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Fighting Danger at Sea: The Quest for Speed in Special Operations

Rikke Haugegaard, Ph.D. fellow, Centre for Global Criminology, University of Copenhagen and Royal Danish Defence College

This article aims to contribute to the understanding of speed as a form of security in special operations warfare. The research is based on anthropological field studies of military assistance conducted by the Danish Maritime Special Operations Task Group (the Frogman Corps) in Nigeria and Ghana. Speed is an essential social temporality when maritime Special Operation Forces are fighting danger at sea. The article shows how the training involves the routinization of body techniques, the handling of weapons, and familiarization with the ubiquity of risk.

In Lagos, soldiers from Nigeria, Ghana, Benin, and Togo are training with instructors from the Frogman Corps. A few of them are right now rehearsing how to board and take control of a model ship. Three instructors are watching as the soldiers climb a ladder and continue to walk on deck, proceeding towards the bridge of the ship. But there is something wrong here; they are doing it too slowly. The instructor gets impatient, he shouts and demonstrates how it should be done: with increased speed. After the session, the impatient instructor tells them: “Speed is [Special Operations Forces] SOF.” According to him, the West African soldiers were too slow in their body movements. Every second counts when you are boarding a ship, otherwise your enemies will have time to take their precautions. It is as simple as that: Speed can defeat the enemy. [1]

The situation described above occurred as part of a training session during fieldwork in Nigeria, where I was studying an international U.S.-led Naval exercise called “Obangame Express 2020.” I observed the Special Operations Forces (SOF) component training conducted by instructors from the Danish Maritime Special Operations Task Group, known as the Frogman Corps[2] (established in 1957). Their tasks are “to perform Direct Action, Special Reconnaissance, and Military Assistance missions. The unit can conduct insertion and infiltration by sea, air, and land, with its primary expertise in maritime operations.”[3]

This article aims to contribute to the understanding of speed in the training of SOF.  It asks two principal questions: How is speed formed as both a perception and a teamwork technique in a cross-cultural learning environment? And how do (different) perceptions of speed affect the training of teamwork techniques?

In this article, the analysis is based on two months of fieldwork, primarily on training sites in Nigeria (spring 2020)[4] and in Ghana (autumn 2020). In addition, I followed meetings and other preparations in Denmark before deployment to the exercises. In preparation for the field studies, the instructors briefed me about their task before departure. I conducted background interviews in the Danish Special Operations Command to understand all the facets of military assistance. In addition, interviews were also conducted with operators with experience of Military Assistance in West African countries.

As a participant-observer, I followed the training and produced video recordings of training sequences and interviews with the Danish instructors. During training in Nigeria and Ghana, I conducted interviews with ten instructors. After the training in Ghana, two instructors were interviewed using photos and video recordings as prompts for reflection. My research will thus contribute to new empirical knowledge about military training missions conducted by SOF. Simons,[5] Danielsen,[6] and Mayland, Haugegaard and Shapiro[7] have conducted anthropological field research with special operations units. However, these researchers were studying aspects of the home organization of a Studies and Observations Group in the U.S., Norway, and Denmark. My research is innovative in the sense that I follow forces out in the field when they are conducting ongoing training missions.

The article is divided into four sections. First, I will discuss speed as a theoretical concept in the social sciences[8] and the related concept of “social acceleration.”[9] These concepts will frame special warfare training theoretically as a series of temporal, social processes and will discuss the relevance of the concepts of speed and acceleration to my empirical data.

The second section describes the context of the military assistance activities conducted by the Danish Frogman Corps. This section will introduce the definition of military assistance as a NATO concept and will briefly clarify Danish and Ghanaian national interests in the Gulf of Guinea.

In the third section I will discuss how speed is relevant to the work of SOF. As concepts in my field data, “speed” and “flow” derive from observation of training in close-quarters battle. The section presents empirical material from observations of training and reflections from interviews with the Ghanaian commander and the Danish instructors. In addition, the section examines how speed and flow are linked to perceptions of the body. The training is seen as both a form of apprenticeship[10] and as bodily imitation.[11]  Finally, in a short concluding section I will unfold the perspectives my empirical data bring to the discussion on acceleration and speed.

Speed as a Concept in the Social Sciences

For decades, social scientists have analyzed and criticized modernity and civilization. Few theorists have used speed as the center of gravity in their criticism of modernity, though there are a few exceptions. Virilio’s publication “Speed and Politics”[12] argues that modernity can be defined by motion and “logistical time.”[13] The concept of dromology[14] was a turning point in the socialist and Marxist theoretical wave of the 1970s in the social sciences. Virilio’s analytical approach is “logistical. It doesn’t directly deal with war, but with everything that makes it possible.”[15] Dromology derives from the Greek word dromos which means “race course.”[16] Hence, dromology denotes Virilio’s refined concept for the study of speed.

For Virilio, dromology is the new strategic engine of the modern state: “States employ dromological techniques to exercise power.”[17] In his rather pessimistic views on modern society, Virilio argues that speed has become an engine of destruction: “Dromocratic intelligence is not exercised against a more or less determined military adversary, but as a permanent assault on the world, and through it, on human nature.”[18] What is of interest to this project is that Virilio discusses speed as a factor in relation to colonialism: “Western man has appeared superior and dominant, despite inferior demographics, because he appeared more rapid. In colonial genocide or ethnocide, he was the survivor because he was in fact super-quick (sur vif).[19] Not every battle in colonial times led to genocide or ethnocide, I would argue. The superiority of “Western man” in relation to colonial war is possibly also a question of the West’s dominance in the development of weapons technology.

Probably, Virilio would not agree to disconnect “speed” from “politics.” Here, it is my choice to frame the concept of speed as security and as a collaborative effort conducted by a team of soldiers. The focus here is speed as “processual matter,”[20] rather than a discussion of speed as political power. I seek to understand how speed is taught in the training of SOF in Nigeria and Ghana and how soldiers learn to operate at speed. However, Virilio[21] is right that speed is a very important factor in warfare, especially in special warfare. Virilio uses metaphors and images of war to describe modernity, with its bunkers, soldiers, and high-speed technology. He argues that speed is the primary force contributing to the formation of society: “With the supersonic vector (airplane, rocket, and airwaves), penetration and destruction become one.”[22] Supersonic airplanes allow humanity to exceed what was previously thought possible, but inherent in that achievement, says Virilio, is the potential destruction of human society. It is, in his words, “the defeat of the world as a field, as distance, as matter … since from any given spot we can now reach any other, no matter where it may be, in record time and within several meters.”[23] Virilio wrote the original text in 1977, when drone technology had recently (in 1973) been deployed in the Vietnam War by the United States.[24] Virilio’s vision predicted how the military technology of today is able to hit targets within a few meters anywhere in the world. With this technology, the world as a field, as space, is no longer the same. Speed becomes more important than space.

