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This study examines United States and allied efforts to provide security and rebuild internal security institutions in post-conflict environments. Establishing order during the "golden hour" should be the most immediate concern of policymakers to avert chaos and prevent criminal and insurgent groups from securing a foothold in society. In addition, a state's long-term prospects for governance and stability depend on viable police, security forces, and justice structures to deal with the most significant internal threats from insurgent groups, criminal organizations, and local militia and warlords. Consequently, this study asks two major questions: How successful have U.S. and allied efforts been in reconstructing internal security institutions? What are the most important lessons for current and future operations?
Assessing U.S. and international efforts to build indigenous internal security structures is important for several reasons. First, nation-building operations have become more frequent in the post-Cold War era, and there is little reason to believe that this trend will decline. An examination of past successes and failures is therefore crucial to inform future efforts. Second, strengthening internal security and rule-of-law institutions is a critical U.S. interest. It enables foreign governments tocooperate in achieving such objectives as _ countering terrorist groups, improves governance institutions, and ultimately increases the prospects for development. Third, the United States and other countries have a poor track record of reconstructing war-torn societies in general and a troubled history in the construction of internal security structures in particular. Past efforts have not always been successful. The United States plays a particularly important role as the world's only superpower. It is one of the largest contributors to international police missions and has played the leading role in using military force to encourage political transitions. It is therefore vital that U.S. policymakers understand past lessons to improve current and future performance.
This study examines success in reconstructing internal security institutions. Success is defined as the establishment of stability and a rule of law. Definitions of stability may vary from case to case, but a stable environment is one in which violence-prone groups such as insurgents or criminals are subordinated to legitimate governmental authority, reintegrated into society, or defeated. A stable environment is one in which the population is free from major threats to their safety and where national and international actors are able to rebuild political, economic, and other key governance institutions. Indicators of stability include such elements as crime rates, level of political violence, and perception of security. The rule of law includes courts, legislatures, legal statutes and codes, executive agencies, and independent nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) such as bar associations and civic associations. It serves to protect people against anarchy, allows people to plan their affairs with confidence because they know the legal consequences of their action, and protects people from the arbitrary exercise of power by public officials. Internal security institutions encompass three broad areas:
Police: ministry of interior, local police, border patrol, and counter-drug forces Military and other security bodies: ministry of defense (when it plays an internal security role), intelligence agencies, and paramilitary forces such as counterterrorist forces
Justice system: ministry of justice, federal and local courts, corrections facilities, law schools, and the rule of law.
Although these institutions are the main focus of our attention, it is important to put them into the broader context of security sector reform and governance reform. Attention must therefore also be paid to national governance mechanisms (such as national security councils and legislative oversight bodies) and local governance mechanisms (such as citizen's police oversight committees).
These internal security components are interdependent. Past reconstruction cases demonstrate that reconstructing and reforming the police and security forces is not enough to create a secure environment and to protect civil liberties. Effective police and internal security forces require a functioning justice system. Arbitrary or politicized sentencing, an incompetent or corrupt judiciary, and inhumane prison conditions quickly undermine the benefits that come from better policing. A weak justice system also increases the prevalence of organized crime and can lead to a spiral of political assassinations, extrajudicial killings, and petty crime. The inability to establish a viable justice system has plagued most efforts to reconstruct foreign police and security forces. In Haiti, for example, the lack of a competent judiciary meant that improvements in the effectiveness of law enforcement created an untenable situation in which there were more accused criminals than the courts could try or the prisons could hold. A weak justice system led to the emergence of powerful organized criminal organizations in Bosnia. In El Salvador, the deplorable state of the justice system resulted in a situation in which few prisoners were tried, and many in prison were never formally charged.
The reconstruction and reform of security sector institutions in post-conflict environments have become a priority topic for the international community over the past decade. Security sector reform has been recognized as a vital precursor to the achievement of good governance and sustainable development. The security-sector reform agenda has broadened in recent years to encompass police and internal security agencies. Security sector reconstruction within the narrower phase of post-conflict reconstruction has also begun to attract increasing attention. Although security sector reconstruction must lay the groundwork for long-term reform, it must also build immediate capacity for the security sector to bring about order and stability. Our analysis focuses specifically on the reconstruction of the internal security sector as an element in broader security sector reform. More narrowly, this study focuses primarily on the formal internal security sector institutions rather than the broader set of societal mechanisms that surround these institutions.
Security sector reconstruction is an element in all post-conflict operations-whether these activities are known as post-conflict reconstruction interventions, stabilization operations, peace support operations, or peace-building endeavors. We limit our scope to a class of interventions we define as nation-building operations. These are efforts after major combat to underpin a transition to peace and democracy. Nation-building involves the deployment of international military forces and includes comprehensive efforts to rebuild the security, political, and economic sectors. In some cases, nation-building occurs in a benign security environment with little or no resistance. In others, such as Somalia, Afghanistan, and Iraq, there is significant violence and insurgent activity.
The United States and other countries have, of course, provided internal security assistance to numerous countries in Africa, Latin America, Asia, the Middle East, and Europe. Those that are part of nation-building operations, however, tend to be much better funded and broader in scope because they are part of larger efforts to build political, health, economic, and other structures. Consequently, we believe that it is especially important to assess U.S. and allied efforts to reconstruct internal security during nation-building operations. Moreover, by focusing on internal security institutions, we are deliberately limiting our scope. We are not focusing on broader nation-building objectives of establishing democratic institutions and economic growth, although these are important objectives.
