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Research Report

Invading Bologna: Prospects for Nordic Cooperation on Professional Military Education

Gary Schaub
Henrik Ø. Breitenbauch
Flemming Pradhan-Blach
Copyright Date: Aug. 1, 2013
Pages: 65
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Table of Contents

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  1. (pp. 4-12)

    This report considers how Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Finland can increase their cooperative efforts to educate their military officers within the NORDEFCO context. It focuses on the education deemed appropriate for mid-career, field-grade officers, such as majors in the Army and Air Force, or lieutenant commanders in the Navy. It offers mention of other levels of professional military education and other venues of cooperation between these countries, such as those pursued bilaterally and in operational areas; however, these are not the focus of this report.

    In the spring of 2013, the Danish Air Force helped ferry French soldiers and equipment...

  2. (pp. 13-19)

    The military is a profession that utilizes specialized knowledge regarding the use of force to achieve the purposes of the state. Military officers are the possessors of this specialized and esoteric knowledge. At the highest levels, it is their job to advise political leaders as to the wisdom of using military force in particular ways of achieving particular objectives. At the middle levels, it is their job to manage, lead, and command military personnel in the use of violence as well as ancillary functions. Finally, at lower levels, it is their job to utilize violence with skill and discrimination to...

  3. (pp. 20-28)

    The scope, purpose, and national nature of higher education programs used to develop military professionals in the Nordic countries differ substantially. This makes deep and meaningful cooperation difficult. How can the Nordic states overcome these substantial barriers? Luckily, much of the conceptual work necessary to harmonize higher education has already been accomplished and applied to the civilian sector. It can provide the basis for overcoming the barriers to cooperation in Nordic PME.

    Two ongoing processes have been established by the states of Europe to facilitate cooperation in higher education and vocational-technical training: the Bologna Process and the Copenhagen Process. Each...

  4. (pp. 29-36)

    As described in the previous chapter, the Bologna Process in civilian higher education was designed to facilitate the gradual convergence of national higher education systems across Europe. To do so, the process encouraged the harmonization of education credit systems and recognition of these credits across institutions and borders so as to facilitate mutual recognition and student mobility. A similar system has been established to deal with vocational and technical education, although it is less developed. Beyond this, the Bologna Process has encouraged the standardization of degrees and their requirements across the three levels of higher education—baccalaureate, masters, and doctoral...

  5. (pp. 37-44)

    The NORDEFCO states have established their desire to increase their level and depth of cooperation in PME. They have already established a framework for cooperation in the area of human resources and education and have already taken small-scale initiatives focusing on specialist training and education courses. We have argued that the Nordic states should raise their level of ambition and address cooperative initiatives at the command and staff college level. Addressing this level of PME has many reasons to commend it. It stands at the point of an officer’s career when they can and should begin focusing on concerns beyond...

  6. (pp. 45-49)

    International cooperation is difficult. It requires accepting common solutions to common problems, and such solutions will not be optimal for each individual. The benefit of cooperation, however, is the increase in efficiency that accrues to each. In the context of multinational military operations, cooperation also increases effectiveness: militaries that train and educate together are far more likely to operate well together than those meeting for the first time in the theater.

    Austerity and international operations have increased the political demand for further international cooperation in defence matters. The NORDEFCO states have recognized this, as have the international organizations that its...