In 2003, the sociologist Hartmut Rosa discussed speed and acceleration in his article “Social Acceleration: Ethical and Political Consequences of a Desynchronized High-Speed Society.” Inspired by Koselleck[25] and Adam,[26] Rosa states that “the concept of acceleration still lacks a clear and workable definition and a systematic sociological analysis. Within systematic theories of modernity or modernization, acceleration is virtually absent.”[27] The lack of a theory of acceleration reflects “the neglect of the temporal dimension and processual nature of society in twentieth-century sociological theory.”[28] Rosa’s critique of the absence of the temporal/processual dimension in sociology applies to the discipline of anthropology as well. The temporal dimension does not have a strong position in anthropology, but it appears in ethnographic studies, or in reflections on the construction of “the other.”[29] The research on speed is therefore an emerging field, connected to the development of worldwide digitalization (of e.g., trade, payment solutions, transport, and work).[30] Duclos et al., state:

It is our conviction that an anthropological engagement with speed can open new theoretical directions and empirical terrains. We seek to ask: How can anthropology engage with speed as a processual matter that permeates our theoretical and descriptive accounts of practices, processes, and realities? In what way would it allow us to study them otherwise?[31]

The aim of this article is to search for new empirical insights by focusing on speed and acceleration as principles of social interaction in SOF training. Rosa claims “that we cannot adequately understand the nature and character of modernity and the logic of its structural and cultural development unless we add the temporal perspective to our analysis.”[31] In order to discuss my data from field studies among soldiers training for special warfare, the temporal dimension is necessary. As stated above and using the development of drone technology as an example, it is evident that social developments and the development of military technology are reflections of each other. Trends in society and trends in military operations are interconnected, especially when we study the concept of speed.

Rosa argues that social change is driven by forms of acceleration, and he calls for a definition of “what it could mean for a society to accelerate and of the ways in which Western societies can be understood as acceleration societies.”[33] This point echoes Lévi-Strauss’ distinction between “hot” and “cold” societies.[34] According to Rosa, acceleration is not omnipresent in modern society. We see “possibly unrelated processes of acceleration, e.g., in sports, fashion, video editing, transport, job-succession, as well as some phenomena of social deceleration.”[35]In search of a workable definition of what he calls “social acceleration,” Rosa writes: “social acceleration is defined by an increase in the decay-rates of the reliability of experiences and expectations and by the contraction of the time-spans definable as the “present.”[36] Experiences are subject to decay and often quickly become outdated. Somehow, timespans are shorter and time is contracted, Rosa argues. This point recalls what Virilio writes about the law of speed: every new industrial machine is short-lived, often being replaced by a faster machine before it can even enter the market.[37]

The striving of athletes to achieve faster results, the development of computers working at ever higher speeds, and increasingly rapid forms of transport and communication cannot be brought directly under the same analytical concept of social acceleration.[38]  Therefore, Rosa suggests that social acceleration can be divided into three dynamics: 1) technological acceleration, 2) acceleration of social change, and 3) acceleration of the pace of life.[39] Technological acceleration is “the speeding up of intentional, goal-directed processes of transport, communication, and production that can be defined as technological acceleration.[40] Virilio argued that the Industrial Revolution should be rethought as a “dromocratic revolution.”[41] His “dromology” was what inspired Rosa’s first category of technological acceleration.[42]

Rosa contributes to this debate an understanding of technological acceleration that is highly relevant to my empirical data. The training programs for special warfare I observed in Nigeria and Ghana fall most appropriately into this category. The procedures that are trained are goal-directed (e.g., boarding a ship, controlling a site, rescuing hostages). The body techniques used by the soldiers can be seen as drivers of technological acceleration—their body is their technology.[43] The sequences in the training can be measured in time, and the procedures can be improved through faster and sometimes slower speeds.

Following Rosa’s premise that society develops different forms of acceleration, we can also identify different patterns of social deceleration.[44] He mentions physical processes, cultural islands/niches/sects, and slow-downs as unintended effects from traffic jams to financial crises.[45] Also, intentional forms of deceleration like retreats and social movements can shape time differently and create the effect of deceleration. Rosa argues further:

There are natural and anthropological speed limits. Some things cannot be accelerated in principle. Among these are most physical processes, like the speed of perception and processing in our brains and bodies, or the time it takes for most natural resources to reproduce.[46]

Rosa’s work has prefigured a number of actual developments, yet perhaps we need to question the idea of “speed limits.” In my field studies in Nigeria and Ghana, the instructors are pushing the soldiers towards their limits of quick perception and their processing of brain-to-body coordination in order to obtain speed. They are trying to accelerate the process of team coordination. The close-quarters battle training discussed later is an example. During these training sessions, soldiers train to develop quick mental response patterns, so perception is sharpened, and results are achieved within a shorter time span. In addition, during the Danish instructors’ basic training in the Frogman Corps, they are tested during several months of training with few hours (or no) sleep, lack of food, and hard physical workloads. The training regime is a conscious effort to exceed normal sleep patterns and the limits of physical and mental restitution. Theoretically, Duclos calls for the need to study these “more-than-human temporalities as complex objects of inquiry.”[47] The Danish naval special warfare operators are shaped through their basis training to be able to exceed the “speed limits” of physical and mental performance and cope with uncertainty and stressful situations.

Military Assistance: National Interests in the Gulf of Guinea

According to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) doctrine, special operations “create strategic or operational-level effects or are executed where significant political risk exists.”[48] The SOF portfolio has three main components: direct action, special reconnaissance, and military assistance (MA). In this article, the focus is on military assistance, a concept defined by NATO as follows:

Military assistance (MA) is a broad category of measures and activities conducted by SOF [special operations forces] that support, enable, and influence critical friendly assets through training, advising, mentoring, partnering, or the conduct of combined and other operations … SOF may also conduct MA in support of security sector assistance, stability policing activities, security force assistance and/or stabilization and reconstruction missions. [49]

As can be seen here, the types of tasks SOF can conduct are varied: “our operators are flexible like a Swiss knife.”[50] NATO states like Denmark have national commercial interests in the regions where they select partners. In recent years, Denmark has engaged in military assistance activities with selected international allies such as the United States, United Kingdom, and France. These international partners are “allies that count”[51] to the Danish government.

