To Protect the Baltic States against Russia

I agree with those who have noted that the Baltic States can by defended against both an overt or covert invasion by present Russian forces, but I disagree that the present local and NATO posture can achieve this.

The first key issue is sea control of the Baltic Sea from the island of Bornholm to the Aland Islands. As when the Baltic littoral was defended the last time against a Russian offensive – by Nazi Germany during the last year of the Second World War – everything depends on the ability to defend and use the chosen sea-lines-of communication.

During the Cold War the NATO mission was limited to the far less demanding task of denying the Warsaw Treaty Organisation navies free use of the sea routes in the southern part of the Baltic Sea for the support the offensive operations of the Coastal Front and Soviet Red Flag Baltic Navy. In the hope to defeat the threat, to succeed in this limited mission, the involved NATO states developed large, modern and capable specialised naval and naval air units. They were thereafter scrapped in the later focus on Blue Water capabilities.

The ability to defend sea routes cannot be decided by a simple comparison of available NATO and Russian local naval forces. Both are rather weak. We have to analyse whether NATO can protect the shipping generally or at least high priority convoys. The transport shipping has to be effectively protected from mines, submarine, air and missile attack. The task has always been difficult in the Baltic Sea due to the temperature and salt layered character of the sea, and the development of mine and torpedo technology since 1945 has made task ever more difficult. In 1944-45 the Germans could count on the cover of winter darkness and cloudy weather as well as on the indifferent quality of Soviet Naval Aviation to shield the transports from effective air attack. Now long-range detection systems coupled with full all-weather attack capability by both aircraft and long-range air and surface launched anti-shipping missiles will make the protection of shipping extremely difficult and demanding. The task becomes even more difficult during a crisis period before and the first phases of hostilities where strikes against the potential source of attacks will be ruled-out to avert escalation.

The Baltic States have four capable terminal ports at relatively safe distance from Russian territory: Liepaja, Ventspils, Riga and the port facilities in and east of Tallinn. However, all have approaches vulnerable to the most discreet “hybrid” warfare anti-shipping weapon: the mine. The main Lithuanian port of Klaipeda lies too close to Russian territory to be considered available. As the mine-warfare expertise and capability of the NATO-navies have withered together with the anti-submarine and air-defence capabilities and the general coastal warfare capabilities, it is doubtful whether NATO can muster a credible sea control MCM posture for the Baltic Sea. Any fishing or merchant ship now has the ability to carry out accurate covert mining operations in support of hybrid warfare.

The missile threat is also serious and even if probably only urgent after the start of hostilities. The reduced Russian Baltic Navy light surface units and naval aviation presently in the Baltic area mean that there exists a very significant latent missile threat against shipping everywhere in the Baltic. Nothing can prevent Russia from reinforcing their forces from the other fleets prior to and during a crisis and to start employing harassment of Western shipping and naval units as sometimes during the Cold War.

If NATO tries to establish protected sea lines, the effort will be heavily dependent on general and specialist naval air power. It should be employed in the protection of convoys that use the less directly exposed sea routes (away from the Russian Kaliningrad Oblast) across the central Baltic Sea from Swedish the territorial waters of Gotland to the four safest Baltic harbours listed above. In order to have maximum time in the area the aircraft should operate from East-German, Polish or – far best – central Swedish bases. The credibility of the whole sea control operation to support the defence of the Baltic States may depend on the availability of the Swedish bases that the country secretly planned to make available to the USAF during the Cold War.

The lesser capable alternatives to sea transport are air transport and over-land transport via the narrow Polish-Lithuanian land corridor between the Russian Kaliningrad Oblast and Belorussia. These options will be sufficient for any initial limited deterrent deployment of light reaction forces, but will not have the capability to support the larger NATO-forces of army formations and logistics needed for a minimum defensive deployment.

Of the main airfields, Vilnius Airport and the Palanga Airfield are too close to Belorussia and Kaliningrad Oblast to be safely usable, and support of Lithuania will have to use Karmeleva at Kaunas and the large military airfield Zokniai near Siauliai. Air transport to Latvia depends on the use of Riga Airport with the military airfield at Lielvarde as a reserve, in Estonia Tallinn Airport has Ämari military airfield and the local airfields at Tartu and Pärnu as reserves – the latter a former Soviet air base west of the city centre and harbour. All Baltic airfields are difficult and demanding in troops to guard against Special Forces due to built-up or wooded areas in close proximity. To work effectively as air bases in a hybrid warfare phase they need the deployment of a full set of local defence and security forces and logistics elements. If considered for later defence operation in spite of operating within the range of Russian long-range air defence missile systems, the bases need area and close air defence systems as well as EOD and rapid runway repair elements. None of these capabilities can be supplied by the Baltic Host Nations, and the lack of this operational requirement during the last two decades, few, if any, remains in the European NATO forces.

The main problem, however, is that none of the Baltic States have the forces available to create a minimum cohesive, initial forward territorial defence of their territory, and because of this a symbolic employment of U.S. subunits to the capitals as a “trip-wire” as suggested recently by Zbigniew Brzezinski signal weakness by offering hostages rather than a step that ensures later timely deployment of robust deterrent forces. Such follow-on forces that were previously available no longer exist, as they were irrelevant after “history had ended”.

No exposed forward state was ever capable of creating an effective initial territorial defence and deterrent force posture without the use of conscription, and fortunately the last decades of communications and individual or pair served weapon system development have created equipment far easier to handle than those 40-50 years ago. Only some complex crew served weapons such as tanks and command cadre functions still benefit from a long service regulars’ routine. However, fashion, ideology and lack of personal experience with training and use of national servicemen still seems to block Western peace-time realization of the essential benefits of access to the draft to supplement regulars. It is the only way to generate quantity without real loss of flexibility and quality. Historical cases indicate that local initial defence capabilities are not only essential for gaining time and keeping space for receiving assistance, the demonstrated will to defend themselves and handle hybrid challenges without having to resort to serious suppression eases the political decision among allies to fight for another country.

It was been the a-historical NATO policy to pretend – recently under the “smart defence” buzz-heading – that there exists an immediate and pre-programmed political willingness in all member states to contribute forces to fight for an ally no matter what situation and what the host state contributes. Of course it is dim-witted nonsense. It is time to realize that the bluff has been called and act accordingly.

To protect the Baltic States, NATO needs protected airfields for initial deployment, a local cohesive territorial defence of borders and capitals as well as safe sea-lines-of communication. To meet and deter the Russian challenge takes the development of credible and sizable national defence forces – standing and reserves. Flimsy make-believe diplomatic constructions pretending solidarity by all to all hypothetical but undefined challenges is making Putin’s project simple.

End to the chase for silver bullets

In 1914 the best European military professionalism had failed catastrophically. Staffs knew how their countries could win a major war through centrally planned and controlled movements of field armies and battleship fleets.

Superior scientific management of mobilization and rail transport by own General Staff should ensure superiority on land. One would crush the opponent’s army in a huge meeting battle and get his government to throw in the towel.

At sea the British Grand Fleet would cut-off and defeat the German High Seas Fleet by centralized scientific monitoring and management by radio telegraphy from Admiralty Situation Room. While waiting, the limited economic warfare might bring a weakening and collapse of the German globalized finance and economy, forcing an end to the conflict.

None of this happened. After constant experiments with alternatives through 1915-1918 that cost millions killed and Russia’s collapse, the exhausted Entente powers won the war with American capital and fresh and therefore optimistically aggressive American soldiers.

During the inter-war years new professional models for how to prevail in war were developed. Several thought that the only possible solution was to attack the opponent’s cities with terror bombardments from the air, They would quickly cause rebellion and revolution. Others thought that scientifically designed precision bombardment of enemy industry key functions could get his fragile economy and social structure to collapse – in a way similar to what naïve commentators today think that cyber war will achieve. Again others like the Frenchman Charles de Gaulle and the British Frederick Fuller believed that small elite forces equipped with tanks could manoeuvre their way to victory. In combination all these ideas influenced World War II. However victory in 1945 was due neither to smart weapon nor to simple concepts. It came as a result of mass production, deployment, support and the combined use of “good enough” tanks, trucks, all types of aircraft, landing craft and aircraft carriers, etc. Economic strength and mass gave the Allies made much of everything available so that they could replace the huge losses of material that will always be the result of war against a great power adversary.

The reason to remember this part of world history today is not only that it is 100 years ago that the belligerents tried to get past the 1914 debacles by the employment of massive artillery at the fronts and Zeppelin bombardment of England. Neither is it because it is the 75th anniversary of the reformed German army’s manoeuvre victory over the traditional French in 1940. The reason is that it is now again clear that the West’s military science is once more at a dead end. This time it is not due to belief in scientific management of mass to the battle and superior will to take losses when engaged. This time arrogance has led to an a-historical dependence on extremely expensive high technologies to achieve low vulnerability that result in very small forces. The only good news compared to last time is that we do not have to learn after horrible failures in war.

The problem is not only that we in the West still often focus on types of weapons that brought victory in World War II, but that the specialists of these weapons in a loss of common professional sense have combined with the arms industry to refined the weapons to an absurd degree in an uncontrolled project “management”. This has led to crazy prices and therefore very small number. Focus has slipped from the ability to develop robust relevant units to an unprofessional hunt for technological perfection.

The value of the quantity and such robust structures seems forgotten, and NATO has thus lost the ability to deploy forces large enough to match actual defense missions. We now have new armoured vehicles, autonomous precision weapons and fabulous aircraft, but so few in number that it only makes sense against totally inferior opponents, not against other states. Not even the Americans have the money needed to replace more than a small fraction of the warships and aircraft they inherited from the Cold War – even if they forgot the current ideology and returned to the individual taxation of the Eisenhower Era. The micro high-quality units may be narrowly effective, but within the context of any larger conflict they are militarily as irrelevant as the dazzling battle cavalry of the major powers in 1913.

Most European countries’ defence priority seem to have become the continued employment of under-employed personnel, where few have the age, physique or relevant practical and leadership experience match operational requirements. They have simply made-up their mind – without thinking or asking – that the Americans will supply the appropriate quantity until the eternal peace soon comes. Their own forces have been reduced to the minimum required to send symbolic micro contributions to the various distant wars under public opinion back home forces a withdrawal. The loss of real military capabilities has removed the basis for realistic exercise activity and professional officer training. Cadres spend their time on self-management and hunt for pseudo-academic credits.

The absence of meaningful military capabilities was not necessarily critical if the military challenges would always be limited to missions where the few remaining aircraft could operate from secure bases and drop smart weapons with a minimal risk to the crew. Missions where the only hazards were the “expert” idealistic international lawyer assessments in the domestic media or local Jihadists’ discovery of the names of the deployed aircrew.

