The North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) has since the turn of the new century experienced a double transformation gap: between global and regionally oriented allies and between allies emulating new military practices defined by the United States and allies resisting radical change. This article takes stock of these gaps in light of a decade’s worth of collective and national adjustments and in light of counter-insurgency lessons provided by Afghanistan. It argues first of all that the latter transatlantic gap is receding in importance because the United States has adjusted its transformation approach and because some European allies have significantly invested in technological, doctrinal, and organizational reform. The other transformation gap is deepening, however, pitching battle-hardened and expeditionary allies against allies focused on regional tasks of stabilization and deterrence. There is a definite potential for broad transformation, our survey of officers’ opinion shows, but NATO’s official approach to transformation, being broad and vague, provides neither political nor military guidance. If NATO is to move forward and bridge the gap, it must clarify the lessons of Afghanistan and embed them in its new Strategic Concept.
While the study of the causes of civil war is a well-established subdiscipline in international relations, the effects of civil war on society remain less understood. Yet, such effects could have crucial implications for long-term stability and democracy in a country after the reaching of a peace agreement. This article contributes to the understanding of the effects of warfare on interethnic relations, notably attitudes of ethno-nationalism. Two hypotheses are tested: first, that the prevalence of ethno-nationalism is higher after than before the war, and second, that individuals who have been directly affected by the war are more nationalist than others. The variation in ethno-nationalism is examined over time, between countries, and between ethnic groups. Three countries that did not experience conflict on their own territory serve as a control group. The effect of individual war exposure is also tested in the analysis. Sources include survey data from the former Yugoslavia in 1989, shortly before the outbreak of war in Croatia and Bosnia and Herzegovina, and in 2003, some years after the violence in the region ended. Contrary to common beliefs, the study shows that ethno-nationalism does not necessarily increase with ethnic civil war. The individual war experiences are less important than expected.
Given the record of the US occupation and the profound limitations of America’s present stature, the Barack Obama administration is right to continue to draw down the American presence in Iraq. But in remembering the egregious mistakes of its predecessor the administration should not claim victory as it exits. It should not, as Vice President Joe Biden did in the midst of the de-Ba’athification crisis, claim all is well in Baghdad. A more honest and realistic approach would recognise the impossible legacy left by the Bush administration. The damage the previous administration did so much to encourage would then be minimised with the help of US allies and multilateral organisations. In short, after seven years of American occupation, it is time to go home.
This article examines the development of cooperative relationships in back-channel communication and their impact on intraparty negotiation. It draws on extensive newly available evidence on back-channel communication in the Irish peace process to expand the range of detailed case studies on a topic which is shrouded in secrecy and resistant to academic inquiry. The article analyses the operation of a secret back channel that linked the Irish Republican Army to the British government over a period of 20 years, drawing on unique material from the private papers of the intermediary, Brendan Duddy, and a range of other primary sources. The article finds that interaction through this back channel increased predictability and laid a foundation of extremely limited trust by providing information and increasing mutual understanding. Strong cooperative relationships developed at the intersection between the two sides, based to a great extent on strong interpersonal relationships and continuity in personnel. This in turn produced direct pressure for changes in the position of parties as negotiators acted as advocates of movement in intraparty negotiations. The article finds that this back channel was characterized by a short chain, the direct involvement of principals and the establishment of a single primary channel of communication and that these features combined with secrecy to generate the distinctive cooperative dynamics identified in this article. It concludes that the potential for the development of cooperative relationships is particularly strong in back-channel negotiation for two reasons; first, the joint project of secrecy creates an ongoing shared task that builds trust and mutual understanding regardless of progress in the negotiations. Secondly, as a shared project based on the explicit aim of bypassing spoilers, the process creates structural pressures for cooperation to manage internal opponents on both sides, pressures intensified by the secrecy of the process.
The two volumes of Understanding Civil War build upon the World Bank’s prior research on conflict and violence, particularly on the work of Paul Collier and Anke Hoeffler, whose model of civil war onset has sparked much discussion on the relationship between conflict and development in what came to be known as the “greed” versus “grievance” debate. The authors systematically apply the Collier-Hoeffler model to 15 countries in 6 different regions of the world, using a comparative case study methodology to revise and expand upon economic models of civil war. (The countries selected are Burundi, Congo, Democratic Republic of Congo, Nigeria, Kenya, Mozambique, Sudan, Algeria, Mali, Senegal, Indonesia, Lebanon, Russian Federation, Colombia, Northern Ireland, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Macedonia, and the Caucasus.) The book concludes that the “greed” versus “grievance” debate should be abandoned for a more complex model that considers greed and grievance as inextricably fused motives for civil war.
