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Policing the new world disorder.


* Barring a fundamental alteration in the character of the post-Cold War environment, the international community will continue to mount multinational peace operations in which ultimate success requires dealing effectively with the public security function.

* While the fundamental lessons have been identified, the same deficiencies often persist, demonstrating that the lessons have not really been learned. Even when there is a major U.S. role, some missions are cobbled together, with military and Civ-Pol elements operating as discrete entities-with only limited coordinated action, a weak public security mandate and inadequate resources.

* The UN has not been given adequate financial or managerial resources for Civ-Pol functions. It continues to suffer delays in recruiting Civ-Pol contingents, and many recruits arrive woefully lacking in essential basic skills and unsuited for coalition operations abroad. This often leaves military elements of the peace mission to confront a "public security gap" for which they are not properly prepared. The aversion to military-civilian police partnership further complicates effective overall operations.


Since the end of the Cold War, traditional inhibitions against intervention by the international community in the internal affairs of states have been increasingly set aside, leaving the world community unsure of how best to restore order to marginally viable states in the grip of violent unrest. Multinational peace operations, with a mandate for establishing and sustaining a secure and stable internal environment, have become a primary tool. The need to separate warring factions and restore public order often require multinational forces comprised of military personnel and UN civilian police (Civ-Pol) or International Police Monitors (IPM). In most cases, indigenous police forces have been destroyed or become so embroiled in the conflict as to be incapable of responsible action.

The initial phase of a typical operation entails bringing conflicting armed factions under control by introducing a cessation of hostilities, zones of separation, and cantonments, as well as impounding weapons, and demobilizing opposing forces. Due to the potential volatility of the process and the firepower available to the combatants, responsibility for this phase belongs to a military contingent. Yet, for the peace mission to fulfill its mandate and successfully depart, indigenous law enforcement must function in a fashion compatible with the country's long-term political and economic revival. Because effective local civilian law enforcement is usually lacking, and the judiciary is in disarray, there is a need for Civ-Pol to perform a broad array of tasks.

The Military-Civilian Police Relationship

Typically, there is a considerable lag between the issuing of a Security Council mandate and the fielding of a Civ-Pol contingent. In contrast, military components can be mobilized more rapidly. Since conditions could deteriorate, a military peace mission will normally be launched without waiting for the Civ-Pol contingent. This creates a "public security gap." The military intervention force may have no choice but to perform vital law enforcement tasks or risk jeopardizing the credibility of the entire mission. Most military establishments have not been trained for this. U.S. forces usually prefer to avoid these tasks, but, when needed, discharge them very capably.

Law enforcement functions undertaken by the military contingent are gradually shifted to local police under Civ-Pol supervision. During this transitional phase, there is a premium upon coordination and cooperation between an operation's civil and military elements. In addition to the more routine law enforcement tasks, including support for human rights, election observers, etc., there can be problems with well-armed gangs and violent political intimidation. Controlling this threat may require sustained action by the military intervention force in collaboration with Civ-Pol. Assuming a modicum of readiness and discipline, the existing local constabulary may be tasked to maintain order, under careful monitoring and mentoring, and, perhaps with temporary direct policing by the peace mission (military and/or Civ-Pol).

A successful "exit strategy" requires that public security functions be returned to local authorities in what constitutes the final phase of the peace mission. In troubled states, domestic police forces are often ill-trained, undisciplined, and miserably equip-ped. They usually do not have the trust or respect of the citizenry, and are largely incapable of controlling crime. Before they can effectively assume full responsibility, a thorough reorganization is often necessary. This may involve recruiting, training, and equipping a new cadre of police and supervisors, along with the removal of unqualified or undesirable personnel. Often, it also requires the reform or reconstitution of the judicial and penal systems. Effective establishment of public security requires a long-term commitment on the part of the international community.

Constraints and Conundrums

The issues of local consent and overall impartiality are pivotal for success. In some cases, consent results from a peace accord (e.g., El Salvador, Mozambique, Cambodia, etc.). However, when consent has been initially denied or later evaporates, or impartiality is seriously violated, international action may be stymied (Burundi) or provoke conflict (Somalia). The need to maintain consent can substantially impact implementation of the peace mission (e.g., reluctance to apprehend war criminals in Bosnia).

An exit strategy may involve basic institutional and attitudinal reform, not only of the police but also of the judicial and penal systems and political institutions. Such profound reform can conflict with the indigenous culture and entrenched local interests, provoking a reaction against the intervention forceCmaking the situation more costly and risky. Piecing together the remnants of a state challenges the collective financial and human resources, and the political will available to the international community. Caution is needed in how far a mission intrudes into essentially indigenous responsibilities.

