Working Paper 03/2012 Civil-military interaction and the future of humanitarian action


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Working Paper 03/2012 Civil-military interaction and the future of humanitarian action

  1. 1. Civil-military interaction and the future of humanitarian action Antonio Donini Senior Researcher, Feinstein International Centre, Tufts University > Paper 03/2012 ‘That’s the reason they’re called lessons,’ the Gryphon remarked: ‘because they lessen from day to day.’ —Alice in WonderlandThe following discussion is structured into three parts:>> a brief update on the evolution of the humanitarian enterprise in the past 10 years network power. The enterprise has also become much more>> lessons from civil–military interaction professionalised: for many humanitarian aid workers—and in three recent crises there are an estimated 300 000—working in emergencies>> what we can expect in the years to 2020. has become a career rather than a voluntary mission. ‘Oligopolisation’ has also continued apace. NorthernEvolution of the humanitarian federations of major non-government organisations and UN humanitarian agencies define how the enterprise works,enterprise, 2000 to 2010 what constitutes a crisis and how it should be tackled.In the years from 2000 to 2010 there were major Barriers to entry for groups from the South have becomequantitative and qualitative changes in the nature of the higher; the isomorphism has increased—‘you’ can join ‘us’humanitarian enterprise. but only on ‘our’ terms.Quantitative changes We are more technically proficient and do more evaluations (and have more conferences) but are we better? Are weNever has there been so much money, so many aid workers more effective at saving lives?and so much media attention devoted to humanitarianmatters. The humanitarian enterprise now accounts for Qualitative changesmore than US$14 billion a year.1 Afghanistan, Iraq, Darfur, Somalia, Sri Lanka and Haiti standInstitutionalisation of the enterprise has exploded, in terms as setbacks for humanitarianism. The ‘instrumentalisation’of standards, norms, guidelines, clusters, accountability and of humanitarian action in support of political and military1 ACMC Paper 3/2012 > Conflict prevention in practice: from rhetoric to reality
  2. 2. agendas has resulted in unprecedented levels of co‑option,blurring of lines, and the subordination of humanitarianism Lessons from civil-militaryto politics. The Global War on Terror has accelerated interaction: three crisesthis process, and in extreme cases the result is the Haiti and Pakistan constitute examples from which much cancriminalisation of humanitarian action (for example, in the be learnt about civil–military responses; Afghanistan teachcases of Somalia and Palestine). As a consequence, aid us lessons about ‘stabilisation’ and the future of civil–militaryagencies are becoming more risk averse. interaction.Humanitarianism is also being affected by the currentwave of interventionism, which is fuelled in part by the HaitiInternational Criminal Court and responsibility to protect An extremely strong—magnitude 7.0 on the Richteragendas. Increasingly, the North’s human rights agenda Scale—earthquake hit Haiti on 12 January 2010. Theclashes with the humanitarian agenda. And the humanitarian resultant devastation triggered a massive humanitarianenterprise has itself become much more interventionist. response, in which the US military, the UN peace missionWe are perhaps witnessing the merger of humanitarianism and 27 other military contingents played a crucial role.and empire: non-government organisations are ‘the Civil‑military interaction was widely seen to be helpful inmendicant orders of empire’, ‘the capillary vessels of terms of logistics, but the dominance of the US militaryglobalization’.2 Even those who do not see themselves as presence gave rise to many questions.‘force multipliers’ of Northern world-ordering agendas orof stabilisation operations3 are affected by association. In Important factorsAfghanistan, Iraq and Darfur we have paid a high price for This was natural disaster in an unnatural setting. It occurredbeing seen to take sides. in a densely populated urban area in what is a very poor country and a weak state that was mostly sidelined in theThe collapse of the asylum and protection regime is aftermath of the quake. A dense population in an urbananother area of concern. From refugees to IDPs (internally environment characterised by shanty housing posed newdisplaced persons) to ISPs (internally stuck persons), challenges for humanitarian organisations. There was poordealing with protection has become more difficult. On overall interaction with Haitian civil society and groups. Thethe plus side, though, those who deliberately cause harm long history of US hegemony and economic interests, whichto civilians are increasingly questioned by civil society— had resulted in decades of weakening of the state, affectedwitness the Arab Spring. the quality of the response.Finally, the humanitarian field is more