In the Gulf of Guinea, the current local security situation is fragile, with the international shipping industry experiencing threats from pirates at sea. “Kidnappings in the Gulf of Guinea increased significantly in 2019, when 121 seafarers were kidnapped. This is an increase of more than 50 percent compared to the 78 kidnappings in 2018.”[52] In 2020, 195 kidnapping attacks on ships and their crew were conducted by pirates worldwide, an increase of 20 percent in attacks compared to 2019.[53] Later, in 2021, we saw a significant decrease in piracy attacks in the Gulf of Guinea.[54] Denmark is the world’s sixth largest shipping nation. In 2019, Danish shipping companies exported goods worth more than DKK 207 billion.[55] Denmark, a nation with commercial interests in the Gulf of Guinea, therefore finds it relevant to build security partnerships with coastal states like Nigeria and Ghana in order to protect national shipping interests and Danish seafarers against piracy attacks. On the homepage of Ghana Armed Forces, the following text outlines the national interest of Ghana in the training with the Frogman Corps:

Although the training is aimed at sharpening the skills of the SBS (Special Boat Squadron), it also serves as a platform for collaboration and establishment of close relations between the Ghana Navy and the Danish Defence so that in the event of attack on any ship in Ghana’s maritime domain or any other forms of insurgence, help can be sorted from highly professional, well-trained, credible and dependable SBS, who are capable of responding swiftly and aggressively in all terrains.[56]

Here, the Ghana Navy expresses a wish to establish close relations with Danish Defense. In May 2021, the Danish Parliament decided to deploy a frigate to help patrol the Gulf of Guinea, with the intention of assisting national governments in the area.[57] The deployment of the frigate is a deterrence operation, the aim of which is to reduce attacks on international ships and their crews. The frigate was scheduled to be deployed from November 2021 to March 2022,[58] however, due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine, the frigate returned to Denmark earlier than planned.

In Ghana, at the training event, a Ghanaian government representative expressed gratitude for Denmark’s assistance. The (then) Chief of Naval Staff in Ghana, Rear Admiral Seth Amoama, said in a speech when he visited the training conducted by the Frogman Corps  on 4 November 2020:

This training is very timely. It is very timely because we in Ghana Navy are confronted with the menace of piracy in the Gulf of Guinea, and in our maritime domain. Until now, our waters have been relatively safe, as compared to other regions in the Gulf of Guinea. But lately, they are re-locating to Ghana’s maritime domain, and we have experienced an increase in the level of kidnappings of foreign crew – pirates attacking fishing fleets and kidnapping the expatriate staff for ransom. This is not very good AT ALL. It is up to the Ghana Navy to prevent such occurrences.[59]

However, deployment of the Danish frigate to assist West African countries in preventing piracy is only part of the solution. In the Gulf of Guinea, the problems with armed robbery and piracy at sea reflect problems on land. Ghanaian professor Dr. Kwesi Aning points to three main problems as root causes on land for the development of piracy: “Petro-piracy” (illegal theft, refining and the distribution of oil), corruption (politicians and bureaucrats connected to criminal groups) and a fishing industry under pressure from Chinese vessels.[60]

Speed as Security in Close-Quarters Battle

The task of SOF is to be ready to solve problems at short notice, a readiness that reflects the ability to increase speed when necessary, for instance, if a hostage situation develops on board a ship. Speed is “the one factor that overrules every other principle we work with.”[61] “What we are trying to do is to create something which is new, surprising and unexpected for our opponent.”[62] The NATO doctrine states:

High tempo is normally essential to SOF’s ability to conduct special operations. Rapid execution of a mission allows SOF to mass precisely tailored combat power at the critical place and time, accomplish the mission and withdraw before the adversary can react … a high tempo provides security through speed, allowing acceptance of a higher degree of risk than would be otherwise possible.[63]

The high tempo is the signature of special operations. Working in small teams with limited combat power, it is their speed and flexibility in execution and the greater risk of their operations that separates special operations forces from conventional military forces.

During fieldwork, I watched the soldiers rehearse movements and team coordination of speed:

Today’s training in Close-Quarters Battle (CQB) takes place outside in the exercise terrain of the Nigeria Navy. The temperature is around 30 degrees Celsius. I walk together with the instructors Jack and Balder and a group of West African soldiers. We see a small, simple building of brick walls. There is an entrance, a narrow corridor and a few small rooms. Limited space, just like on ships. Some soldiers have trained in the procedures before, others are beginners. How to move through the corridor, how to scan the rooms for enemies or hostages. It is a coordination of body movements, weapon positions and signs. It is rehearsal of the same sequence again and again. The goal is to rescue hostages, kept somewhere in this model corridor of a ship. Speed and constant movement is the most important parameter for the soldiers’ success. Every second counts in order to rescue the hostages.[64]

In close-quarters battle, small teams engage the enemy at very short range (within a room), potentially to the point of fighting with hand weapons. In the training in Nigeria, the soldiers rehearsed a hostage situation. Timing, silence, and precise body language between team members is vital for the group to succeed. In the words of Jack, a Danish instructor:

You have to walk so you do not make noise. As quiet as possible. Like a lazy cat. You have to move the torso, in order to be ready for shooting. The legs are more stationary. It has to be easy to read for the team. It is a dangerous situation. The enemy has got the hostages, and we have to rescue them. Therefore, speed is essential for our own safety, as well as theirs. When we are in a hostage rescue situation, their lives are at risk. It is a matter of minutes or seconds. Their lives are more important than our safety.[65]

Again, the operators underline the importance of speed in hostage rescue operations. Such operations are goal-directed tasks that require acceleration—technological acceleration.[66] It is a game of life and death, which gives urgency to the operation. When the soldiers rehearse a hostage rescue operation, they must be able to deal with the pressure and gain time through speed in order to save the lives of the hostages.

