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Käihkö, Ilmari
Publications (8 of 8) Show all publications
Käihkö, I. (2017). Liberia Incorporated: military contracting, cohesion and inclusion in Charles Taylor’s Liberia. Conflict, Security and Development, 17(1), 53-72.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Liberia Incorporated: military contracting, cohesion and inclusion in Charles Taylor’s Liberia
2017 (English)In: Conflict, Security and Development, ISSN 1467-8802, E-ISSN 1478-1174, Vol. 17, no 1, p. 53-72Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In the existing literature, compensation is often understood to be an inferior source of cohesion in military organisations. Through an investigation of the militias who fought for Charles Taylor’s government of Liberia, this paper makes three claims. Firstly, the organisation of these forces was looser than is often claimed in previous literature, which assumes tight and often coercive military patrimonialism. Consequently, the militias did not enjoy the interpersonal bonds of solidarity that have dominated recent cohesion literature. Secondly, since Taylor chose to suppress attempts to build cohesion around ethnicity, it played a subordinate role in unifying the militias. Thirdly, Taylor instead relied on military contracting and compensation, which allowed for the broad mobilisation of forces. The combination of militias’ hopes of inclusion into the state patrimony and insufficient resources to realise this left the cohesion of the militias fragile. Ultimately, this paper questions both whether Taylor had any choice but to resort to compensation in a context with a weak state and fragmented social organisation, and also whether the strategy is as inefficient as often thought.

Keyword
Civil wars, cohesion, compensation, Liberia, military contracting, militias, strategy
National Category
Sociology (excluding Social Work, Social Psychology and Social Anthropology)
Research subject
Krigsvetenskap
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-6581 (URN)10.1080/14678802.2017.1261446 (DOI)
Available from: 2017-01-28 Created: 2017-01-28 Last updated: 2017-06-15Bibliographically approved
Käihkö, I. (2016). All krigföring är av hybrid natur. Statsvetenskaplig Tidskrift, 118(4), 623-641.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>All krigföring är av hybrid natur
2016 (English)In: Statsvetenskaplig Tidskrift, ISSN 0039-0747, Vol. 118, no 4, p. 623-641Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

All Warfare is Hybrid.

It has recently been argued that a new form of warfare – hybrid warfare – is fundamentally changing the way our enemies fight against us. This supposedly unprecedented form of warfare is characterized by the mixing of methods and ways of organization, as well as the blurring of the line between war and peace. This article argues that hybrid warfare is just the newest military buzzword around. While the concept highlights fundamental questions regarding war and democratic norms of civil-military relations, it provides no answers. Rather, it harks back to an imaginary past characterized by simpleness and clarity. A thorough reading of the extensive literature on modern warfare would show that the concept describes what has become the norm: all warfare is hybrid. As with other unclear concepts built on shaky foundations, it is difficult to see how hybrid warfare can contribute to better understanding or policymaking.

Keyword
Civil-Military Relations, Hybrid Warfare, Russia, Strategy, Sweden, War Studies
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Krigsvetenskap
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-6409 (URN)
Available from: 2016-12-21 Created: 2016-12-21 Last updated: 2018-01-16Bibliographically approved
Käihkö, I. (2016). Bush generals and small boy battalions: military cohesion in Liberia and beyond. (Doctoral dissertation). Uppsala: Uppsala universitet.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Bush generals and small boy battalions: military cohesion in Liberia and beyond
2016 (English)Doctoral thesis, comprehensive summary (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