The loss of real land force capabilities would not be critical as long as missions where limited to the deployment of ad hoc composite micro army units or instructor teams in today’s parallel to former de-colonization operations. We can easily contribute as long as other, larger countries take responsibility for strategy and for eventual failure.

Some wars before World War I could have warned responsible military and political leaders that an easy victory would be difficult to achieve. The costs of offensive operations and difficulties were made evident in the American Civil War, the Boer War, the Russo-Japanese War, and the First Balkan War in 1912. But top officials are expected to provide the politically desired advice and options. and in 1914 that was options for quick and cheap victories. In 2003 the U.S. Army Chief of Staff, General Eric Shinseki, learnt that essential lesson when he warned against a “light” invasion of Iraq.

The wars in recent years repeat the lesson of a hundred years back that if there is a will to resistance, even a clear qualitative superiority cannot bring a quick result. It became clear in the of Ex-Yugoslavia in the 1990s. It has been confirmed during Israel’s punitive expeditions against Hezbollah in southern Lebanon and Hamas in Gaza. We see it during the civil war in Syria and the present fighting in Eastern Ukraine. These wars are modern parallels to attrition battles during the First World War. As in the attrition battles during World War I the fighting is dominated by artillery weapons and most of both the artillery and other weapons are inherited from mass production of the Cold War.

The key difference from then is that a very significant part of the fighting on one or both sides is carried out by rough militias that do not see themselves constrained by international law. The wars take place in the midst of the civilian population, and as peacetime standards prevail in the Western world, the propaganda have become a central and integral part of the warfare.

It would be possible to “win” with a massive military action by Israel in the Middle East and from Russia in Ukraine, as both countries differ from the West by having maintained large conventional forces. But as Israel Russia probably realize that cost would be high and the resistance is likely to continue as guerrilla or terrorist activity.

However in 2014 Russia’s Putin made clear in speech and action that the risk of international war between industrialized states do not only belong to the past. Hereafter military quantity and robustness becomes at least as relevant again as quality. Western air forces now have neither size or self-defence means to operate in areas covered by the Russian air defence, including the Baltics, because Russia combines updated, rugged cold war systems with new, long-range weapons.

The only real Western advantage in meeting the Soviet Union on land during the Cold War was a decisive technological superiority of its – mainly American – air forces. This superiority depended to on constant development of active and electronic counter measures against Soviet airborne and land based air defence weapons and constant updating of self-defence packets. All based on a constant and focused electronic intelligence effort. In the period since the Cold War the constant and now accelerated Russian updating and complementation of their various air defence systems have not been similarly monitored and countered, and we have not stopped technology transfer to the now assumed friendly partner. Then the scenario foreseen was general war that created freedom for use of offensive air power not only against the massive invading land forces, but also in interdiction campaigns against the enemy lines of communications and in offensive air campaigns against his home bases and command and control systems. No such permissive operational environment is likely to exist in the far less clear scenarios that we now foresee in NATO’s nearly undefended eastern borderland.

In its protection of that borderland against Russia, we have lost the previous advantage of air power by combination of
1) the likely political constrains on the use of air power,
2) the lack of land forces strong enough to contain an offensive,
3) the lack of the long range artillery necessary for the suppression of enemy front line air defence assets formerly assumed,
4) the lack of updated electronic warfare superiority,
5) the lack of quantity necessary to take attrition.

The only country on Russia’s western border that is militarily secure is Finland with its very large conscript-based and hence “obsolete” defense. To maintain the quantity needed to cover their large country the Finnish Defence Forces have maintained “good enough” standards rather than seek “perfect” ones, This applies to all fields except F-18 fighter jets needed for air policing. Moreover the Finnish balance between robustness and quality as well as their decentralization probably makes their forces less vulnerable to cyber-attacks than the centralized and therefore vulnerable command systems those of the West.

The innovation of weapons and tactic from 1915 onwards and during the inter-war period was recreated the possibility of operational victory. West’s post-Cold War focus on extremely expensive, small and therefore vulnerable, over-managed military forces must be seen as a mindless continuation of this trend toward the absurd.

The single-minded focus on quality gave the West the possibility of a virtually risk-free effort in their small wars of choice. But that focus has now become an evolutionary dead end as it rewards revisionist players like Vladimir Putin. It makes the West militarily powerless in international conflicts in which we must continue to take the existence of nuclear weapons into account.

None of the new existing or emerging civilian high technologies will be able to restore the possibility of easy and painless victories. On the contrary, they are likely in any new prolonged confrontation or war to increase threats to all conventional weapon systems, both older from the Cold War and the few precious new ones. It will take place through both targeted development efforts and improvisation, as remotely controlled roadside bombs did in Iraq and Afghanistan. Wars are likely to be ever more attritional rather than decisive making mass rather of the “good enough” than quality more relevant.

We have to end the chase for silver bullets. Time to bite it.

After another Islamist Act of Terror: Paris 7-1-2015

I find it strange, very strange that we do not quietly but clearly ask:

From our Muslim fellow citizens that they prove by action what the leaders have claimed constantly, namely that these acts are contrary and unacceptable to their religion. They should immediate create formal organisation that isolated the radicals completely and reported constantly to our police and security services on any propaganda and behaviour and acts by clericals that was contrary to the laws and spirit of their chosen homelands.

In this we have to distinguish between three, not only two, types of Muslims. The first group is the majority that only seek freedom to practice their religion as others active religious citizens. Otherwise they simply want to be treated as other citizens of their Western country. The third group consist of the radical Islamist that are willing to use any type of violence against their enemies, namely both moderate Muslims and the Western supporters of the right to remain an unpolitical believer. The interesting group is the second. Here we find the different fractions believers in Political Islam. They hide behind the moderate, unpolitical Muslims, but they share the objectives of the Radicals, and they supply the “water” where the terrorist recruit and operate. Political Islam as Fascism and Communist reject liberal and democratic political systems like an invasive species. Political Islam is not just another religion, it is a threat and should be deprived of any public subsidies and rights, closely monitored and contained as any other political groups that work to undermine democracy. If we do not see a deliberately seperation between the moderate Muslims from the Islamists in the way that the Social-Democrats broke with the Communists a century ago to fight the radical leftist together with other Democratic forces, we will slide into tragedy.

Muslims should feel wellcome, Political Islam should not, because it is our enemy whether violent or not.

The Acute Worries of a 20th Century Historian

I fear that we have very limited time.

The Russians have clearly convinced themselves of the truth of their own “Stab-in-the-Back” myth with Gorbachev, Jeltsin, the Democrats and the Balts in the role that the German frustrated nationalists gave to the Jews and Socialists. We have passed the two decades that it took last time for the myth to drive action.

As then aggressive nationalism is married to a deep and arrogant conviction of the weakness of the opponents due to their decadence. As then the opponents of the West have hostility to its modernity common. In their mind we have proven by our actions that the Russians have a window of opportunity. They get open encouragement from like-minded forces among us such as the regressive and increasingly repressive Hungarian leadership that we have failed in reacting to, totally ignoring what we say we stand for. Putin’s view of our weak, liberal, humanistic, individualistic, tolerant, violence-rejecting societies mirrors that of the Islamic State – and that of Hitler and his henchmen.

As then success develops a momentum and expectations. You may consider Georgia: the Rhineland, Crimea: like Austria and Eastern Ukraine: the Sudetenland. We are now seeing the warm-up to the equivalents of the early 1939 events with the West giving guarantees unsupported by real power. Events accelerate now as they did then, driven by the domestic policy needs of Putin under economic pressure.

By mental and practical preparations Putin has gained escalation dominance. The West is now diverted to the Middle East as Britain was to the Far East then.

In his eyes the fact that London allowed the Scottish referendum to proceed proves his point. If “Yes” to independence next week it will undermine the main political bridge in the Atlantic Alliance and create another small internationally immature, neutralist, appeasing Nordic country in a key strategic position search of an alternative position in the world. The Scottish National Party has already promised that an independent Scotland will never do anything that might irritate its Muslim minority.

A key politician of another such small Nordic nation, the Faroe Islanders, has just used the fact the Islands is a part of Denmark outside the EU to bypass sanctions to increase their export to Russia. The islanders’ economy and welfare is heavily sponsored from Denmark, but the Ukraine is a large “country far away about which they know so little“. It is a long Nordic tradition to let others do what it takes to safeguard their independence and future while benefiting as much as possible economically from the suffering of others. Most Swedes deeply believe that this elevates them to a superior moral position. It is a widespread decease that nations feel unhappy without the ability to be superior to others in at least one field.

As then the West believes that regaining strength from the results of economic recession must be given first priority, because our history-deprived leaders, mostly political scientists or jurists. They believe that no political development not outlined in current (economic) theories can be predicted if not an extension of known, progressive trends. Therefore one must wait to act until the future has become an urgent “breaking news” present.

Putin is now digging into his country’s pension saving to sustain his populist and popular action. How long time can he do that? How long time could Japan of 1941 run on oil reserves.

The main difference now is nuclear weapons. But remembering the 1980s’ discourse: are they usable for us, the reacting side? Especially if we have to improvise as now with no visible forward deployment highlighting the risk?

Hope that somebody can convince me that I am wrong that I am just an old paranoiac and pessimist.

I know that history does not repeat itself, but I also see all too clearly that a combination of human frailties such as narrow-mindedness, opportunism, self-delusion, opportunism, egoism, bucket-passing and avoidance of responsibility etc. is a basic condition.

Dress-rehearsing the destruction of NATO?

What is happening now in eastern Ukraine may unfortunately be used by Russia as a model against the Baltic States. Only one of the states needs to be targeted. The most likely one would be Latvia. It is the country with the largest regional differences in economic development and the one with the deepest social inequalities. It has the highest level of political corruption and oligarchic influence on the political system. The national territorial security presence grew out of a nationalist militia, which now requires total reform and to be filled with substantial, locally mobilised forces. A significant part of the population – even in the capital – keeps itself updated via the Russian State television. Latvian nationalist have routinely been named fascists.

It would unfortunately not be difficult to orchestrate troubles similar to what we see now in the larger East Ukrainian cities with the purpose of sabotaging the maintenance of effective rule by Kyiv in that part of the country. Troubles that would make it very difficult to maintain solidarity. No NATO presence in the Baltic States – air policing, naval visits or army exercises – can do much to counter such an activity. It would require a combination of socio-economic changes and Latvian investment in security sector and defence reform, including as already noter the creation of a sizable, well-disciplined and officered national territorial defence structure. This is hardly economically viable without the introduction of Nordic type national service with its emphasis on an intensive, short training of motivated citizens.

