What Joint Military Affairs (JMA) in EUFOR can accomplish in order to avoid emergencies

James Carr/Erwin Kauer/Dieter Muhr


In view of the latest developments in Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) as well as in the light of other developments in the entire region (e.g. Ukraine), the situation in BiH has become a centre of interest both for Europe and for the international commonwealth of states in general. This essay is supposed to serve persons who deal with complex systems on an operational level, looking for methodologies which lead to rational results such as is the case in BiH. The object of this essay is describing how Joint Military Affairs (JMA) functions in the EUFOR Headquarters, and which methodologies are applied in order to fulfil these tasks. The policy or strategy of EUFOR is not subject-matter of this analysis. JMA is assigned to of the EUFOR Headquarters’ Division for Capacity Building and Training (CB&TD). EUFOR operates under a UNO mandate under the General Parameters for a Peace Agreement (GFAP) of 1995. The hypothesis that a comprehensive approach by means of system analysis is the suitable methodology for assessing and perpetuating the situation picture has proven to be true. There is no doubt that EUFOR is part of a complex adaptive system (CAS), and that EUFOR shapes this system and is, on its part, influenced by the system. The use of this approach put JMA into the position to produce situation, threat and risk assessments, which help EUFOR to carry out its operations in a more secure, stabile and effective manner. This approach has allowed JMA to develop a logical verifications strategy based on the analysis of relevant factors applicable to the existing situation. The approach was supposed to consider all relevant factors during the assessment by JMA. EUFOR considers itself to be an actor within the underlying system, and JMA is a vital actor in the answers of EUFOR to fluctuations in the system. To conclude, JMA applies actions and assessments in compliance with the EUFOR mission, at the same time regarding the activities of other actors. JMA-activities have to support the mission activities of EUFOR within the system, and especially EUFOR commander’s intent. The method of how to achieve this aim is a recognized modus operandi in the EUFOR Headquarters. The desired result identified by JMA still is “what JMA needs to know in order not to be taken by surprise”.