The new security-political landscape which arose subsequent to the end of the Cold War brought with it paradigmatic changes to peacekeeping and civil-military cooperation. Traditional peacekeeping has developed into multidimensional third-generation peacekeeping. The new peacekeeping has a substantial non-military mandate and composition in addition to its military component. Civil-military cooperation (CIMIC) is a military tool developed by NATO to facilitate coordination and cooperation between the NATO commander and the civilian agencies and players in the operational theatre. CIMIC is not a new concept in NATO, but has been subject to a comprehensive examination and revision based on the experiences in the Balkans during the 1990s. The lack of a unified CIMIC doctrine and international consensus on what the concept of CIMIC should contain has triggered a variety of different national approaches to CIMIC in peace support operations.
In February 2003 Norway deployed a CIMIC unit to the International Security and Assistance Force (ISAF) mission in Afghanistan. The purpose of this thesis is to investigate how two explanatory models may explain a) the Norwegian decision to contribute with a CIMIC unit to Afghanistan; and b) the Norwegian approach to CIMIC in Afghanistan. The first model is Graham Allison’s rational policy model, and the second model is a culturalist theory developed by Elizabeth Kier. The analysis suggests that the rationalist variables have more explanatory power than the culturalist variables, and that the relationship between the rationalist and culturalist theories are complementary rather than competitive.