I n July 2009, the Center for Complex Operations (CCO) facilitated a workshop sponsored by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) to capture the experiences of USDA agricultural advisors deployed to ministries and Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in Iraq and Afghanistan. The discussions yielded numerous individual observations, insights, and potential lessons from the work of these advisors on PRTs in these countries. This article presents a broad overview of the challenges identified by the conference participants and highlights key recommendations generated as a result of suggestions and comments made at the workshop. The workshop was intended to capture insights and lessons from the !eld to develop recommendations for improvements in PRT operations, with a particular focus on agricultural development. The 30 participants came from a broad spectrum of USDA: the National Resources Conservation Service, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Farm and Foreign Agricultural Services, Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, Agricultural Marketing Service, and the Grain Inspection, Packers, and Stockyards Administration. To focus the agenda, CCO and USDA designed a preworkshop survey administered to the 30 USDA returnees (22 from Iraq and 8 from Afghanistan). After receiving 24 responses, CCO and USDA used the results to develop an agenda built around facilitated group discussions in four areas: doctrine and guidance, civil-military cooperation and command and control relationships, projects and their impact on the host nation, and administrative issues.
The social reintegration of ex-combatants is one of the most critical aspects of peacebuilding processes. However, contrary to economic reintegration in which it would be possible to set up some quantitative indicators in terms of accessing vocational training opportunities, employment and livelihoods income for the assessment of success, social reintegration is an intangible outcome. Therefore, what constitutes a successful social reintegration and how it could be assessed continues to be the challenge for both academics and practitioners. This article will undertake an investigation of the preliminary parameters of social reintegration at the macro, meso and micro levels in order to identify a set of indicators for programme assessment. A nuanced understanding of ex-combatant reintegration is expected to allow the development of context-based indicators according to the specific characteristics of that particular environment. The article also recommends the use of participatory research methods as they would be more appropriate for the measurement of social reintegration impact.
Most aid spending by governments seeking to rebuild social and political order is based on an opportunity-cost theory of distracting potential recruits. The logic is that gainfully employed young men are less likely to participate in political violence, implying a positive correlation between unemployment and violence in locations with active insurgencies. The authors test that prediction in Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Philippines, using survey data on unemployment and two newly available measures of insurgency: (1) attacks against government and allied forces and (2) violence that kill civilians. Contrary to the opportunity-cost theory, the data emphatically reject a positive correlation between unemployment and attacks against government and allied forces (p < .05 percent). There is no significant relationship between unemployment and the rate of insurgent attacks that kill civilians. The authors identify several potential explanations, introducing the notion of insurgent precision to adjudicate between the possibilities that predation on one hand, and security measures and information costs on the other, account for the negative correlation between unemployment and violence in these three conflicts.
In countries affected by insurgencies, development programs may potentially reduce violence by improving economic outcomes and increasing popular support for the government. In this paper, we test the efficacy of this approach through a large-scale randomized controlled trial of the largest development program in Afghanistan at the height of the Taliban insurgency. We find that the program generally improved economic outcomes, increased support for the government, and reduced insurgent violence. However, in areas close to the Pakistani border, the program did not increase support for the government and actually increased insurgent violence. This heterogeneity in treatment effects appears to be due to differences between districts in the degree of infiltration by external insurgents, who are not reliant on the local population for support. The results suggest that while development programs can quell locally-based insurgencies, such programs may be counterproductive when implemented in areas where insurgents are not embedded in the local population.
The 2011 World development report looks across disciplines and experiences drawn from around the world to offer some ideas and practical recommendations on how to move beyond conflict and fragility and secure development. The key messages are important for all countries-low, middle, and high income-as well as for regional and global institutions: first, institutional legitimacy is the key to stability. When state institutions do not adequately protect citizens, guard against corruption, or provide access to justice; when markets do not provide job opportunities; or when communities have lost social cohesion-the likelihood of violent conflict increases. Second, investing in citizen security, justice, and jobs is essential to reducing violence. But there are major structural gaps in our collective capabilities to support these areas. Third, confronting this challenge effectively means that institutions need to change. International agencies and partners from other countries must adapt procedures so they can respond with agility and speed, a longer-term perspective, and greater staying power. Fourth, need to adopt a layered approach. Some problems can be addressed at the country level, but others need to be addressed at a regional level, such as developing markets that integrate insecure areas and pooling resources for building capacity Fifth, in adopting these approaches, need to be aware that the global landscape is changing. Regional institutions and middle income countries are playing a larger role. This means should pay more attention to south-south and south-north exchanges, and to the recent transition experiences of middle income countries.
