Jan 012013

Stability Operations Magazine
Volume 8, Number 4 – January-February, 2013

DFID Development Education Program

UK DFID Development Education Program

Much as the international development and community health paradigm preaches that “you have to get healthy before you can get wealthy,” the same goes for the well-being of states.  A country lacking a stable rule of law and robust civil society also wants for social and economic infrastructure that is hospitable to viable long-term development.

The U.S. Government first accepted the utility of foreign stabilization activities as a tool of diplomacy during World War II with the Marshall Plan.  In the half-century that has passed since then, security assistance programs and international aid distribution have become increasingly visible activities of both governments and non-state actors.  Private non-governmental organizations (NGOs) and international organizations (IOs) have embraced that development reinforces stability.  The realization that these happenings are two sides of the same coin is important.  They are, however, two different sides.  As General Phillips observed at the 2010 ISOA Annual Summit, “development is not stabilization, and stabilization is not development.”

Jan 012013

Stability Operations Magazine
Volume 8, Number 4 – January-February, 2013

UN and IOM Community Project

UN and IOM Community Rehabilitation Project

From Yugoslavia in the 1990s to Syria, Yemen and Somalia today, fragile states pose destabilizing security threats to entire regions of the world and they impact the global community as well. In Syria, for example, the global community is trying to cope with an emerging humanitarian disaster embedded within a live conflict zone.  Even so, there is a remarkable record of success by civil society groups in helping to stabilize such societies by protecting vulnerable populations, building resilience against renewed conflict, and rebuilding economic and governance institutions.

The Balkans: Laboratory for Stability and Development

Recent civil stabilization successes can be traced to efforts launched in the Balkans in the 1990s, where civil society groups became, and remain, critical partners in sustaining the peace and laying the groundwork for the entry of several new states into the European Union. The European Investment Bank, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and World Bank recently confirmed this success, and committed to sustain it, by pledging $38.3 billion of additional aid to the Balkans and Southeastern Europe. The three institutions plan to jointly put capital into small and medium-size enterprises, infrastructure and other projects to promote economic development and continued regional integration.

Jan 012013

Stability Operations Magazine
Volume 8, Number 4 – January-February, 2013

DFID Education Program in Gaza

UK DFID International Development Education Program in Gaza

Since the end of the Cold War, the international community has followed a Weberian interventionist template that calls for establishing a monopoly on violence, building or reforming administrative bureaucracies, and increasing the penetration of state institutions.  The fear of “ungoverned space” has reinforced the presumption that strengthening state institutions in fragile and failed states is the primary solution for countering transnational terrorism and proto-insurgencies.  However, recent experiences with nation building in Iraq and Afghanistan have cast doubt on the efficacy of this approach. Despite considerable effort and expense, governance initiatives in these countries have yielded decidedly lackluster results.  As such, there is growing recognition that top-down, state-centric stabilization in the most worn-torn areas is too slow, too cumbersome, and in some instances counterproductive to security goals. [1]  In today’s era of shrinking defense and international development budgets, wide ranging and long term commitments to governance development have become too costly and politically contentious to sustain on a large scale. [2]

Despite its growing distaste for costly and open-ended stabilization operations the international community will continue to intervene to prevent failed states and to combat terrorist groups. While there is no question that bolstering governance will remain a cornerstone of stabilization methodology, the current shift away from large scale nation building means better scoped and more effective approaches – ones that take into consideration contextual realities and utilize local solutions – must be developed.

Jan 012013

Stability Operations Magazine
Volume 8, Number 4 – January-February, 2013

Female Engagement Team

2nd. Lt. Almahasnah at a Female Engagement Team conference

Strangely enough, peace operations and peace building professionals do not work together anywhere near enough. That should not be the case, because we need each other. In the simplest terms, stability operations are most needed when we peace builders fail in our primary mission—preventing conflict from turning violent. Similarly, if stability operations fail after the fighting ends, it becomes all but impossible for us to do our other job—forging lasting agreements after the fighting stops that lead to reconciliation and equitable, sustainable societies.

In this article, I try to make the case that there are places we can turn to find models of how we could and should work together. I conclude by suggesting that there are also some signs that we are moving in directions that could make cooperation between us easier.

In an ideal world, we would do our work together. As everything from Defense Department doctrine to United Nations sequencing of peace building show, they are intellectually part of a seamless whole.

Jan 012013

Stability Operations Magazine
Volume 8, Number 4 – January-February, 2013

Jim Bullion

Jim Bullion, Director, TFBSO

James L. Bullion is the Director of the Task Force for Business Stability Operations (TFBSO).  Prior to joining TFBSO, Mr. Bullion was President of Phoenix Global Services, LLC, a strategy and management consulting firm.  Earlier in his career he held senior executive positions in international telecommunications companies.  He began his career in commercial banking and investment management.

Mr. Bullion is a retired colonel of the United States Army Reserve and served two tours in Iraq. Mr. Bullion earned a B.A. in Economics from Dartmouth College and an MBA from the Amos Tuck School of Business Administration.

Jan 012013

Stability Operations Magazine
Volume 8, Number 4 – January-February, 2013

AMISOM primary school

AMISOM new primary school in Mogadishu

United States foreign policy worldwide has always suffered from the syndrome that I call,  “we don’t want to get involved, but we can’t stay out.” This applied to both Republican and Democratic administrations, and to all continents.

