OPS4101 Joint Military Operations 1

Course code: 
Course name in Norwegian Bokmål: 
Militære fellesoperasjoner 1
Program of study: 
Master i militære studier
Level of study: 
Teaching semester: 
2021 Spring
Assessment semester: 
2021 Spring
Language of instruction: 
Person in charge: 
Olaf von Porat Erichsen
Course content

This course, Military joint operations - part 1 builds on the course Politics, strategy and military power and seeks to enable students to understand and critically reflect on the roles and tasks of the military strategic and operational levels related to the development of various strategic goals and alternatives for the use of military forces.

The course shall provide students with advanced knowledge and insight into relevant issues that affect the planning, leadership and execution of joint military operations. Consequently, the course will emphasize critical analysis of key factors that influence the use of military forces and instruments in the framework of political guidelines and strategic objectives. The planning activity that is carried out at the military strategic and operational level and factors that affect military problem solving at these levels are also highlighted. This perspective also addresses key aspects of the operational environment and how various joint functions support the planning, leading and execution of military operations.

The course provides students with the theoretical and analytical basis for the subsequent practical course Military Joint Operations - Part 2 (FOPS 2).

The course is divided into four parts:

Part 1 - Strategic environment: The first part of the course (one week) focuses on selected parts of the strategic environment in Norway and NATO. The purpose is to provide students with in-depth insight and knowledge about responsibilities, authority and tasks assigned to actors in the strategic environment and how the actors are able to support the military strategic level of command.

Part 2 - Military Problem Solving; The second part of the course (one week) focuses on military problem solving at the military strategic and operational level. The starting point will be a problem-based analysis of NATO's Operation Planning Doctrine (AJP-5), where students will discuss and problematise key concepts and sub-processes on the way to identifying and understanding the problem, the associated military mission and what options that can be developed and selected to solve the problem.

Part 3 - The operating environment and its impact on military forces: The third part of the course (one week) focuses on today's and tomorrow's operating environment. The course deals with conditions and factors in the operating environment that affect military opportunities and limitations during the implementation of joint operations, both during intra-state and inter-state conflict.

Part 4 - Military strategic analysis: The fourth part of the course (one and a half weeks) focuses on analysis and operational planning at the military strategic level. This part begins with an introduction to key elements and factors that are part of a military strategic analysis (SACEUR Strategic Assessment- SSA). This is used as a basis for developing Military Response Options for the use of military forces in the framework of NATO.



Learning outcome


After completing the course, the student should have:

1. in-depth knowledge of the role and application of military forces in interaction with other Instruments of Power and actors in a conflict area.

2. advanced knowledge of the factors that influence planning, command and conduct of military operations in an operating environment.


After completing the course, the student is able to:

1. analyse military strategic options (military strategy), operational concepts and current doctrines within joint military operations.

2. analyse and critically reflect on how factors such as politics, military strategy, legal framework and ethics affect the planning, command and conduct of joint operations.

3. analyse and critically relate to theoretical and practical military problem solving.

General competence:

After completing the course, the student is able to:

1. apply his/her knowledge and skills to communicate about professional issues, analyses and conclusions related to the use of military force, both with other specialists in the field and to the general public.

Working and learning activities

The course Military joint operations - part 1 is made up of four different thematic parts. All the parts are mainly theoretically oriented, and in addition to plenary teaching consist of group discussions, seminars and self-study.

The first part (first week) is campus based and is about introducing the students to key issues related to the military strategic environment in Norway and in NATO. Due to the pandemic situation in Norway, no visits are made to the Norwegian Intelligence Service, the Defence Staff  or the Norwegian Joint Headquarters. Instead, lectures, seminars and group discussions are planned to give students insight into the military strategic environment, the responsibilities of various actors, tasks and work processes, as well as important issues related to this. The new study groups will be established early this week.

The second part of the course (second week) is sought to be completed digitally and will in its entirety deal with military problem solving and the approach to operational planning at the military strategic and operational level. A problem-based analysis of NATO's Operational Planning Doctrine (AJP-5) is central. The week starts with introductory lectures on the role and function of military doctrines and on important elements related to military problem solving. Furthermore, the students carry out individual studies and preparations, before a digital group seminar on military problem solving is arranged. At the end of the week, students submit the course's first work requirements (group submission).

