Parmak, Merle (2017) National resilience as a security concept. In: Military psychology and leadership development. Rawat Publications, Jaipur, pp. 77-94. ISBN 978-81-316-0908-8

Resilience reflects system capacity to manage successfully unexpected pressures without losing its inherent structure and stability. In social sciences the concept of resilience is multi-layered which, if ignored, can drastically compromise any anticipated outcome. In relation to national and international security, national resilience is a capacity which has to be carefully addressed, particularly at times of unease or major changes, in all organisations held responsible for national and international security. Although resilience and resilience studies are a growing issue in the armed forces, the concept is often applied somewhat fragmented or inconsistent ways.
The relevance of holistic approach to military resilience is emphasised but still mostly referred as an individual attribute even if the existence of a social dimension is occasionally suggested. Current practices in military resilience building programs allow enhancing individual resilience via advised personnel selection and wisely designed training. There are also programs in place to boost community resilience via educated leadership and organisational support systems. What seem to be largely ignored are significant disparities in what individuals believe to be the essence of a society and nation and how do they define themselves and others.
National identity and feelings toward one’s country are part of individual attitudes and values finding expression in their behaviours and initiatives. In terms of resilience, the deviated groups and individuals may prove to be very resilient with regard to their own sustainability but not that of the nation. That may pose an unexpected threat coming from within security forces in the form of service members’ behavioural reactions in morally complicated situations when their oath and belief into national values are put to test. Despite of that no systematic mechanism is available to evaluate what service members’ consider morally and emotionally significant and explore up to what extent person’s loyalty to the nation can be affirmed or even trusted when deeply held values are challenged.
Increasingly multinational seedbed for military as well as police recruitment may bring along variations in what service members believe and what behaviours do they consider as morally right or justified. Individual values for what the person is willing to stand for may appear to be a security risk not from outside but from within. In that sense we could say that we have entered into the new era of wars where the real battle is taking place for people’s beliefs also amongst security forces. Developing comprehensive approach to military resilience within increasingly multinational armed forces it is vital to include the component of individual nation-related attitudes and beliefs.

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