Peace Support Operations of the Future?


  • Michael Jonsson
  • Pär Eriksson

Publish date: 2014-05-16

Report number: FOI-R--3814--SE

Pages: 63

Written in: Swedish


  • Peace support operations
  • capacity building
  • security sector reform
  • Mali
  • Somalia
  • Afghanistan
  • Kosovo
  • EUTM
  • KFOR
  • OMLT


This study analyses the requirements that providing troop contributions to capacity building missions create for the Swedish Armed Forces (SAF) regarding recruitment, training and organizational aspects. These requirements - and the ability of the SAF to fulfill them - are contingent on the mandate of the mission and the specific tasks involved. For smaller missions aimed at providing basic military training in comparatively safe mission environments (including EUTM Somalia and EUTM Mali), the ability of SAF to sustainably recruit competent personnel has been strong, whereas pre-mission training and post-mission analysis of lessons learnt leave room for improvement. For larger missions aimed at mentoring experienced military units in direct conjunction to active conflict (such as OMLT in Afghanistan) the situation is the reverse. Pre-mission training and post-mission analysis of lessons learnt work well, but doubts have been raised regarding the ability of SAF to sustainably recruit competent personnel for similar, future missions. The combination of personal characteristics, long-term experience of leading military units, instructor experience and personal combat ability required implies that the relevant pool of recruits is limited. Lastly, for mentoring in post-conflict contexts (including KFOR in Kosovo and EUFOR ALTHEA in Bosnia-Hercegovina) the key to success lies in finding suitable candidates, as the opportunity for training and institutional learning is limited. The study identifies a number of possible avenues for improvement, including expanding support given to smaller missions, extending the time-frame that SAF is given to plan and prepare missions, and the relative advantages of deploying already existing units versus hand-picking personnel for specific missions. Lastly, the study highlights the tension between the types of capacity-building tasks that the SAF has the greatest ability to execute (basic "train and equip" missions) and the tasks requested in the SSR-literature (institution-building, improving civilian oversight of the security sector and respect for human rights).