Military Operations Planning and Goal-management: A Philosophical Perspective, Thoughts on how decision theory and ethics can help improve military goal-management

  • Robert Frisk Division of Philosophy, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden; Department of Military Studies, Swedish Defence University (SEDU), Stockholm, Sweden http://orcid.org/0000-0003-1653-3787
  • Linda Johansson Division of Philosophy, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden; Department of Military Studies, Swedish Defence University (SEDU), Stockholm, Sweden

Abstract

This paper discusses and reviews some previous research concerning what we denote as ‘goal-management’, in other words how to set, apply and evaluate goals when conducting military operations planning. We aim to explain and answer the following question:

In what way could a review of previous philosophical thoughts on goal-management, decision theory and ethics improve contemporary military operations planning concerning goal-management?

We suggest a guideline (a planning tool) for how to conduct goal-management when planning military operations and exemplify our guideline with two fictive examples concerning the development of an Operational advice and Appreciation of Rules of Engagement. The paper concludes that the application of decision theory and ethics, i.e. important parts of philosophy, can contribute to military operations planning by focusing on three perspectives: an axiomatic, an ethical and a deliberative perspective.

Author Biographies

Robert Frisk, Division of Philosophy, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden; Department of Military Studies, Swedish Defence University (SEDU), Stockholm, Sweden

Robert Frisk (formerly Erdeniz) is a PhD candidate at the Royal Institute of Technology (KTH), Division of Philosophy and at the Swedish National Defence University (SEDU), Department of Military Studies. His thesis explores decision theory and military operations planning. Frisk has served ten years in the Swedish Armed Forces, as a reservist, at different planning and intelligence sections on the tactical level, both in a national and an international context. Before his current position, Frisk worked as an Operational Analyst (OA) at the Swedish Defense Research Agency (FOI).

Linda Johansson, Division of Philosophy, KTH Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm, Sweden; Department of Military Studies, Swedish Defence University (SEDU), Stockholm, Sweden

Linda Johansson wrote her doctoral thesis about philosophical aspects on autonomous systems (2013). She works as a researcher and teacher at the Swedish Defence University since 2014. Her research focuses on philosophical aspects on autonomous systems and other military relevant areas.

Published
2019-05-14
Section
Articles