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Civil-Military Occasional Paper 2-2015 – Security Sector Reform Trends: Conflict-Affected States and International Responses

Abstract This background paper outlines issues that emerged from research commissioned by the Australian Civil-Military Centre (ACMC) in early 2013 to map international perspectives and trends in security sector reform (SSR). The concept of SSR has evolved over the last two decades to describe a range of efforts to improve the security of a state and its citizens through an effective, affordable, accountable and transparent security sector. In all cases, but particularly for conflict-affected states, SSR is about governance of the security sector. Many Australian government departments and agencies, civil society and other organisations have contributed to SSR throughout the post-Cold War period. One trend observed in war-to-peace transitions after the Cold War is that the more expansive peace processes that follow complex civil wars still centre on first gaining agreement about future security arrangements. Some of the most common provisions in peace agreements include restructuring the security apparatus, demobilisation, and re-establishing civilian oversight over state security institutions. These ambitious goals mean timing, sequencing and political legitimacy are critical to achieve meaningful reform within and between those institutions. Transitional political arrangements after conflict—in place until the first post-conflict elections—were shorter (under two years) in many cases in the 1990s, and…

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Civil-Military Occasional Paper 1-2015 – Privateers in Australia’s Conflict and Disaster Zones

Abstract In the conflict and disaster zones where Australia’s military, representatives and aid workers have deployed in the past two decades, private security companies (PSCs) have been a feature of the operating environment, used by other governments, militaries, non-government organisations and multinational companies. Now, PSCs have become an integral part of Australian Government operations overseas. They are employed to secure diplomats in high threat environments, assess security at Australian facilities, and to protect government officials during overseas visits. In Australia’s region too, PSCs are becoming more common, particularly in Papua New Guinea and on commercial shipping in the Indian Ocean. This paper tracks the development of the private security industry and its relevance to Australia. It illustrates how and where PSCs operate and considers the lessons learned from a decade of employing PSCs—particularly those operating in war zones. It tracks the various international efforts underway to regulate and improve the private security industry, as well as the current and future issues Australians should be aware of when interacting with PSCs. Downloads View this publication on Academia.edu

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Evolution of Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict

Abstract International responses to conflict and complex humanitarian emergencies are diverse and multifaceted. Different actors – among them non-government organisations (NGOs), the United Nations (UN) protection mandated organisations, UN peacekeeping forces, both military and police – all have a role to play to mitigate the impact of armed conflict on civilian populations. Over the last 13 years a significant amount of work has been done to improve the international community’s response in relation to the protection of civilians (POC). This has been led by different actors – the UN Security Council, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) and the humanitarian community made up of UN humanitarian agencies, the International Committee of the Red Cross (ICRC), and NGOs – all working in the same complex humanitarian contexts. Despite the development of POC, there is a perceived ‘disconnect’ between the understanding of different forms of protection, the different disciplines practising or working on the POC, and the different guidance and legal regimes imposing obligations on both state and non-state actors in the area of protection. This paper is the first contribution to a broader research project that aims to determine whether the perceived disconnect between actors involved in protection work is real or anecdotal. By exploring the evolution of…

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Perceptions about Protection of Civilians

Abstract Historically, international humanitarian law (IHL) through the Geneva Conventions of 1949 and their Additional Protocols of 1977 has required the protection of civilian populations in armed conflict. The Geneva Conventions provide guidance with regard to the obligations of states and parties to a conflict to apply the principle of distinction and to ensure precaution in attack as they pursue their military objectives. This was the first international legal framework to provide for the protection of civilians and forms the foundation of the ‘Protection of Civilians’ concept. Throughout the 1990s, devastating failures to protect civilians from violence and atrocities shaped thinking at the United Nations (UN) and gave rise to a more expansive concept of Protection of Civilians, incorporating international human rights law, international refugee law, and including best practices in peacekeeping operations and humanitarian response. This is reflected in the adoption of Protection of Civilians in Armed Conflict as a thematic concern of the UN Security Council, and the development of policy and guidance relating to civilian protection since 1999, at the United Nations and elsewhere. The term ‘Protection of Civilians’ has expanded from a set of legal obligations in IHL to a conceptual and operational framework used by…

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Civil-Military Occasional Paper 3-2014 – Survey of Australian not-for-profit experiences: Security sector reform in conflict-affected states

Abstract In the twenty years since the end of the Cold War, Australian not-for-profits (NFPs) have found a range of ways to support societies manage transitions from warfighting postures to modes of peaceful coexistence, and from military governments to civilian-led democracies. In managing the transitions, these societies have relied heavily on the expertise and relative neutrality of national and international civil society organisations. These organisations have helped national political and military leaders find and return to a path of reconciling former combatants and enemies, and deciding how to re‑establish viable security institutions that respond to civilian control and enjoy sufficient public trust. Very little information has been collected to understand the nature and scope of these experiences, however, so in 2013 the Australian Government tasked the Australian Civil-Military Centre (ACMC) to commission a survey of Australian NFP work in support of security sector reform (SSR). Specifically, SSR is understood to be a concept that ‘evolved over the last two decades to describe a range of efforts to improve the security of a state and its citizens, through an effective, affordable, accountable and transparent security sector. In all cases, but particularly for conflict-affected states, SSR is about the governance of the…