The third part of the course (third week) is sought to be completed digitally. This section focuses on the operating environment and key factors that affect the use of military forces. Based on historical examples, current cases and global trends, students will acquire knowledge about how different actors, the "human dimension" and ethical issues affect the military mission solution. In the framework of Human Security / Protection of Civilians, dilemmas are discussed regarding role and threat understanding, use of force and civil-military cooperation. During the week, challenges related to intelligence and hybrid / multidomain operations will also be addressed. The operating environment will thus be discussed within the framework of both inter-state and intra-state conflict. To facilitate a deeper analysis and reflection, students will conduct a digital seminar where key issues related to these issues will be discussed. During the week, students will also participate in a pedagogical experiment that includes new learning technology, threat analysis, military response options and civilian protection. At the end of the week, students submit the course's second work requirements (individual submission).

The fourth part of the course (fourth and half of fifth week) is sought to be completed digitally and focuses on selected parts of the military strategic analysis in NATO. Introductory lectures are given on military strategic analysis and the role and function of intelligence at the military strategic level in NATO. This part of the course introduces the scenario used for operations planning and the execution of Joint Effort during FOPS 2. As a prelude to the students' analysis of SACEUR's Strategic Assessment (SSA), the students are briefed on this scenario and the background of the conflict, with emphasis on political perspectives and objectives. Students establish strategic planning groups and analyse the SSA, before developing Military Response Options for the upcoming operations planning. The course ends with course synthesis.

Sensor system

Examination is carried out according to the Regulations for Admission, Studies and Examinations (in Norwegian, “Forskrift om opptak, studier og eksamen”) at the Norwegian Defence University College.


Number of pages (syllabus) is 613 pages:

Andersen, M. (2016). Hva er fellesoperasjoner. In M. Andersen & G. Ødegaard (Eds.), Militære fellesoperasjoner – en innføring. Oslo: Abstrakt Forlag, p. 21-28 (8 p.).  


Andersen, M. og Ydstebø P. (2016). Hva er operasjonskunst. In M. Andersen & G. Ødegaard (Eds.), Militære fellesoperasjoner – en innføring. Oslo: Abstrakt Forlag, p. 29-41 (13 p.).  


Andersen, M. og Sookermany, A. McD (2021). The Making of Military StrategyThe Gravity of an Unequal Dialogue. In J. H. Matlary og R. Johnson (Eds.), Military Strategy in the 21st Century – The Challenge for NATO. London: C. Hurst & Co., p. 131-152 (22 p.). 


Andersen, Morten (2016). Militære doktriner – effektive styringsdokumenter eller teoretiske støvsamlere?  Kungl Krigsvetenskapsakademiens Handlingar och Tidskrift, Nr 2/2016, p. 15-46 (31 p.). 


Beadle, A.W. (2014). Protection of civilians – military planning scenarios and implications. FFI-rapport 2014/00519, p. 7-21 (14 p.). 

Berkebile, Richard E. (2018). Military Strategy Revisited – A Critique of the Lykke Formulation. In Military Review Online Exclusive – May 2018, p. 1-7 (7 p.). 

Berntsen, T. A. og Tyreid, T. (2016). Etikk og militære operasjoner. In M. Andersen & G. Ødegaard (Eds.), Militære fellesoperasjoner – en innføring. Oslo: Abstrakt Forlag, p. 105-125 (21 p.).      

Brantley, Aaron og Smeets, Max. (2020)Military Operations in Cyberspace. In A. Sookermany (Red.), Handbook of Military Sciences. Downloaded from: https://link.springer.com/referencework/10.1007/978-3-030-02866-4#toc. (13 p.). 

Bruscino, T. (2020). The Leavenworth Heresy? Carlisle: US Army War College. Downloaded from:https://warroom.armywarcollege.edu/articles/the-leavenworth-heresy/ (4 p.). 

Cook, M. L. (2015). The Role of the Military in the Decision to Use Armed Force. In J.T. Johnson & F. Patterson (Red.), The Ashgate Research Companion to Military Ethics. Burlington: Ashgate, p. 49-56 (8 p.).  

