In Uganda, Kenya and Afghanistan, Minerva staff helped develop the capability of national security forces, enabling them to operate effectively in complex socio-political environments.
Government forces trained and equipped for conventional security missions lacked the capability and flexibility to operate effectively in the complex socio-political environments and conflict situations into which they frequently deployed, typically resulting in their failure to achieve security objectives.
To address these shortcomings, Minerva staff drew on their operational experience in complex environments and the concepts and principles they later codified in the British Army’s counter-insurgency doctrine. In as far as it seeks to build and maintain trust between the state and a communities and thereby convince communities to accept the legitimacy of the state, a counter-insurgency campaign is analogous to a company’s effort to build and maintain its social licence to operate amongst affected stakeholders.
Minerva staff worked with the Kenyan Wildlife Service, the Ugandan Peoples’ Defence Force and both the Afghan National Police and Afghan National Army to formulate new operational approaches and procedures that embraced the concept of creating second or third order effects on the socio-cultural, political and economic domains as the most effective way of achieving their primary security objective.
In Kenya and Uganda, Minerva staff then advised commanders and trained troops in the new doctrine to enable them to operate effectively in complex socio-political environments, including building relationships and influence amongst communities infiltrated by insurgents.
In Afghanistan, Minerva staff lived and worked as mentors alongside Afghan Army and Police forces, ensuring their doctrine was implemented effectively through leading by example during high-tempo counter-insurgency operations aimed at rebuilding the government’s mandate in Helmand Province. This enabled the ANA and ANP successfully to execute operations that built trust amongst the people, thereby delivering enduring security and underpinning the legitimacy of the Afghan state.