Dr. Asta Maskaliūnaitė identified five concerns related to the promises and pitfalls of developing underground resistance organisations (URO) before a crisis in her excellent and timely 2021 Journal on Baltic Security article, ‘Exploring Resistance Operating Concept. Promises and pitfalls of (violent) underground resistance’. These pitfalls or areas of concern are: (1) Command and Control (C2), (2) Legitimacy, (3) Recruitment, (4) Potential Long-Term Problems, and (5) Strategic Communications. This study will address these five concerns from a non-military perspective, focusing on civilian control, political conditions, capabilities of the state, and legislated safeguards for each concern to accentuate promises and minimize risks. The study is based on a case study analysis of the Polish Underground State and highlights its legitimacy, enjoyed due to the legally organized, civilian-led URO and its shadow government leading the resistance in Poland and the Polish Government-in-Exile providing the legitimacy and organizing external support.
This paper will discuss the Resistance Operating Concept and how nations should prepare to resist a potential enemy before an invasion takes place. Oriented towards the self-defense of small countries by a resistance or partisan force, it describes past examples of resistance groups in Europe. Specifically, by discussing the long-term survival of resilient organizations, its focus will be on the basic factors crucial for an underground resistance, including security, organization, and training. It also considers the need for a practitioner-oriented manual that can be disseminated at the widest levels to guide and enable future resistance operations.
Small nations, facing expansionist-minded and intrusive neighbors such as Russia or China, are revising their total defense strategies and plans. Within these total defense plans, nations are pre-planning citizen-based resistance schemes that rely on non-professionalized, civilian population segments to take an active role in resisting an occupying foreign power. Ukraine, invaded by Russia in February 2022, is one such nation enacting a whole-of-society resistance scheme under a brutal, high-intensity assault. How then, does a nation-state conceptualize, craft, and execute command and control for distributed resistance operations? This article first analyzes the substance and challenges of resistance and command and control. Next, a framework is presented on how to conceptualize an appropriate command and control scheme. Finally, practical examples are given of how resistance command methods proved effective or ineffective, and why. This article is designed to assist in the conceptualization, development, and implementation of national resistance command and control schemes.
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.