FFI (2020). Globale trender.  Viten 1/2020. Downloaded from:  https://publications.ffi.no/nb/item/asset/dspace:6740/20-01409.pdf. (40 p.).   

Fierke, K.M. (2007). Identity. In Critical Approaches to International Security. Polity Press, p. 75-98 (23 p.)  

Holen, S.V. (2020) Humanizing Security: The Military as Protection Actor. In NATO Office of the Secretary General Human Security Unit, Protecting Civilians: A Humanitarian Obligation. Essay Series on the Protection of Civilians, Children and Armed Conflict and Cultural Property Protection. Brussels. p. 7-9 (3 p.).

Holen, S.V. (2020). Civilians under Attack: Diverging Threat Perspectives. In Enstad, K. & Holmes-Eber, P.  (Eds.), Warriors or Peacekeepers? Building military cultural competence. Springer (21 p.).    

Johansen, S. R. og Staib, J. T. (2016). Operasjonell rett. In M. Andersen & G. Ødegaard (Eds.), Militære fellesoperasjoner – en innføring. Oslo: Abstrakt Forlag, p. 475-499 (25 p.). 

Kahneman, D. (2012). Thinking, fast and slow. Penguin classic, p. 3-15 og 19-30 (23 p.).   


Kaldor, M. (2013). In defence of new wars. Stability: International Journal of Security and Development, 2 (1) (12 p.)     

Karlsen, Geir Hågen. (2016). Strategisk kommunikasjon: NATOs modell for informasjon og påvirkning. In M. Andersen & G. Ødegaard (Eds.), Militære fellesoperasjoner – en innføring. Oslo: Abstrakt Forlag, p. 291-316 (25 p.). 

Kelly, J. & Brennan, M. J. (2010). The Leavenworth Heresy and the perversion of operational art. Joint Force Quarterly (56), p. 109-116. (7 p.). 

Libyautvalget (2018). Evaluering av norsk deltagelse i Libya-operasjonene i 2011. Oslo: Departementenes sikkerhets- og serviceorganisasjon, p. 48-63 (15 p.).  

NATO (2010). AJP-3.4 (A), Allied Joint Doctrine for Non-Article 5 Crisis Response Operations. Brussels: NATO Standardisation Agency, kapittel 1, 2 og 3 (41 p.).  

NATO (2013). Allied Command Operations Comprehensive Operations Planning Directive (COPD Interim V2.0). Brussels: NATO, p. 1-1 – 1-17, 2-2 – 2-10, 3-8 – 3-49 og 4-24 – 4-31 (71 p.).  

NATO (2016). AJP-2(A), Allied Joint Doctrine for Intelligence, Counterintelligence and Security. Brussels: NATO Standardisation Agency, p. 2-1 – 2-5 (4 p.).  

NATO (2019). AJP-3 (C). Allied Joint Doctrine for the Conduct of Operations – Edition C Version 1. Brussels: NATO, p. 1-1 – 1-44 og B-1 – B-5 (49 p.). 

NATO (2019). AJP-5 (A), Allied Joint Doctrine for the Planning of Operations (Edition A Version 2). Brussels: NATO, p. 1-1 – 4-37, A-1 – B-14 (70 p.).  

NATO (2019). MC 362/2, NATO Rules of engagement, Brussels: NATO, p. 2-16 (14 p.).  

Prescott, Jody M. (2020). Moving from Gender Analysis to Risk Analysis of Failing to Consider Gender, The RUSI Journal, DOI: 10.1080/03071847.2020.1831950, (11 s.)


UK Development; Concept and Doctrine Centre (2011). Decision-Making and Problem Solving: Human and Organisational Factors (Joint Doctrine Note 3/11).  Shrivenham, Swindon: UK Ministry of Defence, p. 1-1 – 1-5 (4 p.).  

UK Development; Concept and Doctrine Centre (2016). Understanding and Decision-Making. Shrivenham, Swindon: UK Ministry of Defence, p. 3-18 (15 p.).  

Valeriano, Brandon G. & Jenson, Ben (2019). The Myth of the Cyber Offense: The Case for Cyber Restraint. Cato Institute Policy Analysis, No. 862 (10 p.).