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Communication and Complex Emergencies Project

Abstract The Communication and Complex Emergencies Project is a collaboration between the University of Adelaide’s Applied Communication Collaborative Research Unit (ACCRU) and the Australian Civil-Military Centre (ACMC). The project’s main objectives are to highlight the role of communication, including new and social media, in complex emergencies and in support of humanitarian assistance. The work focuses on ‘what we know’ and in doing so maps out a broad array of knowledge while focusing on the functions, strengths and limitations associated with various forms of media, from social networking and social media to radio, television, print and video. The work has a number of outputs that are designed to support each other, including: Downloads View the Social Networking, Social Media: an Annotated Bibliography on Academia.edu View the Social Networking, Social Media: Issues Paper on Academia.edu Communication and Complex Emergencies: Resource Guide on Academia.edu

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Civil-Military Working Paper 3-2013 – A Strategic Framework for Mass Atrocity Prevention

Abstract At the 2005 World Summit of the United Nations, more than 170 Heads of State and Government accepted three interlinked responsibilities, which together constitute the principle of ‘responsibility to protect’ (R2P). First, States accepted their primary responsibility to protect their own population from mass atrocity crimes. Second, they pledged to assist each other in fulfilling their domestic protection responsibilities. And finally, as members of the international community, they assumed the collective responsibility to react, in a timely and decisive manner, if any State were ‘manifestly failing’ to protect its population from mass atrocity crimes. Those three responsibilities are now commonly summarised in the language of R2P’s ‘three pillars’. Among the key constitutive elements of the principle of R2P, prevention has been deemed by many as the single most important. Scholars and policy-makers alike concede that it is both normatively and politically desirable to act early to prevent mass atrocity crimes from being committed—rather than to react after they are already underway. Yet, while the more general topic of conflict prevention has been—and continues to be—a subject of explicit discussion by policy-makers, an important field of inquiry for academics, and a crucial area of advocacy for civil society groups, there…

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Sharing knowledge, driving change – the 8th International Lessons Learned Conference

Abstract The 8th International Lessons Learned Conference (ILLC), which was held in Sydney, Australia, December 2012, brought together nearly 250 participants from 24 countries to share operational lessons and to discuss how they can drive change. The event had a diverse and broad program comprising papers and presentations delivered by military, police, civilian and non-government organisation operational planners, lessons learned practitioners and academics. Under the theme of ‘Transitions’, presentations covered a wide range of topics and parallel streams offered opportunities for attendees to tailor their participation to their specific interests. With papers sourced from the international lessons community, participants appreciated the thematic format of the conference. A highlight for many was the panel that discussed the emergence of the Women, Peace and Security agenda, which is impacting on operational planning across the civil-military spectrum. Others singled out the presentations that identified organisational leadership as an essential requirement in ensuring lessons identified do not become ‘lessons lost’. In the busy operating and fiscally constrained environment faced by most organisations in 2012, it was an important reminder that resources need to be allocated to knowledge management and that lessons need to be tasked out and monitored by senior leadership if they really…

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Civil-Military Working Paper 2-2013 – The Face of Peace in Afghanistan

Introduction This paper outlines the critical challenges in regards to the evolution of the Afghan National Police (or ANP). Rather than lessons learned per se, the paper argues that the lessons to be learned from the Afghan experience are that the militarisation or securitisation of nascent civilian capabilities is problematic. For a model of civilian policing to be effective, it has to be one that the community desires and/or accepts. For Afghanistan, this also requires a true unity of effort on the part of the international community in supporting an Afghan initiated civilian policing model, even if aspects of the model are not regarded as ideal to the Western eye. Let us start with the proposition that police are the face of peace. Downloads Civil-Military-Working Paper 2-2013 – The Face of Peace in Afghanistan

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Civil-Military Working Paper 1-2013 – Police–military interaction in international peace and stability operations

Abstract Policing is an increasingly important part of peace and stability missions. The word ‘policing’ suggests that it is civilian police who carry out the task, but recent practice has seen a marked rise in the use of more militarised formed police units, as well as indications that there is some acceptance of the use of military police or other military personnel in policing or policing-type tasks. Although some new academic work has been done on the militarisation of law enforcement, broader theoretically informed research into what has been termed ‘third-generation civil–military affairs’ remains fledgling. In addition, there is a dearth of doctrine and guidelines relating to police–military interaction in the field. In 2009 the United Nations developed pre-deployment training guidelines that describe generic roles for police and military personnel in peace operations, but the guidelines are fairly general and more detailed documentation dealing with the relationship between the police and the military in operations does not appear to exist. The aim of this project was to help fill the gap between operationally specific reference documents and abstract academic arguments in order to provide some general guidelines for formulating how police and military personnel should interact and decide on the…

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