NATO Europe is so desperately weak after a series of deep reductions of its operational military forces that these members are only able to supply a Potemkin character trigger. Only Turkey has maintained proper territorial self-defence forces. In Northern Europe only neutral Finland has averted the End of History infection of the brain and balance. Any deployment of the present forces signals weakness and vulnerability rather than robust and stable strength, and this is most likely to lead to self-deterrence if the bluff is called. It is important to remember that of the roughly 700 kilometres Baltic States border with Russia-Belarus, the interesting Latvian part is a couple of hundred kilometres.

The only really potentially effective counter would be immediate highly visible EU regional development projects in the depressed areas in the southeast and east of the country.

I forlængelse af en analytisk levnedsbeskrivelse og kommentar til BJ-JD-sagen – med Bent Jensens reaktion efter læsning af artiklen

Læs “SNU maskepi”:

Synet på modstanderen
Som allerede nævnt var der reelt intet sammenfald mellem Bent Jensens og Jørgen Dragsdahls aktivitets- og interessedimensioner fra 1979 til 1983. Jensen gav imidlertid Dragsdahl skylden for visse socialdemokraters umoralske og skadeligt opportunistiske optræden. Da han ikke kunne ramme forræderne, blev journalisten den voksdukke, som han kunne stikke sine nåle i.

Med landsrettens hjælp lykkedes Bent Jensen personlige hævn på Dragsdahl, der kom til at bære for historikerens afsky for kommunismen og alt dens værk, nyttige idioter, medløbere, osv.

Denne totale fokusering på værdikampsdimensionen under den Kolde Krig, som Jensen stod for, er blevet styrende i Danmark. Det dominerede direktivet til DIIS for den undersøgelse, der kom i 2005, og det affødte den redaktionelt ansvarlige Svend Aage Christensens manipulerende reaktion, da han afviste at levere det ønskede og forventede resultat.

De militære og strategiske dimensioner af den Kolde Krig, domineret af militær opbygning, planlægning og strategier, blev og bliver set som irrelevant af Bent Jensen, Anders Fogh-Rasmussen, m.fl., og er derfor også kun venstrehåndsdækket af DIIS-redegørelsen.

Bent Jensens modrapport til DIIS-udredningen, som Gyldendal publicerer, ligger i øvrigt forventeligt i perfekt forlængelse af den danske sikkerhedspolitiske tradition og forskning, ifølge hvilken militære forhold og militær professionalisme ses som irrelevante. Den tradition er ikke begrænset til den politiske venstrefløj.

I virkeligheden ser man i Bent Jensens korstog en ubehagelig parallel til situationen under og efter en rigtig krig. Frontsoldaten, og fra 1979 til 1983 var jeg – som Uffe Ellemann på sit højere niveau – ”frontsoldat” i direkte kontakt med modstanderen. I den situation må man for at være effektiv kende og respektere den anden side, man må se og forstå dem som mennesker. De mange, der sidder og skjuler sig frustreret, stumvrede og inaktive langt fra fronten, kan lade sig nære af sort-hvid propaganda og had. Hadets fælleskab i ”etapen” var godt, forsøg på at virke gennem dialog var fraternisering og forkastelig.


Bent Jensen svarede ikke på denne blog, men da han dog trods alt efter at have læst artiklen reagerede med en email synes jeg (Clemmesen) det ville være korrekt at blokkopiere denne mail hertil:

Det er morsomt at læse dine fantasier om, hvad jeg sagde på et møde i Videnskabernes Selskabs bygning i 2005, hvor DIIS-udredningen blev diskuteret. Ifølge dine fantasier erklærede jeg nærmest Dragsdahl krig på dette møde.

Rent nonsens! Dragsdahl kom faktisk hen til mig efter mødet for at takke mig for mit indlæg, hvor jeg kritiserede DIIS-udrederne for ikke at skrive klart om Dragsdahl, men lade det blive ved antydninger.

Du har tilsyneladende også en meget dårlig hukommelse vedr. det forhold, som er omtalt i PET-kommissionens beretning: et medlem af SNU, som videregav militærpolitiske oplysninger. Samme dårlige hukommelse plager i øvrigt Dragsdahl. Jeg tror nok, at det af psykologer kaldes fortrængning.

Men din høje opfattelse af dig selv fejler til gengæld ikke noget.


Bent Jensen

Jeg overlader trygt til dem, der i modsætning til Bent Jensen kendte eller kender mig, at bedømme mit arbejde: både dengang i SNU, ved enhederne, de konservative og socialdemokratiske politikere, der placerede mig i Forsvarskommissionen af 1988, under ombygningen af Forsvarsakademiets Stabskursus ved den Kolde Krigs afslutning, under de 10½ års indsats i Baltikum eller senere som historiker.

Men lad være at fortælle ham om det. Det er indlysende for sent at forvirre ham med oplysninger der typer på, at verden ikke er endimensional.

Om den arrogante afvikling af god forvaltningsevne og -etik

”Danske embedsmænd betjener loyalt den til enhver tid siddende regering”

Det lyder og er korrekt og hensigtsmæssigt, hvis betjeningen holder sig inden for klare rammer, og ikke bliver til politisering til støtte for minister og regering uden risiko for at miste jobbet. Dvs. uden den risiko, der ville eksistere, hvis der som i andre lande var tale om for statssekretærer/viceministre og om en gruppe af politisk rekrutterede assistenter og rådgivere.

På grund af, at hans argumentation blev støttet af hans eget eksempel, overbeviste departementschef Michael Christiansen Clemmesen dengang i 1989 om, at han havde ret. Den danske model var den bedste for Danmark.

Men udviklingen siden har fået mig til skifte mening. Der er sket ændringer i Centraladministrationens arbejdsmåder, som har undergravet anvendeligheden af modellen. Men lad os først kort gennemtænke, hvad loyal ministerbetjening indebærer, og hvad der må ses som uansvarlig politisering.

Loyal ministerbetjening
De danske ministeriers embedsmænd er placeret som formidlere og brobyggere mellem ministeren og de i princippet fagprofessionelle i styrelserne. Dette er det centrale forhold i det danske system, der med ministrenes ressortansvarlighed ikke har formelt kabinetstyre.

Men selv her virker ministeriets ledende embedsmænd og specielt departementschefen også som en bro til de andre dele af centraladministrationen, herunder ikke mindst til statsministeriet på generelle policy-områder, justitsministeriet med hensyn til lovgivnings- og andre juridiske forhold samt finansministeriet med hensyn til resurseforbrug.

Den loyale betjening af ministeren indebærer, at man inden for de juridiske og andre rammer og det besluttede budget hjælper ministeren til at få vedkommendes politiske hensigt udkrystalliseret i formel lovgivning og andre formelle beslutninger og derefter implementeret. Dette må ske under fuld inddragelse og hensyntagen til den professionelle fagkundskab inden for ministeriets ressortområder, dvs. fra styrelserne.

Systemforgiftende politisering
Den loyale betjening bliver til uacceptabel politisering, hvis embedsmanden arbejder direkte for at fremme ministerens kamp om indflydelse i sit parti, hvis man søger at hjælpe politikeren med at få sin politik gennemført ved at bidrage til ikke-sagligt funderet indsats mod oppositionen, eller hvis man simpelthen af hensyn til, hvad man opfatter som ministeriets “projekt” anbefaler tvivlsomme fremgangsmåder.

Det samme gælder for aktivitet for at manipulere den politiske beslutningsproces ved bevidst at under- eller misinformere oppositionen og resten af lovgiverne.

En sådan kun forsvares i situationer, hvor væsentlige internationale interesser og forpligtelser står på spil, og selv i sådanne tilfælde kun midlertidigt.

Ikke mindst forløbet i Justitsministeriet op til Tamilsagen og for i Skatteministeriet i Thornings sag demonstrerede, at disse grænser for loyal betjening af ministeren synes mildest talt vanskelige at fastholde, og med den nye offentlighedslov mindskes offentlighedens mulighed for at holde embedsmændene fra grundlæggende systemundergravende politisering. Jeg skal i afslutningen kommentere kroniske og friskere sager.

Fra en centraladministration ledet af jurister til en drevet og domineret af politologer
Den væsentligste ændring siden slutningen af 1980’erne er i den uddannelsesmæssige baggrund af den typiske embedsmand i forvaltningen. Bortset fra i stillinger, hvis indhold primært var økonomisk planlægning og kontrol (og hvor der derfor var ansat cand.polit.’er) var den typiske embedsmand jurist.

Med en meget grov forenkling er en dansk uddannet jurist som forvalter grundlæggende pragmatisk. Den eneste ideologisk-teoretiske profil må siges at være, at de i deres opfattelse af juristens mission som gruppe er liberalt-progressive. De er som nævnt som forvaltere pragmatiske, og som representanter for en gammel profession er man gode brobyggere til de professionelle fra andre områder i styrelserne.

Der er endvidere blandt jurister en accept af, at man specialiserer inden for det ressortområde, man er ansat i, hvilket forstærker muligheden for brobygning. Den rolle, som præcedens har for jurister, skaber en naturlig interesse for, hvordan ting tidligere var og fungerede.

I løbet af de seneste 25 år er Centraladministrationen hurtigt blevet domineret af politologer. Cand. scient.pol.-studiet har siden de første år i Aarhus i stigende grad sigtet på at opnå et teoretisk grundlag (økonomisk og andet) for hurtig forståelse og reformer. Fortiden dannede ganske vist grundlaget for den teoretiske forståelse, men den eksisterende og tidligere situation skabte ikke som for juristen præcedens for noget som helst. Den var blot en trist uvidenskabeligt organiseret situation, der kunne danne baggrund for reformer.

Trautner, der gennemgik cand.scient.pol.-uddannelsen i Aarhus i 1990erne og senere fulgte den op med en ph.d. i politisk videnskab i Aalborg, konstaterer nu, at den danske politolog fra hans studietid er opdraget til at repræsentere tre kerneværdier:

For det første er man “problemknuser”. I kraft af den sublime indsigt i politiske processer, økonomi og forvaltning er man forpligtet til straks at løse erkendte problemer.

Den anden er en mekanistisk opfattelse af rationalitet, der dels reducerer mennesker til nyttemaksimerende maskiner, dels antager at regler og strukturer bestemmer adfærd. Der er derfor to redskaber i politologens værktøjskasse, nemlig økonomisk stok og gulerod samt detaljerede regler, herunder om rapportering af målelige effekter.

Den tredje kerneværdi er en respektløs tro på generalistens forrang. Professioner og deres erfaring regnes for intet; politologen er som generalist nemlig bedst egnet til rationelt og med regler at styre og integrere alle overordnede processer, mens professionernes laverestående udøvere stilles frit til “bare” at løse de praktiske opgaver.