Support literature:

Andersen, M. og Ødegaard, G. (2016). Operasjonell manøver og ild. In M. Andersen & G. Ødegaard (Eds.), Militære fellesoperasjoner – en innføring. Oslo: Abstrakt Forlag, p. 257-278.  


Andersen, M. og Stræte, Pål. (2016). Beskyttelse. In M. Andersen & G. Ødegaard (Eds.), Militære fellesoperasjoner – en innføring. Oslo: Abstrakt Forlag, p. 281-288.  


Andersen, Morten (20XX). Unpublished reading booklet:Militær operasjonsplanlegging - tanker omkring problemløsning og beslutningsfatning.  


Andreassen, Yvonn. (2016). Etterretning. In M. Andersen & G. Ødegaard (Eds.), Militære fellesoperasjoner – en innføring. Oslo: Abstrakt Forlag, p. 243-255. 


Beadle, Disen, Nyhamar, Bostad (2019). Globale trender mot 2040 – et oppdatert fremtidsbilde. FFI- rapport 19/00045, p. 14-84 (70 p.).  


Beaumont, R. A. (1993). Joint military operations: A short history. Westport: Greenwoood Press, p.148-155 and 172-174.   


Borgen, Lars. (2016). Logistikk. In M. Andersen & G. Ødegaard (Eds.), Militære fellesoperasjoner – en innføring. Oslo: Abstrakt Forlag, p. 319-327.  


Christensen, M.M., Haugegaard, R. Linnet, P.M. (2014). War amongst the people and the absent enemy: towards a cultural paradigm shift? København: Royal Danish Defence College (12 p.). 


Citino, Robert M. (2004), Blitzkrieg to Desert Storm – The Evolution of Operational Warfare. Kansas: University Press, p. 275-290.  


Clark, B., Patt, D og Schramm, Harrison (2020). Mosaic Warfare. Exploiting Artificial Intelligence and Autonomous Systems to implement Decision-Centric Operations. Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments, p. 1-64. 


Cooper, Camilla Guldahl (2019). NATO Rules of Engagement – on ROE, Self-Defence and the Use of Force during Armed Conflict, BRILL/Nijhoff.  


Duffey, T. (2000). Cultural issues in contemporary peacekeeping. International Peacekeeping, 7(1), p. 142-168. doi: 10.1080/13533310008413823. 


Ekhaugen, L. og Hansen, B. T. (2016). Comprehensive Approach – NATOs tilnærming. In M. Andersen & G. Ødegaard (Eds.), Militære fellesoperasjoner – en innføring. Oslo: Abstrakt Forlag, p. 127- 139.  


Fautua, D. (2000). The paradox of joint culture. Joint Force Quarterly, 26(3), p. 81-86.  


Forsvaret (2010). Håndbok i stabstjeneste for Forsvaret. Oslo: Forsvarets stabsskole, s. 79-108 (30 s.). 


Forsvarets forskningsinstitutt (2015). Globale trender mot 2040 – implikasjoner for Forsvarets rolle og relevans. Kjeller: FFI, p. 12-57 and 132-156.  


Forsvarets stabsskole (2019). Forsvarets fellesoperative doktrine (FFOD). Oslo: Forsvarets stabsskole. 


Fournier, S. (2009). NATO military interventions abroad: How ROE’s are adopted and jurisdictional rights negotiated. In S. Manacorda & A. Nieto (Eds.), Criminal Law Between War and Peace: Justice and Cooperation in Criminal Matters. Cuenca: Universidad de Castilla-La-mancha, p. 113-122.  


Fuglset, A. (2013). Genderperspektiv i operasjonsplanlegging og stabsarbeid. In A. Schjølset (Ed.), Gender i Forsvaret – fra teori til praksis. Oslo: Abstrakt forlag, p. 149-170.  


Gjørv, J. og Gjørv G. H. (2016). CIMIC. In M. Andersen & G. Ødegaard (Eds.), Militære fellesoperasjoner –  en innføring. Oslo: Abstrakt Forlag, p. 329-344.  


Gundersen, Per Christian. (2016). Kommando og kontroll. In M. Andersen & G. Ødegaard (Eds.), Militære fellesoperasjoner – en innføring. Oslo: Abstrakt Forlag, p. 231-241. 


