Självständigt arbete (15 hp)
Emma Thesslin OP SA 12-‐15
Handledare Antal ord: 9035
Sofia Ledberg Beteckning Kurskod
Björn Brenner 1OP147
THE EFFECTS OF FORCE PROTECTION: AN IDEA ANALYSIS
How can we successfully complete our missions while we are stuck in bunkers?
A question representative of a hot topic of discussion regarding the restrictions of force protection measures that are placed on US troops conducting military operations abroad. The discussion, which peaked during the late 1990s early 2000s, was heavily weighted in one direction, namely claiming that force protection has a negative impact on military effectiveness. As the claim generalises force protection, a concept that has numerous definitions and even more interpretations, it therefore seems unlikely that such a generalisation can be made.
This study analyses the claim using an idea analysis method, questioning its sustainability and presenting a way of understanding its limitations.
In studying the circumstances of the reports that triggered this discussion, the analysis allows us to see the limited relevance of the claim with regard to the broader concept of force protection, while acknowledging its possible relevance regarding the specific aspects that are more
commonly associated with the concept. Nyckelord:
Force protection, military effectiveness, idea analysis.
1 INTRODUCTION ... 3
1.1 PRESENTATION OF THE PROBLEM ... 4
1.2 AIM OF THE STUDY ... 4
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTION ... 4
1.4 EARLIER RESEARCH ... 4
1.5 SUMMARY ... 7
1.6 USE OF TERMS ... 7
1.7 DISPOSITION ... 7
2 THEORY ... 8
2.1 THE COST-‐BENEFIT RATIO ... 8
2.2 A MODERNISATION OF CLAUSEWITZ ... 9
2.3 SUMMARY ... 10
3 METHOD ... 11
3.1 CHOICE OF METHOD ... 11
3.2 CONCEPTUALISATION – THE AUTHOR’S USE OF IDEA ANLYSIS ... 12
3.3 MATERIAL ... 13
4 ANALYSIS ... 15
4.1 CONCEPT ANALYSIS ... 15
4.2 IS THERE PROOF PRESENTED TO SUPPORT THE CLAIM AND IS THE PROOF SUSTAINABLE? ... 16
4.3 IS IT POSSIBLE TO PROVE? ... 18
4.4 CONCLUSIONS ... 19
5 RECAP AND REFLECTIONS ... 21
5.1 SUMMARY OF THE STUDY ... 21
5.2 REFLECTIONS ... 21
5.3 FURTHER RESEARCH ... 22
5.4 A FINAL WORD – RETURNING TO CLAUSEWITZ ... 22
LIST OF REFERENCES ... 23
BOOKS ... 23 ARTICLES ... 23 MILITARY DOCUMENTS ... 23 ELECTRONIC SOURCES ... 23
“Our troops cannot successfully complete their tasks if they are required to live in bunkers 24 hours a day.”1
-‐ Former Secretary of Defence William J. Perry
Although taken out of context, the quote quite clearly expresses what has become a common opinion among US high-‐ranking military officials and politicians alike. It promotes an idea that the measures taken to protect troops abroad also hinder them from achieving their military goals. The statement is taken from a featured article written by the SoD in the aftermath of the terrorist attacks on the Khobar Towers in 1996, where 19 American service members were killed and hundreds more wounded.2 The tragedy brought the use of force protection into the public eye, in reports, articles and editorials. The consensus is that mission effectiveness is compromised by force protection. Yet a clear definition of the concept is seldom mentioned.
Bergström and Boréus describe a ‘concept’ as a meeting point for words and ideas, In other words a concept is a word or a combination of words that can have diverse meanings.3 Force protection is a concept with a wide range of definitions although being a military concept there are some standardised versions. NATO defines force protection as: “All measures and means to minimize the vulnerability of personnel, facilities, equipment and operations to any threat and in all situations, to preserve freedom of action and the operational
effectiveness of the force.”4 This covers a very wide range of elements, which includes the armour worn by soldiers, the location of camps, quick reaction units, medical evacuation units, specific tactics aiming to protect military assets, vaccinations before deployment and so on. The list is long and the concept of force protection vague making it difficult to
measure or study.
