Relaciones Cívico-Militares I.


Por Carlos Pissolito

Ladies and gentlemen; soldiers and civilians...

I have travel a long way to be here today. I came from the deep South. The country of Messi and Maradona. But, also the land of Tango and Pope Francis. I haven´t the sport ability of the two first. However, I will try to share some wisdom from Francis or, at least, get the tempo of a nice tango.
The goal of my first lecture, today is to examine and address the interrelationships between state, military and society and how they interact in the contexts on UN missions. In order to find how this interrelationship can be, both, constraints and opportunities for our mission.
Also, we will examine this interrelationship in terms of stability/instability-failure/Success within the spectrum of PSO.

Para ver la exposición en Power Point, hacer click en el link:

Please read the phrase of the introduction. Context is extremely important in Strategy. Conflict, wars and crisis have a very mutable nature. They are evolving constantly and change their colors as a chameleon.  We need to distinguish the kind of conflict we are dealing with.

Every subject has its own history. And the relationship between state, military and society isn´t an exception.
One of the first form was the city-state, where citizen and soldier were synonyms. During the Roman Empire certain level of efficient bureaucracy were achieved within the state and military professionalism with its legions.
However, the fall of the Western part of the Empire, spread the medieval chaos, that endure almost two millennia. During this time war was wage by lords followed by their servants. At the end of this long period appeared the seed for professional soldiers called pugnatore or bellatore.
Modern times brings the appearance of the state as we know it today. Step by step, armies became more professional. Absolutes Monarchs began to pay salaries (called soldata) to their pugnatores. Later, French Revolution introduces mass conscriptions and Clausewitz wrote his famous manual (On War) about why, how and by whom war must be waged.
The state in the form which it is know today was born, recently, no more than 300 years ago. Specifically it was born with the Peace of Westphalia in 1648, when several European kingdoms, firstly, decided not to be defiant by any other authority, both internal or external;  secondly, they began to exercise authority over a well delimitated territory and thirdly, in order to enforce the two previous decisions, they created a bureaucracy and -more important for us- professional soldering.
The idea works reasonably in good terns until 2nd WW. When the inventions of nuclear weapons and the spread o low intensity conflicts undermine states, almost everywhere. Later, even today the state attempts to monopolize violence in its own hands is faltering
Therefore, state as a political form of organization, it isn´t eternal. There were different forms before and maybe they would be different ones in the future.

In the relationship between State, military and society we can distinguished two possible patterns that coexist today.
Firstly, the traditional one. The famous Clausewitz´s trilogy or triangle: State-Army-People. By which the tree element interact, but they do that separately. Specially the third one, the people, who should de always kept aside from state decision and from military operations. These were logical consequences from abuses performed by armies during Religious War, prior Westphalia. The distinction between combatants and non-combatants was the key-stone of the system.
Secondly, the unconventional one. The circle, represents that wars, conflicts and crisis are waged "within the people" in words of the British General Sir Rupert Smith. Why? For two main reason people weren`t put aside anymore. First, most of the occasions war and conflicts take place in urban areas and, second and most important, people are the aim of military operations. For good and for bad reasons.

This slide is the most important of the presentation. It explains in diverse layers of analysis the full spectrum of operations. From Natural Disaster/Emergency Relief to war, passing over PSO.
At the left side of the slide it is located our level of consensus, declining from left to the center. At the right side of the slide, in contraposition, there are our military capabilities. Both are a dual principle: as more consensus the mission enjoys, less military capabilities are needed and vice versa.
On the top of the slide you can see the possible levels of cooperation and the freedom for decision making allowed to local authorities.
On the bottom of the slide you can observe the level of force that is needed for the mission, from self defense (minimum) to full combat capacities (maximum).
Finally, the slide draws a blurring frontier between traditional and complex PSO.

In this slide we can appreciate visually -one picture equal thousand words- the differences between a traditional PSO from a complex one.
Mission Peacekeeping: Interposition Peaceenforcement/intervention
consensus Moderate to high Local to non existence
Military capacity None to self defense Robust to full combat capacities


A model from history: History can provide us with some successful models of good cultural intelligence. For instance Jesuits manage to spread Christianity amongst American Indian Tribes. They use and indirect approach. As the movie "The Mission" shows:
1. First, they learnt the local languages.
2. Second, they used arts (music, architecture) as  a link between both cultures.
3. Finally, they allowed locals to be the owner of their project.

Keeping in mind the similarities between a Jesuit mission and a UN mission. Both are the encounter of two different cultures. One global, the other, local. We will summarize the principle that should govern the interactions in CMR.
First of all, we need to determine the final aim of our actions. This couldn´t be other than the instauration and preservation of a good and smooth interactions between all actors involved in CMR that facilitate a safe and peaceful environment for the accomplishment of the mission mandate.
Specifically a safe and peaceful environment shouldn´t be considered as the mere absence of physical, psychological or moral violence. It should be considered, in a metapolitical way, as tranquillitas ordinis or harmony in order.
The construction of this "harmony in order" demands the observance of 4 principles of actions:
1. Time is superior than space: While time has no limits, space is always limited. Therefore, we shouldn´t pursue immediate results. Time perception is vital in CMR. Any perception from any actor that we are pursuing a short range objective will undermine confidence in the peace process as a whole. However, this principle shouldn´t discourage the use of intermediate objectives, but always keeping in mind our final goal.
2. Unity prevailed over conflict: We can´t ignore or dismiss conflicts. By definition, they are embedded in human nature. In order to overpass a particular conflict, firstly, we need to recognize it; and secondly, we need to rescue the valuables parts of the positions of the actors involved in the conflict. The aim of this principle is to achieve unity over the natural differences.
3. Reality is more important than ideas: Our intelligences know and speak the true when our ideas are conformed by reality. Ideologies are, normally, used to deform "realities" in order to concord with an specific idea. That principle demands our humble subordination to what realty is. Because we need to know a real situation before we can operate on it. In other words: we can ignore reality, but not its consequences.
4. The whole is superior than the part: In every UN mission, there is an obvious tension between globalization and localism. Homogenization neither a folkloric xenophobia are the answer. On the contrary,  we need to find a common ground between both, where each actor peculiarity is respected. In order to achieve that, we need to define a common good that overtakes particular goods.
In conclusion, the main objective in CMR-I is like building a bridge. Where there are, necessarily, two sides. Each one with its own peculiarities.

7 y 8
In every UN mission, as in any complex environment, there will be expected and unexpected events. Some of them will be beneficial for the mission (opportunities), and other will be the opposite (constrains).
For instance the cholera outbreak in Haiti was an unexpected constrain. However, a sexual abuse, will work as a constrain; but it should be an expected one. Therefore, you can trained and control contingents discipline in order to avoid such incidents.
On the other hand, you can take advantages of some opportunities. For instance, if you have a hospital or a medical facility in your organization, it will be an excellent tool to generate opportunities. Also, if you don´t have such services you can provide support to local situations, supporting orphanages. Even, music or a popular sport could be used as an opportunity to enhance your consensus.

Besides, opportunities and constrains, the mission has to run its operations daily. Some of them will be more sensitive than others. For instance, searching and capturing an spoiler. Always, you should select the less violent/aggressive procedure. And in case of a crisis, always try to deescalate it.

Pope Francis  delivered an speech at the UN General Assembly. He introduced the concept of mission of peacekeeping and reconciliation.