David M Last

David M Last
Royal Military College of Canada · Department of Political Science

Ph.D. International Political Economy

About

89
Publications
36,159
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138
Citations
Citations since 2017
13 Research Items
34 Citations
20172018201920202021202220230246810
20172018201920202021202220230246810
20172018201920202021202220230246810
20172018201920202021202220230246810
Introduction
I am working on professional military education and the Springer Handbook of Military Sciences. I serve as secretary of the International Society of Military Sciences (www.isofms.org) and co-chair the Military and Police Relations Working Group of ERGOMAS (www.ergomas.ch). I will teach comparative politics and a technology policy course online in fall 2021, and I’m planning a sabbatical in 2022 to do practitioner research on transnational military education for common security.
Additional affiliations
September 1999 - present
Royal Military College of Canada
Position
  • Professor (Associate)
Description
  • Full time teaching faculty

Publications

Publications (89)
Article
Full-text available
This article presents an on-line simulation exercise for cadets at military colleges in Canada, Norway, and the United States in 2019. The pilot project aspired to learn whether it is possible within a normal professional military educational program to gain cross-cultural and international relations competence by creating peer-to-peer contact betw...
Conference Paper
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Neoliberal globalization describes the impact of markets on the movement of people and assets across boundaries in a capitalist world. Police, paramilitary, and military functions are undermined in this global market place; states have less control over factors affecting human security, national security, and international security. Police and mili...
Article
Full-text available
Mid-sized countries face a changing security environment, and cannot be certain that the knowledge and practices of the past will serve the future. The officers, professors, and researchers in defence universities are the custodians of military sciences that must adapt to these changing situations. Practitioner research should be modelled and encou...
Technical Report
Full-text available
This research day involved faculty, curriculum development, directing staff, training development, and visiting researchers in a discussion of support to professional military education (PME). The focus of the morning session was on what we know and what we want to know about PME. What might we achieve by applying Systemic Functional Linguistics...
Conference Paper
Abstract Have changing patterns of professional military education (PME) helped military forces to evolve from a competitive tool of states towards a transnational asset to pursue common security? The answer is maybe. Noise from the biggest states obscures important developments in the global middle class of states. This paper reports historically...
Presentation
Full-text available
Have changing patterns of professional military education (PME) helped military forces to pursue common security? For smaller countries, higher PME which is more joint, more academic, and more conducive to critical thinking tends to privilege evidence-based problem-solving approaches rather than a focus on narrower technical aspects of war-fighting...
Poster
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The authors report on practitioner research by professors at pre-commission military academies to improve cadet’s understanding of peace and conflict. Prior practitioner research in higher and adult education has highlighted the need for experiential learning in fields like health, engineering, education, and law. Military and police education is o...
Poster
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The editors are undertaking assembly of a handbook of military sciences for an academic press. Military sciences are understood to include natural and social sciences and humanities. The aim of the handbook is to reflect a common body of knowledge for the military profession, and to serve as a major reference work on military sciences. We will seek...
Poster
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Authors report experiments with student-led field studies of peace and conflict, comparing them to other forms of experiential learning for cadets and young officers. The best learning comes from guided, cadet-led activities, bypassing institutional constraints. Content has been developed for a Handbook on Field Studies in Peace and Conflict. This...
Book
Full-text available
On November 15th–17th 2017 the Norwegian Defence University College (NDUC) will host the #ISMS17 conference in Oslo on behalf of the International Society of Military Sciences (ISMS).This #ISMS17 Book of Abstracts is to serve as an introduction to all of the abstracts submitted and presented at the conference. The publication is organized according...
Conference Paper
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These notes are prepared for two events at the Canadian Forces College (CFC). On 17 July, we invite members of International Sociological Association, Research Committee 1 (Armed Forces and Conflict Resolution) to visit CFC during the biennial Congress. On 21 August we invite Dr. Eszter Szenes to discuss frameworks and tools for understanding profe...
Data
The NATO Defence Education Enhancement (DEEP) Team scoping visit to Kyrgyzstan in March 2017 was an opportunity to learn from xperienced practitioners about the fine arts of defence education diplomacy and international assistance. Kyrgyzstan is a mountainous central Asian republic with a population of about 6 million, and it stands as an island of...
Technical Report
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We understand that the Military Institute is transitioning towards improving standards for delivery of bachelor's level academic programs, using Bologna criteria as a guide. The Institute is already a multi-agency campus, teaching military and border guard officers. A National University of the Public Service might be an effective use of resources....