This study will look at claims made about force protection and how valid and sustainable they actually are considering the vagueness of the concept itself.
1 W. J. Perry, ‘Force protection: Hardening the target’. Defense, (6), Arlington USA, Superintendent of Documents, 1996, p. 10
3 G. Berström and K. Boréus, Textens mening och makt, Stockholm, Student litteratur AB, 2005, 182
4 J. A. Moreno, NATO Glossary of terms and definitions, North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO
Standardization Agency (NSA), 2008, section. 2F6
1.1 PRESENTATION OF THE PROBLEM
During the late 1990’s force protection and the implications of its growing importance in military operations became a hot topic. The idea that force protection had a negative impact on military effectiveness became a widely accepted argument. The problem is that this argument was based on specific elements of force protection even though the concept covers a much wider range of elements, as previously mentioned. This therefore puts the validity and sustainability of the idea into question.
1.2 AIM OF THE STUDY
The aim of this study is to analyse the claim in theory that force protection has a negative impact on military effectiveness.
1.3 RESEARCH QUESTION
How can we understand the limits of the claim that force protection negatively impacts military effectiveness?
1.4 EARLIER RESEARCH
The majority of research on the subject of force protection has been done in the USA and focuses mainly on the development of the protection of US forces overseas. This may be due to increased public pressure since the Vietnam War.5
As previously mentioned, in 1996 the former Secretary of Defence William J. Perry wrote an article after the incident at Khobar Towers, where he describes what he considers to be the essence of force protection. He believes, as do many that it should be considered as an operational task and sees the necessity of increasing it, yet believes that this should be done in ways that do not compromise the mission. He believed that troops were being
encouraged to bunker down and hide behind force protection.6 His article looks into the future development of force protection and how it could be developed to avoid the
seemingly inevitable effects on operational ability.7 After Khobar towers and Perry’s ensuing statements, there was a flood of articles and studies on the subject of protecting service members overseas and ‘force protection’ became the phrase commonly used.
The following year an article by Daniel Ward published by the Department of the army HQ was released with similar arguments regarding how force protection does, but should not affect operational capability. Ward also states that the Department of Defence (DoD) places higher demands on commanding officers as force protection plays a larger role in military deployment. He writes, “DoD demands that commanders perform more missions with fewer
5 R. Smith, Force Protection: Casualties, Consensus, and an Operational Commander's Dilemma, Newport USA, Joint Military Operations Department, 1999
6 W. J. Perry, ‘Force protection: Hardening the target’. Defense, (6), Arlington USA, Superintendent of Documents, 1996
resources”8 In other words, according to Ward, measures taken within the boundaries of force protection are having a direct effect on the commanding officers’ ability to meet political objectives. This is because commanders who would previously concentrate forces on the worst-‐case adversary must now use their forces economically to cover all possible scenarios in order to reduce friendly casualties.9 The idea of spreading the available force to meet set goals will indirectly affect all aspects of a mission, as there are fewer available resources for any one task. Ward argues that it is the commanding officer’s dilemma to weigh the costs of protecting forces against accepting risk and suggests the implementation of a force protection working group to aid the commander in his decision by providing force protection related intelligence.10
Lieutenant Colonel Smith wrote a report for the Joint Military Operations Department (JMOD) stating that the American people seemed to be developing less tolerance for
casualties as a result of modern, less traditional warfare. The report states that, “as a result, operational commanders may find that it will be force protection failures, rather than battlefield defeats, that deny America her strategic objectives.”11 This shows a tendency towards a shift in the focus of operational success from purely achieving strategic goals, to doing so with minimal casualties. The article goes on to shed light on the balancing act between force protection and military missions, quoting Lieutenant General James Record regarding what is necessary in the broad spectrum of military operations in modern warfare: “…there is a need to strike an appropriate balance between Force Protection and other competing mission requirements … Even under the best of circumstances, this is not an easy balancing act”.12
