OPS2203 Complex Operations

Kursnavn på engelsk: 
Complex Operations
Bachelor i militære studier
Syklus 1
2020 Vår
2020 Vår
Maksimum antall studenter: 
Daniel Ekrem Helgesen
Om emnet

This module aims at establishing an understanding of complex conflicts, and how the different characters of conflicts influence the tactical level. The module will initially clarify the relation between high- and low-intensity warfare. Furthermore, it will focus on the two most common forms of low-intensity warfare: peacekeeping and counterinsurgency. Finally, the focus will be on the changing character of land warfare and how this might evolve in the future, including emerging technologies, concepts and domains.



Upon completion of the module the students will be able to:

  • establish a broad knowledge of the most common forms of low-intensity conflicts, and how these differ from high-intensity conflicts
  • understand strengths and weaknesses in existing theories of low-intensity conflicts and how they differ from high-intensity conflicts
  • account for new trends and developments for land warfare


Upon completion of the module the students will be able to:

  • apply military force in contexts where actions on a tactical level might have strategic consequenses
  • plan and lead operations on the tactical level within the framework of peacekeeping and counterinsurgency

General competence

Upon completion of the module the students will be able to:

  • understand the role of land forces in complex operations
  • plan and conduct operations with land forces on the tactical level within the context of complex operations
  • account for major trends and developments which are likely to affect the conduct of land operations on a tactical level in future operations
Praktisk organisering og arbeidsformer

Due to the Covid19 pandemic in the spring of 2020, all subjects at FHS were switched to distributed / digitized teaching. This lasted until May 7, when some subjects and student groups gained some more access to physical / regular teaching. Exercise Hammarskjöld were changed from an FTX to CPX (web based).

The module consists of four distinct parts. Part one addresses the differences between high- and low intensity warfare. Part two focuses on peacekeeping. Part three is devoted to counterinsurgency. Part four studies the future of land power and the changing character of conflicts.

The module utilises different pedagogic strategies. The parts which focus on theory will have ample time to study relevant texts, lectures and seminargroups where key topics and questions are discussed. Parts two and three will include map or table-top exercises, computer simulation exercises, and field exercises where students are challenged to transform theoretical knowledge into practical actions.

The module will conclude with a seminar on future land operations.


Sensur gjennomføres i henhold til Forskrift om opptak, studier og eksamen ved Forsvarets høgskole