All organizations involved in war are concerned with military cohesion. Yet previous studies have only investigated cohesion in a very narrow manner, focusing almost solely on Western state militaries or on micro-level explanations. This dissertation argues for the need to broaden this perspective. It focuses on three classic sources of cohesion – coercion, compensation and constructs (such as identity and ideology) – and investigates their relevance in the Second Liberian Civil War (1999-2003). More specifically, this dissertation consists of an inquiry of how the conflict's three main military organizations – Charles Taylor’s Government of Liberia (GoL), the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD) and Movement for Democracy in Liberia (MODEL) – drew on these three sources to foster cohesion. Based on thirteen months of ethnographic fieldwork with former combatants, this dissertation contains five parts: an introduction, which focuses on issues of theory and method, and four essays that investigate the three sources of cohesion in the three organizations. Essay I focuses on the LURD rebels, and provides an insider account of their strategy. It shows that even decentralized movements like the LURD can execute strategy, and contends that the LURD fought its fiercest battles not against the government, but to keep itself together. Essay II focuses on coercion, and counters the prevailing view of African rebels’ extensive use of coercion to keep themselves together. Since extreme coercion in particular remained illegitimate, its use would have decreased, rather than increased, cohesion. Essay III investigates the government militias to whom warfighting was subcontracted. In a context characterized by a weak state and fragmented social organization, compensation may have remained the only available source of cohesion. Essay IV investigates identities as sources of cohesion. It argues that while identities are a powerful cohesive source, they must be both created and maintained to remain relevant. Taken together, this dissertation argues for a more comprehensive approach to the investigation of cohesion, and one that also takes into account mezzo- and macro-level factors.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Uppsala: Uppsala universitet, 2016. p. 83
Series
Report / Department of Peace and Conflict Research, ISSN 0566-8808 ; 109
Keyword
Coercion, cohesion, compensation, ethnography, identity, ideology, Liberia, micro-dynamics of civil war, military sociology, strategy
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Krigsvetenskap
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-6135 (URN)978-91-506-2545-5 (ISBN)
Public defence
2016-06-03, Borgen, Orphei Drängars plats 1, Uppsala, 13:00 (English)
Opponent
Supervisors
Available from: 2016-05-25 Created: 2016-05-25 Last updated: 2018-01-10Bibliographically approved
Käihkö, I. (2016). Mystical and modern transformations in the Liberian Civil War. In: Peter Haldén and Peter Jackson (Ed.), Transforming Warriors: The Ritual Organization of Military Force (pp. 126-143). London/New York: Routledge.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Mystical and modern transformations in the Liberian Civil War
2016 (English)In: Transforming Warriors: The Ritual Organization of Military Force / [ed] Peter Haldén and Peter Jackson, London/New York: Routledge, 2016, p. 126-143Chapter in book (Refereed)
Abstract [en]

This essay investigates military transformation within the context of the Liberian civil wars (1989-1996 and 1999-2003). Military transformation is understood as a process of turning a civilian into a fighter, and in Liberia two ideal types of fighters materialized: the trained soldier and the mystical combatant. Whereas the first drew from their professional military training and international military culture, the second drew on mystical protection. These two ways of transformation also became sources of authority within the military organizations that fought the wars. It was ultimately training that offered more than protection alone: the former military personnel dominated command positions. Training also succeeded in the creation of forming a shared identity, which continues to date. Whereas most combatants demobilized and not fought again since, the identities of soldiers are still very much alive. This has partly to do with the fact that the Liberian government continues to pay pensions to those that have served in the armed forces, which has led to the institutionalization of these identities. The view of military personnel as security professionals also helps to maintain these identities as relevant. While constructing and maintaining this kind of professional cohesion is important during conflicts, it can have long-term consequences for peace-building.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
London/New York: Routledge, 2016
Keyword
Cohesion, identity, Liberia, military professionalism, peacebuilding, rebels, soldiers
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Krigsvetenskap
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-6138 (URN)978-1138642836 (ISBN)
Available from: 2016-04-11 Created: 2016-05-25 Last updated: 2018-01-10Bibliographically approved
Käihkö, I. (2015). "No Die, No Rest?": Coercive Discipline in Liberian Military Organisations. Africa Spectrum, 50(2), 3-29.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>"No Die, No Rest?": Coercive Discipline in Liberian Military Organisations
2015 (English)In: Africa Spectrum, ISSN 0002-0397, E-ISSN 1868-6869, Vol. 50, no 2, p. 3-29Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

Discipline forms the backbone of all military organisations. While discipline is traditionally associated with draconian punishment, this association is increasingly only applied to non-Western contexts. African rebel movements and similar, weak organisations are represented especially often as lacking non-coercive means of instilling discipline. This article explores the utility of coercive discipline in one such context – the Second Liberian Civil War (1999–2003). I argue that Liberia’s weak military organisations faced significant restrictions when it came to employing direct coercion. Executions, which are often equated with coercion in existing literature, threatened to rive the already frail organisations. Even other formal instruments of discipline, such as military hierarchies and rules and regulations, remained contested throughout the war. Consequently, more indirect means were adopted. Ultimately, the main users of coercion were not military organisations, but peers. This suggests that it is easier for strong organisations to coerce their members, and that the relationship between coercion and organisational strength may need to be reassessed. Furthermore, existing positive perceptions of camaraderie between brothers-in-arms requires re-evaluation.