An article by policy critic Jeffrey Record about what he calls a ‘Force Protection Fetishism’ arguing that the growing need to protect US forces abroad is a result of the opinion of the elite of society and of senior officers, not the general public.13 This argument is based on a study conducted in the USA in 1999 marshalled by the Project on the Gap between Military and Civilian Society.14 Record states that the “Vietnam syndrome … has metamorphosed into a Force-‐protection fetishism that threatens to corrupt American statecraft in the post-‐cold-‐ war era.” He argues that there is a growing unwillingness to place any political goals or objectives during military interventions abroad, ahead of the safety and protection of the military instrument.15 Record also states that “effective use of force rests on recognition of
8 D. Ward, ‘Assessing force protection risk’, Military Review, vol. 77, no.6, Fort Leavenworth USA, Department of the Army Headquarters, 1997, p.11
9 Ibid 10 Ibid
11 R. Smith, Force Protection: Casualties, Consensus, and an Operational Commander's Dilemma, Newport USA, Joint Military Operations Department, 1999, p. 2
12 R. Smith, Force Protection: Casualties, Consensus, and an Operational Commander's Dilemma, Newport USA, Joint Military Operations Department, 1999, p. 16
13 J. Record, ‘Force-‐protection fetishism’, Aerospace Power Journal, vol. 14, no. 2, Maxwell AFB, U.S. Superintendent of Documents, 2000
14 Ibid 15 Ibid p.4
the intimate relationship military means and political objective” 16 and goes on to say that this force protection fetishism corrupts the use of force as it is an obsession with keeping the military means safe even at the expense of the very political objectives they are there for. In 2004 the US War Naval Collage printed an article by Richard A. Laquement Jr. on casualty-‐ aversion, reinforcing Record’s idea of the myth that the general public in the USA are not willing to make sacrifices, and how important it is that this widely accepted myth does not distort the cost-‐benefit calculations of military and civilian leaders.17 Even in this article it is possible to see the reoccurring opinion opposing the restriction of military forces through force protection. Record quotes the former Chief of Staff of the Army, General Edward Meyer, “No commander likes to lose soldiers, but if he starts out with [no casualties] as his goal, nobody is going to accomplish anything.”18 The article talks about four main negative impacts that this supposed casualty aversion can have, one of which is; ineffective or inefficient execution. “Belief that the public cannot withstand casualties can skew choices concerning the use of force in ways that cause operations to be conducted inefficiently or ineffectively.”19 He goes on to state that “Another aspect of this negative effect is the manner in which American armed forces, overly concerned about casualties, pursue force protection and ‘zero defects’ to such an extent that mission effectiveness is hindered.”20 In 2007 an article was published on the future of Force protection. Here the author states that the US and allied commanders confront the dual responsibilities of accomplishing the mission and ensuring the safety of those under their command claiming also that these two are inextricably linked, “there is both tension and synergy between these responsibilities. Force protection is crucial to the creation of circumstances that facilitate military forces executing their operational missions. It may well be – that exposing both combat and supporting forces to greater risk will result in a more rapid achievement of the mission and thus fewer casualties in the long run.”21 The article goes on to explain that however
important force protection is, it must not interfere with the accomplishment of the mission. The risk of force protection is a ‘garrison mentality’ where troops hide behind concrete and lose touch with the enemy and the civilian population, a contact that is a crucial element in the success of irregular warfare.22 Furthermore the article explains that we should focus on how to maximise mission effectiveness, while minimising casualties. Where a risk
16 J. Record, ‘Force-‐protection fetishism’, Aerospace Power Journal, vol. 14, no. 2, Maxwell AFB, U.S. Superintendent of Documents, 2000, p. 4
17 R. A. Laquement, ‘The casualty-‐aversion myth’, Naval War Collage Review, vol. 57, no. 1, Washington, Superintendent of documents, 2004
18 Ibid p. 50 19 Ibid p. 44 20 Ibid p. 44
21 L. Beckman, Grundbok i Idéanalys det kritiska studiet av politiska texter och idéer, Stockholm, Santérus Förelag, 2005, p. 45
assessment is made and mission tactics are combined with “acceptable risk” in regard to force protection resulting in a successful mission.23
There is a lot more written on the topic of force protection and its effect on military
effectiveness, especially dating from the late 1990’s. The articles, studies and reports above are sample pieces that represent the general discussion and surrounding opinions. The consensus is that an idea of casualty-‐aversion has grown in the US which, whether it be a myth or not, has led to an over-‐use of force protection. This over-‐use has hindered troops from completing their mission, suggesting that there is a balance between the extent of force protection used and the effectiveness of the mission.