  • Amnesty International (2016). If Men Are Caught, They Are Killed, If Women Are Caught, They Are Raped. pp 4-25.   
  • Annan, Kofi (1999), "Two concepts of sovereignty", The Economist (18 Sept).
  • Beadle, Alexander William (2014). Protection of civilians – military planning scenarios and implications (Oslo: Forsvarets Forskningsinstitutt), pp 7-21, 66-67.
  • Berdal, M. (2000). Lessons not learned: The use of force in ‘peace operations’ in the 1990s. International Peacekeeping, 7(4), 55-74.
  • Berdal, Mats (2008), "The Security Council and Peacekeeping" in Lowe, Vaughan et.al, The United Nations Security Council and War (Oxford: Oxford University Press), pp 175-204.
  • Clausewitz, C. V. (1976). On War, red. and translated by Michael Howard and Peter Paret. Princeton, NJ: Princeton University Press, Book I, chapter 1, pp 75-89.
  • Crane, Conrad (2010) Thomas Rid and Thomas Keaney (Eds.), Understanding Counterinsurgency (pp. 59-72). London: Routledge.
  • Cullen, Patrick and Njord Wegge (2019): «Å varsle om hybride trusler», i Stenslie, Stig, Lars Haugom og Brigt Harr Vaage (red): Etterretningsanalyse i den digitale tid. Bergen: Fagbokforlaget.
  • Erskine, Emmanuel A (1989), Mission with UNIFIL: An African Soldier's Reflections (New York: St. Martin's Press), pp 20-49.   
  • Findlay, T (2002). The Use of Force in UN Peace Operations. (New York: Oxford University Press.), pp 9-49, 87-123
  • Findlay, T. (2002). The Use of Force in UN Peace Operations. (New York: Oxford University Press.), pp124-165.
  • Freedman, Lawrence (ed). (1994). War, Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 309-351
  • French, David (2012) ’Nasty not Nice, British Counterinsurgency doctrine and practice’ Small Wars and Insurgencies (23:4-5)
  • Galula, David (2008) Counterinsurgency Warfare – Theory and Practice. Westport: Praeger, pp 1-28.                                                                                                                    (27p)
  • Galula, David (2008) Counterinsurgency Warfare – Theory and Practice. Westport: Praeger, pp 49-74.
  • Giustozzi, Antonio (2007) Koran, Kalashnikov and Laptop: The Neo-Taliban Insurgency in Afghanistan. London: Hurst & Company, pp 98-133.
  • Government of the Netherlands. Final Evaluation - Netherlands contribution to ISAF, 2006 - 2010 (The Hague: The Government of the Netherlands 2011) ch 3 (pp 19-31) and 4.3.6 (pp 37-43).
  • Hazelton, Jacqueline (2017). "The “Hearts and Minds” Fallacy – Violence, Coercion, and Success in Counterinsurgency warfare", International Security 42, no. 1
  • Hew Strachan (2010) Strategy or Alibi? Obama, McChrystal and the Operational Level of War, Survival, 52:5,  pp 157-182   
  • Hoffman, Frank (2009) “Hybrid Warfare and Challenges” in Joint Forces Quarterly. Issue 52, 1st Quarter.
  • ICISS (2001), The Responsibility to Protect, s.xi-xiii, 1-9.
  • Interview with gen Wesley.
  • Johnson, Oscar (2019): The Russian understanding of war. Blurring the lines between war and peace. Washington DC: Georgetown University press, pp 1-21.
  • Jones, Adam (2006), "Bosnia and Kosovo", in Genocide: A Comprehensive Introduction (London: Routledge), pp 212-224.
  • Kaldor, Mary, Old Wars, Cold Wars, New Wars and the War on Terror, lecture at London School of Economics (Feb 2005).
  • Karlsrud, John and Osland, Kari M (2016), “Between self-interest and solidarity: Norway’s return to UN peacekeeping?”, International Peacekeeping, 23:5, 784-803.
  • Kelly, Max and Giffen, Allison (2011). Military Planning to Protect Civilians: Proposed Guidance for United Nations Peacekeeping Operations (Washington: Stimson Center), pp 13-35.
  • Kilcullen, David (2010) Counterinsurgency. Oxford: Oxford University Press, pp 1-13, 29-49 and 147-161
  • Kitson Frank, (1971). Low-intensity operations, London: Faber & Faber Limited, pp 1-9.
  • Kjeksrud, Stian, Beadle, Alexander og Lindquist, Petter (2016). Protecting Civilians from violence, Oslo: FFI/ NODEFIC, pp 1-26.
  • Mao Tse Tung (1978) Militærskrifter i utvalg. Oslo: Oktober forlag, pp 239-52 og 261-66.
  • Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Defence (2016). "A Good Ally: Norway in Afghanistan 2001-2014." In Official Norwegian Reports NOU. Oslo. Chapter 8, pp 121-151
  • Porch, Douglas (2011) “The dangerous myths and dubious promise of COIN” i Small Wars and Insurgencies (22:2)
  • Shy, John and Collier, Thomas “Revolutionary war” in Paret, Peter (eds) Makers of Modern Strategy – from Machiavelli to the Nuclear age, (Princeton: Princeton University Press, 1986), pp 815-862.    
  • Smith, Rupert (2007). “Thinking about the utility of force in war amongst the people”, in On New Wars, ed. John Andreas Olsen, pp 28-43.
  • Stockwell, AJ (1995) British Documents on the End of Empire – Malaya part II. London: HMSO, pp 216-221    
  • Tharoor, Shashi (1995), "Should UN peacekeeping go 'back to basics'?", Survival: Global Politics and Strategy, 37(4), pp 52-64.
  • Thompson, Robert (1966) America Fights the Wrong War. Spectator, (217:7207)
  • Thompson, Robert (2005) Defeating Communist Insurgency. St. Petersburg, Florida: Hailer Publishing, pp 21-49.
  • Thompson, Robert (2005) Defeating Communist Insurgency. St. Petersburg, Florida: Hailer Publishing, pp 50-62.
  • TRADOC (2018) “The U.S. Army in Multi-Domain Operations 2028”. pp. 1-46
  • UN Doc. UNSC Res/1291(2000), pp 1-6.                                               
  • UN Doc. UNSC Res. 425, 426 and 427.
  • United Nations (1978). Report of the Secretary-General on the implementation of Security Council resolution 425 (1978). 
  • United Nations (1996), “UNPROFOR” in The Blue Helmets. (New York: UN Department of Public Information), s. 556-563.
  • United Nations (1996). “United Nations Interim Force in Lebanon (UNIFIL)” in The Blue Helmets. (New York: UN Department of Public Information), pp 83-85, 88-96.
  • United Nations (2000), Report of the Panel on United Nations Peace Operations [Brahimi Report], pp 9-12, 14-20.
  • United Nations (2008). United Nations Peacekeeping Operations. Principles and Guidelines. pp13-40, 47-52.
  • US Army & US Marine Corps (2006). Counterinsurgency Field Manual, (FM 3-24) Chicago: The University of Chicago Press, pp xxi-xliii (Seawalls foreword added separately), pnt 1-52, pnts 7-1 – 7-25,  pnts 7-45 – 7-48. NOTE: required reading is marked in paragraph points, NOT pages.
  • USMC (1940). Small Wars, Washington: United States government printing officer, pp 1 and 11-16.
Obligatorisk arbeidskravAntall arbeidskravPåkrevde arbeidskravFremmøtepliktKommentar
Paper11RequiredStudents will during the course of the module be expected to produce a paper of maximum 3500 words.
Obligatoriske arbeidskrav:
Obligatorisk arbeidskrav:Paper
Antall arbeidskrav:1
Påkrevde arbeidskrav:1
Kommentar:Students will during the course of the module be expected to produce a paper of maximum 3500 words.
VurderingsformGrupperingVarighetVarighetstypeKarakterskalaAndelJusterende muntligKommentarHjelpemidler
Individuell paperinnleveringIndividuell12Uke(r)A-F 100Not required
Vurderingsform:Individuell paperinnlevering
Andel: 100
Justerende muntlig:Not required
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