NATO soldiers perform military exercises.

Searching for complementary military and civilian roles

Pragmatic Approach to Civil-Military Partnerships

October 2010, Number 01.04

“One would be hard pressed to find a discussion involving Western defense institutions, missions and concepts that does not use terms such as “comprehensive approach” and “whole-of-government” to identify the need for a more thorough integration of civilian and military aspects of security. Indeed, the belief that security requires a more thorough combination of defense, diplomacy and development functions has grown into a kind of grand Western consensus. The European Union’s steps to craft a more integrated security architecture, NATO’s support for a more comprehensive approach in its latest strategic concept, and the U.S. efforts to forge more integrated reconstruction and stabilization capacity are three highly visible examples of a search for the right relationship between military and civilian security instruments. It is a search that has become a kind of holy grail for the Euro-Atlantic security community.

Like the legendary grail search, however, institutionalizing a more holistic and integrated mix of such a diverse range of military, police, economic development, governance building, and rule-of-law planning and operational capacities has proven elusive...”

Excerpt from Darrell Driver, “Pragmatic Approach to Civil-Military Partnerships,” per Concordiam: Journal of European Security Defense Issues 1, No. 4, 2010: 12-17.

Lt. Col. Darrell Driver is strategic planner with Headquarters, Department of the U.S. Army. He was a 2009 Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellow with the U.S. Department of Homeland Security's Office of International Affairs and the Johns Hopkins University Paul H. Nitze School of Advanced International Studies. He's a former strategist at the Marshall Center. His publications include book chapters and articles on civil military relations and security policy, as well as the book Sparta in Babylon: Case Studies in the Public Philosophy of Soldiers and Civilians. He holds a doctorate from Syracuse University in New York.

This article reflects the views of the author and are not necessarily the official policy of the United States, Germany, or any other governments.