1.6 USE OF TERMS Military effectiveness
Effectiveness is simply producing a desired or intended result, so in military terms it can be written as an army, unit or soldier producing a result that was previously intended. An intended result is something that has been planned for, a goal. Other phrases such as
mission effectiveness are very similar in meaning and in order to minimise misinterpretation both of these phrases will be referred to in the study as military effectiveness meaning; reaching a military end-‐state, or goal.
This study is divided into three main parts. First the theory chapter presents the theory from its origins in Clausewitz’ ideas on the cost-‐benefit ratio of war, to the present balance of force protection and military effectiveness. Next is the method chapter, the purpose of which is to talk the reader through each step of the study regarding what methods have been used, the boundaries of the study and the overall thought process of the author. The subsequent chapter is the actual analysis; here the reader will be able to follow the study from the empirical research through the analytical steps presented in the method chapter to the conclusion.
23 L. Beckman, Grundbok i Idéanalys det kritiska studiet av politiska texter och idéer, Stockholm, Santérus Förelag, 2005
This chapter will first present a theory from Clausewitz’ series of books “On War”, about balancing what is risked against what stands to gained in war. The chapter then goes on to show the relevance and presence of Clausewitz today in a modernisation of the theory. A summary of the theory can be found at the end of the chapter.
2.1 THE COST-‐BENEFIT RATIO
Throughout Clausewitz’ work, he often returns to a cost-‐benefit concept in which he claims that risk is a fundamental part of war where one must weigh the pros and cons, in other words the costs and negative implications of war compared to the benefits and political gain to be achieved by winning the war. Clausewitz states “war is no act of blind passion, but is dominated by the political objective, therefore the value of that object determines the measure of the sacrifices by which it is to be purchased.”24 He goes on to explain how this is not only in regard to the extent of the sacrifice but also the duration, how much time and effort is the object worth? Clausewitz also states that as soon as the value of the political objective becomes less than the cost of the means to attain it, the object should be given up.25
War, according to Clausewitz is not merely a political act, but is a political instrument, a means to carry out political will. “Political view is the objective, war is the means.”26 In order to reach the political objectives one must be willing to take the calculated risk, because without risking anything it is difficult to achieve anything. This argument is further reinforced in Christopher Griffin’s article From limited war to limited victory: Clausewitz and allied
strategy in Afghanistan. In this article Griffin describes how the US entered into the Afghan
war with very high political aims but with a mind to use, relatively speaking, very little force making success near to impossible.
Looking at the costs of war and the benefits of war during battles in the early 20th century it is easier to distinguish those costs and benefits than those of today. Territory was a clear physical objective, or the disarmament of an army a clear political goal, and lives, equipment and even some battles lost were the sacrifices made to achieve such goals. In today’s
modern warfare it is not as easy. The political objectives of today and tomorrow include winning hearts and minds, stabilising governments and mentoring armed forces.27 So how do we know if the cost benefit ratio is balanced? Military effectiveness is a much-‐discussed topic, asking the question, are we using the resources we have in an effective way to meet our objectives? The resources referred to, range from manpower to technology to weaponry
24 K. von Clausewitz, On War, trans. J. J. Graham, USA, BN Publishing, 2007, p. 22 25 Ibid p. 22
26 Ibid p. 18
27 ‘The future of Force protection’, Military technology, vol. 31, no. 8, Bonn Germany, Moench Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, 2007
systems. These resources are thus the cost, if lost. In order to minimise these costs, resources must be protected. Therein lies the need for force protection.