How to Hit the Door   

In autumn 2020, I conducted fieldwork in a two-week training mission in Ghana. Instructors from the Frogman Corps were invited to conduct training for the Ghana Navy’s Special Boat Squadron. The Danish instructors taught close-quarters battle, tactical combat casualty care, operational planning, and shooting. The Ghanaian officers assisted in planning the lectures and acted as instructors for some of them. The training was a bilateral agreement between the two nations and was the first of its kind. During fieldwork in both Nigeria and Ghana, I watched several hours of close-quarters battle training. One sequence often rehearsed was “how to enter a room.” In interviews with Danish operators, this was called “how to hit the door,” or ‘how to open the door.”[67] During interviews, most operators would get up and demonstrate how it is done. Before I turn to the specific training sequence, here is a short introduction:

The Ghana Navy’s Special Boat Squadron (Ghana Navy SBS) is a new unit, formed in 2016. In recent years, their basic training to become SBS operators has taken place in Nigeria. As of 2022, the Ghana Navy have established their own Ghana Navy SBS Basic Operative Course, in collaboration with U.S. Navy and the Danish Special Operations Command.

The training sequence used as an example below is conducted by “Hero” and “Nice.” “Hero” is one of the best soldiers in the Ghana team. He had several years of experience in the Ghana Navy before being accepted into the SBS. In the training he often takes the role of leader of the smaller teams. “I had a civilian position in the Ghana Navy, but later I proceeded to learn how to shoot and other military skills.”[68] Hero is also the best shooter on the team, which earns him respect from his teammates.

“Nice” is quiet and not as experienced as Hero. He joined the Ghana Navy SBS due to his extraordinary skills in sport, especially running.[69] Nice often works together with Hero, when pairs are formed in the team.  In the following, I will show how the two operators go hit the door, rehearsing in a house in a military exercise area (recording by the author, October 2020). The grasshoppers were singing loud and clear, as a contrast to the silent concentration among the soldiers:

‘Hero’ and ‘Nice’ are rehearsing how to enter through a doorway. They are both wearing bulletproof vests on top of their uniform shirts. They are ready with their weapons pointing forward. Hero is in front, Nice is right behind him. Gently, Nice is touching his buddy’s thigh – as a sign for him to start moving. Hero starts walking slowly forward. He steps sideways as he passes the doorway. Hero is looking for possible enemies in the room behind the doorway, and his weapon is pointing inside the room as he moves towards the left. Hero is now standing on the left side of the doorway.
Simultaneously, Nice has proceeded towards the doorway, but stays on the right side. As Hero walks towards the left side, Nice is leaning his torso as much as he can towards the left, in order to look into the room and scout for enemy activity. They have to move as a team, and they adjust their own steps by sensing their buddy’s movements and watching out of the corner of their eyes. Now they are facing each other, pausing for a moment at each side of the doorway. They have eye contact. A few seconds later, Nice elevates his weapon as a sign to Hero to start entering the room. Hero is in doubt, he asks silently: ‘Go?’ Nice confirms by nodding. Hero enters the room, with speed, crossing from the left side of the doorway to the right side of the room. Then Nice follows from the right side of the doorway to the left side of the room. The sequence is over, and next team is ready for rehearsal.

The sequence took 24 seconds in total. An instructor said the performance was “too slow, they could have been faster.”[70] Twenty-four seconds to enter a room in a simulated high-risk environment involves choreography, teamwork, and trust in your buddy—a dangerous dance with danger or death. The soldiers must accelerate their movements and their communication to be able to conduct this sequence at higher speed. Rosa defines acceleration as “quantitative growth or increase in quantity per unit of time.”[71] In communication, acceleration refers to “the number of signs transmitted per microsecond.”[72] Microseconds and seconds are exactly what the instructors are trying to gain when they teach close-quarters battle. This involves the optimization of every sign and movement in order to accelerate one’s speed when the situation becomes dangerous. However, the operators have to learn to apply the right pace at the right moment. High speed is not always an advantage, as David, a Danish instructor explains:

The Ghana soldiers have to learn to focus on speed, so things do not develop faster than their technique can keep up with the pace. When they enter a room, they have to analyze the room and the enemies there … whether it is an enemy or a civilian … from their analysis, they have to be able to take many decisions. If they move too fast, if their speed is accelerating, then they are not able to do a proper analysis. Then civilians can be shot by accident, or you can be shot in the back, because you’ve overlooked somebody hiding there in the corner.[73]

According to David, technique and pace need to be balanced, so the soldiers work in a constantly shifting mode between analysis and decisions/actions. Sometimes they move fast, at other times more slowly. This delicate balance of speed gives the team their safety in a high-risk operation. Ken explains the difference between two types of pace:

‘safety with low speed’ is what we call CQC—combat clearings—which is the slow version, where we keep a high level of safety, and with slower speed. If we enter a room, we try to look inside the room from a distance as far as possible. We try to look through all the windows … maybe we open the door first. We keep our distance, we watch carefully. All right, what is happening? Anybody inside? Before you enter the room, you watch as carefully as possible…so if anything is there, you can shoot it from a distance. This procedure takes a little longer. So, if we run HRO—“hostage rescue operations”—then time is a factor in the sense that … when they [the enemy] know we are here, there is a risk that they will kill the hostages. So here, we work with higher risk, and we enter the rooms faster. Because we want to speed up the procedure.[74]

The procedure is made up of several sequences, each trained and rehearsed repeatedly. The above example of hitting the door is an example of how the soldiers concentrate on an unknown, possible enemy in the next room. How do the Danish operators prepare for this task? Ken explains:

the simple answer is that we just rehearse the same procedure endlessly again and again and again. We make small adjustments, re-design the rooms, place different things in the rooms, in different sizes—maybe change how a door is placed. The purpose is that you learn how to flex, according to which room you enter.[75]

It is a process with focus and concentration. Jack says operators apply a certain “battlemind.” “You are ready to react if in danger, you release adrenaline. Continually, you are very focused on the position of your team members.”[76] Battlemind is both a focus on your immediate surroundings and a biological state in the body, fueled by the release of adrenaline. Another operator, Watson, explained that these sequences in close-quarters battle “is standard work, which needs to be over-trained, in order to create safety for the operators.”[77] The routinization of body movements among the team provides safety for the soldiers. Dealing with danger is their job. The more they rehearse the standard procedures, the more flexibility and speed they have in a real-life operation. Applying the right pace through the corridors is also about “flow.” Flow in special operations is a collective effort of concentration and coordination. The importance of flow and its relation to speed will be discussed below. Flow with speed was explained by Jack and Balder as follows:

Flow is when things are running smoothly, and there is no insecurity. Team members are like a living organism, not a machine. It is easier to read a person in motion. If one person stops, everything stops. So, flow is when we move on, we are on track, there is no stalling. You have to follow the team and the body movements of your buddy. The most important thing in close-quarters battle is body language. When we know ourselves well in the team, we know each other’s body language.[78]

Maintaining a constant speed through the corridors, with flow and clear signs from each team member, is the ideal. In order not to reveal to one’s opponent that a SOF team is nearby, every movement has to be as quiet as possible. Stalling is the instructor’s nightmare. With the clock ticking, if a team stalls or stops time is lost, and the goal of rescuing the hostages seems to move further away.