Politologen lærer på studiet på baggrund af en teori at opstille en model der skaber overblik over et problem fra virkeligheden, og fremskaffe data der belyser problemet. Så langt så godt. Kæden hopper derefter af, fordi modellen aldrig kræves trykprøvet hos de berørte og erfarne specialister, der forstår deres fags dybere grundlag. De ses kun som kilde til informationer, deres erfaringsbaserede forståelse af sammenhænge erkendes og anerkendes ikke. Tværtimod øves politologen i på strengt logisk, dvs. uden brug af ekspertise og erfaring, selv at udvælge den objektivt bedste løsning modellen tilbyder. Og voila, så skal der implementeres. Fra teori til reform på 3 sekunder!

Tilbage i røgen fra de brændte dæk står de professionelle med vejkortet i hånden, der er ikke plads til dem i den politologiske racerbil, der så kører i virkelighedens grøfter. Sammen med de demoraliserede professionelle står befolkningen tilbage, igen præsenteret og betalende for kejserende nye klær.

I forhold til den traditionelle juristdominerede Centraladministration blev ændringen revolutionær, man kan vel sammenligne den som en invasion af en invasiv art, som dræbersnegle. Men invasionen har været som en fra rummet, for angiveligt er juristers krop taget i besiddelse, så også de er blevet inspireret til at gå alt for langt i ministerbetjeningen.

Der blev også en afledt virkning på det danske politiske system. De politologiske embedsmænd var motiveret som samfundsentreprenører, ikke samfundsbevarere. I modsætning til, hvad der var tilfældet for juristerne, var der ligeså lidt sandsynlighed for, at politologerne politisk og holdningsmæssigt var konservative, som tilfældet var for Stalins planlæggere og aktivistkadrer i 1930’erne. Politologer må naturligt have enten socialistisk eller liberalistisk ramme og inspiration for deres aktivistiske “can do” mission.

Konservatismens grundlag blev derefter undergravet ved det centraliseringsangreb på landets fungerede strukturer, “det gamle skidt”, som derefter fulgte.

Politologer havde efter deres egen opfattelse ”ret”, og dette umuliggjorde, at deres forhold til de professionelle i styrelserne kunne forblive en brobygning mellem dem og ministeren. Styrelsernes fokus og organisation var problemer, skadeligt bundet til en irrelevant fortidig situation. De skulle ”reformeres”, indtil de professionelles kerneydelser til befolkningen blev standardiseret til politologens rationalisme. Det skete bl.a. med “virksomhedsmodellen”.

De politologuddannede embedsmænd ankommer – nok uden at dette er fuldt bevidst – med egen agenda, både over for ministeren og over for de professionelle i styrelserne. De sidste skal som beskrevet presses ind i generalistskabelonen – dvs. afprofessionaliseres – og blot levere data til generalistens styring.

Det er indlysende, at det er langt vanskeligere for en energisk og højt begavet politologisk problemknuser at holde sin betjening af ministeren inden for rammen af ”loyal ministerbetjening”, end det er for den embedsmand, der har juristbaggrund, og som er vokset op som forvalter i et ressortdepartement.

Der er et andet alvorligt problem med skiftet fra jurister til politologer som centraladministrationens rygrad. For en politolog er personlig og professionel erfaring ret irrelevant, da man grundlæggende som kandidat ”fødes” med den rigtige forståelse af, hvad der skal ske. Dette fører til stadig yngre, mere dynamisk arrogante departementschefer, der er stadig mere villige til politisk reform – og anden – aktivisme i ministerbetjeningen.

Sammen med, at ministrene selv gennemsnitligt bliver stadig yngre og besidder stadig mindre livserfaring, betyder dette, at ledelsen af Danmark helt ophører med at være repræsentativ for befolkningen, der med en højere gennemsnitlig levealder afspejler den for politologerne irrelevante fortid.

Det aktuelle eksempel er SKAT, hvor man både har gennemført massive reduktioner, flyttet og løbende flere gange har reformeret organisationen. Både centrale og underlagte embedsmænd politiserer åbenbart rutinemæssigt og viser derigennem det slettest mulige ledelseseksempel for de reformpressede ansatte. At de ansatte derefter forledes til magtmisbrug og overfladisk arbejde kan kun undre en politolog og hans politiske “kejser”, der er blevet forvænt med reformklæderne.

Selvfølgelig kan man groft overbetone betydningen af embedsmandens uddannelsesbaggrund. Men lad os her opstille den tese, at hvis departementet – hvilket jo sker – bliver belemret/velsignet med en minister uden alt for mange egne idéer, intelligens eller dynamik, vil juristen i sin ministerbetjening sørge for, at forvaltningen kører sikkert og solidt videre, som Sir Humphrey Appleby i “Yes, Minister“. Derimod vil dette sandsynligvis blive set som dårlig politikerbetjening af en ambitiøs politolog. Der må være behov for effektivitetsforbedrende centraliseringsreformer, som kan sikre ministeren en højere profil og undgå, at man spilder tiden med ren forvaltning af det eksisterende.

Trautners profil af kollegaerne
En betydende andel af de centralt placerede embedsmænd med politologisk baggrund, synes ikke at være modnet af erfaring. De holder fast i deres uddannelses værdisæt af respektløst, proaktivt problemknuseri baseret på en umoden opfattelse af rationalitet og foragt for erfaring og professioner, som nu er det fundament hvorpå offentlig styring og ledelse nu bygger. Politiske valg gøres dermed til spørgsmål om regler og teknik, og politologen til politiker. Disse falske værdier præger i stigende grad andre faggrupper, herunder professionernes udøvere. I tyve år er de offentlige udgifter bl.a. derfor steget en procent om året, mens produktiviteten er faldet i en tilsvarende takt.

Om de aktuelle sager
For det første den kroniske sag med SKATs fejlagtige ejendomsvurderinger, hvor embedsmænd i loyalitet, dvs. egen karriereforvaltning, åbenbart har undladt at understrege det grundlæggende sagligt uholdbare i en situation, hvor beskatningen af borgerne overlades til tilfældigheder. Man kan have en stærk mistanke om, at berøringsangsten hænger sammen med, at den ødelæggelse af den lokale forankring af skattevæsnet, som de løbende “reformer” har medført, er den direkte årsag til, at dette problem blev uløseligt.

For det andet Udenrigsministeriets misbetjening af Udviklingsministeren i GGGI-sagen, der medførte, at han fejlinformerede Folketinget og måtte gå af. Her har “projektet” åbenbart været slippe af med nogle af de mange udviklingsmillioner på en måde, der ikke belaster ministeriets gennem-“reformerede”, dvs. reducerede, korps af embedsmænd. Den helt grundlæggende og grundige sagsbehandling, der i hundrede år har karakteriseret dette embedsmandskorps, der traditionelt har været domineret af elitejuristers normer, er blevet undergravet.

For det tredje det forløb, der førte til Justitsministerens afgang. Igen var der åbenbart tale om embedsmænd med Chefen for Politiets Efterretningstjeneste i spidsen, der dyrkede politisk management for at undgå ekstra belastning af resurserne. Man anvendte en grundlæggende intetsigende trusselsvurdering til at kontrollere en svag, naiv og grundlæggende embedsmandsloyal minister i sin manipulation af Folketinget.

For det fjerde hjælpen til Socialministeren i hendes utålmodighed med grundlæggende forvaltningsregler. Her er der – uanset de pågældende embedsmænds akademiske baggrund – klart tale om netop den lyst til politisk “problemknuseri”, der jævnfør Trautner karakteriserer hans generation af politologer.

Americans, Minions, Small War Defeats and the Deliberate Withering of Strategic Brain and Options

Even great power military action must be guided by a strategy that mirrors both the prioritized end-state objectives of the political leadership and what is realistically possible within a limited period such as a couple of years with the available military forces and economic assets.

This applies especially if the state is not overwhelmingly stronger than the opponent and not both brutal and single minded enough to use that strength to the degree necessary to achieve a quick victory and to follow it up with energetic repression such as in the final Russian campaign in small Chechnya.

In order to develop a realistic strategy in a democracy there must be an open and honest interaction between on one side the ultimately responsible political leader (in the U.S. the President) and on the other the professional joint and service military and intelligence leaders.

The professional leaders could and should know and contribute with both the strengths and weaknesses of own and enemy available forces and societies and acknowledge, accept and present the basic uncertainty of war. Otherwise these advisors will fail in their main roles: to foresee the consequences of different strategy and operational options and underline the risks.

To be effective the political-professional interaction should be characterized by mutual respect and trust as well as by a clear acceptance of the other side’s role, including that the final decision rests with the political leader. The Second World War relationship between President Franklin D. Roosevelt and his service chiefs was very close to the ideal. In the Korean War the routines were still strong enough to counter Douglas MacArthur’s anachronistic challenge, but thereafter the interaction quickly eroded and became far removed from the ideal.

It is now clear that in small wars in peacetime such as those of the last fifty years, the situation became normally far removed from the ideal.

The main problem was that the political side in any dialogue was rarely the responsible political leader, the President. Kennedy, Johnson and George W. Bush delegated far too much authority to their Secretaries of Defence: Robert McNamara and Donald Rumsfeld.

This led to serious defects in the policy and strategy making. Firstly the resulting strategy became unbalanced by being narrowly military-operational, as only the President had the formal authority to ensure a sustained and integrated foreign-policy, economic and military effort. Secondly, as the Secretary of Defence could never be certain of his authority in the dialogue with the military professional leaders (as he did not have the legitimate command authority of the President), he sought to reinforce his position by challenging the relevance of professional advice.

The secretaries surrounded themselves with a layer of likeminded, deeply ideological civilian advisors: in McNamarra’s case his scientifically management whizz-kids, in Rumsfeld’s his Neo-Conservative tunnel-visionaries. Uncertain of their position they did not ask for honest professional advice, they expected unquestioned loyalty and compliance. As moral courage has hardly ever been a dominant trait among military career officers dependent on the service for salary and status, McNamara and later Rumsfeld soon got what they asked for: a compliant and mediocre service leadership who happily paid homage to their masters’ series of buzz-word policies and ignored the responsibility of their office to the Commander-in-Chief and the nation. Being Americans, military-technological and dramatically massive fire-power fixes were always sought that made most observers ignore the fundamental lack of a comprehensive strategies for the campaign. In Vietnam they counted bodies for McNamaras, in Iraq all just felt good until ambushed by shedded soldiery and other locals.

Any alternative views from the Department of State were ignored as was criticism from inside the services until the realities of war in Vietnam, Iraq and now Afghanistan led to a late, far too late, adjustment.