Soon after coming to power in May 1997, the new government of Congo initiated a national reconstruction process, based on the principles of decentralization, and participation, to overcome the centralist, and authoritarian legacies of the past. The Government also prepared, and adopted a decree-law in 1998, with a view to institutionalizing these two principles during a transition period of two years. Despite the resurgence of war in August 1998, the Government’s decentralization policy remains, by and large appropriate. After presenting the legacies of Mobutu’s rule that propel the current need for decentralization, and participation, the paper discusses what these ideas mean to people at the grassroots level. Harnessing some of the many ideas expressed in consultations, and conferences sponsored by the Government, the paper discusses the substance of the Government’s decentralization policy, and the extent to which it was applied. The paper goes on to explain the growing role of traditional, and religious actors within Congolese society, and discusses their relationship to the new Government. Finally, the paper suggests building on the policy already initiated by the Government, to institutionalize participation, and decentralization, and use them to overcome the divisions left by decades of conflict.
This article uses a sequential mixed method approach to examine the origins and persistence of paramilitaries and state-sponsored militias in the developing world. Combining comparative case studies of Southeast Asia and the Middle East with statistical analysis, it shows that revolutionary decolonization produces more decentralized and localized force structures, while direct inheritance of colonial armies leads to more conventional force structures. Subsequently, the level of competition within the regional system influences whether a state can persist in the use of paramilitaries or must transition to a more centralized, conventional force.
The scale and ferocity of post-war violence regularly confounds the expectations of security and development specialists. When left unchecked, mutating violence can tip ‘fragile’ societies back into all out warfare. In the context of formal peace support operations, conventional security promotion efforts are routinely advanced to prevent this from happening. These include disarmament, demobilisation and reintegration (DDR) and wider security system/sector reform (SSR). There are also lesser known but no less important interventions to promote security that deviate from-but also potentially reinforce and enhance-DDR and SSR. Faced with dynamic post-war contexts, erstwhile warring parties, peace mediators and practitioners have crafted a host of innovative and experimental security promotion initiatives designed to mitigate risks and symptoms of post-war violence including interim stabilisation measures and second generation DDR. Drawing on a growing evidence base, the article sets out a host of contextual determinants that shape the character and effectiveness of security promotion on the ground. It then issues a typology of emergent practices-some that occur before, during and after DDR and SSR interventions. Taken together, they offer a fascinating new research agenda for those preoccupied with post-war security promotion.
Reintegration was prioritised over demobilisation and disarmament in Tajikistan’s peace process. Inadequate disarmament rates were disregarded, but integration of opposition fighters into military and law enforcement units was relatively swift. This created high levels of trust among the former fighters and commanders. The quick provision of incentives, such as comprehensive amnesties and the offer of government positions and economic assets created stakes in the peace process for a number of actors. Transitional justice was largely overlooked. In this way, the case of Tajikistan runs counter to key elements of what has been termed the ‘post-conflict reconstruction orthodoxy’. At the same time, Tajikistan is a rare example of the emergence of post-war stability. This article provides a detailed account of the DDR process and outlines the incentives that it created for the warring parties. It also assesses the emergence of spoilers and the government’s counter strategies. The article concludes by highlighting the consolidation of President Rakhmonov’s power since 2001, but also raises some questions regarding the viability of Tajikistan’s long-term political and economic development.
Since the fall of the Taliban regime, Afghanistan has become an experiment for the international community in installing democracy from outside. Externally led democratization against rushed timetables and based on formal institutions, however, was not rooted enough in the traditional institutions of Afghanistan and was conducted simultaneously with war fighting, while any benefits from reconstruction were not reaching the people. This article argues that, as a result of this lack of ‘buy-in’, the gap between democratic ideals and the lives of ordinary Afghans is widening, thereby undermining popular support, perhaps for a generation. Seeing Afghans primarily as recipients of, and not the driving force for, democracy, coupled with growing dissatisfaction with progress on economic development, may ultimately provoke popular resistance.
The Democratic Republic of Congo has been plagued by continued conflict and violence in the East despite the official ending of the war. And civilians have borne the brunt of this conflict. Security sector reform (SSR) is a critical element in ensuring security, stability and sustainable peace. This article examines security sector reform conducted by the UN Mission in Congo, and also refers to other actors involved in the process, focusing primarily on the East where insecurity is prevalent due to the non-integrated Congolese forces, the Armed Forces of the DRC, other armed groups and foreign, mainly Rwandan, troops. It contends that SSR is vital to protect civilians and that thus far MONUC has not fulfilled its mandate of protection.
