Keeping people at the heart of the conflict in charge
Current conflicts are increasingly complex with different nations, ethnicities or tribes, social or religious groups involved. All of them have their own interests, their own history of conflicts and relations with other groups and the government.
For soldiers normally deployed for 6 months to a mission, this complex environment is often very difficult to understand because they are trained and focused on their challenging military tasks. They are used to have a clearly defined enemy and they are most of the times no social scientists.
Over the years, LTC Klotz has developed a deep understanding about this complicated interplay in conflict environments especially in Afghanistan. He has been in close contact with Afghan key leaders of all relevant social groups (mullahs, tribal leaders, social activists, war lords, politicians, etc.) in Northern Afghanistan since 2010. Through various informal personal meetings he could build up a wide network based on real trust, respect and personal relationships. Due to these trustful informal meetings and talks he is able to understand the different points of view, interests and emotions of the relevant social groups involved in the conflict which is indispensable to effectively work in such a conflict area.
His experience enables him to work as a kind of translator or mediator between the Afghan key leaders and the international military to explain the backgrounds of the conflict and the interests of the Afghan actors to the military commanders. On the other side, he is able to communicate and explain the views and activities of the international military to the Afghan society be it to influence them positively or to avoid misunderstandings which is in fact based on the trustful relationships established over years.

What’s happening now?
At the moment LTC Klotz is the deputy chief for Civil-Military Cooperation (CIMIC) at the 1. German-Netherland Corps (1GNC) in Münster, Germany that is the leading headquarter in NATO in regard to civil-military cooperation. A well-known civil-military project is the annual Common Effort Exercise where diverse actors from the government, civil society, police, military and private sector come together to discuss real life scenarios and possible cooperation and procedures for potential common missions and projects. In 2015, the Common Effort Community was established which today consists of about fifty organizations which regularly exchange views and knowledge about real and potential projects/missions.
LTC Klotz is a member of the Common Effort Steering Committee.
During the next weeks he will again deploy to a mission in Afghanistan.

LTC Klotz is a professional military officer of the German Army since 1991. He graduated with a diploma in political science in 1998 from the Bundeswehr University München and went through the German general staff education from 2006-2008. Thanks to personal interest he developed a deep understanding of social, religious and political backgrounds in the Islamic world. During his several missions as a Foreign Area Specialist he could combine this knowledge with a lot of practical experience.