CMI Workshop report – recommendations for NATO’s operational Headquarters

Picture: Colonel Roel Been (left) handing over CCOE token of appreciation to Rear-Admiral Dennis Bigot (right)/ Source: CCOE/ Warstat

On Tuesday, 23 February 2016 the Director CCOE and Major Joerg Warstat as project responsible handed over the CMI-Workshop Report to the Assistant Chief of Staff J9-Division, Rear-Admiral Dennis Bigot. The handover marked the end of a 13 month Survey conducted by the CCOE on the practical consequences of NATO Policy MC 0411/2 on Civil-Military-Cooperation & Civil-Military-Interaction (CIMIC & CMI).

As the custodian for NATO’s doctrine on CIMIC (AJP 3.4.9) the CCOE has been tasked by the NATO Standardization Office (NSO) and the NATO SHAPE J9 lead CIMIC & CMI Working Group in autumn 2014 to assess the impact of the 2014 Policy, focusing on the newly introduced term “CMI” and on the NATO Operational-level processes.

Preparing the “course of action” during the 4th quarter 2014 it had been decided to work this task with a 2-step approach:

Step 1 consisted of a CMI-focused Survey to be prepared, conducted and analyzed during the first 9 month of 2015.

66 interviews with personnel from operational-level NATO headquarters and other selected entities, 3 workshops and 2 meetings with military and civilian subject matter experts formed the data collection basis of this survey. It all resulted in the “CMI-Survey Report” published (you can find it in the CCOE Network Area – see explanation below) October 2015 by CCOE. It gives an overview on NATO’s current internal “state of CIMIC- & CMI-procedural affairs” from the outside (CCOE) and furthermore it is including a compendium of structured recommendations specifying areas or aspects in need for CMI-enhancements within NATO.

Step 2 of the overall approach consisted of a CMI-Workshop, which had been conducted 23rd to 25th November 2015 at the CCOE in The Hague.

Based on the findings of the CMI-Survey, around 100 military and civilian subject matter experts from 17 nations came together and worked for 3 days in 6 different working-groups on possible solutions in order to enhance NATO conducting Civil Military Interaction. The massive amount of recommendations and information coming out of these “think tanks” needed to be documented and streamlined in a “digestible” way.

CCOE had again committed itself to produce a “CMI-Workshop Report” containing 90 pages of structured CMI-recommendations and supporting rationales’ based on the CMI-Survey Report and the following CMI-Workshop. Taking into consideration that SHAPE J9 already acknowledged the most demanding recommendations right after the CMI-Workshop in November, the 4 most important recommendations of the remaining suggestions are:

  1. Develop a NATO CMI-Directive addressing all activities and all levels of command and being instructive for all military branches and functions.
  2. Establish a planning-related sub-working group to the ACO CIMIC & CMI WG
  3. Clarify and improve NATO internal CMI-related information-relations and -responsibilities
  4. Instill a throughout CMI-mindset within NATO  

With yesterday’s handover of the CMI-Workshop-Report a 13 month journey that started in January 2015 preparing the details for the CMI-Survey, a major CCOE Project found its successful end.

Starting 4th of March 2016 the “CMI-Workshop Report” will be available for download within the Documents section of the CMI-Workshop-Project within the CCOE Network Area (if you would like to access the documents please register to the “CCOE Network Area” and request to join the “CMI workshop” project here (LINK)).

Article is written by CCOE/ Concepts, Interoperability and Capabilities/ Major Joerg Warstat (GER A).

Civil-Military Interaction Workshop (CMI WS)