2.2 A MODERNISATION OF CLAUSEWITZ
The relevance of Clausewitz when discussing modern warfare has been in question since the cold war, many claim that his tactics apply to wars where the aim is annihilation of the enemy and are not relevant in post-‐cold war conflicts28. Yet there are many scholars who claim that Clausewitz’ critics only look at specific tactics and fail to see the relevance of the fundamental matters presented in his work29 and there ever-‐lasting applicability, even in the non-‐traditional wars fought today.
Lieutenant Colonel Smith of the US Marine Corps writes in a report that since the US has become involved in less traditional fighting roles the people of the USA have less tolerance for casualties as a result.30 It would appear to be true for a number of western countries that societies’ tolerance of casualties in war has decreased during the past century. There is much speculation as to what has caused this reaction, one might argue that it is a result of the extreme cost of two world wars and the following threat of the cold war, or one might say it is the natural evolution of war. Smith claims that for the USA it is a result of the war in Vietnam, while Beirut and Somalia are evidence of the US pulling out when casualty
numbers started to increase.31
Force protection has become a growing part of military operations in the latter part of the 20th century; this could be a direct reaction to the decreasing tolerance of returning body bags. The phrase force protection connotes bunkers and barbed wire32 and has triggered a discussion regarding its negative impact on the mobility and effectiveness of missions. Smith, as previously mentioned, quotes a Lieutenant General Record who, in discussing the broad spectrum of military objectives, states that “In each of these diverse operations, there is a need to strike an appropriate balance between Force Protection and other competing mission requirements.”33 This implies that an increase in force protection leads to a decrease in other mission requirements. In other words, the more focus is placed on protecting the forces the less resources are available to reach mission effectiveness.
NATO defines Force Protection (FP) as: “All measures and means to minimize the vulnerability of personnel, facilities, equipment and operations to any threat and in all
28 C. Griffin, ‘From Limited War to Limited Victory: Clausewitz and Allied Strategy in Afghanistan’, Contemporary
Security Policy, vol. 35, no. 3, Published online 22 Sep 2014, Routledge, 2014
29 C. Griffin, ‘From Limited War to Limited Victory: Clausewitz and Allied Strategy in Afghanistan’, Contemporary
Security Policy, vol. 35, no. 3, Published online 22 Sep 2014, Routledge, 2014
30 R. Smith, Force Protection: Casualties, Consensus, and an Operational Commander's Dilemma, Newport USA, Joint Military Operations Department, 1999
32 ‘The future of Force protection’, Military technology, vol. 31, no. 8, Bonn Germany, Moench Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, 2007
33 R. Smith, Force Protection: Casualties, Consensus, and an Operational Commander's Dilemma, Newport USA, Joint Military Operations Department, 1999, p. 16
situations, to preserve freedom of action and the operational effectiveness of the force.”34 In other words, according to NATO, FP should be an aid to the operational effectiveness of the force. Yet many believe that the focus of international military interventions has shifted and become FP focussed, which in turn hinders rather than aids the very freedom of action and operational effectiveness it is supposed to preserve. Metaphorically speaking, you can protect a child from the threats of the world by locking it in its room, but you cannot then expect the child to achieve anything in that world.
Returning to policy critic Jeffrey Record’s ‘Force Protection Fetishism’, that is exactly what is happening.35 The result being that today’s western soldier is bunkering down behind
concrete walls because “a lack of loss – not mission accomplishment – became the standard for judging the success of allied forces”36. Record means that protecting troops has become so important and nothing is being risked because mission accomplishment has become a secondary goal, that it is no longer possible to achieve political aim.
To summarise, Clausewitz claims that the military is an extension of a political arm, a means to achieve political objectives. In order to reach these political objectives one must take the risk of sacrifices. However the cost in sacrifice must not outweigh the value of the target, if that is the case then the target must be abandoned. Today it seems that nations are not willing to risk enough to achieve their goals. Alternatively, they are readjusting goals to better suit the political will of a casualty-‐free war. A high focus is being placed on force protection causing armies to bunker down in high-‐walled camps and only conduct low-‐risk operations thus making mission accomplishment almost impossible.