A good example in Africa was the long 30-year Sudanese civil war between the Arab government in Khartoum and the Southern Peoples Liberation Movement. During the 1980s and 1990s, the US regarded this war as essentially a humanitarian issue. When George W. Bush became President in 2001, he decided to begin a comprehensive and vigorous mediation effort that led to a peace treaty in 2005, and the final separation into two separate states in 2011. What happened? Bush was under heavy pressure from his political base to do something to save the mainly Christian population of south Sudan from the horrors of Khartoum’s scorched earth policy.

During his first four years, Obama did an excellent job of refraining from taking charge of Africa’s crises. He did make sure that his administration kept up the momentum in Sudan generated by his predecessor right through to the separation into two states. And even after that momentous moment in 2011, the US has maintained two special representatives to assist the two parties to solve ongoing tensions in the south and in the province of Darfur. But this is anticlimactic.  Bush did the real job.

Jan 012013

Stability Operations Magazine
Volume 8, Number 4 – January-February, 2013

UN Convoy Escorts AU Delegation

UN Convoy Escorts African Union Delegation

Since the withdrawal of many coalition military and government personnel from Iraq, Private Security Companies (PSCs) have found themselves in an increasingly competitive market to provide armed, protective services to commercial clients.  New Tactics, Techniques, and Procedures (TTPs) have been adopted by many PSCs currently providing mobile security services in Iraq. While many new TTPs have evolved from changing risk and threat assessments, some new TTPs have resulted from cost-sensitive commercial clients awarding contracts to PSCs based primarily on cost. Without a working knowledge of mobile security operations, however, clients hiring PSCs cannot ensure that they have correctly balanced cost and effective security provision. The priorities that underlie Iraq’s current private security market prompt questions about clients’ perceptions of security, the tactical organization of teams, and the dangers of prioritizing price when selecting security providers.

Nov 012012

Stability Operations Magazine
Volume 8, Number 3- November-December, 2012

South Sudan police recruits at training.

The Challenge

In the decades since the fall of the Soviet Union (a relatively recent event that seems as lost in the mists of time as the Middle Ages) and particularly since 9/11 there has been substantial public, and professional, reflection and debate over a critical set of questions about the pursuit of “national” (or human) security.  Who is the “foe” and what is his nature?  What are the most effective policies for the conduct of struggle?  Indeed, what is the fundamental nature of the problem we face?   What are “security” and “stability”?  How do we attain them?  Observers and critics have variously labeled the contemporary environment and particular struggles within it as “the global war on terrorism,” “the long war,” “small wars,” “global counterinsurgency,” “fourth generation warfare,” “war amongst the peoples” or “the five front war.”  It seems that although there is no consensus on the label for the situation there is substantial agreement that it’s not the conflict that the Western militaries now fighting anticipated fighting in the days before 9/11.  This debate has only gotten more complicated with the evolution of the “Arab Spring” of 2011; events in Libya, Yemen, Bahrain, Mali, Syria and throughout the region highlight the complexity of the contemporary security environment. This problem only gets more complicated when the focus is expanded to include longer-term challenges, such as Pakistan or most notably China, simultaneously America’s vital business partner, only real potential military rival in the coming decades, and a land subject to enormous internal social and political tensions.  Whatever one’s view on the details, it’s clear that the contemporary security environment is definitely not a simple one.

Nov 012012

Stability Operations Magazine
Volume 8, Number 3- November-December, 2012

UNMIL peacekeeper talks with young girl.

In an effort to promote long-term stability in a failed or failing state, many stability operations companies provide services that involve training and advising foreign counterparts.  Even for the companies with functions that don’t normally incorporate foreign advisory, there always exists the potential to pass on knowledge and abilities to foreign partners.  It often may be easier to conduct our stability efforts without being hindered by untrained, ill-equipped local counterparts, yet much of that hindrance may be attributed to the difficulty of undeveloped countries to comprehend and maintain our more advanced concepts.  We can actually overcome these difficulties and create sustainable solutions towards long-term stability by encouraging our host nation partners to develop their own stability efforts, use locally available resources and take responsibility for implementing their own operations.

Nov 012012

Stability Operations Magazine
Volume 8, Number 8- November-December, 2012

Afghan Honour Guard Conduct Training Exercise.

No officer cadet who has graduated from the Royal Military Academy Sandhurst (RMAS) in the United Kingdom forgets his or her time at RMAS. Sandhurst creates, in the words of Sir Arthur Bryant, the noted British historian and columnist, “the martial habits of discipline, courage, loyalty, pride and endurance.”  Its motto is “Serve to Lead,” and since its establishment in1947 as the British Army’s newly re-organized post World War II officer cadet academy, Sandhurst has continued a tradition and history of training the British Army’s officer corps that dates back to 1741 when the original Royal Military Academy was first established.

The parade ground at Sandhurst has always been the great leveler. Regardless of whether a cadet comes from royal lineage – British or foreign – or has ‘a family history’ with a particular regiment, or increasingly in recent years, enters RMAS with a university degree in -hand, no one escapes the eagle eyes of the Academy Sergeant-Major and his staff of experienced Warrant Officers and senior Non-Commission Officers (NCOs). They form the bulk of the instructing staff and command a fearsome reputation for their level of professionalism, experience, and abilities in teaching and developing core military skills in Officer Cadets.

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