Article
Full-text available
Security sector reform (SSR) rests, in part, on the preparation of new generations of military leadership, which always includes some combination of training, socialization and education. SSR literature focuses on training, but both education and the leadership of professional military education (PME) institutions deserve attention. Drawing on glob...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
This paper reports on educational experiments involving Norwich University (an American private military academy) and the Royal Military College of Canada. American and Canadian cadets participated in an international seminar on non-violent civil resistance, and were assessed before, during and after the event. An American cadet instigated an inter...
Article
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This work draws on ongoing research about security education around the world. Recent CDAI analysis argues for a coherent national strategy (McNamara) and against old policy traps (Sokolsky and Jockel). This contribution to the policy review is indirect. I will discuss the concept of security executives, professional education, and national strateg...
Presentation
Full-text available
Speaking notes for a debate with Maciej Bartkowski of ICNC about nonviolent approaches to ISIS.
Poster
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Military and other security professionals in the majority of the world’s countries (smaller than 50 million people) do not specialize to the degree possible in major powers, so they face challenges to professional development that differ from those of the major exporters of professional security knowledge. How can we improve mid-career education fo...
Poster
Full-text available
Military and other security professionals in the majority of the world’s countries (smaller than 50 million people) do not specialize to the degree possible in major powers, so they face challenges to professional development that differ from those of the major exporters of professional security knowledge. How can we improve mid-career education fo...
Research
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It is useful to understand how international relations is taught and learned by future military leaders because it helps to shape the way they understand and respond to the world around them. We should not overstate this when looking at single institutions, but if we find larger patterns across career-long professional development and across groups...
Research
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The distinction between studying strategy and practicing it is important. This article describes and explains what may appear to be incoherence in the teaching of strategy and international relations at Canada’s Royal Military College. Anyone searching for an institutional strategy to develop strategic practitioners at the sole federal university i...
Article
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This article is part of a larger study exploring global patterns of security education, in order to enhance the collaborative pursuit of security by the majority of the world’s countries. We draw on interviews at multinational training events, site visits and open sources. Here we describe general patterns of police, gendarme and military education...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Drawing on interviews and site visits involving 30 institutions in 13 countries, this paper describes common concerns and irritants amongst instructors and administrators in higher education security institutions including military and police academies and staff colleges. These irritants are associated with the challenges of security bureaucracies...
Article
Full-text available
Peacekeeping doctrine suggests that consent of the belligerents, impartiality, minimum force, and a clear aim are basic principles. Consent is a continuum, and as it diminishes, peacekeeping begins to look more like low intensity conflict. The correlates of successful low-intensity conflict include legitimacy, unity of effort, and control of violen...
Article
Full-text available
Security professionals do not have good tools for planning and managing complex systems that make states and communities function. Here we present a framework for thinking about resilience in the face of multiple, sometimes synchronous shocks which threaten stability, human and national security. We propose a framework beginning with the foundation...
Technical Report
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This paper explores lessons to develop a permanent Canadian capability to conduct socio-cultural analysis (SCA) in support of operations. SCA is defined as a set of tools to guide policy in ways that are sensitive to and effective in indigenous environments. The US Army has dominated the discussion of SCA based on its recent counter-insurgency (COI...
Technical Report
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The Socio-cognitive Systems Section (SCSS) of Defence Research and Development Canada – Toronto (DRDC Toronto) has been tasked with advancing our understanding of the motivations, intentions and behaviours of Armed Non-state Actors (ANSAs) in the context of violent intergroup conflict in fragile and failing states. For this, DRDC Toronto has contra...
Article
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A fundamental requirement for managed regime change is the identification of new leadership to fill public positions. Candidates need to be evaluated for suitability according to their attributes, but this is an inherently subjective process, and raises questions about whose interests are served by the selection. We describe an approach to assessin...
Article
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Police assistance has evolved to include more variations on the themes of policing, monitoring, and training assistance, although the motivations for contributing have been consistent for as long as Canada has sent police abroad. International police, repatriated police, training assistance, training of trainers, institutional capacity building, an...
Article
Secondary sources and illustrative anecdotes put the evolution of diverse security sectors into context. Police and military organisations have co-evolved with states, and with the expansion of states into international markets, sometimes coercing and sometimes serving communities. In this process, the instruments of state have variously dominated,...