After this view of the too often dysfunctional political-military strategy making in the U.S., we shall shift our focus to the real subject of this article: the character of the policy-making of the American democratic allies prior to joining her wars and their reaction to the total failure and suppressed humiliation that became the result of the combined effort.

A contribution of allies to the dialogue built on independent analysis might have helped. They had a significant potential leverage as the US needed their participation for political reasons. Prior to the formal and final U.S. decision they could have interacted with and used the internal policy debate in Washington. In the Iraq War case states that were basically positive to involvement could have used and reinforced the arguments of State as well as the army chief of staff, making preconditions for any substantial involvement.

Such a contribution should be expected as states develop and pursue independent policies in all other fields. A medium state such as Great Britain or Australia or a small state like Denmark would normally have a national policy. Policy must be developed through own analysis of the issue and situation and the prioritisation of different objectives. Thereafter the state would identify other states with somewhat similar objectives and view of the situation in order to lay the foundation for common action in the pursuance of the common aims.

Each state and the network of co-operating states will identify actors in the American policy-making process with compatible views, and dependent on the situation in D.C. it and they will discretely or openly lobby using that political tactical common ground to further their objectives. They can assume that the U.S. or at least some in Washington need international support and open backing, and that gives leverage if applied with insight and empathy. If there is no common ground, such as often in the field of environmental policies, the outsiders note that fact and delay bridge building and lobbying to later.

In 2002-03 during the American hasty path away from Afghanistan towards the invasion of Iraq and again in 2006 – before building-up the Allied effort in Southern Afghanistan – such an independent well-prepared allied effort did not take place. This was clearly to the detriment to any chance of success.

The logical choice in 2002-03 for close allies of the U.S. such as the UK and Denmark would have been to conduct their own analysis of the situation, foreseeable problems and the combined and national military possibilities. The leaders of the medium and small potential contributors could and should have challenged the military, regional and reconstruction experts of their countries to come up with consolidated predictions, advice and options.

With the obviously distorted and emasculated process in Washington, it was easy to compete with quality of arguments in the process and find local common sense: Colin Powell’s State Department, the army Chief of Staff, General Eric Shinseki, as well as the acutely accurate common sense predictions of the U. S. Army War College were there to support.

However, against the interests of the American and their own peoples, not to mention the thereafter much unnecessarily extra suffering Iraqi and Afghan peoples, the American allies did not press their professionals to contribute with independent insight and policy options. As the children following the Hameln Pied Piper (the difference being that he knew where he was going), the Allies meekly condoned and thereby reinforced the Washington mistakes reducing their military professionals to leading the cannon fodder, managing the physically and mentally hurt and comforting the families of those killed.

Both the responsible political leaders such as Tony Blair and Anders Fogh-Rasmussen and their chief military advisors, who meekly accepted being ignored, should be exposed to severe public and professional criticism for offering unquestioned loyalty rather than the necessary qualified advice and conditional assistance. The Danish Foreign Minister, Erik Scavenius, much criticised by Fogh-Rasmussen, demonstrated more presence of mind, moral courage and sense of his leverage, when in Berlin November 1941 he rejected just signing the renewed anti-Komintern Pact.

However, politicians, their general managing civil servants and the media all seem unaware that the foremost initial and follow-on role of any professional is to offer advice that includes prediction of likely outcomes of different actions.

In relation to Afghanistan the main and constant problem was – again – the lack of a comprehensive strategy and integrated execution: Deliberate ignorance that getting full Pakistani co-operation through a mixture of coercion and rewards was essential; only half-hearted commitment to the gradual improvement in the quality of both central and local government essential for progress; inability or lack of will to co-ordinate national and international military and reconstruction efforts.

What it added up to in both the Iraq and Afghanistan cases was and is a rampage of a loose club of amateurs doing their un-focused well-meaning best, hoping for a miracle in a hurry. It was the natural result of the lack of ability to conduct a broad strategy dialogue in both the U.S. and in and among the minions. In Washington ideology ruled, among the supporters the symbol of being willing to sacrifice the lives and futures of some of their naïve citizens was considered enough.


After the failures since the early 1960s both the politicians and the militaries in the involved countries took steps to avoid such future painful experiences again, not by improving the policy and strategy making structure and culture, but by reducing and refocusing the military structures and by designing binding incantations such as the Weinberger Doctrine. After the Vietnam failure conscription was abolished in both the U.S. and the then only supporting democratic minion: Australia. The U.S. Army invested in the ability to do better in another war in Central Europe and the U.S. Marine Corps suppressed their Small Wars focus and claimed unrealistic roles in the framework of the massive fleet expansion of the Reagan years. The U.S. Air Force went on seeking ways to win wars om their own by destroying things and killing some important people.

The reaction after Iraq and Afghanistan is, again, built on an unreflected and possibly unconscious flight from the immediate experience. In both the U.S. and among the minions the land forces are cut drastically to undermine the ability of future politicians to be caught-up again in an optimistic interventionist folly. No attempt is made to revisit the flawed strategy making process. All the responsible amateurs in uniforms, suits and sweaters agree that the effort were basically futile, but they do not have the critical insight to tell you why.

They considered that fortunately technology now helped us as it did more crudely in the 1990s. Then we could pretend to be effective with cruise missiles, now we can use drone launched precision weapons with less risk of killing innocents. It is conveniently ignored that any effect beyond the purely symbolic and domestic at home depends on a deep and constantly updated understanding of the target organization, something that only comes after an extended force and intelligence commitment to the region as has been the case in the Afghan-Pakistani border area and around the Horn of Africa.

After the Vietnam War the force reductions and a withering of the strategy making structure were severely hampered by the continuing and then intensifying Cold War. This is no longer the case, and for the group of leading civil servants that dominate the western policy-making in the 21st Century, there is no real possibility of serious security challenges requiring more than symbolic military power in the short or mid-term. To this positivist corps of “group thinking” people dominated by economists and political scientists the future looks safe.

Russia may act in an anachronistic way, but she will – of course – soon leave the mental world of the early 20th Century and join the 21st and then stop doing to her neighbours what she did to Georgia in 2008.

The “Arab Spring” may have encountered a few problems, but those glitches are happening beyond the Atlantic and Mediterranean.

Several European states may have growing problems with anti-democratic and narrow nationalist right wing movements, but that is probably only a hitch on the road to universal progress.

China may act like Britain did when she built her new empire in the first half of 19th Century with trade and investment in overseas resources, but the Chinese are fortunately completely different and will never defend their gains as all other imperial nations have done through history.

The view that a political-military dialogue may be required in the future and the ability to conduct one are constantly being undermined. In the late 1990s NATO told the aspiring new members from Central and Eastern Europe that it knew that their future was safe. The Alliance bureaucrats, as always dominated intellectually by British academics proactively serving the Americans and elegantly defining the leading member’s position, told the hopeful that they need not think themselves and could safely leave any aspirations to maintain self-defence structures built on conscription and reserve mobilisation. They should specialise in creating such logistic elements as air transport squadrons, military police companies and field hospitals that the big boys needed in quantity.

The Alliance was fundamentally incorrectly presented as a super-national organisation and the new member states were assumed to deliver their contributions without any independent analysis of the possibilities and risks of a mission. The current “new speak” buzz-word for the Anglo-Saxon arrogant view that they are not to reason why, just do and die, is: “smart defence”.

In 2003 my own defence of the view that independent states should maintain have their own ability to carry out a critical strategy dialogue before putting their citizens in harm’s way led to a policy conflict between the Baltic Defence College and the U.S. Tallinn defence assistance advisor about what courses the College should offer. His view was that the Balts only needed their officers educated to company commander level. The implication was that the U.S. would just inform them when they needed cannon-fodder.

Now, the possibility to conduct an effective independent policy dialogue is being deliberately and quickly destroyed in Denmark. The demolition work is taking place in different areas at the same time. The already weakened advanced officer education that prepared the best to act as professional policy advisors in the strategy process is now being de facto terminated leaving the officers capable of leading cannon-fodder.

The Chief-of-Defence’s possibilities to act as a policy advisor is undermined by deliberately seeking an officer without the necessary experience, keeping him on a short term contract in the job, only giving him temporary rank, and politicising his position and keeping him from any role in relation to parliament and public by subordinating him to the Defence Ministry Permanent Under Secretary.

We are becoming totally dependent on the theory-based, a-historically optimistic strategy amateurs being right. Which of course history makes far most likely they will not be.

“History doesn’t repeat itself, but it does rhyme.” (Mark Twain)

Once upon a time a civil war was started by aggression against the people of in a divided state. It happened in a region of states incapable of honest co-operation. The war broke out at a sensitive time in history, where whole world was still unstable because of the deep economic crisis provoked some years previously by short-sighted selfish capitalists with their hub in Wall Street.

The totalitarian oriented side in that civil war (then the rebels), was immediately and effectively supported by like-minded powers.

The other side in the war (then the government), was much more divided between moderates and totalitarian minded people. It only received asistance from another totalitarian power and a mixed group of international volunteers, where the most effective were motivated by a totalitarian ideology. At several stages the situation beween the groups that supported the government approached open hostilities, something that strenghtened the radical elements and helped the common enemy by undermining general international support.

The well meaning moderate states of the region and the rest of the world could only agree on a policy of non-intervention, meaning no arms transfer to the ever more pressed moderate elements of the war. Even the neighbour state that had to support the flow of refugees maintained its stand-offish stance.

The result became worse than the well-meaning moderates could imagine, both for the warring nation and eventually for the non-interveners. Those who would not assist anybody because they knew that man – at least the civilian man – is inherently good and that war is created by tools …: the weapons.

History may not repeat itself, but man’s well meaning, short-sighted naïvity clearly does… as political and diplomatic man’s commitment to miracles rather that taking timely decisions when facing hard choices.

Then it was Spain… now Syria.

Artikel XX: Fra militær profession til pseudovidenskabelig amatørindsats på deltid

En læsning af de romertal-nummererede indlæg her på bloggen kunne få den kritisk tænksomme læser til at spørge, hvordan det kunne gå så galt, hvordan kunne der opstå det henfald i professionalismen, som i de seneste så tyve år har ført til pinlige sager på snart alle områder.

Den aktuelle situation præges af en drastisk reduceret respekt for og hensyntagen til militærfaglige argumenter – når disse overhovedet erkendes og fremføres af de ansvarlige officerer. Virkningerne er bl.a. massivt resursespild gennem ufokuseret udvikling og aktiviteter samt sikkerhed for, at danske militære enheder sendes af sted uden en erfaringsbaseret rimeligt forudseende analyse og rådgivning.

