Docent Mikael Weissmann, PhD

Land Warfare | Urban Warfare | Hybrid Threats and Foreign Interference| Intelligence Analysis | Russian Warfare & Influence | China | Asia

Staff Ride Handbook

The Department of Military History of the Swedish Defence University has just published an English translation of the Staff Ride Handbook that was published last year. The handbook outlines the historical background of staff rides and outlines how to best plan and conduct a staff ride. The handbook also discusses the pedagogical and practical aspects of staff rides. Here a schematic model is presented on the pedagogical dynamics of a staff ride as regards various target groups, based on their understanding and the varying complexities of staff rides. The handbook also provides a pedagogical toolbox for staff rides.

The handbook can be downloaded here: Staff Ride Handbook: planning and conducting Staff Rides.

New article: Current Intelligence and Assessments: Information Flows and the Tension between Quality and Speed

Just out in International Journal of Intelligence and Counterintelligence, article on “Current Intelligence and Assessments: Information Flows and the Tension between Quality and Speed”.

This article takes a particular interest in the dynamics between information flows, continuous ongoing assessments, intelligence dissemination, and forward-looking operational advice. The point of departure is the tension between balancing quality (in the sense of in-depth processing of large amounts of information) and speed (meeting requirements of timeliness) in current intelligence assessments. The article takes an explorative approach to practices in current intelligence, utilizing qualitative interview data combined with open source material.

Tentative Field Study – the Battle of Ortona and Four Perspectives on Urban Warfare

On 3-7 January 2024 Major Jonas Björkqvist (Land Operations Division) and I conducted a tentative field study studying the Battle of Ortona 1943 and Orsogna, Villa Rogatti och Sterlin Castle. The aim is to enhance the inclusion of urban warfare in our teaching, staff ride & wargame repertoire. The study is part of curriculum development projects for the Swedish Officers Program and the Joing Higher Command and Staff program.

We are now working on a staff ride field guide with the title The Battle of Ortona: Four Perspectives on operations in urban terrain to be published later this year.

Major Björkqvist is also developing a new card-driven map-based war game on the Battle of Ortona to be used in connection with future staff ride to Ortona as part of Professional Military Education (PME) with a focus in particular on officer cadets and senior officers.

Seminar on Tactile Teaching Methods in Higher Education

On 14 November Major Jonas Björkqvist and myself presented on our approach to tactile teaching methods in practical and scenario-based exercises and examinations at the Swedish Defence University seminar on Teaching and Learning in Higher Education.

Study Tour to Georgia with the Higher Joint Command and Staff Programme 11-20 Oct 2023

On 11-20 Oct 2023 we undertook a study tour to Georgia with our Advanced Course on Ground Tactics in the Higher Joint Command and Staff Programme. During this week we met with our Georgian counterpart and key institutions in Tbilisi. We also visited the European Union Monitoring Mission (EUMM) to learn more about their work.

Attending conference on Psychological Defence

On 10-11 October I attended a research conference organised by the Psychological Defence Research Institute at Lund University. I participated in a panel on the role of narratives in information influence and disinformation.

Staff Ride Op. Market Garden & Op. Veritable with Land Operations Division of the Swedish Defence University

On 18-21 September Major Jonas Björkqvist (Land Operations Division), Patrik Wiklund (Military History Division) and I led a Staff Ride to the Netherlands and Germany studying Operation Market Garden and Operationn Veritable. This tour was part of the skill development of the Land Operations Division at the Swedish Defence University. Besides studying the two operations, the aim was to test a new pedagogical approach to Staff Rides and to study the new Swedish Army Tactical Regulations.

Visiting Fellow at the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP)

From 17 June to 16 August, I will be a Visiting Fellow at the Belgrade Centre for Security Policy (BCSP) in Belgrade, Serbia. During my stay, I will conduct fieldwork for a range of projects across the Balkans with a focus on Serbia, Hungary and North Macedonia. I will also do pre-recognisance for future Staff Rides and battlefield tours.

Wargaming Skåne (Southern Sweden)

Recently, I had the opportunity to be part of a wargame in Sweden that was part of an elective course on Land Operations in our Higher Joint Command and Staff Programme taking place in Skåne in the south of Sweden. It was an intense learning experience that required careful planning and tactical thinking from our students.

STAFF-RIDE IN THE ARDENNES 2023

This week I have co-organised a Staff-Ride for a course on land operations and tactics for the Joint Higher Command and Staff Program at the Swedish Defence University together with Lt Col Per Lindahl, Head of the Land Operations Division. It has been a very successful trip where we used four different themes –  Technology, Logistics, Urban Warfare and Tactics – as a starting point for discussions and seminars at various themed terrain locations.

We also spent a day studying and reflecting on the consequences of the profession, leadership, courage and symbolic values during a visit to Verdun.  

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