34 J. A. Moreno, NATO Glossary of terms and definitions, North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO Standardization Agency (NSA), 2008, section. 2F6
35 J. Record, ‘Force-‐protection fetishism’, Aerospace Power Journal, vol. 14, no. 2, Maxwell AFB, U.S. Superintendent of Documents, 2000
This study aims to test the claim made in the theory chapter, in order to do so the author has used a variant of idea-‐analysis. A brief introduction to idea-‐analysis will be presented first in this chapter followed by how the author has chosen to use the method in the study. Furthermore the limitations and a source evaluation of the study will be presented and motivated..
3.1 CHOICE OF METHOD
Initially a qualitative text analysis was conducted in order to identify the theme, which is force protection’s negative impact on military effectiveness. Why a qualitative text analysis is necessary is because, although the concept of force protection is often mentioned, its influence and impacts on the effectiveness of mission is not always the main focus of the texts. The text must therefore be read thoroughly to access the opinions regarding this particular topic.
Berström and Boréus describe an idea as a construction of thoughts that represent an understanding of reality or an understanding of how something ought to be done37. Based on this notion the author has identified the claim that force protection has a negative impact on military effectiveness as an idea, therefore idea analysis is clearly a relevant tool to test that claim. The more popular, related method, ideology analysis, was also considered, although according to Bergström and Boréus an ideology is a group or system of ideas, where as this study looks at one single claim or idea, making idea analysis more suitable.
There are three analysis techniques used when conducting an idea analysis, the first is a concept38 analysis meaning to simply explain the concepts, this is an important first step in idea analysis and will be used as a first step in this study. The second is a rationalisation analysis, this is commonly used to analyse a group of arguments39, and it is therefore not suitable in this study. The final technique is content analysis, which is a quantitative method used to analyse large quantities of material. Again this does not apply to this study.
Idea analysis is generally divided into three different types of analysis: descriptive idea analysis40, idea critique41, and interpretive idea analysis42. A descriptive idea analyst aims to, in a more scientific and in-‐depth manner, describe the subject. In other words the analyst adds a scientific meaning and new elements to the topic in question. Idea critique is often
37 G. Berström and K. Boréus, Textens mening och makt, Stockholm, Student litteratur AB, 2005, p. 150 38 Ibid p. 31
39 Ibid p. 38
40 L. Beckman, Grundbok i Idéanalys det kritiska studiet av politiska texter och idéer, Stockholm, Santérus Förelag, 2005, p. 48
41 Ibid p. 55 42 Ibid p. 80
used when questioning or challenging a political or ideological text. It does not look at the ‘what’ or ‘why’ of something but rather questions the validity, sustainability or plausibility of the subject. Interpretive idea analysis is a tool used for example to explain how political ideas can be a result of social or economic processes in society.
Because this study takes a stand against the claim regarding the negative impact of force protection, questioning its sustainability, the most suited method is idea critique. Idea critique itself is divided into the three elements mentioned earlier, testing validity43,
sustainability44 and plausibility45. This study will look at all three of these aspects to a greater or lesser extent although the focus of the study will be on the sustainability of the idea as it is exactly that which is in question. According to Ludvig Beckman’s book “Grunder i
idéanalys”, Vedung is often referred to regarding idea analysis. Vedung brings analysing the sustainability of an idea or claim down to three questions:
Ø Is there proof presented to support the claim? Ø Is the proof sustainable?
Ø Is it possible to prove?
To summarise, the study will start by using the analysis technique – concept analysis, in order to identify and define the concept of force protection in order to better understand its meaning and use. After which, using the three questions as a base, the author will analyse the claim that force protection has a negative impact on military effectiveness. Through this analysis it will be possible to determine the sustainability of the claim and help create an understanding of its limitations.