I selvtilfreds blindhed må man så leve med den væsentligt øgede risiko for ineffektivitet, tab og lidelser samt sikkerhed for at folk i bunden af systemet skal lære meget hurtigt for at kompensere for den manglende rettidige interesse og omhu.

Professionens substans
Dybdeerkendelsen af, hvad professionen hviler på og indeholder, må og skal være styrende for rekruttering, grundlæggende uddannelse, vurdering af egnethed til større ansvar samt videregående uddannelse og udvikling.

Den unge officer skal dels være en personligt overbevisende dygtig ”håndværker”, der på en hver måde kan gå i spidsen for hans/hendes pågældende speciales grundlæggende team. Fysisk mod, udholdenhed, psykologisk indsigt, ansvarsglæde, integritet og evnen til at vise, hvordan tingene skal gøres, er imidlertid kun en lille del af kravene. Kendskab til, hvordan andre typer af våben og enheder fungerer, officeren skal samarbejde med, er absolutte krav sammen med dybdeforståelse og accept af de retlige rammer hjemme og ude, procedurer og forvaltningsbestemmelser.

Efter 5-10 år skal denne professionelle grundsubstans gennem krævende og realistisk praktik være så indarbejdet, at officeren kan planlægge, forvalte og lede et antal af disse grundelementer, indledningsvis i en stabsfunktion og derefter som chef. Derudover skal han/hun opnå kendskab til, hvordan andre typer våben, enheder og organisationer tænker og fungerer, både fra helt andre dele af den militære organisation og civile statslige og ikke-statslige bidragydere. Officererne skal forstå opgaver, der kan gå fra støtte til samfundet hjemme over humanitær indsats i katastrofe- og krigsområder til intensiv kampindsats. Uden at kunne ignorere de krav, som bør være integreret under virksomheden som ung officer, bliver det centrale element i professionalismen nu evnen til at forudse virkningerne af forskellige planlægningsmuligheder samt evnen til fleksibelt, men målbevist, at føre de valgte opgaver ud i livet, herunder med mindst muligt resurseforbrug samt med aktiv og helhjertet hensyntagen til de mennesker, som officeren har ansvaret for.

Efter yderligere 5-10 år ændrer kravene karakter, igen uden at officeren kan ignorere den professionelle indsigt og de færdigheder, som prægede de foregående år. Han/hun skal nu som planlægger eller chef kunne håndtere forvaltningen og ledelsen af en grundlæggende selvstændig indsats af et projekt, hvor der kan være en betydelig risiko for, at manglende evne til at forudse kan føre til massivt resursespil og tragedier med tab af menneskeliv – egne, allieredes eller uskyldiges – som følge; eksempelvis som chef for en udsendt fregat, bataljonskampgruppe eller enhed af flyvevåbnet. En akut forståelse af den politiske ramme, opgaverne skal løses i, må og skal afbalanceres af ansvarsaccept, civilcourage (på dansk “rygrad”) og loyalitet over for enhedens eller myndighedens personel. At anvende termen ”Human Resources” her sikrer en forfladigelse og udvanding af det absolutte ansvar og loyalitetskrav, som skal styre den rutinerede militære chef.

Derefter vil officeren på en platform af fortjent succes igennem det foregående par årtiers tjeneste ende i en stilling på generals-/admiralsniveau eller som central hjælper på niveauet. Det miljø, officeren på dette højeste niveau skal virke i, er domineret af meget komplekse krav til planlægnings- og forvaltningsindsatsen, men nu er evnen til ikke mindst at forstå de ansvarlige politikeres både indenrigs- og udenrigspolitiske vilkår og prioriteter afgørende. Dette skyldes, at nu er det, ud over effektiv og fleksibel ledelse af gennemførelse af beslutninger, evnen og viljen til at forudse og forudsige virkninger af mulige udfald blevet det totalt afgørende element i professionen – knyttet evnen til og civilcouragen til at blive hørt. Dette uanset om det, som det drejer sig om, er forskellige muligheder for udviklingen af organisationens struktur og aktiviteter eller landets bidrag til en international indsats.

Svigt med hensyn til at udvikle og trænge igennem med en velfunderet konsekvensanalyse vil med sikkerhed lede til øget risiko for spild, menneskelige tragedier samt henfaldet af egen organisations effektivitet. Det har været normalsituationen for Forsvaret igennem mere end femten år, med kilden til forfaldet ligger meget langt tilbage.

Sygdommens vej til udbrud startede i begyndelsen af 20. Århundrede. Hærens faste personel omfattede dels linjeofficerskorpset, dels de underofficerer af linjen. I modsætning til i eksempelvis Storbritannien gjorde hærledelsen meget lidt for at sikre officerskorpsets respekt for underofficerskorpset ved at oprette prestige- og indflydelsesrige karrierestillinger for de bedste underofficerer. Den svageste og derfor mest uselvstændige og snobbede del af officerskorpset opførte sin som ”white trash” i de amerikanske sydstater, fordi man måtte have nogen at se ned på. De faste underofficerer var derfor taknemmelige over støtten fra den nye, altid socialt retfærdighedssøgende forsvarsminister, Peter Munch. I 1922 blev de konverteret til ”Officianter”, der i princippet skulle ses som ligestillede med officerer. På trods af passende officerslignende uniformering hjalp navneforandringen ikke meget, og snobberiet og tåbelighederne fortsatte, også efter, at man i 1951 gjorde gruppen til ”Officerer af speciallinjen”. Uanset, at de nu kunne nå majorgraden, var de henvist til samme stillinger som instruktører og forvaltere, som de tidligere havde besat som faste sergenter og officianter, og linjeofficererne søgte snarere fælleskab med tjenestestedets reserveofficer end med specialofficererne, de førstnævnte var jo dannede mennesker fra formuende familier eller adelen, som man gerne ville mænge sig med.

Den næstsidste udviklingsfase var en status som ”Officerer af B-linjen” i 1970’erne, hvor gruppen for første gang fik uddannelse og stillinger som taktiske førere. Der var sine steder dog stadig rester af det tidligere racismelignende snobberi, dette sandsynligvis stadig næret af, at den dårligste del af officerskorpset af ”A-linjen” var truet af det forhold, at man i professionelt niveau var underlegen den bedste del af B-officererne. I begyndelsen af 1980’erne blev de to officerskorps slået sammen i et enhedsofficerskorps.

Dette var i udgangspunktet det eneste rimelige, mulige resultat efter et århundredes tåbelighed, men det bragte imidlertid sygdomsudbruddet. Dette skyldtes, at de tidligere to officerskorps var grundlæggende forskelligt lønnet og derfor professionelt motiveret, uanset, at begge var tjenestemandsansatte. A-linjen var i projektmotiveret og derfor fastlønnet, B-linjen var stadig lønnet efter samme principper som stampersonellet. Deres lønniveau var knyttet til deres tilstedeværelse, dvs., at de var funktionærlønnede og -motiverede. Det anfægtes ikke, at mange af de yngre B-officerer var højt motiverede og professionelle i deres tjeneste, men aflønningsformen påvirker gradvis optræden, motivation og personlige prioriteringer.

Sygdommen brød simpelthen ud, fordi de nye enhedsofficer i ekstrem idioti fra beslutningstagernes side blev defineret som funktionærer, hvis løn afhang af dokumenteret tilstedeværelse. I stedet for at rykke B-officererne det sidste stykke op, trak man A-officererne ned.

Symptomer og personlige reaktioner
Det er først nu, år efter, at de årsager og de fulde virkninger står klart, men bekvemmelighedens og dovenskabets pres på professionen steg konstant, nok intensiveret af hvad man kan kalde kulturrevolutionen i 1968 med dens ukritiske og overfladiske anfægtelse af det eksisterende.

I 1977 blev de daværende A-officerer bedt om at stemme om indførelsen af en generel 60 års aldersgrænse. Indtil det tidspunkt havde pensionsalderen varieret fra 52 år for majorer/orlogskaptajner til 65 år for generaler/admiraler. På mit daværende tjenestested – Østre Landsdelskommando – var der kun to, der stemte imod, jeg selv og en intendantofficer, der allerede havde 60 års aldersgrænse. Argumenter om de indlysende negative virkninger af at fastholde desillusionerede majorer, der derefter blev endnu flere år for gamle til krigstjeneste blev grinende afvist af mine kolleger. Ændringen gav jo personlige fordele, og det var jo alt sammen ”for sjov”, dvs. krigen ville jo aldrig komme, hvilket gjorde de negative virkninger ligegyldige.

Min chef var på det tidspunkt oberstløjtnant T. K. Sørensen, der samtidig var formand for HOA, A-officerernes personelorganisation. Vi diskuterede under tjenesterejser presset for at kunne finde en ramme, der kunne sikre en rimelig anvendelse af B-officererne. Den bedste tredjedel af disse var jo klart bedre og bedre motiverede end den dårligste del af hans medlemmer. Jeg foreslog, at man samtidig med, at man formelt slog grupperne sammen skulle løse problemet let og u-bureaukratisk ved at åbne den obligatoriske efteruddannelse for hærofficerer af A-linjen, ”Føringskursus I”, for de bedst bedømte af B-linjen af samme alder. Efter gennemgang af kursus skulle jævnaldrende officerer konkurrere ligeligt om karrierestillinger. Det var selvfølgelig et direkte angreb på A-officerers ofte ufortjente opfattelse af at være bedre, og jeg blev da også senere involveret i det par dyre og unødvendige omskolingskurser, der blev gennemført i begyndelsen af 1980’erne på Hærens Officersskole. Allerede dengang ignorerede man, at bedømmelsessystemet gav et fuldt tilstrækkeligt og retfærdigt grundlag for at indrangere officerer efter egnethed. Men man insisterede på at spilde penge på unødvendige og dyre, formelle uddannelser, der kunne legitimere, at man anvendte de dygtigste folk efter fortjeneste.

Indtil begyndelsen af 1980’erne var karriereforløbet for de bedste hærofficerer styret af professionens erkendelse af, at det var usundt at gå fra stabsstilling til en anden stabsstilling. Før udnævnelse til oberstløjtnant og senere oberst skulle man derfor ved chefstjeneste som praktisk leder demonstrere, at man forstod og efterlevede, at det centrale i professionen var evnen til at uddanne og føre en enhed, og at denne forståelse også skulle vejlede senere tjeneste som planlægger og forvalter.