“Flow comes when we have been training for years together,” says Carl.
because each person has a unique body language. Even at night, I can still see who is in front of me by looking at the way he walks. As a newcomer to the team you often hesitate—and when you hesitate you are spoiling the flow. When we move forward, we are like dogs being whipped, but our leader can stop us if we are moving too fast. But, if you stop totally, you place yourself in the kill-zone.[79]

To the instructors, flow is synchronization of team body language and a collaborative effort to achieve the same speed in their movements. Studies in psychology situate flow in individual action and the individual mind. In psychological terms, flow

tends to occur when a person’s skills are fully involved in overcoming a challenge that is just about manageable … when high challenges are matched with high skills, then the deep involvement that sets flow apart from ordinary life is likely to occur … Because of the total demand on psychic energy, a person in flow is completely focused. There is no space in consciousness for distracting thoughts, irrelevant feelings. Self-consciousness disappears, yet one feels stronger than usual. The sense of time is distorted: hours seem to pass by in minutes.[80]

These reflections are relevant when we consider what happens in the close-quarters battle training. High challenges matched with high skills—and here high risk—are characteristics of high-performance teams such as SOF. My material points to an understanding of flow as social microprocesses in groups. Flow is not only an individual experience of cohesion with the surroundings, as argued by Csikszentmihalyi.[81] My empirical findings suggest that flow is also a collaborative effort in the team–a synchronization of body language, concentration, and intention. Flow is established when the team succeeds in their group effort.

In the Nigeria field study, the team dynamic of the soldiers was corrected again and again in the close-quarters battle training. The team task requires intense concentration and advanced control of the body. Therefore, lack of concentration and imprecise body signs make instructors intervene, asking the team to stop, and then starting the drill all over again. They rehearse it once more, twice and several times until they reach perfection, or team fatigue. The sequence—how to proceed through a corridor, or how to hit the door—have to be adopted by all team members as a routine, as muscle memory. Here, the interesting effect of the routinization of body movements is an ability for soldiers to switch on a different type of thinking. They can respond quickly—accelerate their reactions—to the emerging threats around them, balance their efforts, and select the right speed, without losing precision. It is their ability to accelerate speed when needed which makes them succeed—their bodies and weapons work as advanced acceleratory technologies.[82]

Speed in the Learning Processes: Why so Slowly?

During training in Ghana, a small conflict developed concerning the speed in the learning process. The then Commander of the Ghana Navy SBS said that he wanted “more knowledge” and “higher speed” in the training—“we want to be challenged.”[83] The leader of the Ghana team had high ambitions for progress with learning during the two weeks of training.

During training in Nigeria, an instructor asked the Ghanaian soldiers where they learned their basic skills. They answered: “We have seen it in movies. We watch a lot of these action movies.”[84] Apparently, they use the movies as lectures in close-quarters battle and try to copy the movements of the movie heroes. “We actually made more difficult tasks for the Ghana soldiers during training. They solved everything. They were very good and worked with discipline.”[85] In recent years, the Ghanaian soldiers have received training from different international partners. However, they used movies as the reference for their skills. This led to a culture clash of perceptions. The instructors do not appreciate the idea that their expertise—obtained through many years of repetitive training of sequences and procedures—can be compared to actor acting in a movie. When the Ghanaian SBS commander wanted “higher speed” in the learning process, it might be because he has acquired a perception of the competent and well-trained soldier from watching movies. Whether this perception has its reference in movies or training with international partners or a combination of the two, the impatient commander wanted his team of soldiers to develop high combat skills as quickly as possible. The Danish instructors disagreed with introducing a higher speed in the learning process. The instructors wanted many repetitions of the same sequence and a more gradual and slower progression. Many repetitions ensure that the procedures become body routine. In Ken’s words:

We talked a lot about this issue. You have to be able to crawl before you can walk. But the Ghanaian soldiers would like to start by running! So, culturally, we designed lectures somewhere in between. We had to slow things down in order to be sure they understood the underlying principles and the focus on details.[86]

What the instructors describe above is what Downey calls an “ad hoc scaffolding of imitation,”[87] which often rises spontaneously in close-quarters battle training. Students adjust to the demands of their instructors, and the Danish instructors improvise themes and skills training according to how fast the students learn and their level of competence in military skills. However, some of the instructors think that this affects the learning process due to the time pressures in the few weeks they have been allocated. “At home [in Denmark], we proceed gradually, step by step. Here, we have to do quantum leaps. It is very difficult to change body routines, and this type of battle training is very stressful because you have to concentrate so much and you get very tired.”[88]

Reflecting on Downey’s concept of ad-hoc scaffolding introduced above, I suggest that imitation in close-quarters battle training is not only about the role of the instructor. The scaffolding learning aid can also be established by the buddy or the peers in the group. Several instructors underline how “a high-level team can ‘lift up’ a newcomer to become better than he actually is, while conversely a less competent team can ‘pull down’ a good soldier.”[89] In close-quarters battle, improving body language—constantly rehearsing to refine one’s control of one’s body and weapon—is the key to a successful outcome of the battle through the corridors. To be successful in close-quarters battle, you need to rehearse the details with the utmost precision and make many repetitions of the same sequence. In the following section, Ken explains how this is done.

Precision and Control of the Body

Ken explains how precision and detail are vital for the team to succeed. His expectation is that the training in Ghana will increase the soldiers’ awareness of details.

I think the Ghanaians are less detail oriented. For instance, when you have to open a door. You have to be fully aware about:
Where is your finger placed on the trigger? How tight you hold on to the weapon, which foot is closest to the door, which angle your foot position is.
At home [in the Frogman Corps], when we start a day with close-quarters battle, we can easily use two full hours just to train how to open a door. It is our mindset—you have to rehearse with a lot of repetitions. You can always become a little bit better … Down to the smallest detail, you have to be in control of your body. If I can see from the body language of my team buddy that he will be entering through the door very soon … then it means something to me: I have to make my hip ready to go in right after him … maybe I will shift my foot position. So, when he enters, I am already behind him … I will almost touch him on our way through the door. That would be the perfect entry, so you can minimize things [the risks] – you almost clash ... you cross each other very fast, which would be the perfect one.
To be able to do that, I have to see by his body language that he is preparing to enter that door, and I make myself ready. So, when he takes his first step, I follow right behind him. So, one person enters, and he is watching one side of the room. Then his buddy has to watch the other side, where the first cannot see because he has turned his back. So, his whole life will then depend on the fact that his buddy will enter a split second later. Otherwise, he will be shot in the back.[90]

Ken explains that entering through the door together with his buddy within a split second would be perfect. This will minimize the risk and ensure that they will shoot the enemy before the enemy has time to shoot them. Speed provides security.

