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The ÖMZ Think Tank

The ÖMZ supports interdisciplinary research in military science. Renowned international researchers are encouraged to publish their research in the ÖMZ Think Tank, breaking the language barrier for one united goal: advancing military research across borders.

Online Only

In this section of the journal’s online presence, contributions are published that go beyond the content of the ÖMZ print version and the AMJ.

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Can Strategy be taught?

LtGen Robert Schmidle (ret) Ph.D.

The purpose of teaching strategy is to develop designers not craftsman. The craftsman’s skills can be taught like the tactics to which Lawrence referred. The designer, on the other hand requires an interdisciplinary education. That education is a holistic process, which is conducted horizontally, not vertically and begins with incorporating the tenets of design thinking. Among the more relevant of those tenets are: honestly confronting the facts, breaking through the noise to discover what is truly important and scaling for impact at an appropriate time and place

Legal and strategic aspects …

… of control of armed forces in frames of the complex international security architecture

Marcin Lech

The contemporary legal and strategic perception of control of armed forces in frames of the complex international security architecture is a very broad issue. As a compendium, it needs a separate study, which goes however beyond this article. Therefore, the author of this analysis considers the most essential issues connected with the subject. This analysis is based on the doctrine and practice of international law as well as broadly understood international security developments, which are supplemented by essential legal and strategic documents of international organizations dealing with the control of armed forces.

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Swedish and Finnish strategies in a historical context

Karlis Neretnieks

It is not easy for small countries to form long term security strategies. In most cases they are dependent on the policies pursued great powers. Both possible opponents or allies.
My intention is try to describe how Swedish and Finnish strategies have developed during the last two hundred years depending on how the security environment has changed. In the Finnish case the last hundred years. Last year (2017) Finland celebrated its one hundred years as an independent state.
I will end by commenting on the strategic choices both countries have today and how historical experiences might influence their decisions.

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The importance of EU and Middle East relations …

… with special regard to the persecuted Christians, and especially related to the "Hungary Helps" project

Vilmos Fischl

In the following study, he examines the special case of Central European States acting outside of the EU, and how Hungary, as part of the European Union and member of NATO, builds and seeks switching points with the Arab world, bearing in mind the armed and political conflicts in the emerging Middle East and North African countries. It focuses on the possibility of dialogue in the MENA region, with particular regard to diplomatic negotiations and humanitarian aid. It also examines whether Hungary has a special role to play in this process or whether the relationship with the EU and the Arab world will be stabilized and shifted in the direction of reconciliation.

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The Art of Strategic Thinking

Dan Schueftan

Strategic thinking is called for, indeed indispensable, for good decision making when charting the course of a nation in the social, political, military and economic domains. Only a few are inclined to look beyond the events, the choices and their immediate outcomes, into the “Großen Zusammenhänge”: the intricate interrelationships, the deep-rooted motivations and the long-term consequences. This perspective also requires a keen interest in the divergent cultures of the players that is usually associated with extensive experience.
Strategic thinking comes “naturally” to some more than to others. It can be developed and perfected through education, training and experience, but it takes talent to be done exceptionally well. Cognitive science may help in understanding and perfecting it, but in its higher forms it is an art, beyond professional competence

War in Tigray

Ethiopia’s Test of Power

Laurenz Fürst

In November 2020, war broke out in Ethiopia’s northernmost province of Tigray. What started out as a struggle of a breakaway province soon turned into a fullscale war, pitting the Tigrayan Peoples Liberation Front against the Ethiopian central government. Not being able to crush the insurrection on its own, Ethiopia invited troops from neighbouring Eritrea and potentially even Somalia to put down the rebellion.

When Abiy Ahmed assumed the office of Prime Minister of Ethiopia in April 2018, one thought that the winds of change had finally reached Ethiopia. It seemed that Ethiopia was able to perform the transition from an authoritarian one-party state to a Westernstyle democracy on the one hand and on the other hand be a force for stability and reconciliation in the Horn of Africa.

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The MAD Syndrome   

(for Mutually Assured Destruction)

Erik Durschmied

Will we face a new world war? It sounds like a scare episode from Project Fear, and it is played in a loop on television. We cannot predict the world’s fate by merely looking into a crystal ball, no more than my grandfather could in 1914 and my father in 1939. Before history, who will put himself on the line, which he feels it takes to achieve immortality, be it good or evil. Who will this time stand accused of dereliction of duty? Who will be held responsible for what could turn into the final calamity of mankind? Be hostis humani generis - the enemy of all Mankind.