3.2 CONCEPTUALISATION – THE AUTHOR’S USE OF IDEA ANLYSIS
Analysts often use the metaphor, looking at something through “glasses”46, for example, looking at society with gender glasses to analyse equality issues. Basically this means looking at the subject of analysis from a specific perspective in order to minimise other impressions that may be irrelevant to the study. In this case the author has chosen an opposition
perspective because the best way to understand and test an argument is to argue against it. This does however mean that a study runs the risk of being subjective as the author who conducts the analysis from an opposing opinion becomes judge and jury. This study is an idea analysis however, which aims to test the sustainability of the claim rather than prove it incorrect thus minimising the possible effects of the bias of the author and increasing the reliability of the study.
43 L. Beckman, Grundbok i Idéanalys det kritiska studiet av politiska texter och idéer, Stockholm, Santérus Förelag, 2005, p. 57
44 Ibid p. 65 45 Ibid p. 68 46 Ibid p. 77
Idea analysis itself, specifically idea critique, cannot prove or disprove something tangible, it can only test if an argument, idea or claim holds. It is therefore a good method of raising reasonable doubt as to the sustainability of an argument but it does not in itself provide a counter argument. It is therefore important not to see this study as proving the claim false but rather opening the reader’s eyes to the limitations of the claim. For a larger study that may aim to provide a counter argument or scientific proof against a claim, idea analysis might be a good place to start but would need to be complemented with other research methods.
The questions that create a base for the analysis will be used in the following way in relation to the study.
1. Is there proof presented to support the claim? Here the author will consider, not only the main text material but also the research carried out to date looking for any examples of actual events in support of the claim.
2. Is the proof sustainable? This question examines the proof presented from the above question and analyse, not the reliability of the proof, but the validity of its use. If at this point the proof raises reasonable doubt or is lacking in any way, it may affect the sustainability of the claim.
3. Is it possible to prove the claim? Here the author will look at whether it is in fact possible to prove or disprove the claim and what implications that might have on our understanding of its limitations.
Based on its presence in research done prior to this study, the author has identified the claim as having been made by a wide range of US scholars, politicians and high-‐ranking officers. One may therefor conclude that it is the general opinion of senior US officials rather than the opinion of one individual. This does of course bear with it the risk of compromising the reliability. Although as it is not possible to include the opinion of every high-‐ranking official in the USA, the author has used as many different sources as time would allow in order to increase the reliability of the study. As the study analyses a claim representing the general opinion of a certain group and not a specific individual, the material this study examines is a collection of reports and articles written by that group, many of which have already been mentioned in the introduction chapter.
The majority of the material to be used in the analysis is from the late 1990s to the early 2000s, because during this period force protection became a hot topic in the USA. This does not affect the study as such, as it still aims to shed light on the limitations of such a claim, but one must take into account that more recent studies may have been conducted without the author’s knowledge arguing against the claim, thus detracting from its relevance as the general opinion of high-‐ranking US officials today.
The texts that have been chosen are not written in hindsight but rather written about
contemporary topics and refer to cases that have not long passed, deducting from the risk of becoming invalid due to a times lapse between events and the written sources. Although many of the texts are written by high-‐ranking US military officials they have been collected from different publications and different branches within the military in order to ensure their independence from one another, again increasing their reliability. The author has also aimed to, as much as possible, use first-‐hand sources in the form of reports and articles written by members of the group making the claim. Keeping the sources as close to the origin as possible increases its authenticity.
The NATO definition is used in places throughout this study as a reference for the definition of force protection. The choice of the NATO definition as opposed to the numerous others that exist is based on the wide use of standardised NATO definitions. Many countries adopt the NATO definitions in their doctrines in order to ease combined operations and increase interoperability. It is also the principal definition used by the US armed forces, therefore the NATO definition is relevant when examining the force protection concept in NATO countries.
In this chapter the analysis will be presented as a discussion using the method mentioned in the previous chapter as a guide. The four steps (concept analysis and the three questions) will be used as headings throughout making it easier to follow the stages of analysis. A summary and conclusion will be presented in the final chapter.