Conference Paper
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Mr. Peter Tinsley decided on 30 September 2008 that the complaints lodged by Amnesty International Canada and the British Columbian Civil Liberties Association (AIC-BCCLA) fall within the mandate of the Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC). The Attorney General disagrees, drawing a distinction between the conduct of operations and the execu...
Article
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Written while I served as registrar of the Royal Military College of Canada, this short piece reflects on the pressures that defence universities often face to produce degrees that meet both professional and academic demands. Academically credible degrees at bachelor and master level enhance recruiting and employability, but frictions can arise bet...
Article
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Building on earlier work in this project on command and control, policing, and economic peacebuilding, this paper develops proposals for a transition plan from military to civilian and from international to local management of the security sector, governance, and economy, using municipalities as the community building blocks, and "peace insurgency"...
Chapter
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Related entries: Civil society – theory and practice; civil society and development, peace maintenance in post conflict situations; preserving peace; peacekeeping and peace maintenance; Case studies (Quebec, Yugoslavia, Ulster, South Africa, Northern Ireland, Israel-Palestine); confidence building measures.
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Police and military ties across the Atlantic have evolved along different lines over the course of the 20 th century, because the organizations have been responsible for different functions. The common requirement for professional education, and the sharing of models for curricula, institutions, and career patterns has created what might be describ...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Police, gendarme, and security forces have co-evolved with states since the origin of the Westphalian system. Their governance structures and functions therefore reflect the history of each polity we might examine. Some security organizations have also evolved transnational aspects, such as colonial police, INTERPOL cooperation and international pe...
Article
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Writing on the Revolution in Military Affairs exhibits the characteristics of an intellectual fad. In contrast, there is some continuity to peacekeeping and counter-insurgency writing. Both late twentieth century and late nineteenth century counter-insurgency literature is set against a background of globalization and neo-liberal expansion, but rec...
Chapter
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This paper builds on discussions of the proposal for a Monitoring Apparatus for Regional Stability (MARS) and recommendations for separate security and nation-building missions that meet both Israeli and Palestinian objectives. Economic development is not just a parallel track that must be addressed along with security concerns. The formal, informa...
Chapter
Full-text available
This paper builds on discussions of the proposal for a Monitoring Apparatus for Regional Stability (MARS) and recommendations for separate security and nation-building missions that meet both Israeli and Palestinian objectives. Economic development is not just a parallel track that must be addressed along with security concerns. The formal, informa...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
Is peacekeeping changing, or are we changing what we call peacekeeping? I argue the latter is occurring because political economy is evolving. The discourse about international peacekeeping is expanding to include the sort of activities that in an earlier era might have been called imperial policing. Peacekeeping and imperial policing are related,...
Article
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Security sector reform is one aspect of operations to support peace. It helps to create the conditions for economic and social development, which may be the heart of a strategy to alter the roots and causes of violence and protracted social conflict. We have a generally accepted idea of what we are trying to achieve. But how do we know if our effor...
Article
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Lieutenant-Colonel David Last has served with NATO and UN peacekeeping forces in Germany, Cyprus, Bosnia, and Croatia. He is a graduate of the Royal Military College, Carleton University, the US Army Command and General Staff College, and holds a doctorate from the London School of Economics. He conducts research on control of violence, including p...
Chapter
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Peacebuilding involves political, security, economic and psychosocial approaches to management of conflict. Although various models of comprehensive campaign planning attempt to address these dimensions, top-down planning tends to reflect the balance of regional and international interests that are external to the conflict at community level. The N...
Chapter
As I write, American troops are embroiled in a vicious counter-insurgency war, precipitated by the American invasion of Iraq. The motives for the invasion were mixed, and America’s strategy for containing the violence has been inept. But the international community is dealing with the consequences of a protracted internal conflict in Iraq, rather t...
Conference Paper
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This paper is not a description, but an interpretation of what we do to educate officers in strategic thinking at the Royal Military College of Canada. I can ask any two of my military or academic colleagues about strategic education, and get at least three different opinions. This is because RMC is a university and we thrive on differences of opin...
Chapter
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One of the greatest challenges of the post-Cold War world has been the restoration of stability after protracted conflict.
Chapter
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What has this book told us about "special operations"? The vocabulary and con-cepts of special operations forces have been shaped by the United States and, to a lesser extent, the United Kingdom as the major players in this exclusive game. The authors of this collection, five of them American, have focussed largely on what are sometimes described a...