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Strategic Thinking

Its nature and dynamics

Shulamith Kreitler

The chapter presents the characteristics of strategic thinking in terms of the major components of the problem and the solution. A survey of the main five approaches to problem solving – the problem space, the steps or phases, modelling, gestalt and bag of skills – shows that none of them provides comprehensive information about the cognitive processes necessary for implementing strategic thinking. A new approach to the study, assessment and training of strategic thinking is described. This approach is based on identifying the relevant cognitive processes by means of the meaning system and of the relevant motivational processes by means of the cognitive orientation approach. The study of the cognitive and motivational profiles indicates that strategic thinking is based on a rich and complex set of processes characterized mainly by a reality orientation, a functional-operational and factual approach, sticking to the goal, attention to concrete situations, and flexibility coupled with abstract, logical and comparative thinking.

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Emerging technologies in the field of logistics

Andreas Alexa

WAR and Prefixes

Romulo Enmark


This article

focuses on the description of emerging technologies in the field of logistics and the implications to the support und the sustainment of military operations in the year 2040.Although the future is not predictable and it is a view into the glass ball, there will be significant changes in the next 20 years. Some of the new technologies, which are currently only thought by science-fiction authors and forward thinking enterprises, will not be carried out, others however will be implemented in the civil world and therefore will have an impact in the conducting of military operations.

is a written result of a lecture I was asked to deliver by Bgdr Wolfgang Peischel at the Vienna Strategy Conference 2019. I was to provide an overview of my experience as President of the Swedish Defense University (SeDU) while leading the major academic transformation of Swedish military officer education. Wolfgang Peischel and I shared the view that the relationship between officer education and the civilian academic system is an issue that has rarely been fully penetrated. The crux of the issue is really - what it entails to be responsible for an academic discipline that is not represented in the civilian academic world. 

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Strategic Thinking in the Era of Cultural Wars

Dan Schueftan

Modern war presents an embarrassing challenge to modern powers resting on a robust social, economic and military infrastructure. This brings an essentially open society to a profoundly different battlefield that sanctifies human life and is devoted to the promotion of the quality of life on the one hand, with societies that are, to different degrees, tribal, authoritarian and dysfunctional, on the other. The latter very often failed to meet the challenges of the modern era, and are unwilling to pay the cultural price of the transformation required for securing a better future for their children that predominantly is the adoption of pluralistic values and practices, specifically female equality.

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CARRIER VESSEL NUCLEAR

The Aircraft Carrier and Global Military Dominance in the 21st Century

Nikolaus Scholik

Human communities have been fostering both peaceful and warlike relationships for millennia. At the same time, weapons and weapon systems have played a special role all times, have influences or decided wars, or lost them whenever not available. In modern times, after the First World War, not only the change of lead from the United Kingdom to the United States took place, but – in the beginning, overshadowed by other events – the importance of airspace for military operations increased as well. At the same time, the maritime great powers of that time – the United Kingdom, the United States, Japan, France, and Italy – perceived the pointlessness of a further maritime rearmament during their somewhat technological and operational deadlock, especially as far as super combat vessels were concerned, and because of the lack of material resources, too, a sea conference was summoned due to an American …

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Resilience

Dan Schueftan

Resilience is the mother of all strategic issues. This is primarily because in most human endeavours it is a necessary and indispensable condition for the achievement of any worthwhile and sustainable objective. It is only rarely that the balance of power is so overwhelmingly in favour of one party and the other parties cannot or never even try to challenge their unfavourable position. When challenged by a considerable, let alone more powerful opponent, resilience may determine the outcome more than the physical resources mobilized and deployed by the parties. Whereas it may seem like a ”soft” component of the political, social or military arsenal, is often the decisive one in the ultimate test. Weaker parties always count on it and stronger often underestimate its significance.

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High Politics - rule geography, military structure and power structure: an overview of the object area

Clemens Eicher

A problem area may be defined simply as a bundle of several possible design options for a particular slice of reality applicable to contacts with the target systems of States in a diverging mode. A problem thus defined enters the policy area, if governments put it on their agenda and thereby initiate a policy cycle, which entails international decision-making, implementation and revision.

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Art of Strategic Thinking

Dan Schueftan

Strategic thinking is called for, indeed indispensable, for good decision making when charting the course of a nation in the social, political, military and economic domains. Only a few are inclined to look beyond the events, the choices and their immediate outcomes, into the “Großen Zusammenhänge”: the intricate interrelationships, the deep-rooted motivations and the long-term consequences. This perspective also requires a keen interest in the divergent cultures of the players that is usually associated with extensive experience.
Strategic thinking comes “naturally” to some more than to others. It can be developed and perfected through education, training and experience, but it takes talent to be done exceptionally well. Cognitive science may help in understanding and perfecting it, but in its higher forms it is an art, beyond professional competence.

