IFS Info no. 5/2006
Soldiers or Saints? Norwegian Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) in Afghanistan
Norwegian Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) in Afghanistan
Since the end of the Cold War a more complex civil-military interface has emerged, and with it a variety of doctrines and policies concerning civil-military cooperation and coordination. This study focuses on the NATO concept Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC), and the Norwegian CIMIC capability. Norwegian CIMIC aspires to follow the CIMIC doctrine of NATO. Yet, in this study Lene Kristoffersen argues that the Norwegian approach in Afghanistan did not wholly concur with NATO’s doctrine. On these grounds, she questions whether different operational realities require an elastic NATO CIMIC concept? And if so, how can it be combined with the goal of achieving unity of effort and a common understanding of the concept in the operational theatre? How can the thin line between the military and civilian spheres be demarcated? Are NATO CIMIC officers supposed to act like soldiers or saints?
Lene Kristoffersen (b. 1979) is a political scientist from the University of Oslo and has specialised on the fields of defence- and security policy. In her MA thesis from 2005 she examined why Norway decided to contribute with a Civil-Military Cooperation unit (CIMIC unit) to the International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan (ISAF), and why the Norwegian CIMIC unit approached the mission in Afghanistan the way it did. She is currently working at IFS as a project administrator.