Behavior-Oriented Operations in the Military Context

February 23rd 2021 - 08:53
Behavior-Oriented Operations in the Military Context

With the growing complexities of modern warfare, grey zone conflicts, and the increasing diversity of both local and global actors, there is a need for the military to carefully consider ways in which actors’ behavior is influenced. Use of force alone does not guarantee victory, it is necessary to outmaneuver the adversaries in the human environment.

In this report, Klaudia Klonowska and Frank Bekkers delineate behavior-oriented methods to improve the capacity of the armed forces to accurately interpret human behavior in a military context and efficiently anticipate conflict situations. Their mixed-methods investigation yields insights into conceptual, methodological, and procedural aspects of influencing behavior of relevant actors.

The report reveals that behavior-oriented operations, in the context of the Dutch military operations, are sidelined or misunderstood as a separate sphere of actions, independent from physical capabilities. In stark contrast, their analysis showed that influencing behavior should be a central element in military planning, integrated into a military doctrine, and effectively and consistently embedded in the analysis of the operational environment.

The report presents a systematic methodology which builds upon current practices to improve the ability to measure, visualize, and anticipate human behavior. Furthermore, the report provides recommendations how to embed a behavior-oriented approach more centrally in the military planning and practice.

Find out in this new HCSS report by Klaudia Klonowska and Frank Bekkers.


Update 8 March 2021: HCSS has been notified that the text contained some factual inconsistencies regarding the Behavioural Dynamics Methodology (BDM). These have been corrected on pages 37, 39, 44, 46 and 47. We have also added a concise description of the BDM in Appendix I, for which we would like to thank Emic Consulting. We urge our readers to download the current version of the report for future reference.

Frank Bekkers is Director of the Security Program. He studied Applied Mathematics at the University of Amsterdam and spent most of his career at the Netherlands Organisation for Applied Scientific Research (TNO), specializing in the area of Defence, Safety & Security. At TNO, he held a range of positions, including program manager, senior research scientist, group manager and account director. From 1996-1997, he worked as program manager for Call Media and Intelligent Networks for the telecom company KPN. His current position at HCSS combines shaping HCSS’s portfolio concerning defense and security-related projects with hands-on participation in a number of key projects.