This essay explores the interdependence between statebuilding, narcotics and conflict through an analysis of interviews and a survey conducted, in the spring of 2005, in the Laghman and Nangarhar provinces of Afghanistan. Rural Afghanistan is characterized by weak conflict-processing mechanisms, combined with a high propensity towards the escalation of violence. State-sponsored institutions for conflict processing hardly exist, and donor attempts to prop up traditional institutions, such as the village shura, as a substitute for local government have failed to produce tangible results. Farmers widely acknowledge the benefits of opium as one of the few available cash crops. As a result, competition over scarce land and propensity for violence are affected indirectly by the drug economy. The study concludes with a criticism of current poppy eradication efforts. Under an informal eradication contract, provincial leaders are induced to comply with the request of the central government to reduce opium cultivation, in exchange for increased political autonomy and the promise of donor funds.
What are the causes of electoral violence? And how does electoral violence influence conflict resolution and democracy? This article argues for a conceptualization of electoral violence as a specific sub-category of political violence, determined mainly by its timing and target. The enabling conditions and triggering factors can be identified in three main areas: 1) the nature of politics in conflict societies, 2) the nature of competitive elections, and 3) the incentives created by the electoral institutions. These clusters of factors are important for understanding electoral violence both between different societies and across elections in a specific country.
This article examines how the drugs economy emerged, evolved and adapted to transformations in Afghanistan’s political economy. With a primary focus on the conflictual war to peace transition following the signing of the Bonn Agreement, the relationship between drugs and political (dis)order is explored. Central to the analysis is an examination of the power relationships and institutions of extraction that developed around the drug economy. Expanding upon a model developed by Snyder (2004), it is argued that joint extraction regimes involving rulers and private actors have tended to bring political order whereas private extraction regimes have led to decentralized violence and political breakdown. This model helps explain why in some parts of Afghanistan drugs and corruption have contributed to a level of political order, whereas in other areas they have fuelled disorder. Thus, there is no universal, one-directional relationship between drugs, corruption and conflict. Peacebuilding involves complex bargaining processes between rulers and peripheral elites over power and resources and when successful leads to stable interdependencies. Counter-narcotics policies have the opposite effect and are thus fuelling conflict.
This article examines the role of development co-operation in the 1991-2001 civil war in Sierra Leone. British military intervention, sanctions against Liberia for supporting the rebellion and the deployment of UN peacekeepers were key, albeit belated, initiatives that helped resolve the conflict. The lessons are that, first, domestic forces alone may be incapable of resolving large-scale violent conflicts in Africa. Second, conflict tends to spread from one country to another, calling for strong regional conflict resolution mechanisms and deeper regional integration to promote peace. Third, donor policies need to address the root causes of state fragility, especially the political and security dimensions, which they tend to ignore. Fourth, a critical analysis is required to determine circumstances in which elections could undermine peace: the conduct of donor-supported elections under an unpopular military government in Sierra Leone culminated in an escalation of the conflict. Finally, a united international community is crucial to resolve a complex conflict and it should be accompanied by strong and timely measures informed by a full understanding of local conditions.
This conclusion reviews the Special Issue’s perspective on organized crime as both potential ‘enemy’ and ‘ally’ of peace processes. The social and economic power wielded by organized crime is highlighted, pointing to the role that peace operations play as an intervening variable between individuals/communities and the environments in which they operate. Peace operations use a range of tactics, from coercion to co-option, working with or against organized crime. However, these tactics will only be successful if they are framed within a coherent strategy, which may pursue either containment or transformation- or seek to combine them- through a phased transitional strategy. Peace operations should be a key component in a broad strategy of intelligent international law enforcement.
Peace operations are increasingly on the front line in the international community’s fight against organized crime. In venues as diverse as Afghanistan, the Balkans, Haiti, Iraq and West Africa, multiple international interventions have struggled with a variety of protection rackets, corruption and trafficking in a wide range of licit and illicit commodities: guns, drugs, oil, cars, diamonds, timber – and human beings. This introduction to the Special Issue on peace operations and organized crime discusses the concept of ‘organized crime’ as a label, and suggests ways of differentiating organized crime groups on the basis of their social governance roles, resources and strategies towards authority structures – such as peace operations.