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The

2016 EU ‘Global Strategy’: Consequences for European Force Structures

Jan Willem Honig

When one surveys successful grand strategy statements of the not-so-distant past and compares these with the EU’s new ‘Global Strategy’,one basic difference catches the eye. Whether secret –– like the 1950 Report to the US National Security Council known as NSC68, or public –– like NATO’s 1967 ‘Report of the Council on the Future Tasks of the Alliance’, known as the Harmel Report, they either explicitly contained or quickly permitted the central tenet of the proposed strategy to be captured in a catch-phrase: ‘containment’ and ‘defence and détente’. 

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The European Union – Refugees and the Balkans

Valdon Bytyçi

The European Union is facing the most dangerous challenges since its existence. The war in Syria, terrorism, refugees, the Ukraine crisis and tensions in the Balkan countries have shaken and continue to shake the foundations of this unique organism and if it does not change its policies toward these struggle, it may become an additional page of an imaginary Atlantis. First of all, this union of states is fighting itself, which is bringing it back to the position of the last century. It is the last chance for the “Paper Tiger” to return to an active body and to be a model for others
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The MAD Syndrome   

(for Mutually Assured Destruction)

Erik Durschmied

Will we face a new world war? It sounds like a scare episode from Project Fear, and it is played in a loop on television. We cannot predict the world’s fate by merely looking into a crystal ball, no more than my grandfather could in 1914 and my father in 1939. Before history, who will put himself on the line, which he feels it takes to achieve immortality, be it good or evil. Who will this time stand accused of dereliction of duty? Who will be held responsible for what could turn into the final calamity of mankind? Be hostis humani generis - the enemy of all Mankind.

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The Arctic 

a test site for a new, global geopolitical architecture with the focus on China’s role

By Jörg-Dietrich Nackmayr

Why The Arctic Is So Interesting? This text investigates what effect the melting and possible disappearance of the Artic ice shelf during the coming decades will have on the geopolitical balance in the far North and which conflicts could result therefrom. The analysis will focus on China. Up to now, China’s appearance on the Arctic scene has not been adequately reflected in publications.

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Strategic Thinking in the Era of Cultural Wars

Dan Schueftan

Modern war presents an embarrassing challenge to modern powers resting on a robust social, economic and military infrastructure. This brings an essentially open society to a profoundly different battlefield that sanctifies human life and is devoted to the promotion of the quality of life on the one hand, with societies that are, to different degrees, tribal, authoritarian and dysfunctional, on the other. The latter very often failed to meet the challenges of the modern era, and are unwilling to pay the cultural price of the transformation required for securing a better future for their children that predominantly is the adoption of pluralistic values and practices, specifically female equality.

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A Research Note: Counter-Elitist Power Organization - Theoretical Basics and Conception

Clemens Alexander Eicher and Robert Moser

 The current third wave of globalization since 1991 ensued with the end of the system-wide pact confrontation. Increasing expansion of production, distribution and finance cycles, beyond national borders, has caused veritable gains in the fields of transport, conveyance and communication. The relative arbitrariness between transnational interactions is not a result of an erosion of regulations, but must be interpreted as outcome of political decision-processes. These developments left their mark on the operational environment of the international state system
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High Politics - rule geography, military structure and power structure

An overview of the object area

Clemens Eicher

A problem area may be defined simply as a bundle of several possible design options for a particular slice of reality applicable to contacts with the target systems of States in a diverging mode. A problem thus defined enters the policy area, if governments put it on their agenda and thereby initiate a policy cycle, which entails inernational decision-making, implementation and revision. The territorial expansion of ...

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The Benefits of a Definition of the Term Strategy – A Perspective

Wolfgang Peischel

Athena was worshipped as the goddess of wisdom, war, the tactics of war and of strategy, as well as the patroness of the arts and sciences. Legend has it that she sprang, fully grown and accoutred, from Zeus’s forehead after Hephaistos had cloven it at his behest. Hence, the goddess of strategy can also be seen as the embodiment of wisdom and of thought per se. If one regards thought and action as antipodes, the term strategy could be given a faint spin – because Athena jumped from Zeus’s head, and not his arm. 

Marc Bloch credited the French officer corps of 1940 with great professional, operational-level and tactical expertise. However, he criticised their approach – mired in their upbringing and training - which betrayed the values of the Enlightenment. According to Bloch, 1940 France was primarily a defeat of the spirit and of thought.