Keyword
Liberia, civil wars, armed forces/military units, social cohesion, discipline
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Krigsvetenskap
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-5806 (URN)000362236800001 ()
Available from: 2016-01-13 Created: 2016-01-13 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
Käihkö, I. (2015). 'Taylor Must Go': The Strategy of the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy. Small Wars & Insurgencies, 26(2), 248-270.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>'Taylor Must Go': The Strategy of the Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy
2015 (English)In: Small Wars & Insurgencies, ISSN 0959-2318, E-ISSN 1743-9558, Vol. 26, no 2, p. 248-270Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Abstract [en]

In 1999, rebels rose to oppose the newly elected former warlord Charles Taylor in Liberia. Motivated by a variety of reasons, the minimal common denominator of these rebels, who assumed the name Liberians United for Reconciliation and Democracy (LURD), was that Charles Taylor must leave the country. The decentralized nature of LURD though stands out in their struggle, as they don't fit the unitary actor assumed by literature on strategy, nor the alternative conception of decentralized forces fighting for purely local reasons. Understanding such aberrations as LURD is the first step to finding strategies that can incorporate and manage them.

Keyword
cohesion, insurgency, Liberia, LURD, strategy
National Category
Political Science
Research subject
Krigsvetenskap
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-5805 (URN)10.1080/09592318.2015.1007561 (DOI)000354477900003 ()
Available from: 2016-01-13 Created: 2016-01-13 Last updated: 2018-01-12Bibliographically approved
Mohlin, M. & Käihkö, I. (2008). The Use of Battlefield Contractors in Post-Occupation Iraq. Kungl Krigsvetenskapsakademiens Handlingar och Tidskrift, 212(5), 8-35.
Open this publication in new window or tab >>The Use of Battlefield Contractors in Post-Occupation Iraq
2008 (English)In: Kungl Krigsvetenskapsakademiens Handlingar och Tidskrift, ISSN 0023-5369, Vol. 212, no 5, p. 8-35Article in journal (Refereed) Published
Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Stockholm: Kungl Krigsvetenskapsakademien, 2008
National Category
Social Sciences
Research subject
Krigsvetenskap
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-515 (URN)
Available from: 2010-03-11 Created: 2010-03-11 Last updated: 2017-12-12Bibliographically approved
Käihkö, I.Contracting war in West Africa: cohesion and the business of war in Charles Taylor's Liberia. .
Open this publication in new window or tab >>Contracting war in West Africa: cohesion and the business of war in Charles Taylor's Liberia
(English)Manuscript (preprint) (Other academic)
Abstract [en]

In the existing literature, compensation is often understood to be an inferior source of cohesion in military organizations. At the same time, African conflicts have especially been described as being driven by material factors. Through an investigation of the militia forces that fought for Charles Taylor’s Government of Liberia, this paper seeks to nuance these views. More specifically, it makes three claims. Firstly, the organization of these forces was looser than is often claimed in previous literature, which assumes tight and often coercive military patrimonialism. Resultantly, the militias did not enjoy the interpersonal bonds of solidarity that has dominated cohesion literature since the Second World War. Secondly, since Taylor chose to suppress attempts to build cohesion around ethnicity, it played a subordinate role in unifying the militias. Thirdly, Taylor instead relied on compensation, which allowed for the broad mobilization of forces. The combination of militias’ hopes of inclusion into the state patrimony and insufficient resources to realize this, left the cohesion of the militias fragile. Ultimately, this paper questions both whether Taylor had any choice but to resort to compensation in a context with weak state and fragmented social organization, but also whether the strategy is as inefficient as often thought.

Keyword
Civil war, cohesion, compensation, Liberia, militia, strategy
National Category
Political Science (excluding Public Administration Studies and Globalisation Studies)
Research subject
Krigsvetenskap
Identifiers
urn:nbn:se:fhs:diva-6137 (URN)
Available from: 2016-04-11 Created: 2016-05-25 Last updated: 2018-01-10Bibliographically approved
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