Above, I discussed how Csikszentmihalyi[91] refers to flow as an individual experience of cohesion with one’s surroundings or a given task. His argument is that a person can only obtain flow when psychic energy is focused. In this field of soldiering skills, the primacy is given to the team. In close-quarters battle, flow is a collective effort: minds are focused and in sync. Everybody has an eye and an ear on his colleague behind, at the side or in front of him. “The team needs to cooperate as one body, otherwise they will fail. To fail during CQB missions means they will die.”[92] “SOF works with a minimum—if any—back-up. Everybody on the team works together—shoulder to shoulder. Stand firm together, or we will all die.”[93] As we have seen above, the soldiers are interdependent when they perform in high-risk environments. They have to be legible in body positions and intentions, so team members can read their signs. Stalling will spoil the flow of movement and risk the lives of the team members.

A “Communitas” of Brothers

The team of soldiers is a band of brothers performing the art of Naval special warfare. The Danish instructors are born from the same legendary entrance exam in the Frogman Corps. The Ghanaian operators have graduated from a similar entrance exam in Nigeria. During breaks in the training, the Ghanaian operators told me how they survived the ultimate test during the entrance exam—the so-called “Hell Week.” Deprived of sleep and food, they had to push their bodies to the limit, but they handled it and passed successfully. In the entrance exam for the Frogman Corps, a similar “Hell Week” tests the soldiers’ endurance and willpower. Often, the instructors referred to the entrance exam when they were explaining where they learned their basic skills. During the entrance exam, the aspirants are shaped as future operators while also establishing very deep social ties to the group.

Victor Turner writes about “communitas,” or the bonds that are developed during such transition periods.[94] Turner focused on rites of passage and liminality in sacred rituals where young boys are tested in order to elevate their status and become men. The aspirants in these transitional phases “tend to develop an intense comradeship and egalitarianism.”[95] Because of the nature of this transition—with extreme pressure being placed on the initiands—they “submit together to the general authority of the ritual elders.”[96] The challenge here, the entrance exam period to become a Frogman is an “anti-structure” in relation to the normal world outside the transition phase.[97] During the entrance exam, the soldiers are pushed beyond their personal mental limits in order to shape them as “new” individuals who are closer team members. This social bond of “communitas”[98] is unbreakable and lasts throughout their lifetime serving as operators in the Frogman Corps, as well as beyond their identity as professional members of the SOF. In conversation during fieldwork in Ghana, some of the instructors said that they consider their colleagues in the Frogman Corps as their “real family” or “my brothers.” My fieldwork data show that the operators have a strong sense of responsibility for the team members and their well-being. It is this feeling of “brotherhood” that enables them to conduct successful, speedy operations. Across national boundaries and other differences, the Ghanaian and Danish soldiers share features of the same type of training. This is the foundation reference for SOF operators’ international “brotherhood.” The group coherence creates an open atmosphere and an amenable learning environment for cross-cultural training events. Between team members, their “mutuality of being”[99] is rooted partly in the common experience of being “born” from the same type of entrance exam, when they had to go to “hell” and back.

 Learning Body Positions: Apprenticeship and Imitation

The conclusion from the close-quarters battle training is clear: in order to obtain the right speed, it is essential for the soldiers to follow the team and their buddy’s body movements.

In 1935, Mauss published an essay entitled “Techniques of the Body.”[100] Mauss reminds us that body movements are learned from others—body techniques are inherently social, biological, and psychological. Mauss’s contribution was to develop the social perspective, arguing that all body techniques are acquired through education. Mauss writes: “The body is man’s first and most natural instrument.”[101] As for mankind in general, the soldier’s body is his own instrument in warfare. To understand how we learn our culturally determined body language, Mauss argues:

In every technique, there is an apprenticeship.[102]…What takes place is a prestigious imitation. The child, the adult, imitates actions which have succeeded and which he has seen successfully performed by people in whom he has confidence and who have authority over him. The action is imposed from without, from above, even if it is an exclusively biological action, involving his body. The individual borrows the series of movements which constitute it from the action executed in front of him or with him by others. It is precisely this notion of the prestige of the person who performs the ordered, authorised, tested action vis-à-vis the imitating individual that contains all the social element.[103]

The close-quarters battle training can be seen as a cross-cultural apprenticeship. SOF instructors from abroad, in this case Denmark, teach Ghanaian apprentices. In this two-week course, the Danish instructors have the authority. But they are themselves apprentices, having learned their body techniques from other instructors in both the Frogman Corps and international training exercises. In his study on imitation in the martial art known as Capoeira, Downey writes how

novices carefully watch experienced players, haltingly try to copy techniques, rehearse movements over and over again until they become expert, and, in turn, become models for other novices. They tend to learn the art's movements and musical techniques by seeing and doing them rather than by talking about them – even when instructors and students share a language.[104]

This description fits the close-quarters battle training. I observed how the instructors often rehearsed a small detail with, for example, handling a weapon. Weapons handling is a prerequisite for the ability to conduct close-quarters battle operations. Instructors would demonstrate movements and sequences taken at a slower pace in order for the students to follow. According to Downey, the instructor “might repeat the movement more slowly or break a sequence into smaller, easier-to-grasp component steps.”[105] As we have seen, Downey refers to this as “scaffolding,” as an aid that allows a learner to perform tasks that are initially beyond his or her ability alone.[106]

However, the imitation that takes place is not only based on observation. Downey argues that an imitative learning process is a “complex, two-way form of interaction”[107] and that imitation is “interactive rather than uni-directional.”[108] The Ghanaian soldiers give feedback to the Danish instructors and/or their own commanders. The soldiers ask questions and talk quietly among themselves about the training elements. They process the learning in different ways. The instructors try to read the student’s body language: “sometimes we think the students lose concentration.’[109] Or the instructors might use

physical contact such as a pat on the back, in order to create mutual dialogue and a safe learning environment … we constantly evaluate the students during training. If they master a skill already, we skip that part and teach them something different, with more challenges.[110]

When teaching in this cross-cultural environment, the Danish instructors often start the learning process with a “zero-drill.”[111] The instructors ask the students to perform a simple task in order to assess their levels of competence. In doing so they establish a baseline that is sensitive to the cultural context and the trainees’ skills levels, adjusting their plans for the training accordingly. They sketch a plan for the lectures but are also flexible and ready to change it in order to create the best learning environment.