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The 2016 EU ‘Global Strategy’: Consequences for European Force Structures

Jan Willem Honig

When one surveys successful grand strategy statements of the not-so-distant past and compares these with the EU’s new ‘Global Strategy’, one basic difference catches the eye. Whether secret –– like the 1950 Report to the US National Security Council known as NSC68, or public –– like NATO’s 1967 ‘Report of the Council on the Future Tasks of the Alliance’, known as the Harmel Report, they either explicitly contained or quickly permitted the central tenet of the proposed strategy to be captured in a catch-phrase: ‘containment’ and ‘defence and détente’. 

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On the Development of a Military and Leadership Science Tandem 

Wolfgang Peischel

Currently, there is a manifest general strategic deficiency in the fields of security policy, the identification of national objectives, as well as corporate governance in private industry. This also impacts on the requirements regarding a skills profile for future command and management personnel. Against this backdrop, an attempt is made at finding an answer by accentuating, horizontally expanding or abstracting the contents of military science with a view to fostering a general leadership science. By means of this, and by employing available capabilities and structures, the greatest national benefit is to be achieved regarding scientifically sound command/leadership training schemes for military and civilian clients which is geared towards the long-term accomplishment of strategic objectives.

Especially a small state such as Austria with its focus on a humanities-oriented education and its progressive and systematically updated command/leadership philosophy is well placed to assume a leading role in Europe by further developing military science and by establishing a general leadership science underpinned by the former. This would constitute a contribution, rooted in solidarity, to Europe’s security-related development, which – given the pressing demand for strategic command/leadership expertise – would be eagerly embraced by command/leadership and management personnel from the fields of politics, the military, and private enterprise.

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American Civil War an Official History:
The Kansas “Red Legs” as Missouri’s Dark Underbelly

The Kansas-Missouri Border 1861-1862: Guerrilla Warfare

Donald L. Gilmore 

The passing of the Kansas-Nebraska Act of 1854 was the beginning of constant political debates about the status of a number of new states of the Union, to be split into Proslavery or Free states as demanded by Congress. Slowly the arguments shifted into armed conflict before the Civil War, and became a guerrilla war in Missouri in 1861. In February 1861, Missouri had decided to remain in the Union, but Governor Jackson wanted to join the Confederacy (CSA), creating a split military, part Pro-Union, the rest pro-Confederate Missouri State Guard, now driven into the Southern part of the state. 

The Arctic 

A test site for a new, global geopolitical architecture with the focus on China’s role

By Jörg-Dietrich Nackmayr

Why The Arctic Is So Interesting? This text investigates what effect the melting and possible disappearance of the Artic ice shelf during the coming decades will have on the geopolitical balance in the far North and which conflicts could result therefrom. The analysis will focus on China. Up to now, China’s appearance on the Arctic scene has not been adequately reflected in publications.

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A Research Note: Counter-Elitist Power Organization - Theoretical Basics and Conception

Clemens Alexander Eicher and Robert Moser

This article endeavours, for the first time, to impose the concept of the counter-elitist power organisation upon the correlation of the debate on the effectual means of terrorism in general, and on non-governmental organisations, availing themselves of such means for the enhancement of their interests.

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The Benefits of a Definition of the Term Strategy – A Perspective

Wolfgang Peischel

The present article attempts to discuss the question which goal-defining contents are key to a concept of strategy that meets today’s challenges. The functional principles to be tested here on their relevance to a modern understanding of strategy come from the teachings of military leadership – the attempt was made to transfer their underlying, abstracted logic to the field of strategic guidance and goal definition.

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On the Development of a Military and Leadership Science Tandem 

Wolfgang Peischel

Currently, there is a manifest general strategic deficiency in the fields of security policy, the identification of national objectives, as well as corporate governance in private industry. This also impacts on the requirements regarding a skills profile for future command and management personnel. Against this backdrop, an attempt is made at finding an answer by accentuating, horizontally expanding or abstracting the contents of military science with a view to fostering a general leadership science. By means of this, and by employing available capabilities and structures, the greatest national benefit is to be achieved regarding scientifically sound command/leadership training schemes for military and civilian clients which is geared towards the long-term accomplishment of strategic objectives.

Especially a small state such as Austria with its focus on a humanities-oriented education and its progressive and systematically updated command/leadership philosophy is well placed to assume a leading role in Europe by further developing military science and by establishing a general leadership science underpinned by the former. This would constitute a contribution, rooted in solidarity, to Europe’s security-related development, which – given the pressing demand for strategic command/leadership expertise – would be eagerly embraced by command/leadership and management personnel from the fields of politics, the military, and private enterprise.

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