Article
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What changes, taking place in the new Martin government now, are likely to change the way Canada's security issues are handled? By Lt. Col. David Last Will the new government of Paul Martin change the way that Canada makes national security decisions? New cabinet committee structures and changes to government departments will affect the way in whic...
Article
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It is unfortunate in some ways that officers are advised to obtain a degree, rather than an education. Of course, it is easier to identify a degree than an educated mind. I know officers with a superb professional education – well read, articulate, critical and open-minded – who have somehow escaped ‘higher education’ entirely. I know others whose...
Article
It is strange to find separate worlds in a shrinking force as small as Canada’s. I am not even referring to the visibly separate worlds of army, navy and airforce, resurrected (some would say regressively) after an innovative experiment with unification. The separate worlds are those of special and conventional forces. In Canada, they may be subjec...
Article
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The conduct of wars may be less significant in the long run than the ways in which we recover from them. Do conquering generals give way to governors and consuls who eventually pack up, and are forgotten, leaving little change? What should we look for in the aftermath of America’s war on Iraq? It may reveal the new face of American hegemony, in whi...
Conference Paper
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Modern states have relied upon the public police to provide internal security and upon the military to protect their territorial integrity (Dandeker, 1990). However, this situation has now changed. Policing within nation-states has been transformed over the past two decades by the development of alternatives to the public police. As Nigel South has...
Article
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I will begin with the central issue that confronts both the perpetrators and the victims of international peacekeeping. This is, "why?" Why do troop-contributing nations get involved and why do belligerents let them? Do they do so only to serve their own strategic interests, or do they have altruistic intentions to resolve a conflict in the interes...
Article
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Interviews suggest that Israel has limited tolerance for international peacekeeping, and is generally suspicious of international involvement. UNDOF and MFO serve useful purposes because they reflect agreement by the parties. UNIFIL has hampered Israeli security, and UNTSO is largely irrelevant. The “Grapes of Wrath” mission served a useful purpose...
Chapter
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In order to be effective, the work of various organisations has to be embedded in the overall peacebuilding plan. Improved planning and effective co-ordination are crucial for successful peace operations. Since commitment and resources are usually less than desired, success depends on co-ordination and teamwork. Multi-component peacebuilding progra...
Chapter
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Ponder for a moment the curious and perhaps ambivalent legacy of Sir Percy Girouard. The portrait that graces the building named for him at the Royal Military College depicts an idealised hero under an incongruous fez -his youthful face and blond moustache giving little hint of mature intellect. But a photograph from his days as Governor in Nigeria...
Chapter
In order to be effective, the work of various organisations has to be embedded in the overall peacebuilding plan. Since commitment and resources are usually less than desired, success depends on co-ordination and teamwork. Thus improved planning and effective co-ordination are crucial for successful peace operations.
Chapter
Full-text available
Do you know, Fantanes, what astonishes me most in this world? The inability of force to create anything. In the long run, the sword is always beaten by the spirit. Napoleon In peacekeeping as in other military operations there is a dialectic of offense and defence. Success is measured not in dead enemies and ground taken, but in lives saved and vio...
Chapter
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Cleaning up after wars is one of the ways that we use defence resources to enhance security. We cannot separate the prosecution of a conflict (like the Kosovo bombing campaign) from its consequences (like KFOR). There are at least four components to post-conflict restoration: rebuilding security, establishing effective governance, reconstruction an...
Conference Paper
Full-text available
It is strange to find separate worlds in a shrinking force as small as Canada’s. I am not even referring to the visibly separate worlds of army, navy and airforce, resurrected (some would say regressively) after an innovative experiment with unification. The separate worlds are those of special and conventional forces. In Canada, they may be subjec...
Chapter
Full-text available
Tomorrow's officers need to understand peace, conflict and war in ways that their predecessors did not. Post-modernism—characterised by scepticism toward metanarratives—has changed both the policy environment and social expectations placed upon military forces. Religious wars of the Sixteenth and Seventeenth Centuries in which men fought over truth...
Article
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Revised for publication in Fletcher Forum of World Affairs, December 1999, with comments from Maria Sartori and anonymous reviewers. "Chaos and Intolerance Now Reign in Kosovo Despite UN's Efforts. Hundreds of thousands of Albanians driven out by the Serbs have returned from refugee camps, and the Serbian and Gypsy minorities continue to be harasse...