Demands for Civ-Pol contingents are burgeoning while UN funding has declined. Moreover, the size of the Secretariat staff dedicated to Civ-Pol is minuscule, numbering about 6 officials compared to some 200 dedicated to military support functions. This adversely affects planning and support for police functions.

The UN is forced to recruit from member states on an ad hoc basis for each mission. Many recruits lack rudimentary policing skills, do not speak the official language of the mission nor understand local political and cultural conditions. It is not uncommon for Civ-Pol members to be sent home either for failing to pass language or driving tests or for incompetence or corruption. A group of former UN Civ-Pol Commissioners has recently drawn up standards for Civ-Pol recruits, and the UN Directorate of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO) has begun screening recruits before they are sent to missions. This has saved funds and increased the competence of Civ-Pol personnel.

Unlike military establishments, police forces lack a surge capability, and the vast majority lack experience in training or operating with international coalitions. Moreover, even states with a centralized national police force and international experience (e.g. Canada) cannot spare sizable numbers of qualified personnel for international peace operations. Thus, Civ-Pol contingents tend to come from dozens of different countries. All this presents major problems of command and control within Civ-Pol. Overall, constructing such a contingent is a much more arduous, time-consuming, and less effective process, than for a multinational military force.

Other structural (or doctrinal) issues include the command and operational relationship between the military and civilian (including police) elements of a UN mission, and the mandate and Rules of Engagement (ROE) for the police component. The UN separates the military and civilian components and opts for unarmed police in a monitoring rather than a proactive role. This often makes for a less effective police operation.

Selected Case Studies

Panama -- The unilateral U.S. intervention to remove Gen. Manuel Noriega, in 1989, demonstrated a fundamental point: Any intervention force that removes or replaces local political authority and security forces will find itself responsible for maintaining public security. In Panama, no advance provision had been made for creating an indigenous police force. U.S. Military Police quickly and effectively assumed the public security function, but development of an indigenous police and judiciary was long delayed despite the efforts of a fledgling International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program (ICITAP).

Somalia -- No advance provision had been made for an indigenous police force. When the armed factions were temporarily brought under a degree of control, U.S. forces developed an ad hoc program, using local resources, which returned the old Somali police force to a moderately effective level. It included direct UNITAF military support for police stations and monitoring of other functions. There was no political authority, but the armed factions initially tolerated the police. The force subsequently collapsed in mid-1993 due to poor UN management (e.g. failure to provide resources, withdrawal of international military support) plus resurgence of conflict and opposition from the armed factions. U.S. efforts to revive it, using ICITAP, failed.

El Salvador -- The UN had a mandate to replace the entire police force under the terms of the Chapultapec Accords. The spectrum of challenges was foreseen and resources provided to meet them, including eliminating incompetent or corrupt former police, developing a new hierarchy of supervisors, and providing training. Civ-Pol and ICITAP had the key roles in this process, with the cooperation of local authorities. Spanish language compatibility between the mission and the host country facilitated the process.

Cambodia -- Civ-Pol was a part of the overall plan, under the same command as the military. However, the Civ-Pol were from 32 different countries, not well-qualified, very slow to arrive, and suffered severe language problems. There was a vague mandate, initially only for supervising, controlling and training local police, that was later expanded to include protective escort and actual policing. The Civ-Pol force was reluctant to undertake these functions due to violent intimidation by armed factions and the lack of military support. Nor was there strong support from the deeply divided local authorities.

Haiti -- Comprehensive advance planning and provision of resources for police were a major part of the preparation for Haiti. ICITAP and some 600 IPM from 20 countries, under the same U.S. command as the Multinational Force (MNF), worked with an interim security force and began a new Haitian National Police (HNP) as the former army/police force was dissolved. The IPM mandate allowed them to be armed and proactive, providing policing as well as monitoring and mentoring. U.S. MPs (in the cities) and Special Forces (in rural areas) supported IPM with joint occupation of command posts and police stations, plus combined patrolling, logistics and communications. The IPM was followed by 900 UN armed Civ-Pol, with the same proactive mandate, continued close cooperation and a single overall command with the military. ICITAP, with French and Canadian police, trained a new 5,000 man HNP but delays in funding, and in recruiting and training supervisory cadre, set the program back. The Aristide regime tolerated but did not actively support the new police force. The new Preval regime more actively supported the HNP, and with international assistance began correcting previous shortcomings.