Handel, M. I. (1990). Intelligence and military operations. Intelligence and national security, 5(2), p. 1-95.  


Hatlebrekke, K. A. & Smith, M. L. R. (2010). Towards a new theory of intelligence failure? The impact of cognitive closure and discourse failure. Intelligence and national security, 25(2), p. 147-182. 


Hatlebrekke, Kjetil A. (2019). The problem of secret intelligence. Edinburgh University Press.  


Heier, T. (2009). Sivil-militær samordning i Afghanistan – et militært stebarn? Norsk militært tidsskrift179(1).   


Homan, K. (2008). The military and human security. Security and Human Rights,2008 no. 1


Luttwak, E. N. (1987). Strategy: The logic of war and peace. Cambridge: Belknap, chapter 6 og 7.  


Muggah, R. og Sullivan, J.P. (2018). The Coming Crime Wars. Foreign Policy (7 p.).  


Nakasone, Paul M. (2019). A cyber force for persistent operations. Joint Forces Quarterly, 92(1), s. 10- 14 (5 p.).  


NATO (2009). Multiple Future Project – Navigating towards 2030. Brussel: NATO.  


NATO (2018). AJP-3.19, Allied Joint Doctrine for Civil-Military Cooperation. Brussels: NATO Standardisation Office.


NATO (2015). AJP-3.4.5 (A), Allied Joint Doctrine for the Military Contribution to Stabilization and Reconstruction. Brussels: NATO Standardisation Office.  


NATO (2015). Gender Functional Planning Guide. Mons: SHAPE.  


NATO (2015). Military Guidelines for the Prevention of, and Response to, Conflict-related Sexual and Gender-based Violence. EAPC.  


NATO (2019). AJP-3 (C). Allied Joint Doctrine for the Conduct of Operations – Edition C Version 1


Norheim-Martinsen, P., Nyhamar, T. (2015). International Military Operations in the 21st Century: Global trends and the future of intervention. Abigdon: Reutledge, p.1-37 and 215-230 (52 s.). 


Røseth, Tom and Weaver, John M. (2020). Intelligence relations in the 21st century. Palgrave MacMillan. 


Schadlow, Nadia and Richard A. Laquement (2009). Winning Wars not just Battles: Expanding the Military Profession to Incorporate Stability Operations. In S. C. Nielsen & D. M. Snider (Eds.), American Civil-Military Relations: The Soldier and the State in a New Era. Baltimore, MD: Johns Hopkins University Press. 


Sulmeyer, Michael (2017). Campaign planning with cyber operations. Georgetown journal of international affairs, Vol. XVIII, No. III, p. 131-136 (6 p.).   


U.S. Army TRADOC (2018). The U.S. Army in Multi-Domain Operations 2028, p. 6-45 (40 p.).  


Venable, H. and Donnelly J. R. (2019). Scaling the Levels of War: The Strategic Major and the Future of Multi-Domain Operations. Downloaded from: https://warontherocks.com/2019/05/scaling-the-levels-of-war-the-strategic-major-and-the-future-of-multi-domain-operations/ (5 p.). 


Williams, Brett (2014). The joint force commanders guide to cyberspace operations, Joint Forces Quarterly, 73(2), p. 12-14 (3 p.).  


Willmot, Mamiya, Sheeran, Weller (Red.) (2015). Protection of Civilians. Oxford Scholarship. 

Mandatory courseworkCourseworks givenCourseworks requiredPresence requiredComment
Annet - spesifiser i kommentarfeltet 2 2Required1. Arbeidskrav militær problemløsning 2. Arbeidskrav operasjonsmiljøet
Obligatoriske arbeidskrav:
Mandatory coursework:Annet - spesifiser i kommentarfeltet
Courseworks given: 2
Courseworks required: 2
Presence required:Required
Comment:1. Arbeidskrav militær problemløsning 2. Arbeidskrav operasjonsmiljøet
Form of assessmentGroupingDurationType of durationGrading scaleProportionOral examinationCommentSupported materials
MappevurderingIndividual -Pass / fail100%Not required
Form of assessment:Mappevurdering
Type of duration:-
Grading scale:Pass / fail
Oral examination:Not required
Supported materials:
Approval signature: 
Helge Danielsen