When Britain sent military advisers to Sierra Leone in 2000, the former colony had been devastated by a decade-long civil war. The U.N. mission had failed to get the rebels to disarm… Advisers undertook the structural, institutional reform of the Sierra Leone Armed Forces: its training organization, command structure, administration, supply, maintenance, and personnel management systems…In addition to security, there are two more necessary elements to allow post-conflict reconstruction to take place. One is governance, including the electoral process, the minimizing of corruption, law and order, and a working financial system. The other is essential services: electricity, clean water, basic health and sanitation, communications…If these three things are put in place, then business can function, and it is business that does reconstruction best. Governments, armies, institutions like the U.N. are too slow and bureaucratic and always under-resourced.
This study contains the results of research on reconstructing internal security institutions during nation-building missions. It analyzes the activities of the United States and other countries in building viable police, internal security forces, and justice structures. This study examines in detail the reconstruction efforts in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Kosovo, three of the most important instances in the post-Cold War era in which the United States and its allies have attempted to reconstruct security institutions. It then compares these cases with six others in the post-Cold War era: Panama, El Salvador, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and East Timor. Finally, the study draws conclusions from the case studies and analysis, and derives recommendations to help the United States and other international actors improve their performance in the delivery of post-conflict security. The results should be of interest to a broad audience of policymakers and academics concerned with the successes and shortcomings of past security efforts. Although the study is not intended to be a detailed analysis of U.S. or allied military doctrine regarding stability operations, we believe it provides a useful set of guidelines and recommendations for a wide range of military, civilian, and other practitioners.