Conclusion: Speed and Acceleration Revisited In this article, the aim has been to contribute to an understanding of speed as “processual matter.”[112] The empirical findings suggest that speed is a collaborative effort involving concentration and the coordination of body language between soldiers. The concept of speed was introduced by means of Virilio’s critique of modern society and his argument about the supremacy of the “Western man” in colonial times.[113] In the training observed in Ghana, we learned that the “African man” criticized his Western instructors for progressing too slowly with the learning process. Hence, my data calls for further exploration of nuances in the understanding of speed as “performed pace,” especially in cross-cultural environments where different perceptions of speed will clash. Observation of and reflections on close-quarters battle training revealed how finding the right speed is a collaborative effort. The smallest team unit in special operations is two soldiers. The soldiers are highly dependent on each other, and their buddy’s ability to apply the right speed makes the difference between success and failure—between life and death. Rosa’s concept of technological acceleration[114] was also helpful in analyzing the processes of training for special warfare. The procedures being trained are goal-directed sequences fluctuating between fast and slow speed. The body techniques of SOF soldiers are drivers of technological acceleration—their body is their technology. It is their ability to accelerate during the quick, secret insertion of troops or the quick reaction to evolving threats that gives them their operational advantage. In addition, it is the SOF’ ability to control speed and acceleration that make them succeed in warfare. Rosa also considered processes of social deceleration[115]—things slowing down acceleration, or even hindering acceleration. My field data show how SOF are trained to overcome and exceed deceleration, thus testing the body to its physical and mental limits and beyond. In close-quarters battle, only a team member (lacking speed/stalling), a smart enemy, or fatal injuries can slow down the team through the corridors. This article argues that speed is not an abstract principle of modern society. Rather, speed is a social temporality in the risky environment in which West African and Danish Naval SOF are training to fight. In future studies, a focus on speed can open up new perspectives on team processes. So far, the concept of speed seems to be under-researched in anthropology and sociology, due to the long-term focus on traditions and stability in social dynamics. In my view, social science and war studies can benefit from studying speed as practice, as a process fluctuating between fast and slow.

[1] Field notes, Obangame Express exercise, Nigeria March 2020.

[2]Hereafter, for brevity referred to as ‘the Frogman Corps.’ To protect the work of the Frogman Corps and their partner units in West Africa, I agreed to comply with their rules for operational security. In this study, it was a condition for access to the training missions that I did not disclose the exact number of instructors or students. Names of locations are not mentioned, and the names of both African and European operators have been changed in order to protect their identity.

[3] Birger E Soerensen and Martin Madsen, “A Remedy to Crises: Danish Special Operations Forces in Whole-of-Government Stabilization Engagements” (Defence Analysis Capstone Project Report, Master thesis, Naval Postgraduate School, 2016).

[4] The training in Nigeria was scheduled for three weeks. However, the COVID-19 pandemic led to a government order to withdraw the Danish instructors from the training after only one week.

[5] Anna Simons, The Company They Keep: Life Inside the U. S. Army Special Forces (New York: Free Press, 1997).

[6] Tone Danielsen, Making Warriors in the Global Era. An anthropological study of institutional apprenticeship: selection, training, education, and everyday life in the Norwegian Naval Special Operations Command (Oslo: University of Oslo, Faculty of Social Sciences, 2015).

[7] Karina Mayland, Rikke Haugegaard and Allan Shapiro, “Thinkers at the Cutting Edge: Innovation in the Danish Special Operations Forces” in ed. Gitte H Christensen, Interdisciplinary Perspectives on Special Operations Forces, Conference Proceedings, no. 4. (Copenhagen: Royal Danish Defence College, 2017), 88-107.

[8] Virilio, Speed and Politics (Los Angeles: Semiotext(e), 1986).

[9] Hartmut Rosa, Social Acceleration: A New Theory of Modernity (New York: Columbia University Press, 2013).

[10x] Marcel Mauss, Techniques of the Body (New York: Taylor & Francis Online, 2006),

[11] Greg Downey, “Scaffolding Imitation in Capoeira: Physical Education and Enculturation in an Afro-Brazilian Art,” American Anthropologist New Series, Vol. 110, No. 2 (2008): 204-213.

[12] Virilio, Speed and Politics.

[13] Bratton quoted in Virilio, Speed and Politics, 7.

[14]  Virilio, Speed and Politics.

[15] Virilio, Speed and Politics, 7.

[16] Virilio, Speed and Politics, 8.

[17] Virilio, Speed and Politics, 14.

[18] Virilio, Speed and Politics, 14.

[19] Virilio, Speed and Politics, 70.

[20] Vincent Duclos, Thomás Sánchez Criado and Vinh-Kim Nguyen, “Speed – an introduction,” Cultural Anthropology, Vol. 32, Issue 1 (2017): 1–11,

[21] Virilio, Speed and Politics.

[22] Virilio, Speed and Politics, 149.

[23] Virilio, Speed and Politics, 150-151.

[24] William Wagner, Lightning Bugs and other Reconnaissance Drones; The can-do story of Ryan’s unmanned spy planes (Fallbrook, CA: Aero Publishers, 1982).

[25] Rosa, Social Acceleration, 3.

[26] Rosa, Social Acceleration, 4.

[27] Rosa, Social Acceleration, 3.

[28] Rosa, Social Acceleration, 4.

[29] See e.g., Johannes Fabian, Time and the Other: How Anthropology Makes Its Object. (New York: Columbia University Press, 1983) or Homi K. Bhabha, The Location of Culture. Routledge Classics, (New York: Routledge, 2004).

[30] Judy Wajcman and Nigel Dodd, ed. The Sociology of Speed: Digital, Organizational and Social Temporalities. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017).

[31] Duclos et al., “Speed,” 2.

[32] Rosa, Social Acceleration, 4.

[33] Rosa, Social Acceleration, 5.

[34] Claude Lévi-Strauss,Tristes Tropiques (New York: Modern Library, 1997). 

[35] Rosa, Social Acceleration, 5.