This study uses two methodologies. First, it adopts a comparative case study approach. It focuses on three cases in which the United States and other nations and international organizations attempted to reconstruct security during nation-building operations: Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq. We chose these cases because they are some of the most important instances in the post-Cold War era in which U.S. and other military forces have been used to reconstruct security and other sectors after major combat. In addition, they include a wide variation in input, output, and outcome variables. Furthermore, we compare these cases with others in the post-Cold War era in which the United States and allied governments have attempted to reconstruct security during nation-building missions, including Panama, El Salvador, Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, and East Timor.
Second, this study compares and contrasts the cases using several quantitative and qualitative input, output, and outcome metrics, as well as initial conditions. Input metrics include the number of troops, amount of assistance, and duration of assistance. Output metrics include amount and quality of training, number and quality of infrastructure built or refurbished, and quality of institutional development of internal security ministries. Outcome metrics include crime rates, especially homicides and violent crime; other crime indicators such as the drug trade; level of political violence and insurgency; number of international police, military, and civilian casualties; and perception of security, rule of law, and corruption.
Chapter Two offers a theory for reconstructing internal security. Chapters Three, Four, and Five examine U.S. and allied efforts to reconstruct internal structures in Kosovo, Afghanistan, and Iraq respectively. These chapters ask several questions: How successful have U.S. and international efforts been in reconstructing internal security? How effective are the country's police, internal security forces, and justice system in dealing with the most pressing internal threats to state stability? What are the most important lessons learned? These chapters combine extensive qualitative descriptions of the context, course, and impact of internal security programs with quantitative performance metrics. The intention is to capture the qualitative variables and factors that have influenced the outcomes we observe. For Afghanistan and Iraq, these qualitative descriptions have the added benefit of providing a wealth of previously unpublished information based on primary sources and in-country research. Chapter Six summarizes major insights from the three cases in the context of other efforts to reconstruct internal security since the end of the Cold War. Chapter Seven offers recommendations for current and future efforts.
This chapter identifies key factors that affect success in reconstructing internal security. Success is defined as the establishment of stability and a functioning rule of law. There are three major arguments. First, establishing internal security after major combat should be the most immediate and important concern of policymakers. This objective is critical to avert chaos and prevent criminal and insurgent organizations from securing a foothold in society, as well as to facilitate reconstruction in other areas such as health, basic infrastructure, and the economy. Establishing security is also important over the long run, since a state's prospects for stability depend on viable police, security forces, and justice structures that can establish order.
Second, past cases demonstrate that reconstructing and reforming the police and security forces are not enough to create a secure environment and protect civil liberties. Effective police and internal security forces require a functioning justice system.
Third, success in achieving stability and a rule of law is a function of inputs, outputs, and initial conditions. Inputs include the amount of financial assistance, the number of troops and police, the duration of assistance, and the extent of prewar planning. Outputs include training, infrastructure, and institutional development. Initial conditions include those conditions that exist at the beginning of reconstruction, such as the status of security organizations or the existence of a functioning central government. Figure 2.1 briefly summarizes the model.
This chapter begins by arguing that the establishment of internal security is a vital task after major combat and can have a significant impact on progress in reconstructing such sectors as health, governance, economics, and basic infrastructure. It then outlines key factors that affect success and identifies performance metrics.
The Primacy of Security
Establishing internal security after major combat should be the most immediate and important concern of policymakers. George Tanham, associate director for counterinsurgency for the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) in South Vietnam and special assistant for counterinsurgency to the U.S. ambassador in Thailand, argued in the 1960s: "Strange as it may seem, the military victory is the easiest part of the struggle. After this has been attained, the real challenge begins: the reestablishment of a secure environment opens a new opportunity for nation building." Tanham's observation was just as appropriate then as it is today. Security is a critical component of reconstruction. War and regime change can increase the likelihood of criminality and political violence. In Panama, for example, the destruction of the Panamanian Defense Force during the 1989 U.S. invasion sparked disorder and looting. In East Timor, the August 1999 referendum for independence triggered substantial violence. Rampaging militiamen killed more than 1,000 people and destroyed nearly 70 percent of the public infrastructure and private housing. In Iraq, there was widespread disorder after the fall of Saddam Hussein's Ba'athist regime in April 2003. Most of the security sector institutions evaporated overnight; mobs and criminal gangs looted government and commercial property and launched a crime wave.
Over the long run, stability and a rule of law depend on viable police, security forces, and justice structures. This means dealing with the most significant internal threats. Examples include defeating and deterring insurgent groups, organized criminal enterprises such as drug traffickers, and local militia and warlords. The cost of failing to deal with major internal security threats is high. It can undermine the stability and strength of the central government; undercut efforts to reconstruct the political, social, and economic framework necessary for future stability; and ultimately undermine U.S. security. Indeed, failing to curb major threats may trigger the same problems that led to outside intervention in the first place. As the Afghan National Security Council's National Threat Assessment argues about the drug trade:
Continued growth of the heroin and opium-producing poppy remains a major threat to the security of Afghanistan. The corruption and crime associated with the drug trade will proliferate in and around Afghanistan, discouraging international investment and assistance in rebuilding Afghanistan. Revenue from opium growth/production will continue to make Afghanistan an attractive haven for international terrorist groups, organized crime and other extremists while also funding the continued, destabilizing presence of non-statutory armed forces.
Excerpted from Establishing Law and Order After Conflict by Seth G. Jones Jeremy M. Wilson Andrew Rathmell K. Jack Riley Copyright © 2005 by RAND Corporation. Excerpted by permission.
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|Ch. 2||A theory of rebuilding internal security||7|
|Ch. 6||Measuring success||177|