Chapter
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Fact-finding missions and military observers have been deployed by the United Nations and by regional organisations. They have relied heavily on military personnel, and have often been deployed after it is evident that violent conflict is likely or is in progress. The information they provide, sometimes at considerable personal risk, may add little...
Article
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A round table discussion was held at the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre involving South African and Canadian clerics, officers, and faculty of the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre, to discuss the role of the chaplaincy in modern peacekeeping. Chaplains’ primary responsibility is for the spiritual health of their flock--the men and women involved in peaceke...
Article
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Acknowledgements The author is grateful to those who were involved in the neighbourhood facilitation experiment, and the organisations that supported the training and research. Gary Shapiro of Conflict Resolution Catalysts initiated the Neighbourhood Facilitators Project. The United States Institute for Peace and United States Agency for Internatio...
Chapter
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The aim of this chapter is to examine the relevance of the paradigm and case studies for evolving military doctrine. First, the Manwaring paradigm is significant in the context of historic and contemporary doctrine, and the widely accepted principles of peacekeeping. It also sheds light on some gaps in the way we interpret military doctrine, partic...
Article
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The lessening of hostilities achieved in Bosnia Herzegovina with the implementation of the Dayton Peace Agreements has been largely dependent on the policing action of the NATO‐led forces stationed there. John Fraser explores the accomplishments of the Dayton Agreement and why it is unlikely that the peacekeeping force it mandated will be able to w...
Article
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If you are an educator wanting to teach conflict resolution to young people, or if conflict resolution is part of your job strategy, you have quite a choice among training opportunities By David Last So you want to learn something about conflict resolution, or perhaps you want to incorporate some new ideas into teaching. There is no shortage of uni...
Chapter
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This is a report on field research by the Pearson Peacekeeping Centre in collaboration with Conflict Resolution Catalysts, an NGO working in northwest Bosnia. The inter-personal and inter-communal problems experienced in the wake of war call for a range of personal communication and conflict resolution skills which are often not found in heirarchic...
Conference Paper
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Long was the morn of slaughter, Long was the list of slain, Five score heads were taken Five score heads and twain; And the men of the First Shikaris Went back to their grave again. — Rudyard Kipling 1 In the gruesome ballad, "The Grave of the Hundred Head," Kipling describes a reprisal for the death of a British subaltern in Burma not many generat...
Chapter
Full-text available
Fact-finding missions and military observers have been deployed by the United Nations and by regional organizations. They have relied heavily on military personnel, and have often been deployed after it is evident that violent conflict is likely or is in progress. The information they provide, at considerable personal risk, may add little to the in...
Article
Full-text available
Peacekeeping doctrine suggests that consent of the belligerents, impartiality, minimum force, and a clear aim are basic principles. Consent is a continuum, and as it diminishes, peacekeeping begins to look more like low intensity conflict. The correlates of successful low-intensity conflict include legitimacy, unity of effort, and control of violen...
Data
Traditional peacekeeping is conducted with the consent of the parties to a conflict by impartial, lightly armed forces under international control. The classic definition was provided by the International Peace Academy in The Peacekeeper's Handbook: "The prevention, containment, moderation and termination of hostilities between or within states, th...
Chapter
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This introduces the problems of early warning and preventive deployment focusing at the strategic level, and the issue of information and intelligence at the operational and tactical levels. The two issues have a common denominator: each concerns the way complex organizations identify changes to their environments and take appropriate measures to i...
Article
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Thesis (M.M.A.S.)--U.S. Army Command and General Staff College, 1995. Abstract. Includes bibliographical references (p. 206-216). AD-A299 303. Photocopy. s
Article
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The world hopes that peacekeeping missions will not merely freeze conflicts but help to restore peace. This requires integration of the tactical and operational levels to support the strategic aim of deescalating violence and reconciling communities. Canadian experience in Cyprus shows that appropriate techniques exist at the tactical level, where...

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Project
The ambition for the Handbook of Military Sciences project is to present an open access major reference work in the field of Military Sciences. Its main purpose is to inform and enlighten those dealing with the military on the role and contributions of science in describing, understanding and explaining military life, knowledge and activity. As such, we aim to assemble a handbook that offers a comprehensive thematic introduction to various sub-fields of Military Sciences. You will find all chapter OpenAccess at SpringerLink: https://link.springer.com/referencework/10.1007/978-3-030-02866-4