Bosnia -- The International Police Task Force (IPTF) was under separate UN administration and command from NATO-s Implementation Force (IFOR). The full complement of 1,700 police from 34 countries arrived 4 months after IFOR. IPTF personnel are not armed, have a passive mandate (primarily monitoring, little mentoring or training, no direct policing), and are not supported at police stations or on joint patrols by IFOR (except for emergencies). The IPTF has no authoritative means to prevent local police from continuing ethnic separation and other abuses.

Lessons Learned

* A tailored, carefully analyzed public security plan should be developed for each combined military and civilian mission. The plan should include funding responsibilities, a clear and realistic mandate, and it should be drawn up in advance by the UN or other organizations or government(s) responsible for conducting the mission. Careful consideration should be given to dealing with police/ penal/justice problems so as to ensure success of the overall mission. In many cases, it will be necessary to either retrain or replace the existing police force as well as demobilize, disarm or otherwise control and retrain local armies, militias or other armed groups.

* Civ-Pol or other international police assistance forces should be under the same command structure and closely coordinated with military forces. During the initial phases this means a military-police partnership: combined or co-located command centers and logistics support, coordinated ROE's, joint presence at police stations and on patrol, and a military Quick Reaction Force. Arming of the Civ-Pol should be consistent with the local situation. It is probable that international military forces will be required initially to undertake civilian police activities such as monitoring, mentoring and policing pending the deployment of an effective Civ-Pol force.

* Major challenges which Civ-Pol must meet include: filling an initial void in indigenous policing, removal of rogue elements and retraining of others, recruitment and training of qualified supervisors, the need to provide adequate communications, transportation and other equipment to reconstituted local police, and creating institutional barriers against politicization.

* It is imperative to demand and cultivate the support of local authorities/faction leaders for revitalized law enforcement and for active international police assistance (not just monitoring). Such support should be a part of any local understanding with the international community concerning peace operations. The military force should employ PSYOPS and civil affairs specialists to maximize acceptance of Civ-Pol activities by indigenous populations.

* There is a fundamental need to address judicial and penal issues along with the reconstitution of the public security forces to prevent human rights abuses and corruption. This requires long-term effort and must be addressed at the outset rather than delayed until well after the police force has been dealt with.

* Planning for direct U.S. involvement in peace operations should include immediate employment of Military Police and Special Forces in the training/ retraining and monitoring/mentoring of local police forces, while U.S. and international civilian organizations develop the capability for effective action. ICITAP should be reinforced so that it can take over this function more rapidly and effectively, replacing military personnel on a phased basis; and it should be capable of large operations in several countries simultaneously.

* The UN should bolster its capacity to organize and manage Civ-Pol activities by requesting selected member countries to second experienced personnel with the requisite law enforcement skills to the UN DPKO, as has been done with the Military Division. Some of the officers should have prior experience in order to facillitate on-the-job training. The UN should continue to work with member countries to identify police for contingency deployment and to establish adequate performance standards and tailored for Civ-Pol requirements, including combined peace-operations training with military contingents. It should also provide pre-deployment training for UN Civ-Pol and military commanders. The police commissioner should receive full control over administrative matters for his staff.

The U.S. Military Historical Role

The U.S. military has historically played an important role in restoring public order following armed conflicts. In those cases where martial law was declared (post-WWII Germany), the responsibilities of the commander were clear. Since 1983, however, martial law has not often been declared when national authorities were ineffective or non-existent, leaving a void in the restoration of public order functions. In Grenada, Panama, Somalia and Haiti, U.S. Military Police and Special Forces demonstrated their capability to organize, train and equip local police forces, sometimes despite an unclear mandate and restrictions upon actual training. They also provided limited assistance to local judiciary and penal systems.

ICITAP Objectives

ICITAP was created in 1986 to provide comprehensive development assistance to law enforcement agencies where the United States has important national security interests. A program of the Department of Justice, ICITAP takes policy guidance from Justice, State and the NSC and operates exclusively on project funding received from the State Department and US AID. ICITAP is currently engaged in a wide variety of police development and training programs around the world. It has played an important peace operations role by training new police cadres.

On 1-2 August 1996, INSS conducted a workshop on the public security, as distinct from military aspects of policing the new world disorder. Using a common framework, military and civilian specialists and leading scholars in this field assessed the conduct of recent peace missions around the world. This paper is a distillation of the themes that cut across these cases, with the objective of extracting useful guidance for policy makers who must grapple with the policing function during future peace missions. For more information contact Ambassador Oakley at (202) 685-2374 or Col. Dziedzic at (202) 685-2229. Both work on peace operations at INSS.
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Author:Oakley, Robert; Dziedzic, Michael
Publication:Strategic Forum
Geographic Code:1USA
Date:Oct 1, 1996
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