Archive

The Strategic Civilian: Challenges for Non-Combatants in 21st Century Warfare

Abstract The notion of the ‘Strategic Corporal’ in conflict is a necessary, but not sufficient concept. This idea recognises what we have long known. Effective operational outcomes rely on having good leaders at every level who know what they are doing. Military leadership, whether it is of an army or an infantry section, is something that we recognize easily. However, we must recognize, and make better preparations for the fact that we are already deploying civilians into conditions of modern warfare. These ‘complex’ operations range from counter-insurgency, stabilisation and reconstruction to peacebuilding, where even relatively junior officials and non-government organization representatives are making decisions with long-term strategic ramifications. Even short of conflict, overseas deployments will involve military and civilians working together in humanitarian relief and disaster response. Natural disasters are often as politicised as warfare, the main distinction being that while the military will lead in combat operations, in virtually every other circumstance the military only supports the civil lead. Yet while our analysis of military leadership requirements is highly developed, our appreciation of the civilian leadership requirements for complex operations hardly exists. We need to develop a concept of the ‘Strategic Civilian’. Downloads View this document on Academia.edu

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Organising for Peace Operations: Lessons Learned from Bougainville East Timor and the Solomon Islands

Abstract This report examines the governmental organizational structures used in three Australian-led interventions in the late 1990s and early 2000s in the Southwest Pacific regions: Bougainville, East Timor, and the Solomon Islands. Whole-of-government efforts requiring coordination across many parts of the Australian Government characterized each of these unique operations, in which different organisational approaches were used to manage the participation of various agencies. During the course of the research, it became apparent that, over time, numerous lessons were learned as branches of the Australian Government gained experience in how best to interact with one another and manage complex operations of this type. The report describes the key Australian agencies that participated in the three operations, the coordinating mechanisms they adopted, and the specific roles they played. In addition to providing insights that should be useful for the preparation and conduct of operations outside Australia, the information in this report also should be useful in terms of better whole-of-government operations inside Australian territory. Downloads View this publication on Academia.edu

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Humanitarian Spaces: Understanding Military-NGO interaction in conflict and disaster

Abstract This paper is a precursor to an in-depth study being carried out with the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and RMIT University, outlining the need for improved understanding of the challenges and opportunities of Military-NGO interaction in complex post-conflict spaces. It is well known that military and NGO operations occupy overlapping spaces in conflict environments, with distinct and divergent cultures and mandates for those operations. However, their understanding of and attitudes towards each other and their missions are equally significant in defining their capacity and willingness to work constructively in tandem. Indeed, the minimum requirement of civilian and military organisations is to work in the same location, if not necessarily cooperatively or collaboratively. Harris highlights that as a result of geo-political and combat developments globally, key actors now regularly find themselves outside of their traditional zones of operation – militaries as peacekeepers, transitional police; NGOs operating in increasingly violent environments, while attempting to maintain independence. Humanitarian Spaces outlines important differences in the meaning of common terminology, such as “humanitarian” and “CIMIC/CMCoord”, the combination of significant security needs and human needs necessitating distinct multi-sector responses to conflict, and the difficulties of perceptions of conflict response operations by those affected, as key…

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Working paper: ‘No better friend, no worse enemy: How different organisational cultures impede and enhance Australia’s whole-of-government approach’

Abstract Since 1999, Australia has increasingly deployed the military in joint, combined, interagency environments as part of a ‘whole-of-government’ approach. Despite some successes, a number of barriers between the contributing agencies continue to interfere with attempts to synchronise disparate elements of national power into a unified national effort. This paper examines these barriers through the lens of Australian operations in Timor-Leste, the Solomon Islands and Afghanistan to determine how these barriers can be overcome and strives to broaden institutional perspective for members of the civil-military-police community. It concludes that incompatible organisational culture is the most significant impediment to Australia’s whole-of-government approach but argues that some differences in organisational culture provide the whole-of-government approach with its greatest strength. Differences in organisational perspective offer diversity in thinking, challenges the status quo, prevents groupthink and leads to superior outcomes. By raising awareness of the advantages and disadvantages of different organisational cultures in interagency operations, practitioners and planners will be better placed to overcome the impediment of different organisational cultures and instead leverage them to better synchronise the application of the national power. The author Lieutenant Colonel Mark Smith is an Army Reserve Infantry officer with over 20 years’ service. The views expressed here…

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Civil-Military Occasional Paper 1-2016 – Illicit Small Arms in the Pacific

Abstract With the exception of Papua New Guinea, the number of illicit small arms likely to be in circulation in Western Pacific island countries is not particularly large or widespread. The region remains relatively ‘gun free’ as Philip Alpers’ recently proclaimed. Supply is not bountiful, controls in the form of regional and national laws are sound, disarmament and amnesties have been somewhat successful, and demand is neither strong nor state or region-wide—Papua New Guinea being the exception. In broader context, the Pacific Institute for Public Policy points out that: The Pacific has seen its share of coups and conflict, but deserves recognition for being a largely peaceful region … It also has a wealth of traditional mechanisms to end conflict … It is worth bearing this in mind as the region develops a more ‘bottom-up’ approach to contemporary security issues. The project conducted a strategic assessment, rather than a detailed stocktake, of the illicit small arms in the Western Pacific island region with a focus on Fiji, Solomon Islands and Papua New Guinea (excluding Bougainville). As anticipated, most of the illicit small arms in the region come from within the countries studied and are largely recirculated within them. However, there are…