crowded than Coordinationever, with the emergence of new traditions (Islamic non- The immediate post-quake period was a time of hugegovernment organisations and donors), a diversification of logistical effort accompanied by a serious coordinationdonors (Gulf states, Brazil, Cuba–Venezuela, and private deficit. The absence of humanitarian leadershipdonors and foundations) and new types of ‘humanitarian’ compounded by slow needs assessment undermined theaction (for-profit organisations and private security humanitarians’ efforts to influence the overall directioncompanies), including military–aid hybrids. and shape of the operation. The humanitarians’ directingIn summary, the politicisation and manipulation of military contingents was poor, so US Central Commandof humanitarian action have reached new heights: took the strategic lead in Florida. US control of the airporthumanitarian action is now inseparable from western foreign in Port‑au-Prince was resented, although the US did do vitalpolicy.4 At the same time, humanitarian action has itself work in rehabilitating the air link and the seaport area.crossed the threshold of power—from a powerful discourse The Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairsto a discourse of power. At its heart this is power that moves and the UN–NGO aid community were unclear about theunprecedented amounts of funds and influences public civil‑military relationship in a non-war setting; and there wasopinion and governance, but it also a biopolitical power that much uncertainty about how to interact with US and otherexpresses itself at its most extreme in triage—who is ‘saved’, military participants. The Joint Operations Tasking Centrewho is ‘damned’, and who remains in a transient or, more functioned well, however, as a single point of tasking andoften than not, permanent state of purgatory. What we have a kind of primordial form of instrumentalisation that isconsubstantial with the humanitarian relationship.2 ACMC Paper 3/2012 > Conflict prevention in practice: from rhetoric to reality
  3. 3. Mobilisation of military logistic assets was vital on occasions, so the relationship was harmonious and led to thebut there were persistent concerns about the militarisation establishment of a new disaster management infrastructure.of relief. The history of military interventions in Haiti fuelled The role of the militaryunease about the military’s motivations, and a widespread International military forces—there were 19 differentperception in Haiti that the US military presence was linked contingents—played an important role in the earlyto hegemonic interests and a desire to curb migration to the post‑quake stage, and the contribution of the nationalUnited States. Pakistani military5 was significant from the start. HelicoptersCuba provided a contrary example to the US behemoth— played a central role because of the mountainous terrain and‘gauze not guns’. A total of 1500 Cuban doctors were collapsed roads. The Pakistani military has a larger stock ofdeployed (some remain there); they treated 70 000 patients helicopters than anyone contrast to the US medical ship treating only 8600. There are three general lessons to be learnt in relation to theThe lesson here concerns the need for a better appreciation military role in 2005:that disaster relief goes way beyond logistics and that such >> A strong, well-equipped national military forcevital assets will be of help only when they are part of a can bring important benefits to the humanitariancoordinated humanitarian plan that is specific to the crisis response to a natural disaster, even one within question. peripheral ‘complexity’, as is the case withPakistan Kashmir and the Northwest Frontier region.In the case of Pakistan, there are three elements in play: >> The logistical and information role of the military should ideally not be allowed to bleed over into>> ‘exemplary’ civil–military interaction in the roles such as assessment and coordination, which response to the 2005 earthquake are better lodged within a humanitarian-response>> manipulation of aid during the 2008–2009 surge capacity that is sympathetic to the norms espoused in conflict—known as the ‘displacement crisis’ by humanitarians and at odds with military culture.>> the shadow of the Global War on Terror >> Importantly, a military deeply embedded in the and armed conflict in the response to the political structure, as is the Pakistani military, can unprecedented flooding of 2010. be mobilised rapidly but arrives unrestrained by civilian or humanitarian oversight and is in danger ofThe dominance of the military in Pakistan colours all aspects being dismissive of humanitarian considerations.of political life and shapes external policy and domesticpolitics as well as the economy. There is little space for The displacement crisis of 2008–09elected civil administrations to operate, and in any case and the flooding in 2010such administrations are seen as invariably corrupt and If the 2005 earthquake response was an example ofself-interested. Moreover, Pakistan is a nuclear state, with successful civil–military cooperation, not so the twothe world’s fastest growing nuclear arsenal and a huge subsequent crises. The so-called displacement crisis ofarmy. Other important features are a population of over 2008–09 and the 2010 floods entailed a completely different180 million that is growing rapidly, a faltering economy, rapid relationship between humanitarian agencies and the military.urbanisation, and ever-reducing prospects of a viable future The shadow of the Global War on Terror and the military’sfor many. The regional brinkmanship of Pakistan’s politics is a role in pushing back different sets of Pakistani armed groupsfurther cause for concern. Additionally, Pakistan is on course changed the dynamics: militant attacks, counter-insurgencyfor many disasters, including water shortages, in the future. operations and a surge in fighting beginning in 2008 resulted in the displacement—including by force—of hundreds ofThe 2005 earthquake thousands of civilians. The result was a complex and deadlyOn 8 October 2005 a devastating earthquake to hit Kashmir situation; according to one estimate, 35 000 civilians wereand the Northwest Frontier region: there were 75 000 deaths killed between 2008 and 2010.6and over 100 000 injured; more than half a million homeswere destroyed over a large area. Winter was approaching. Access to vulnerable groups was denied in many locations,Pakistan had little experience in disaster preparedness and there was heavy-handed control and manipulation ofand response, but the military swung into action and are humanitarian aid. Disrespect for principles and the blurringwidely considered to have done a good job in difficult of lines between military, political and relief objectivescircumstances. Relief and military interests converged, became major concerns. Access was constrained both3 ACMC Paper 3/2012 > Conflict prevention in practice: from rhetoric to reality
  4. 4. on security grounds and because of the military’s desire agencies openly flouted the UN decision not to use militaryto keep humanitarian agencies away from certain areas. assets because civilian alternatives were available.Non‑objection certificates were used to curtail access or toforce agencies to do the military’s bidding. Afghanistan and the perils of stabilisationBeneficiary lists became a point of contention: the military The challenges in the civil–military relationship evident inwanted to control these so that the ‘bad guys’ would not the cases of Haiti and Pakistan pale in comparison withreceive assistance. As a result, many vulnerable groups those in Afghanistan. Afghanistan was, and remains, areceived little or no assistance. There were also serious totally different ball game, where the tension between theprotection problems: large numbers of people were forcibly role of the military and its interaction with non-governmentdisplaced from Swat and other areas and then forced to organisations often reached breaking point. The questionreturn to their area of origin when the military decided they at hand is a very important one, at the heart of theshould, rather than when it was safe to do so. world‑ordering debate: how do we transform dangerous situations that are perceived as threatening to ‘our’ interestsMoreover, the aid community had assumed it could apply into more benign environments that fit with ‘our’ ideas ofthe ‘quake model’ of cooperation with the Pakistani military what liberal peace in the borderlands should look like?and was unprepared for a complex response in a conflictsetting. Most agencies, including the United Nations, were The following paragraphs look at the polarising matter ofmore anxious to safeguard their historical relationships with stabilisation from a humanitarian perspective, as a subsetthe Government of Pakistan rather than pressing for the of the broader ‘coherence’, or ‘joined-up government’,support of humanitarian principles. agenda in dealing with conflict and crisis. On the face of it, coordination between all involved would seem toThe UN leadership was inexperienced in humanitarian make sense. The underlying theme of the proponents ofmatters or lacked leadership, or both. It was unable to stabilisation is ‘If only we had a clear and effective divisionnegotiate access to the conflict areas and did not even of labour between the civil, military, development andtry to enter into a conversation with the ‘other side’ in humanitarian actors, between the outsiders and the localrelation to access to and protection of civilians. The nadir authorities in “hot” stabilization situations, then our goalswas reached when the UN political representative stated, would be within our grasp’.‘Assistance should follow military gains’. The exceptions werethe International Committee of the Red Cross, Médecins But this point of view can be disputed. We are not all inSans Frontières and the Office for the Coordination of the same boat. Aid agencies that provide humanitarianHumanitarian Affairs, which strived to work according to assistance do not have goals in common with those of theprinciple in a very difficult environment. military in places such as Afghanistan and Somalia. From a humanitarian perspective, one can argue that humanitarianThe response to the 2010 floods—a disaster on an action needs to be protected and insulated from stabilisationenormous scale—benefited from the experience of the and politically motivated disaster management institution building of thePakistani authorities, but it suffered from the consequences There are two questions here:of the instrumentalisation of humanitarian action in the >> Should humanitarian action be linked to,‘displacement crisis’. Again, access was strictly controlled by or included in, comprehensive or coherentthe military. In some areas of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province, approaches to conflict resolution?only national staff were allowed in; in others not even them. >> Even if such action is not included, what is the impact ofHumanitarian principles were put under severe stress these approaches on principled humanitarian action?on the ‘last resort’ decision about whether military air The answer to the first question is straightforward:assets—including NATO assets from the Afghan theatre— humanitarians should not take sides. They should not makeshould be used. pronouncements on whether a war is just or unjust becauseThe lesson learnt there concerns the question of when a to do so is to undermine their ability to respond to need.‘natural disaster’ is not a natural disaster. The Pakistani floods Obviously, then, they should not engage in controversiesshow the importance of narratives, how those narratives of a political nature and, even less, engage in action with ashape the response, and the consequences of labelling. Most belligerent. Neutrality is not an end in itself: it is a meansof the aid organisations accepted the ‘natural disaster’ label of fulfilling the humanitarian imperative. Furthermore, theand saw no problem in cooperating with the military, or even perception of being associated with a belligerent carriesNATO. The UN country team was split on this, and some potentially deadly consequences for humanitarian aid workers.4 ACMC Paper 3/2012 > Conflict prevention in practice: from rhetoric to reality
  5. 5. The answer to the second question is more complicated, if ‘aid’ … ‘During a recent mission, the Afghan Nationalnot murky. And this murkiness spreads across political and Army and their coalition mentors provided relief tothe assistance participants alike. the Afghan people. In return for their generosity, the ANA asked the elders to provide them withIn Afghanistan the United Nations is, and is seen as, aligned assistance in tracking down anti-government forces’.with the US-led intervention. The UN’s humanitariancapacity is weak and further diminished by its association >> Recently there has been a surge in night searcheswith an integrated mission that is intimately linked to the of NGO compounds—in particular, medicalInternational Security Assistance Force. clinics. This is not only in violation of international humanitarian law: it also exposes NGO staff to theThe majority of non-government organisations do not fare perception that they are associated with coalitionmuch better since many work as implementing partners forces or passing intelligence information to them.for government programs or, even if they do not, arenonetheless seen as part of the international enterprise that These examples show that, even if humanitarian agenciessupports the government.7 The defence of humanitarian are not involved in stabilisation activities, such activities canprinciples is left to the International Committee of the Red have potentially dangerous consequences for the perceivedCross, and recently Médecins Sans Frontières, which are the neutrality and impartiality of the agencies and their staff.only international organisations capable of working neutrally, They are likely to make the negotiation of humanitarianimpartially and independently. access—which requires a minimum degree of acceptance and trust from all belligerents—more difficult. So far, onlyTo complicate matters, with the exception of Switzerland, the International Committee of the Red Cross and Médecinsall the donors in Afghanistan are also belligerents. They are Sans Frontières have had a steady dialogue on access andreluctant to admit that there is a humanitarian crisis and acceptance in areas dominated by different elements of thewould rather see ‘their’ non-government organisations as armed opposition.force multipliers for their political and military objectives.Indirectly, therefore, stabilisation operations affect In summary, there are good practical reasons forhumanitarianism because that is where the money is, and separating or insulating principled humanitarian actionNGOs are obliged to balance principle with institutional from stabilisation activities. There are also strong ethicalsurvival. It would appear that until recently they tended and policy reasons for doing so. Humanitarian actionto choose the latter over the former. There is a ‘rice bowl’ derives its legitimacy from universal principles enshrinedproblem here: if the NGOs are unwilling to do the bidding in the United Nations Charter, the Universal Declarationof the stabilisation donors, the private contractors or the of Human Rights, and international humanitarian law.military itself will do the job. Such principles often do not sit well with the Security Council’s political compromises: politics—the ‘art ofThere have been many instances of a flagrant blurring of the the possible’—is not necessarily informed by principle.lines. The following are examples: Incorporating a function that draws legitimacy from the UN>> In 2008–2009 USAID sought applications for a five‑year Charter (or the Universal Declaration) in a management $150 million project. The request documentation structure born of political compromise in the Security detailed several alarming objectives. Among Council is questionable and possibly self-defeating. others, USAID asked organisations to implement The question of better insulation of humanitarian action, if ‘post‑battlefield cleanup’ operations, essentially asking not its complete separation from politics and stabilisation that they work with communities in the aftermath approaches, is likely to remain an unresolved one on the of a battle and operate in or alongside provincial humanitarian agenda for some time. The International reconstruction teams, which, as military–assistance Committee of the Red Cross and other Dunantist hybrids, were supposed to win hearts and minds and humanitarians remain wary of, if not hostile to, the communicate a narrative of successful development. militarisation of aid inherent in stabilisation agendas.>> There has been improper use of the term ‘humanitarian’ As a humanitarian, I want to keep out of partisan politics by the military. A NATO–ISAF press release8 reads, because that is the best guarantee I have of being able to ‘Humanitarian assistance operations are helping both assist and protect the most vulnerable, wherever they may the people of Afghanistan and coalition forces fight be. As a citizen, I want peace and a more just world. I am the global war on terror …’ Under a strategy known therefore interested in actions that address the root causes as ‘information operations’, remote villages receive of conflict rather than just binding up the wounds. The5 ACMC Paper 3/2012 > Conflict prevention in practice: from rhetoric to reality
  6. 6. questions here are: Does it work? Are my citizen taxpayer control to areas hitherto ‘pre-capitalist’ or surviving at thedollars, euros and pounds being well spent? margins of the capitalist system. When the objective of the external intervention is peacebuilding or nation building theIt does not seem so. The Bonn process, which was record so far is dubious. The assumption that it is possible tosupposed to usher in a durable peace in Afghanistan, has engineer rapid and durable change through a combinationbadly backfired. In 2002–03, when there were fewer than of military means and humanitarian assistance and to steer4000 International Security Assistance Force troops in this change from the outside is as yet unproven. It mightAfghanistan, aid agencies had access to all provinces. Now, be possible to smother a crisis for a time (as in Bosnia), butwith more than 30 times as many troops being present, ultimately peacebuilding is about social transformation: likenon-government organisations have access to maybe a democracy, it cannot be imposed from the outside; it has tofifth of the country. The conflict has intensified, so have be illuminated from within.civilian casualties, and resentment of ‘foreign occupation’ ismore widespread. Now that foreign troop withdrawals are There are three practical, or solution-focused, conclusionsaccelerating, there is a risk that the country will slide back one can draw:into the kind of civil war that eventuated after the collapse of >> Debate is good, and it helps to contextualisethe Soviet-backed regime in 1992. complex situations and the variations in ‘stabilisation’The argument about the effectiveness of stabilisation approaches. In places such as Iraq and Afghanistanoperations has so far been mainly ideological. On one it should be possible to agree that narrowly definedside are the proponents of linking assistance and security. humanitarian action—saving and protecting theThis can be done brutally in a counter-insurgency lives of civilians caught up in crisis and conflict—context—‘If you tell us where the Taliban are, we will give can and should be kept separate from partisanyou assistance’. Or it can be done more subtly, as with the or politically motivated stabilisation operations.‘clear‑shape‑hold‑build’, or so-called integrated, approaches A space needs to be reserved for card-carryingwhen assistance was provided to win over ‘swing districts’. humanitarians working according to time-testedBrutal or subtle, the ideological contention is that assistance principles and engaging with all sets of belligerents.‘delivers’ security. >> Situations evolve with time. In Afghanistan, victory,On the other side of the argument this claim is disputed. peace and ‘post-conflictness’ were declaredDevelopment is always a conflict-based process involving far too soon—hence the unprecedented levelswinners and losers. It is about politics. Reducing poverty of instrumentalisation and blurring of lines, thein places such as Afghanistan is obviously a worthy and consequent attacks against aid workers, and thenecessary goal of itself, but expecting poverty reduction difficulties of reaching those in need of life-savingefforts to bring ‘security’ is a stretch. Arguing about help. Other situations show that when a thresholdprovincial reconstruction teams and ‘hearts and minds’ of stability is reached or when there is basicoperations will be productive only if verifiable facts can be agreement among all involved on what shouldrelied on. The evidence now shows convincingly that buying be the way forward (in Sierra Leone or Nepal, forhearts and minds with small-scale projects does not work.9 example) comprehensive and coherent approachesOne study concludes, ‘There is little evidence this approach make more sense, and, if necessary, the militaryis generating stability …’10 can have a role in implementing an agreed plan.There is danger in seeking quick impacts. Remember the >> In relation to the role of the military in crisis response,Taliban commander telling his captors, ‘You Americans have we have doctrine (the Oslo Guidelines, which enshrinewatches; we have time’. There is also danger in throwing the principle of ‘last resort’), we have practice, andmoney at complex problems. Sloppy aid does not win hearts we have extreme variation in contexts. The Pakistanand minds. earthquake shows that in a ‘natural disaster’ setting much can be achieved by civil–military interaction and even cooperation. But when the context changes (theHumanitarian action to 2020 spread of armed conflict, floods, and huge numbersLooking ahead, it is useful to consider stabilisation of people displaced) the risk of militarisation andoperations as an integral part of global governance and manipulation of aid becomes high. Haiti confirms this:world ordering: they are aimed at making the ‘borderlands’ many Haitians resented the overbearing militarisationsafe for globalisation; they are part of the process of of the response. Afghanistan confirms it, too.extension of the dominant forms of production and social6 ACMC Paper 3/2012 > Conflict prevention in practice: from rhetoric to reality
  7. 7. It might well be that Afghanistan is an aberration: many saw >> The settling of tectonic plates leading to a more complexit as a laboratory of new approaches, but the experiment multipolar world is, however, likely to lead to localised,has largely failed. And it might well be, as some studies are and in some cases extremely violent, conflicts. Someshowing, that we are witnessing a global decline in conflict will argue that in today’s asymmetrical conflicts there isas a source of human suffering.11 no space for neutrality, but recent crises such as those in Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iraq and Somalia demonstrateBut then another cause for concern rears its head. If it the exact opposite: the shrinking of humanitarian spaceis true that conflict as a vector of humanitarian need is and the instrumentalisation of humanitarian actiondeclining, vulnerability linked to climate change, natural have had deleterious effects for communities needinghazards, poor governance, technological, and possibly assistance, for the security of humanitarian aid workers,civilisation‑changing, or ‘black swan’, events seem to be and for the credibility of the aid workers’ organisations.increasing. If this trend is confirmed in the longer term, it willprobably be the future focus of humanitarian agencies. And >> New players will become much more active in the reliefthis is where the military and the civilian agencies are likely arena. China, India, Brazil and Indonesia are likely toto interact. bring different perspectives and operational approaches that will challenge the current Northern or westernIn such disaster settings, Northern humanitarian agencies functioning of the humanitarian enterprise. It is likelywill inevitably clash with the logic of the state. Again, the that assistance from these countries will competecomfortable interventionist spirit of Northern humanitarians with that provided by the established agencies andwill be increasingly challenged by states and civil society that it will be much more ‘state-centric’ comparedorganisations in the South. It will also be necessary to deal with the current norm. What this means in terms ofwith ‘compound catastrophic events’, where disasters, the protection of at-risk communities and their rightspoor or dysfunctional governance, criminality and service at times of crisis is as yet unclear. On the positivebreakdown exacerbate the crisis. It is debatable whether side, one can expect local groups to be much bettertraditional humanitarian approaches are adequate to informed through the internet and social media and inrespond to such rapidly changing forms of vulnerability and a much better position to demand accountability andthe rising risks they entail in contexts where the state will transparency in relation to the provision of assistance.have primary responsibility for responding. >> At the same time the need for a protected nicheThis has implications for the scope and shape of a for principled humanitarian agencies—such as thehumanitarian enterprise that is still based on Cold War and International Committee of the Red Cross or Médecinspost–Cold War assumptions of what constitutes a crisis. The Sans Frontières—will remain. This might result inenterprise is essentially backward-looking. We are getting a more modest humanitarian enterprise, closer inbetter at dealing with last year’s crisis, and perhaps today’s. ambition and intent to time-tested humanitarianBut is the enterprise adapted to the challenges that are likely principles. Such an enterprise would stand a betterto come its way in the coming decades? How is it faring in chance of saving and protecting lives in conflictplaces such as Yemen and Syria? Not very well, it seems. or complex political emergencies than today’sBecause of strong affirmations of state sovereignty (in Sudan increasingly politically driven and militarised formsand Sri Lanka, for example) and because the nature of a of relief, on one hand, and emerging non-westerncrisis can implicate the state directly in the response, it is ‘sovereignty-based’ discourses on the other.possible to foresee a number of changes:>> There will be more regulation and more pressure to Notes conform to national state–driven agendas. This is 1 Development Initiatives figures for 2010: not necessarily a bad thing. Gone are the days of free and easy humanitarian interventionism on the part 2 M Hardt & A Negri, Empire, Harvard University Press, Cambridge MA, 2000. of non-government organisations and UN agencies. 3 The US Stabilization Manual defines ‘medical stabilisation>> Humanitarian agencies will inevitably engage with operations’ thus: ‘Stability operations are humanitarian relief missions national militaries (and the international contingents that the military conducts outside the U.S. in pre-conflict, conflict and coming to help them). When the state is legitimate and post-conflict countries, disaster areas or underdeveloped nations, and the external intervention is agreed to by all involved, in coordination with other federal agencies, allied governments and there is no reason that civilian and military agencies international organizations. The new policy elevates the importance should not work together with a division of labour that of such military health support in stability operations, called Medical respects their respective ethos and competence. Stability Operations (MSOs), to a DoD [Department of Defense] priority that is comparable with combat operations’.7 ACMC Paper 3/2012 > Conflict prevention in practice: from rhetoric to reality
  8. 8. 4 Actually, this is not so new. In 1976 Henry Kissinger stated, ‘Disasterrelief is becoming increasingly a major instrument of our foreign policy’.5 In total, the Pakistani military deployed 60 000 troops to assist inthe earthquake response. This is about 10 per cent of its total strength.6 The Costs of War project, Brown University, 2011.7 Most, if not all, NGOs are multi-mandate organisations focusedprincipally on reconstruction, development, and advocacy or solidarity.Some engage in humanitarian activities as part of their varied portfolio.The absence of a critical mass of principled, or Dunantist, humanitarianplayers affects the quality of the debate surrounding humanitarianconcerns and the ability to respond to these concerns on the ground.8 23 December 2008.9 The Feinstein International Center at Tufts University is completinga series of case studies on the effectiveness of ‘hearts and minds’operations in Afghanistan, with the aim of providing some evidence asto whether these operations actually promote security. The final reporton this research will be issued in early 2012 (see ‘As political pressures to “show results” in troop contributingcountries intensify, more and more assistance is being channelledthrough military actors to “win hearts and minds” while efforts toaddress the underlying causes of poverty … are being sidelined.’‘Development projects implemented with military money or throughmilitary-dominated structures aim to achieve fast results but are oftenpoorly executed, inappropriate and do not have sufficient communityinvolvement to make them sustainable’—Actionaid–Oxfam, QuickImpact, Quick Collapse: the dangers of militarized aid in Afghanistan,Oxfam America, Washington DC, 2010.11 Human Security Institute, University of British Columbia study,available online.8 ACMC Paper 3/2012 > Conflict prevention in practice: from rhetoric to reality