[36] Rosa, Social Acceleration, 7.

[37] Virilio, Speed and Politics, 70.

[38] Rosa, Social Acceleration, 6.

[39] Rosa, Social Acceleration, 6-10.

[40] Rosa, Social Acceleration, 6, emphases in original.

[41] Virilio, Speed and Politics, 69.

[42] Rosa, Social Acceleration, 6.

[43] See discussion of Mauss’ treatment of techniques of the body later in the article, cf. Mauss, “Techniques.”

[44] Rosa, Social Acceleration, 14-16.

[45] Rosa, Social Acceleration, 14-16.

[46] Rosa, Social Acceleration, 15.

[47] Duclos et al., “Speed,” 7.

[48] North Atlantic Treaty Organization, NATO Standard Allied Joint Doctrine for Special Operations. Edition B, version 1. Final Draft. (NATO Standardization Office: Allied Joint Publication, 2019).

[49] NATO, Joint Doctrine, 7.

[50] Interview with manager, the Frogman Corps, September 2019.

[51] Olivier Schmitt, Allies that Count: Junior Partners in Coalition Warfare. (Washington: Georgetown University Press, 2018).

[52] “Annual Report”, Danish Shipping, 3, accessed 15 March 2021,

[53] “2020 satte rekord i kidnapninger af søfolk i Guineabugten”, Shippingwatch newsletter, accessed 18 January 2021,

[54] According to ICC International Maritime Bureau, year 2021 saw a decrease in piracy attacks worldwide. However, the Gulf of Guinea remains a hotspot for this type of crime, with 57 crew kidnapped in seven incidents. Source, accessed 6 February 2023:

[55] “Annual Report,” Danish Shipping, 2, accessed 15 March 2021,

[56] “Special Boat Squadron sharpens skills,” Ghana Armed Forces, accessed 18 March 2021,

[57] Folketinget (Danish Parliament), “Resolution B295,” accessed 27 May 2021,

[58] ”Danmarks militære indsats mod pirateri og anden maritim kriminalitet i Guineabugten 2016-2022” [“Denmark’s military engagement to counter piracy and other maritime crime in the Gulf of Guinea 2016-2022”], fact sheet handout, press briefing, (Copenhagen: Danish Ministry of Defence, 16 March 2021).

[59] Audio recording by author.

[60] Kwesi Aning, Peter Albrecht and Anne B. Nielsen, West Africa Security Perspectives. Kwesi Aning explains. DIIS Report 2021:03 (Copenhagen: Danish Institute for International Studies), 51-56.

[61] Interview with Jack and Balder, instructors Danish Frogman Corps, March 2020.

[62] Interview with Head of Branch, Danish Special Operations Command, April 2019. 

[63] NATO, Joint Doctrine, 2.

[64] Field notes, Nigeria, March 2020. 

[65] Interview with Jack and Balder, March 2020.

[66] Rosa, Social Acceleration.

[67] Interview with Watson, team leader Danish Frogman Corps, August 2019; interview with Ken, instructor Danish Frogman Corps, February 2021.

[68] Conversation with Hero. Ghana, November 2020.

[69] Conversation with Nice, Ghana, November 2020.

[70] Field work observation, Ghana October 2020.

[71] Hartmut Rosa, “De-Synchronization, Dynamic Stabilization, Dispositional Squeeze: The Problem of Temporal Mismatch”. In: Judy Wajcman and Nigel Dodd, ed. The Sociology of Speed: Digital, Organizational and Social Temporalities. (Oxford: Oxford University Press, 2017), 35, emphases in original.

[72] Hartmut Rosa, “De-Synchronization”, 35.

[73] Interview with David, instructor Danish Frogman Corps, February 2021.

[74] Interview with Ken, instructor Danish Frogman Corps, February 2021.

[75] Interview with Ken, February 2021.

[76] Interview Jack and Balder, March 2020.

[77]Interview with Watson, August 2019.

[78] Interview with Jack and Balder, March 2020.

[79] Interview with Carl, instructor Danish Frogman Corps, March 2020.

[80] Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow: The Psychology of Engagement with Everyday Life (New York: BasicBooks, 1997), 30-31.

[81] Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow.

[82] Hartmut Rosa, “De-Synchronization”, 41.

[83] Interview Wilfred, Commander Ghana Navy SBS, November 2020.

[84] Interview with Carl, March 2020.

[85] Interview with Carl, March 2020.

[86] Interview with Ken, February 2021.

[87] Greg Downey, “Scaffolding Imitation,” 207.

[88] Interview Jack and Balder, March 2020.

[89] Interview with David, February 2021; interview with Ken, February 2021.

[90] Interview with Ken, February 2021.

[91] Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Finding Flow.

[92] Tone Danielsen, Making Warriors, 218.

[93] Conversation with Head of Branch, Danish Special Operations Command, June 2020.

[94] Victor Turner, “Liminality and Communitas.” In: The Ritual Process: Structure and Anti-Structure, (Chicago: Aldine Publishing 1969), 94-113.

[95] Turner, “Liminality,” 95.

[96] Turner, “Liminality,” 96.

[97] The “anti-structure” might become more permanent, so that the period in which it is established actually becomes the foundation for a flipped perspective. The anti-structure might develop into a permanent normality, with society outside it. I thank my colleague Anders Klitmøller, Royal Danish Defence College, for this interesting point.

[98] Turner, ”Liminality.”

[99] Marshall Sahlins, What Kinship is – and is not (Chicago, London: The University of Chicago Press, 2013).

[100] Marcel Mauss, Techniques.

[101] Marcel Mauss, Techniques, 75.

[102] Marcel Mauss, Techniques, 71.

[103] Marcel Mauss, Techniques, 73-74.

[104] Greg Downey, “Scaffolding Imitation,” 205.

[105] Greg Downey, “Scaffolding Imitation,” 207.

[106] Greg Downey, “Scaffolding Imitation,” 206.

[107] Greg Downey, “Scaffolding Imitation,” 206.

[108] Greg Downey, “Scaffolding Imitation,” 206.

[109] Interview with David and Christian, instructors Danish Frogman Corps, November 2020.

[110] Interview, Simon and Michael, instructors Danish Frogman Corps, March 2020.

[111] Interview with Simon and Michael, March 2020.

[112] Duclos et al., “Speed,” 2.

[113] Virilio, Speed and Politics.

[114] Rosa, Social Acceleration.

[115] Rosa, Social Acceleration, 14-16.

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