Total defence, as a concept, combines and extends military and civil defence: defence goals are delivered through the combined efforts of military and civilian personnel, and in a state of war or emergency, all social institutions mobilize to defend the state. Total defence forces, led by a diverse workforce of defence and security professionals, are critical to both national defence and international security goals. Despite the often high levels of partnership, underlying differences among regular forces, reservists, defence civil servants, and contractors, affect the quality of the collaboration and, ultimately, organizational and operational effectiveness. As defence ministries around the world recognize the importance of optimizing the employment and integration of civilian and military personnel, total defence force models are increasing in prominence.


Vol. 5 No. 2, 2024: Primacy of total defence forces in the 21st century (Berndtsson, Goldenberg, von Hlatky) [ENG]