Logistic Aspects of the NATO Comprehensive Approach to the Conduct of Operations: Orchestrating the Engagement of Military Logistics Resources and Capabilities in Stability and Humanitarian Operations

By Lis, Andrzej | Journal of Positive Management, April 1, 2016 | Go to article overview

Logistic Aspects of the NATO Comprehensive Approach to the Conduct of Operations: Orchestrating the Engagement of Military Logistics Resources and Capabilities in Stability and Humanitarian Operations


Lis, Andrzej, Journal of Positive Management


1.Introduction

Integration is considered to be one of the features of contemporary logistics. Among the variety of levels at which integration of logistics is observed, Blaik (2010) enumerates integration of logistic functions and processes between organisations. Similarly, considering the issues of military logistics integration, Lis (2014) discusses its inter-organisational aspects, including integration between military and civilian logistics. Nevertheless, the studies conducted from the point of view of military logistics focus their attention on integrating civilian resources and management concepts into the military logistic systems (cf. Maj, 2013; Jałowiec and Lis, 2014; Jałowiec, 2013). The abundance of publications on military outsourcing and the contracting function of military logistics (cf. Smyk, 2007; Jałowiec, 2009; Lis, 2009; Jałowiec, 2010; Lis, 2011; Smyk, 2011; Klecha and Lis, 2012; Smyk, 2014) is the manifestation of this trend.

As pointed out in the U.S. Army doctrine publication on sustainment (ADP 4-0, 2012, p. 10) military logistics resources and capabilities may be used during the operations of defence support of civil authorities and stability operations. The engagement of military logistics in the support of civil administrations of their national states may be regulated in military doctrines (e.g. in the USA, cf. JP 3-28, 2013; ADP 3-28, 2012; ADRP 3-28, 2013) or national legal acts (e.g. in Poland). Nevertheless, the attention of the paper is focused on the second of the aforementioned situations i.e. the engagement of military logistics in the support of civilians during stability operations. The aim of the paper is to analyse the logistic aspects of the military comprehensive approach to the conduct of operations. The focus is given to the NATO concept of the comprehensive approach. In order to plan and organise the research process the following questions have been identified: (1) What are the assumptions of the NATO comprehensive approach to the conduct of military operations? (2) What is the role of military logistics in the comprehensive approach? (3) What are the requirements of effective management and coordination between military logistics and civilian organisations during stability operations? The research methods applied to achieve the aforementioned aim of the paper include the analysis of literature and official military publications such as: doctrines, handbooks and NATO summits declarations. The study has encompassed military publications issued by NATO, the United States and the United Kingdom. Certainly, due to the unlimited distribution of the paper, exclusively unclassified documents published on official websites have been included into analysis.

2.Comprehensive approach to the conduct of military operations

The concept of comprehensive approach, known also as the multidimensional approach or the integrated approach emerged in the early 2000s and has been adopted by numerous international organisations e.g. the European Union (cf. Drent, 2011), NATO, the United Nations, the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe, the African Union, the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development and nations such as: France, the United Kingdom, Germany and the United States. The overall idea of the comprehensive approach is to coordinate the efforts of civilian and military actors for the success of crisis management operations (Wendling, 2010). The consensus on the defining of the comprehensive approach has not been achieved yet. Therefore, the variety of definitions is observed in the literature and official publications. Taking into account the military logistics prism applied to the paper and the focus on management and coordination of efforts between military and civilian organisations, the following definition is chosen as a foundation for further discussions: "The Comprehensive Approach is a design process to align incentives among international and local actors to increase resilience in the engagement space while reducing the transaction costs associated with multiple actor interaction in complex operations" (Hallet and Thorngren, 2011). …

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