From United Nations Civil-Military Coordination (UN-CMCoord), to NATO Civil-Military Cooperation (NATO-CIMIC), and United States Army Civil Affairs, a wide array of national, regional, and international institutions have created their own concepts to guide interactions, coordination, and relations between military and civilian actors in a variety of conflict and peacetime settings. The end result of these efforts is a myriad of similar yet slightly differing concepts being created, each specifically tailored to its parent entity, but often different enough to cause significant misunderstandings and misconceptions when compared to each other. This research project aims at helping practitioners, decision-makers, analysts, and scholars better understand and navigate the varying conceptual frameworks for civil-military relations in use by different organizations and in different contexts.
To the authors’ knowledge, no common guide or common language has been developed for the myriad of civil-military concepts present in the world to date. Thus, this paper will fill this gap by providing civil-military practitioners, decision-makers, analysts, and academics a simplified, accessible, and easily replicable guide and tool to navigate different civil-military concepts found in this study. This tool uses an innovative analytical framework developed by the authors that uses four pre-identified parameters to categorize specific civil-military concepts into one of five archetypes. This then allows users to quickly and clearly identify broad similarities and differences between specific civil-military concepts, in effect, create a common language to decipher the variations between civil-military concepts in use today. The study will also create a large publicly available repository of different civil-military concepts that other civil-military researchers could use in future studies.
The project has four specific objectives: