Monday, May 11, 2009

Civil-military relations in peace operations: the Danish experience

It is common sense that armed conflicts can not be overcome by military means alone. There is the need to find ways to combine civil and military instruments in peace operations. However concepts to approaches of civil-military cooperation are diverse and common language or definitions to understand them need to be found.

A Synthesis Report of the Danish Institute for International Studies (DIIS) combines the work of DIIS and partner organisations looking at civil-military engagement within Danish missions in Iraq (see separate study) and Afghanistan (see separate study). The report looks at the coherence challenge within and between Danish institutions involved, harmonization efforts with other international players, as well as at the alignment with local and national actors.

It recommends to increase sharing of analyses, lessons-learned and the development of common guidelines for civil-military relations, including standards for civil-military monitoring and evaluations. With regard to the host nation and local level the challenge remains to use local knowledge effectively. Additionally the linkages between national and regional levels need more attention. Furthermore understanding local perceptions of security and the protection of the population need higher priority. The report also makes very specific recommendations regarding the Danish institutional set-up and policy framework.

The synthesis report is part of DIIS research on 'Civil-Military Relations within International Peace Operations' with publications also concerning other European countries. See also for example: 'Integrated National Approaches to International Operations. The cases of Denmark, UK and the Netherlands'.

by Martin Behrens

See the Euforic newsfeed and dossier on peace and security

As well as ICCO on Democratization and Peacebuilding