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Strengthening the Rule of Law through the United Nations Security Council: Policy Proposals

Abstract These Policy Proposals are the product of a three-year Australian Research Council-funded project on ‘Strengthening the Rule of Law through the UN Security Council’. The project is a collaboration between the Australian National University’s Centre for International Governance and Justice and the Australian Government’s Australian Civil-Military Centre. The project examined the relationship between the Security Council and the rule of law when it uses three of its most prominent tools for the maintenance of international peace and security, namely peace operations, sanctions and force. An important project aim was to develop policy proposals to enhance the Security Council’s ability to strengthen the rule of law when it deploys peace operations, applies sanctions and authorises the use of force. During the course of the Strengthening the Rule of Law project a series of eight workshops were convened, involving highly engaged practitioners and academics. Four workshops took place at the Australian National University in Canberra and four were hosted by the Australian Mission to the United Nations in New York. Each workshop brought together a blend of 25-30 practitioners and academics who were experts and creative thinkers in the area of focus. Two hundred and twelve participants were involved across all workshops,…

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Australian Guidelines for the Protection of Civilians

Abstract The Australian Guidelines for the Protection of Civilians (the Guidelines) provide a whole-of-government perspective on the Protection of Civilians (POC) in international situations of armed conflict and other situations of violence. The Guidelines are the product of extensive consultation, facilitated by the Australian Civil-Military Centre, and includes broad representation of Australian government and non-government organisations. In contemporary conflicts civilians are increasingly the targets of systematic and opportunistic violence, including indiscriminate or disproportionate attacks, sexual and gender-based violence and other violations of international law. This situation continues despite the existing protections provided by international humanitarian and human rights law. Clearly, more needs to be done. These Guidelines help identify who has responsibility and what needs to be done when protection of civilians is an issue. They place support for the rule of law at the centre of Australian operational responses. While focusing on operations involving the Australian Defence Force (ADF) and the Australian Federal Police (AFP), they also build a shared understanding of POC across the full range of government departments and agencies that will contribute to an offshore operation. The Guidelines provide guidance on how to implement Australia’s POC focus areas: Protection through dialogue and engagement Provision of physical…

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Asian Perspectives on Civil-Military-Police Relations and Coordination in Disaster Management

Abstract The Asian Perspectives on Civil-Military-Police Relations and Coordination in Disaster Management study explores the historical evolution of civil-military-police relations in Asia and the role that the military plays in Asian societies today in relation to disaster response. It focuses on how military and police actors mandated to respond in natural disasters interact with established response structures such as national/regional/local disaster management agencies along with the international humanitarian system. The study informs international disaster and crisis management stakeholders that are likely to participate in emergency response operations in Asia such as international non-government organisations, the United Nations, regional groupings like ASEAN, and donor governments. Part 2 of the report serves as a stakeholder guide which provides practical insights into Asian perspectives on civil-military-police relations and coordination in disaster management. It assists contributing countries, such as the Australian Government, to understand better the contexts in which they may operate to assist Asian countries in natural disasters and in planning for such engagements. This research explores the socio-political and civil-military-police relations context, and analyses the role that Asian militaries and the civilian humanitarian sector play in responding to disasters. The research contributes to informing and preparing donors and international stakeholders that are…

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Civil-Military Occasional Paper 4-2015 – Women, Peace and Security: Reflections from Australian male leaders

Abstract The Australian Defence Force (ADF) has come a long way in understanding the importance of gender diversity to our organisation. We recognise that our future defence capability will depend on recruiting the best people from all sectors of society. Women represent over 50 per cent of Australia’s population and we need to tap more effectively into this talent pool. Initiatives over the past two decades have seen an increasingly successful integration of women into the three services. More recently, there has been a concerted effort to incorporate gender considerations into policies, training, planning and on operations. The Women, Peace and Security (WPS) agenda has been a critical guide in this learning process. I, and the ADF senior leaders, strongly support the Defence Implementation Plan (DIP), part of the Australian National Action Plan on Women, Peace and Security 2012–2018. We are committed to fully integrating women and gender considerations into the ADF. New policies and programs and senior leadership efforts are not enough to bring about the deep cultural change that is needed. The change we seek is not just about employing more women. We need to normalise WPS and incorporate its principle into our everyday decision making. In order…

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Skills for Multiagency Responses to International Crises

Abstract Australian responses to international, complex emergencies and humanitarian crises, generated by natural disaster, conflicts or incidents, demand the coordinated responses of multiple civil-military-police actors and agencies. A scoping study of Australian government agency training needs in the latter half of 2013 indicated that stakeholder agencies continue to have difficulty in identifying and developing individual skills to enable people to operate effectively in a high-pressure crisis environment that requires an integrated civil-military-police response. Agencies highlighted the need to develop a ‘whole-of-government’ set of skills for civil-military-police interaction that would complement agency specific skills. In 2015, the Australian Civil-Military Centre (ACMC) commissioned Sustineo to undertake a project to address this gap. This report, based on Sustineo’s research and consultations, goes some way to identifying the skills needed for effective civil-military-police interaction. However, the list is not exhaustive. In fact, the report highlights the difficulty of articulating a specific set of multiagency, cross-cutting skills for civil-military-police interaction. Practitioners gave consistent advice that specific skills were less important than other factors in successful civil-military-police interaction. Skills and training are only one component of success. The factors that can facilitate and enhance civil-military-police interaction and the strategies required to address those factors are much…

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