Dette system, der selv i dag i mulig udstrækning fastholdes i andre vestlige militære strukturer, blev uden holdbar argumentation droppet. Mange yngre officerer udtrykte tilfredshed med beslutningen, fordi det jo var en risiko ved at skulle demonstrere, at man havde holdt sig professionelt ajour. Jeg og min ven og kollega, daværende major Over Høegh-Guldberg Hoff, besluttede at vi i protest ville melde os ud af vores personelorganisation. Den protestmarkering blev imidlertid stoppet af de respekterede foresatte, Kjeld Hillingsø og Jørgen Lyng, der understregede, at organisationens repræsentant havde vetomulighed i det udvalg, der bedømte egnethed til udnævnelse.

Allerede fra 1984-85, set fra stillingen som chef for en stampersoneleskadron ved Gardehusarregiment, blev virkningerne af officerskorpsets ændrede ansættelsesforhold synlige. Forvaltningen af nu alt personels lønninger og arbejdstid blev hurtigt langt mere styrende for uddannelsesplanlægning end uddannelsesmålene, som nu blev helt uopnåelige på grund af kombinationen af afspadsering af overarbejde, fravær til kontraktbestemt civilundervisning for stampersonellet og hurtig udskiftning af dette. Man manglede helt midler til at betale for den døgntjeneste, som fulgte af brigadernes nødvendige, høje aktivitetsniveau. Det blev efterhånden et problem at sikre samtidig tilstedeværelse af nøglekadrerne.

En stampersonelenhed som den, jeg var chef for, hvis uddannelsesniveau afhang af, at besætningerne var robust samarbejdede små hold, blev efterhånden rene facader. I et nødskrig til Forsvarets ledelse bad jeg min regimentskammerat, major Knud Skafte, der var adjudant for Forsvarschefen, om at demonstrere de ødelæggende virkninger af systemet ved, at han personligt begyndte at arbejde efter reglerne. Han anså selvfølgelig forslaget som absurd, men kort efter fik han som næstkommanderende for Gardehusarregimentet – for sent – syn for sagn.

Det stigende professionelle ansvarssvigt blev tydeliggjort af en episode i samme periode. Da Hoffs og min kampvognseskadroner blev inspiceret i skydning, betød kombinationen af de umulige uddannelsesbetingelser og materiellets nedslidte karakter, at træfningen blev helt utilfredsstillende, dette på trods af, at målene var urealistisk synlige. Den daværende Hærinspektør, generalmajor Harald Boysens, løsningsforslag blev, at vi rykkede skiverne tættere på. Man blev forundret, da vi afviste løsningen som sagligt totalt uacceptabel.

I begyndelsen af 1990’erne ramtes dele af Forsvarsakademiet af de første eksempler på den timebetaltes motivation, da lærerne på hærens højeste uddannelse krævede – som deres kolleger på Hærens Officersskole var begyndt på – søgte betaling for overarbejde. Da man ikke kunne få dette for hjemmearbejde, og da der ikke var tid til at rette elevhjemmeopgaver i arbejdstiden, måtte dette kursus opgive at give de opgaver til eleverne, som indtil da dannede rygraden i undervisningen. Deres optræden var dog stadig en undtagelse. Resten af akademiets lærerkorps var fortsat projektmotiveret – dvs. professionsmotiveret – og dette muliggjorde en dramatisk opstramning og fokusering af det primære kursus, Stabskurset, til situationen efter Den Kolde Krig.

Denne direkte synliggørelse af alternativerne fik mig til at kontakte formanden for den nu samlede personelorganisation for officererne, major Leif Amdisen Møller. Fra vores samarbejde i min tid som ung officer ved Gardehusarregimentet i begyndelsen tyve år tidligere kendte jeg Møller som en dygtig og målrettet kollega. Jeg foreslog på grundlag af erfaringerne fra Forsvarsakademiet, at organisationen skulle søge et system, hvor officeren løbende kunne vælge mellem to ansættelsesformer for det kommende år, enten arbejde inden for arbejdstidsreglerne, hvor Forsvarets økonomiske situation ville sikre, at han fik meget fritid ved afspadsering, eller en form, hvor han fik et tjenestetillæg, der knyttede sig til stillingens kendte arbejdsbelastning, men så ikke havde højeste arbejdstid. Egnetheden til forfremmelse blev kun bedømt i de år, hvor officeren arbejdede uden tidsbegrænsning. Det var udelukkende officeren, ikke arbejdsgiveren, der kunne tage initiativet. Når vedkommende havde små børn, eller hvis partneren var det familiemedlem, der søgte karriere, kunne man vælge første mulighed, hvor officeren i princippet heller ikke kunne flyttes. Ideen blev modtaget som urealistisk hjernespind, som et idiotisk angreb på fastmurede vindmøller.

Da jeg efter godt 10 år i et frugtbart udenlandsk professionelt miljø vendte tilbage som underviser og forsker på Forsvarsakademiet var der gået så meget tid, at funktionærmentaliteten af alle blev opfattet som det helt normale. Nu var arbejde lig med resursestyrings og koordinationsmøder mellem det drastisk voksende antal ansatte, møder hvor indholdet var præget af management-”newspeak” og professionelle indlæg bygget på personlig studie- og undervisningsindsats fraværende.

Samtidig var debatten sygnet hen. Debatindlæg var forsvundet fra de centrale professionelle tidskrifter. Hvad der fortsat var skrevet af officerer var rene referater af aktuelle NATO-doktriner eller managementmoder snarere end bygget på en række år med professionsmotiverede studier og selvstændig tænkning. Den forsvundne debat skal ud over, at professionel opdatering og modning kræver mere end 37 timer ugentligt, også ses i sammenhæng med, at funktionæren ikke forventes at føle ansvar og loyalitet for andet end den ovenfra – af virksomheden – definerede ramme og struktur. Derimod føler et bevidst medlem af en profession ansvar og loyalitet over for denne professions grundlæggende opgave og normer.

Den professionelle er et grundlæggende frit menneske, der dog er forpligtet af den pågældene professions mål og normer. Han/hun søger at realisere sig gennem arbejdet. Funktionæren skal blot levere det af arbejdsgiveren definerede arbejde fleksibelt og effektivt inden for den betalte tid, og må søge at realisere sig i fritiden.

Alle de forklaringer, man hører på den forsvundne debat, er reelt dårlige undskyldninger for dovenskab. Det opfattes som en samfundsskabt virkelighed, at man har ret til at opføre sig som uden ansvar.

I de sidste ti år er de unge officerer ganske vist professionaliseret gennem yderst krævende operationer, men det er mere end tvivlsomt, om det ved medføre andet end frustration og afmagtsfølelse hos dem, så den meningsudveksling, der finder sted i disse år, synes begrænset af Facebook’s karakter: Et netværk for udveksling af meninger og holdninger mellem nogenlunde lige menende, det er ikke en åben eller fokuseret professionel ramme for analyse og argumentation. Resultatet bliver, hvad men kunne benævne holdningsuglegylp. Dette blev for nyligt desværre alt for tydeligt demonstreret, da ca. 350 yngre officerer for få måneder siden kritiserede deres foresatte for professionelt svigt – som beskrevet tidligere her på bloggen med god grund. Da officerernes ”oprør” var et udtryk for holdninger snarere end bygget på en analyse af eksempler, kunne de let pacificeres. De kunne ikke argumentere, fordi de ikke havde skaffet sig et professionelt grundlag for argumentation.

Virkningerne af de ældre dele officerskorpsets nu langvarige svigtende professionelle motivation og indsats dominerer, hvad der sker. Disse officerer er ikke bevidste om deres profession, fordi de jo kun er uniformerede funktionærer. Sådanne studerer kun, når de er på formelt kursus, hvor de jo får penge for at lære. På disse kurser er målet blevet at lære teori snarere end evnen til professionel analyse, forudsigelse og rådgivning. Selv den sovjetiske militærvidenskabeligheds satsning på operative normer havde langt mere relevant substans for den militære professionelle end en manuduktion i forskellige teorier. Situationen nu medfører, at overfladiske, teori- og ordrige, scenariefrigjorte og professionssubstansløse ”analyser” som Mikkel Vedby Rasmussens bliver hængende uimodsagte.

Det manglende kendskab til egen krævende profession giver synlige mindreværdskomplekser over for andre, ikke mindst over for politologer, der jo som økonomers og managementfolks videnskabelighed bygger på en tro på positive og vejledende teorier. Ved undervisning beder stabskursuselever nu blot om teorien, så de kan lære den udenad. De ser grundlaget for udviklingen af teorien som irrelevant. De søger ”hvad”, ikke kritisk ”hvorfor” og ”hvordan”, et sikkert tegn på, at de reelt ikke er egnede til professionel videregående uddannelse.

Den professionelle søger gennem livet – ved studier i rammen, dybden og bredde af professionens altid skiftende emnekreds og vilkår – at blive og forblive generelt kompetent inden for sit område, herunder at have en ajourført helhedsforståelse.

Funktionæren søger snævert at opnå kompetenser, dvs. snæver viden og færdigheder, som han/hun skal anvende for at få formelle kvalifikationer for at søge sit næste job.

Kun den ajourførte professionelle kan give en rimeligt holdbar bedømmelse af, hvad der vil blive resultatet af forskellige strategiske, operative eller materielmæssige valg. Uden professionalisme er det ikke grundlag for rådgivning i ramme af en politisk-professionel dialog. Det gælder for militære professionelle som for læger og ingeniører. Resultatet af svigtende relevant professionel rådgivning kan som beskrevet nu ses med pinlig tydelighed.

Officersuddannelsens nødvendige grundtrin og karakter
Som overskrift er det rimeligt at anvende Baltic Defence Colleges mål for akademiets stabskursus 2002-03, som blev formuleret som en reaktion på det manglede klare fokus i den tilsvarende danske uddannelse, på et tidspunkt, hvor jeg endnu ikke vidste, hvor galdt det stod til hjemme: “The course should develop professional, active, hardworking, honest, positively critical, independent minded General Staff officers of the best classical …, international standard.” …”After the course they should be prepared for continuous self-development, using self-study and the experience from command and staff positions.”

Den grundlæggende officersuddannelse skal altid give det spektrum af viden og færdigheder, der er nødvendig for at kunne fungere effektivt i de leder- og operatørstillinger, som han/hun skal bestride i de første 5-10 år. Sammen med de udfordringer og operative krav, som har præget alle tre værns opgaver i de seneste godt ti år, har de danske officersuddannelser demonstreret deres fokus og effektivitet.

Det er i dag ikke her, problemet ligger, fordi de grundlæggende uddannelser er næret af de omfattende professionelle erfaringer, unge officerer har fået under krævende internationale operationer igennem de seneste 10 år. Derimod er der god grund til at rette blikket kritisk mod det nødvendige indhold i de videregående officersuddannelser, som jo burde styres af en forståelse i Forsvarets ledelse af de professionelle krav til officerer på forskellige niveauer, som blev opregnet i artiklens første del.

