG, advice on future research approaches is included.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue the roots of turnover intentions in the Royal Norwegian Navy, the role of embeddedness, work-life conflict and predictability<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Retaining qualified personnel is a priority for armed forces, and turnover presents a serious problem. This study uses job embeddedness theory to investigate embeddedness factors, predictability and work–life conflict as predictors of turnover intentions in commissioned officers (COs) and non-commissioned officers (NCOs) in the Royal Norwegian Navy. The study posits that career prospects, community fit, organisational fit and organisational links embed personnel and are associated with a reduction in turnover intentions. In addition, the study proposes a mechanism whereby personnel who experience a predictable work schedule have better work–life balance and subsequently lower turnover intentions. Predictability in turn is hypothesised to be associated with the possibility of flexible hours. Using structural equation modelling, we find that embeddedness factors predicted turnover intentions for both personnel categories, but career prospects were the only significant embeddedness factor for NCOs. Predictability was associated with a reduction in turnover intentions via work–life conflict for both groups. In addition, flexible hours showed an effect on work–life conflict for both groups, but through different mechanisms. Overall, the results point to differential actions to reduce turnover between COs and NCOs in the armed forces and conclude with a priority list for actions to reduce turnover in each personnel group.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue quantitative analysis of the impact or consequences of the US Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2006<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>This study examined whether the Coast Guard and Maritime Transportation Act of 2006 affected the United States (US) Coast Guard performance characteristics with respect to incident response. The periods analyzed consisted of a decade before versus a decade after implementation of the legislation. Using analysis of variance (ANOVA) and the <italic>p</italic>-value approach (<italic>p</italic> &lt; 0.05), six hypotheses were tested to determine whether statistically significant differences in response attributes existed during the 10 years before versus the 10 years following the passing of the legislation. Four significant hypothesis-testing outcomes represented differences in the number of incidents, incident responses, cumulative lives lost, and lives lost after notification.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue education for NCMs’ professional career development: a conclusive experience?<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>The purpose of this article is to present the results of a research which assessed whether the Knowledge Acquisition Programme and the Non-Commissioned Member Executive Professional Development Programme contributed to the Non-Commissioned Members’ effectiveness as senior leaders in the Profession of Arms within the Canadian Armed Forces. Thirty-seven Programme graduates from 2006 to 2015 received a questionnaire containing seven closed-ended general information questions and twelve open-ended programme/course specific questions. Seventeen graduates responded to the questionnaire. Manual coding was used to identify main themes and sub-themes. The research findings determined that both Programmes contributed to the effectiveness of senior leaders in the Profession of Arms within the Canadian Armed Forces. However, some caveats were expressed, and recommendations brought forward to enhance the Programme and to improve its future deliveries.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue military base camps through an MCDA framework<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>The process used to determine site suitability for military base camps lacks a formal framework for reducing relative risks to soldier safety and maximise mission effectiveness. Presently, military personnel responsible for determining site suitability of a base camp must assess large amounts of geographic, socioeconomic and logistical data, without a decision analysis framework to aid in the process. By adopting a multicriteria decision analysis (MCDA) framework to determine site suitability of base camps, battlespace commanders can make better, more defensible decisions. This paper surveys US Army officers with recent base camp experience to develop a set of initial criteria and weights relevant to base camp site selection. The developed decision framework is demonstrated using an MCDA methodology in an illustrative example to compare alternative base camp locations within a designated Area of Interest (AoI). Leveraging the site ranking output and/or criteria weights resulting from the methodology provides decision-making support that can be used in the field when time, resources and data may not be readily available.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue proxy war: A multipurpose tool for a multipolar world<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Current literature on proxy war tends to miss a set of key factors germane to the study and practice of proxy war. First, proxy wars are distinct from coalitions and alliances because proxy wars, unlike the latter, are rooted in offsetting one’s own risk by offloading it to another actor. Next, analysing proxy relationships and risk through agency theory, network theory, and theories of power illuminate five basic models of proxy relationship – coerced, exploited, transactional, cultural and contractual. These models provide a new understanding of how strategic actors can best leverage a proxy. Moreover, these models provide a basic understanding of what specific types of proxies cannot do. For example, coerced and exploited proxies cannot be counted on for complicated work, or long-duration operations. Transactional proxies, given the business agreement between the principal and proxy, can be counted on to go to the razor’s edge together. Nonetheless, task completion accelerates dyad divergence, and mission accomplishment usually results in transactional solvency. Cultural and contractual relationships are tight-bonded, facilitate complicated missions, and can operate for long periods of time. As a result, strategic actors looking to invest in proxy strategies are best served when utilising cultural or contractual proxies.