The development of capabilities for national defence among land forces in the Baltic region underscores the need for mission command as a guiding principle of leadership and command. However, the practice of mission command in the contemporary military context is far from straightforward. This article presents the results of a survey conducted with Swedish Army officers, examining their perspectives on positive as well as negative influences on their ability to utilize mission in their contemporary working environment. While mission command is envisioned to become increasingly important in the future, several obstacles are identified to its utilization and development.
NATO member states have been steadily increasing their levels of defence expenditures since 2015. In 2020, already ten member states met the NATO financial guidelines of spending at least 2% of their gross domestic product (GDP) for defence, including 20% for major equipment. In addition, many other countries were planning to achieve this target by 2024. There are two factors, however, which could slow down this process. First, economic recession as a follow up to COVID-19 will have a negative influence on the state budgets. Defence spending could start decreasing in nominal terms, followed by the challenges in meeting NATO financial guidelines. Second, while President Donald Trump put the Alliance’s burden-sharing in the centre of his policy vis-à-vis European allies, the current US administration, represented by the Democratic Party, will put more emphasis on multilateral cooperation as well as soft security instruments, including development and diplomacy. In consequence, even if the White House is going to stand strongly with 2/20% rule, it might lessen the pressure on European allies, especially Germany, to significantly accelerate defence spending, seeing transatlantic relationship in a broader division of risks and responsibilities. In this article, it is suggested that due to the economic crisis of the 2020s and the shift in the policy of the US Government, NATO member states would slow down, in short and mid-term perspectives, the process of increasing defence expenditures.
The paper aims to contribute to discussion on comprehensive defence development by looking into Resistance Operating Concept and Comprehensive Defence Handbook. These two documents are designed as a guide for the countries facing a formidable adversary to help them develop resistance (including violent) infrastructure before the potential invasion. After discussing the main tenets of the concept and suggesting a wider engagement with case studies and scientific literature on this and similar topics, the paper addresses the pitfalls and considerations of preparing such resistance in peacetime, focusing on five areas: C2, legitimacy, recruitment, potential problems in long-term and communication.