Senere lederstillinger indebærer som nævnt tidligere ansvar for elementer, som officeren ikke kan have personlig praktisk erfaring med. Således skal en kamptropsofficer fra hæren lære så meget om ildstøtte, føringsstøttesystemer, ingeniørstøtten, logistikvilkår samt om flystøttens muligheder, begrænsninger og mulige negative virkninger, at han/hun kan anvende disse støttemuligheder korrekt. Officeren skal også forstå betydningen af, at opgaverne skal kunne løses inden for meget forskellige operative rammer fra traditionelle operationer til humanitær støtte. Undervisningen i andre elementers muligheder konsolideres mest effektivt ved gensidig uddannelse – erfaringsudveksling mellem elever. Dette opnås kun ved fælles opgaveløsning i en lille gruppe, fulgt af individuelle opgaver, hvor forståelsen kontrolleres, afsluttet med ”krigsspil”, som sikrer forståelsen for, at modstanderen og misforståelser kan ødelægge den bedste plan.

Al videregående officersuddannelse fra det første til højeste niveau skal give færdigheder i anvendelse i de procedurer og den analytiske metode, der knytter sig til det fremtidige funktionsniveau. Men det er ikke tilstrækkeligt. Officeren skal have viden om tidligere erfaringer, så det bliver muligt at vurdere risici og konsekvenser af forskellige muligheder. Dette sker gennem arbejdet med det bredest mulige spektrum af umiddelbart sete realistiske eksempler af stadig stigende kompleksitet. Derefter ”krigs”-spilles så den valgte løsning, som nævnt i to – eller flere – partier med elever i de forskellige roller og med erfaringer vedrørende usikkerhed og friktion indarbejdet i vurderingen/”kamp”-dommervirksomhed af forløbet. Det forhold, at allierede normalt beslutter selvstændigt, og at der ofte er mere end én modstander, gør det ofte nødvendigt at have mere end to spillere.

Spillet skal sammen med undervisningen i forskellige enhedstypers muligheder og begrænsninger og erfaringen med systematisk analyse udvikle officerens evne til professionel forudsigelse på det kommende niveau. Denne ”applikatoriske” metodik har i 150 år demonstreret sig som den klart bedste vej til at videreuddanne officerer, i Danmark siden kaptajn Arnold Kühnel indførte den i 1890erne. I perioder af stigende afstand fra erfaring samt dovenskab hos officerer i lærerrollen er man tidligere, og nu igen, forfaldet til at manuducere i teori, hvilket undergraver officerens evne til at forudse og rådgive i den mangfoldige mulighedsramme, han/hun skal kunne forstå i en policystilling eller som chef.

Det, som gennem dumhed eller arrogance ignoreres, er, at når danske tropper ønskes anvendt i et bredt sæt af operationer, skal danske officerer kunne forstå og analysere alle sådanne operationer i deres helhed, dvs. med stormagtens eller den samlede alliances udgangspunkt. Kun derefter kan professionel rådgivning om risiko og muligheder finde sted, kun derigennem kan man sikre sig mod, at de udsendte indledningsvis fejludddannes, fejludrustes og derefter ofres på symbolpolitikkens alter. Min erfaring er fra 15 års succesrig indsats er, at dette er absolut muligt, hvis man retter bevidst den videregående officersuddannelse mod dette mål. Det forhold, at Danmark er lille og at vi kan være relativt uformelle i vores arbejdsform gør det absolut muligt. Det kræver blot åbne og grundige analyser af situation, kultur og fysiske vilkår i indsatsområdet, af opgaven, af vores allieredes mål og svagheder og af egne muligheder, samt en robust og udiplomatisk kritik af resultater domineret af fyndord og varm luft. Derefter kan muligheder for bidrag, sandsynlige virkninger og risici klarlægges. Men dette er selvfølgelig kun muligt, hvis man bevidst lader uddannelsen dominere af sådanne analyser.

Desværre synes dette totalt ignoreret i den nu skitserede videregående uddannelse for officerer. Valget er mellem på den ene side at opnå professionel udvikling gennem applikatorisk, integreret og erfaringsformidlende undervisning og på den anden teoretisk pseudovidenskabelighed rettet mod at give diplomer som modgift mod fortjent professionelt mindreværdskompleks. I løbet af de seneste 10 år er man målbevidst gået i den forkerte retning.

Som andre praktisk orienterede professioner, der er påvirket af samfundsudviklingen eller den teknologiske udvikling eller begge i samspil, er det langt fra tilstrækkeligt at placere den videregående uddannelse på formelle kurser. Lægeprofessionen er nok den nærmeste parallel her til officerens. Erfaringsmæssigt er den mest effektive vej til at sikre kontinuerlig læring og professionsudvikling at meddele en liste for pligtig læsning og at forvente aktiv deltagelse i den bredere professionelle debat, som chefen, hvis han ikke er doven eller ligeglad, sikrer, at hans tjenestested danner en god ramme for. At noget sådant ligger uden for den funktionærmotiveredes forestillingsramme er desværre blevet alt for klart demonstreret.

Grundlæggende er der ikke forskel på den metodik, der skal anvendes ved de videregående uddannelser, der rettes mod højere eller de højeste officersniveauer. Substansen af elevernes gensidige undervisning og af den erfaring, der bliver relevant, ændrer sig, ligesom niveauet og kompleksiteten af den erfaring, der gives. Forståelsen for både den indenrigspolitiske optik, den retlige og internationale ramme og andre ikke-militære elementer drives af den analyse og de spil med roller, der skal udvikle elevernes evne til at forudse og rådgive. Selv om man kun er fra et lille land skal rådgivningen som allerede argumenteret forstå, hvad de store allierede bør gøre. Kun derigennem har selv det lille land mulighed for at øge koalitionens chance for succes og mindske muligheden for menneskelige tragedier. Dette også selv om de politiske beslutningstagere måtte vælge at ignorere konsekvenserne for at kunne opretholde international synlighed.

Kun Forsvarschefens korte Sikkerhedspolitiske Kursus har på centrale punkter med udgangspunkt i krisestyringsøvelser afspejlet den applikatoriske model, nok uden at kende den. Af Forsvarsakademiets egne aktiviteter er det kun hærens ret autonome operative efteruddannelse, der viderefører andre dele af metoden.

Den forgæves indsats igennem 35 år
Efter 35 års virkningsløse forsøg på at kæmpe mod professionens henfald i Danmark og opfattelsen af, at dette er andres ansvar, skrives dette uden reelt håb om virkning, simpelthen for at kunne sove rimeligt godt om natten efter at have gjort, hvad der er muligt. Disse mange års argumentation tog for det meste karakter af kommentarer og artikler, hvor titlerne på bøger og tidsskriftsartikler – vel halvdelen af det hele – er samlet på

Fra 1989 til 1994 havde jeg hovedansvaret for ændring af Stabskursus, den primære videregående officersuddannelse, til vilkårene efter Den Kolde Krig. Det var et yderst tilfredsstillende arbejde, fordi det blev muligt i et samarbejde med den daværende orlogskaptajn Nils Wang at fokusere indsatsen fra alle fagområder, så uddannelsen nærmede sig det ideal, som tidligere er blevet beskrevet. Det eneste problem i perioden var dog, at man på trods af, at både Forsvaret og rekrutteringsgrundlaget blev stadig mindre, øgede antallet af elever til mere end det dobbelte af antallet af kvalificerede kandidater. Hvis man påpegede, at det betød, at mange ikke fik noget reelt ud af uddannelsen ud over papegøjeagtigt at sige fine ord, blev det afvist med argumentet, at selv de dummeste fik da nok noget ud af kurset. Man ignorerede det allerede her nævnte, at et centralt element er elevernes gensidige påvirkning, og med faldende elevkvalitet bliver uddannelsen i bedste fald middelmådig.

Senere har jeg som censor på universiteterne i de sidste år erkendt, at Forsvaret ved prioriteringen af produktionskrav over kvalitetskrav varslede, hvad der senere blev set som et ideal, drevet af kombinationen af socialistens erfaringsløse tro på lige evner og den liberale økonoms satsning på masseproduktion. I Forsvaret kunne den dårligere uddannelse kun forstærke og accelerere det professionshenfald, som skiftet til funktionærmotivation allerede havde indledt.

Det, som har været mest frustrerende og sørgeligt for en pensioneret stadig professionel, er at have været den ansvarlige hovedlærer for de årgange af officerer, der i dag leder organisationen. For nogle af dem oven i købet både som lærer på Hærens Officersskole og senere hovedlærer på Forsvarsakademiet. Dette uden nogen synlig virkning på deres professionelle engagement og aktiviteter. Det kan kun skyldes, at disse officerers foresatte selv var for dovne eller uprofessionelle til at stille klare krav og belønne professionel optræden.

Den manglende effekt af mere end tre årtiers indsats i Fædrelandet skal sammenholdes med, hvad det blev muligt at opnå af varige resultater på bar mark i Baltikum gennem overbevisende sagkyndig argumentation. Ganske vist stillede de baltiske undervisningsministerier indledningsvis umiddelbart rimelige, men i substansen tåbelige krav om, at undervisningen på deres fælles forsvarsakademi skulle godkendes af dem. Tåbelige, fordi det ville have været ødelæggende for det da udenlandsk finansierede projekt at lade det fastlægge på grundlag af direktiver fra eks-sovjetiske undervisningsbureaukrater. De havde på grund af det sovjetiske jernskot mellem det civile samfund og militæret en acceptabel undskyldning for ikke kunne forstå eller have viden om, hvordan professionel militær videregående uddannelse skal ske. Dette i modsætning til situationen nu i Danmark, hvor tankedøde krav om standardisering med irrelevante paralleller ikke har en logisk baggrund for sin ødelæggende arrogance.

Grunden til, at Baltic Defence College stadig er et velfungerende og internationalt respekteret uddannelsessted er, at institutionen fra starten blev opbygget i et tæt samspil med de bedste søsterinstitutioner i den engelsksprogede verden, under løbende ”bench-marking”-samarbejde med søsterinstitutioner i Storbritannien, Canada og USA.

Det er typisk for den danske andedamsarrogance, at man aldrig er parat til at lære af dem i udlandet, der har relevant viden. Det ville jo også kræve, at man skulle anvende energi på at studere dem godt nok til kritisk at kunne uddrage de elementer, der var relevante i Danmark. Det er meget lettere at kopiere sagligt irrelevante eller måske skadelige hjemlige modeller.

Jeg kunne godt beskrive, hvordan man under samtidige massive besparelser kunne genskabe en god professionel videregående uddannelse af danske officerer. Men det tjener erfaringsmæssigt intet formål.