4.1 CONCEPT ANALYSIS
So what exactly is force protection? Looking at the definitions of the words themselves, ‘force’ meaning a physical strength or power as a result of movement or action and
‘protection’ meaning defending or keeping safe and out of harm’s way. The force in this case is the military force, in other words the physical strength of the military’s movement or actions. Force protection is therefore the defence or safekeeping of that physical strength. Although according to the literature it stretches from its widest sense as “the protection of military forces in all environments”47, to the much more elaborate NATO definition; “All measures and means to minimize the vulnerability of personnel, facilities, equipment and operations to any threat and in all situations, to preserve freedom of action and the operational effectiveness of the force.”48 There are many variations of the definition and some may be more inclusive than others.
Here are just some examples of equipment, measures and forces mentioned in previous studies that come under the force protection umbrella; helmets, body armour,
counteractions against an enemy attacking friendly forces, rules of engagement, preventive medicine, personnel recovery, medical evacuation readiness, and quick reaction units. All of these factors, and many more can be considered a part of the concept force protection, although, as mentioned, not every definition is all-‐inclusive. For example Ward quotes the Universal Joint Task List’s definition of force protection and it does not include preventive medicine or rules of engagement yet both are considered elements in the protection of military forces.49
As mentioned in the introduction, a concept is a combination of words, in this case, ‘force protection’, that can have varied meanings. Therefore what defines a concept is its relation to the context in which it is found. Force protection, being a military concept, will always be affected by the social context of the military. Depending of course on the reader the word military may automatically trigger thinking in terms of armies and war. The phrase force protection thus automatically becomes associated with the most common connotations of
47 ‘The future of Force protection’, Military technology, vol. 31, no. 8, Bonn Germany, Moench Verlagsgesellschaft mbH, 2007, p. 46
48 J. A. Moreno, NATO Glossary of terms and definitions, North Atlantic Treaty Organization NATO Standardization Agency (NSA), 2008, section. 2F6
49 D. Ward, ‘Assessing force protection risk’, Military Review, vol. 77, no.6, Fort Leavenworth USA, Department of the Army Headquarters, 1997
the word military i.e. armies and war. This may explain why other aspects of force protection such as personnel recovery, medical evacuations and preventive medicine that are not generally the first thing to be associated with war, are often excluded from the perception of the phrase ‘force protection’. Another possible reason for the distorted association could be that force protection has, in the past, been wrongly identified as synonymous with anti-‐ terrorism when force protection actually covers a much broader scope of resources.50
4.2 IS THERE PROOF PRESENTED TO SUPPORT THE CLAIM AND IS THE PROOF SUSTAINABLE?
As explained in the method chapter, what the author is looking for by way of proof, are examples that back up the claim that force protection has a negative impact on military effectiveness.
The article written by the former secretary of defence, is a reflection on the failings of force protection at Khobar Towers and a proposal for its future development. Perry states that troops cannot complete tasks from behind bunker walls and asks “how then can we accomplish our missions without compromising their success or abandoning them
altogether?”51 The example given here is not based on reality but on common sense; it is impossible to complete a task that requires physical presence at a different location if one is stuck behind a wall. The fact that Perry uses this as an example implies that he believes it is precisely that element which is the problem with force protection. Furthermore the
implication of a suggested change in force protection procedures implies that it was not sufficient at the time the article was written.
Perry has not presented any proof in the form of examples of actual events in his article; his proof is based on common sense, which begs the question as to what his claim is based on. As stated, of course hiding behind walls makes it difficult to complete a task, but there is no proof supporting this case, just a suggestion of it. Also Perry’s example of bunkers refers to a part of force protection that is protective infrastructure. When talking about force
protection he does not mention the already existing elements, which did in fact work at Khobar towers, namely the reaction of the forces, the buddy system for first hand medical treatment and the subsequent medical evacuations. These were mentioned earlier in the article but not as a part of a functioning force protection system.
One of the main points made by Lieutenant Colonel Smith in his report is summarised by a quote from Lieutenant General James Record, (for full quote see the introduction chapter). The quote refers to a balance of resources, stating that in modern warfare there is a need to
50 Air Force Doctrine, Annex 3-‐10 Force protection, USA, Curtis e. Lemay centre for doctrine development and education
51 W. J. Perry, ‘Force protection: Hardening the target’. Defense, (6), Arlington USA, Superintendent of Documents, 1996