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue of Gaming Behavior among Military Peacekeepers – Exploring the Role of Boredom and Loneliness in Relation to Gaming Problems<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>The aim of the current study was to explore gaming problems in post-deployment veterans and to investigate whether boredom and loneliness can predict levels of gaming problems. The general well-being of veterans post their deployments to war zones is linked to an array of negative health consequences, and veterans may be at risk for developing gaming problems after homecomings. Problems that may be related to engagement in gaming include coping with negative emotions, such as boredom and loneliness, which are often faced by homecoming veterans as well. The sample in this study comprised Afghanistan veterans (N = 246), with a mean age of 37.5 years (standard deviation = 9.6 years), and 8.8% of the veterans showed symptoms indicative of problem gaming. This is not higher than that found in the general adult population in Norway. Logistic regression analyses showed that boredom proneness (lack of internal stimulation) and enhancement motivation were independent significant predictors of gaming problems, after controlling for age, gender, coping motivation, social motivation, anxiety, depression, loneliness, lack of external stimulation, hazardous drinking, and combat exposure. These factors accounted for as much as 65.8% of the variance in gaming problem status. We conclude that veterans who are highly motivated by enhancement motives and score low on lack of internal stimulation may be prone to developing gaming problems.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue the unthinkable – revisiting theories of nuclear deterrence and escalation challenges and leaders’ coping strategies: a qualitative study of Swedish military staff organization<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Numerous societal change processes such as globalization, professionalization and social and technical acceleration have challenged military organizations. The aims of this study were to (1) gain a deeper understanding of coping strategies used by the military leaders at the strategic level to manage everyday organizational demands and (2) relate these strategies to multidisciplinary models of organizational challenges. Owing to an insufficiently developed base of research, an inductive approach was used. Interviews were performed with 23 Swedish brigadier generals and colonels. Five coping strategies were found for handling the negative organizational aspects: repair work, catching up, reproducing, using formal and informal strategies and managing loyalties. The theoretical concepts of narcissistic, anorectic and greedy organizations were used as a framework when interpreting the inductively generated coping strategies. It was suggested that the specific connection found between individual-level coping strategies and theoretically framed organizational challenges is new. The results of this study are discussed theoretically and may be valuable in educational settings when evaluating the working conditions and performance of high-level officers.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue as nothing but a duel: war as an institution and the construction of the Western military profession<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>Like all repetitive human interaction, even war has been institutionalized and fought according to conventions and norms. Historically, this institutionalization is apparent from the way war has been compared to the duel, first in the 14th century and most famously by Carl von Clausewitz 5 centuries later. This article continues this train of thought and argues that the observed limits of Western “professional orthodoxy” and “strategic vocabulary” can be traced to how war has been institutionalized by the military profession. This offers an alternative explanation to the prevailing views of why the West has struggled in contemporary wars: it is the fundamental mismatch between these professional norms in the West and those held by their opponents that forms the biggest asymmetry in contemporary war. As this asymmetry is unlikely to disappear, these professional norms need to be reconsidered: just like the aristocracy with the duel by the late 19th century, the Western military profession appears stuck in an institution that is increasingly becoming obsolete. Without such reconsideration, the attainment of decision – the central strategic objective in war – and hence victory in future wars will remain uncertain.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue of specific military skills – the impact of perfectionism and self-efficacy<abstract> <title style='display:none'>Abstract</title> <p>We investigated the development of specific military skills in Norwegian cadets during the three-year military academy training as well as the impact of perfectionism and self-efficacy on the development of these skills. Latent growth-curve models were performed with perfectionism as a time-invariant predictor and with self-efficacy as a time-varying predictor. There were significant increases in the Individual Coping Capacity (ICC) and Cooperation in Difficult Situations (CDS) subscales but not in the Motivation to Achievement (MA) subscale. The initial skill levels were not related to the growth of the skills. Both adaptive and maladaptive perfectionism predicted initial values of ICC and CDS, explaining 5% of the variance in the initial ICC levels and 12% of the variance in the initial CDS levels. Perfectionism variables did not explain the development of the three types of military skills over time. Moreover, self-efficacy significantly predicted ICC at all time points and CDS and MA at all time points except at T3. We therefore concluded that cadets with high adaptive perfectionism scores are likely to have higher initial skill levels and that self-efficacious cadets are expected to show a greater development of military skills during military academy training.</p> </abstract>ARTICLEtrue on the streets: a “policization” of the armed forces as the new normal?<abstract><title style='display:none'>Abstract</title><p>The article analyses how the boundaries of postmodern military organizations are changing and how these evolutions affect their relations with the civilian society. The case of the Belgian Defence and the deployment of its military personnel in the streets are used as a case study to illustrate this transformation. Since January 2015, in response to the imminent terrorist threat in Belgium, military units have been deployed in support of the police to monitor sensitive areas, guard buildings and patrol the streets. The article analyses, first, how the population reacted to these new “proximity” roles and, second, the impact of these homeland deployments on the expeditionary readiness of the Belgian Defence and its capacity to carry out its primary missions.</p><p>The empirical analyses are, based on several quantitative and qualitative surveys, carried out among the Belgian population and the personnel of the Belgian Defence. In particular, the impact of the evolution of the public’s support over time on the blurring of the traditional roles of the military and the use of the military for internal security tasks is analysed.</p></abstract>ARTICLEtrue