Norwegian long-term defence analysis - a scenario- and capability-based approach

FFI-Report 2020

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20/02367

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978-82-464-3290-8

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Dagfinn Furnes Vatne Petter Kristian Køber Mona Sagsveen Guttelvik Arnfinnsson; Brynjar Ørjan Rogne Rise
The Norwegian Defence Research Establishment (FFI) supports the political and military leadership of Norwegian defence in their long-term defence planning. In this report, we describe and review the method FFI uses to assess possible future defence force structures’ ability to solve future national security challenges. No one can predict how our security environment will evolve over the time it takes to implement major changes in military forces, but we cannot dismiss the possibility that Norway may be attacked or otherwise influenced by foreign powers. Nor can we predict the nature of such an event, should it happen. The challenge for defence planners is therefore to plan for a flexible force, designed to be able to handle a wide variety of security challenges. Also, this ability should be attained as efficiently as possible. These are the central ideas of FFI’s methodological approach. To ensure that attention is directed to the effects a defence force structure should be able to produce, we state requirements in terms of capabilities. A capability is defined as the ability to achieve a specified effect in military operations. In other words, we try not to state premature requirements in terms of input factors such as materiel or personnel. This enables us to compare different force compositions that can deliver the same effects, i.e. the same capabilities, and find efficient solutions. The capability requirements stem from analysis of FFI’s scenario portfolio. We do not claim that the scenarios in the portfolio will happen. Nor do we claim that if a national security challenge occurs in the future, it exists as a scenario in the portfolio. The aim of the scenario portfolio is to span the possible security challenges well enough that the capabilities needed in real future situations have been required via the scenario portfolio. The requirements should represent a level of ambition for what the Armed Forces should be able to do, and the scenario portfolio provides an opportunity to express and interpret such levels of ambition. In the report, we outline our procedures for developing and analysing scenarios for capability requirements. We also explain how we describe a proposed force structure’s capabilities and compare these to the requirements. Furthermore, we discuss the inherent uncertainty in our results. Finally, we evaluate our method’s strengths and weaknesses, and identify areas of improvement.

About publication

Report number

20/02367

ISBN

978-82-464-3290-8

Format

PDF-document

Size

1.7 MB

Download publication

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