Johan Jorgen Holst

Civilian-Based Defense in a New Era (1990)

Civilian-Based Defense in a New Era (1990) by Johan Jorgen Holst

CIVILIAN-BASED DEFENSE is an alternative policy which uses nonmilitary forms of struggle, either as a supplement to military means, or as a full alternative to them to deter and defend a society against attacks...

The term "civilian-based defense" indicates defense by civilians (as distinct from military personnel) using civilian means of struggle (as distinct from military and paramilitary means). Civilian-based defense is a policy intended to deter and defeat foreign military invasions, occupations, and internal usurpation...

Deterrence and defense are to be accomplished by civilian forms of struggle-social, economic, political, and psychological. These are used to wage widespread noncooperation and to offer massive public defiance. The aim is to deny the attacker his desired objectives, and also to make impossible the consolidation of foreign rule, a puppet regime, or a government of usurpers.

This noncooperation and defiance is also combined with other forms of action intended to subvert the loyalty of the attacker's troops and functionaries and to promote their unreliability in carrying out orders and repression, and even to secure their mutiny...

Civilian-based defense is meant to be waged, on the basis of advance preparations, planning, and training, by the population and members of institutions. Preparations and training would be based upon the findings of basic research into these types of resistance and into the systems of the attacker, and upon intensive problem-solving research. The latter needs to focus on ways to improve the effective- ness of such resistance, to meet impediments, and to solve problems in its application, especially against ruthless regimes. Understanding of the requirements for effectiveness of these forms of struggle and of the ways to aggravate weaknesses of the attacker's system and regime is the foundation for developing successful strategies of civilian-based defense.

  • Gene Sharp,
    National Security Through Civilian-Based Defense

Downloads and Links

Previous Post Next Post