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Primary unit cohesion among the Peshmerga and Hezbollah
Jönköping University, School of Education and Communication, HLK, Global Studies.ORCID iD: 0000-0002-1240-4323
2017 (English)In: Armed forces and society, ISSN 0095-327X, E-ISSN 1556-0848Article in journal (Refereed) Epub ahead of print
Abstract [en]

This study analyzes the creation of primary unit cohesion among the Kurdish Peshmerga soldiers fighting the IS in northern Iraq and among Hezbollah fighters active in Syria. For this comparative study, Kurdish soldiers were interviewed on three fronts outside Mosul, Erbil, and Kirkuk in February 2015 and May 2016, and Hezbollah fighters were interviewed in Lebanon in March 2016. In contrast to many studies’ depictions of unit cohesion as relating to shared experiences of training and battle, this study argues that the Kurdish soldiers also import into their units various ideas relating to Kurdish identity. These include ideas about nationalism and reli gion, produced through discourses within the Kurdish military and society. However, Hezbollah seeks to minimize political damage in the multi-sectarian political context in Lebanon while conducting domestically contested military operations abroad. This has led to a downplaying of the sectarian aspects of the conflict, which could be imported from the Shia community to increase unit cohesion, and to an ideological framing of the conflict. The general ideas circulating in society and the political context therefore matter for the strategies that can be used to increase primary unit cohesion and soldiers’ fighting power.

Place, publisher, year, edition, pages
Sage Publications, 2017.
Keyword [en]
Cohesion/disintegration, military organization, military effectiveness, strategy
National Category
Political Science
Identifiers
URN: urn:nbn:se:hj:diva-36412DOI: 10.1177/0095327X17720922OAI: oai:DiVA.org:hj-36412DiVA: diva2:1115255
Available from: 2017-06-26 Created: 2017-06-26 Last updated: 2017-08-09

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Citation style
  • apa
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