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  • Center for International Security and Strategic Studies Центр Міжнародної Безпеки та Стратегічних Студій 5 Stelmakha St, Kiev-040, Ukraine Україна, Київ-040, вул. Стельмаха 5. Tel.: (380 44) 235 05 07 Тел. +380 44 235 05 07 Fax: (380 44) 258-71-54 Fax: (380 44) 258-71-54 E-mail: E-mail: CONFLICT PREVENTION, EARLY WARNING INSTITUTIONS AND REGIONAL SECURITY CHALLENGES IN CEE1 PfP Consortium Bratislava 12-13 Jan 2004 Prof. Alexander Goncharenko, CISSS President Regional security challenges together with the international terrorism today are the major threats to European and transatlantic security. The strategic question of XXI century is whether the liberal democracy could control these disastrous regional conflicts, especially in CEE and in more broad “arc of instability” stretching from Balkans to the Philippines. Preventive approach to the international politics is extremely important today. Prevention is a tool number one of the effective conflict management. It is much easier to prevent the conflict or acute crisis than to manage the conflicts after they have escalated. No less important is the cost-effectiveness question: the budget of only two days of operation “Desert Storm” or resent operation in Iraq was equal to this one of all UN peacekeeping operation worldwide for a year.2 Thus the conflict prevention approach implicitly corresponds to the demands of cost effective security organization. But the studies related to crisis prevention, preventive diplomacy or preemptive contingency planning are still very sketchy and fragmentary. From the other point of view it is quite obvious that prevention is the key feature of modern strategy. In the National Security Strategy of the USA adopted in September 2002 a heavy accent had been made on the preventive measures and preemptive actions. 1 Conflict prevention is more broad term that crisis prevention. A lot of crises could be observed in the framework of one conflict. 2 The Art of Conflict Management. Ed by W. Bauwens and L Reychler. Brassey’s, 1994, p.2.
  • “United States can no longer solely rely on a reactive posture as we have in the past… the United States will if necessary act preemptively”.3 The European Security Strategy “ A Secure Europe in a Better World” (December, 2003) especially stresses the necessity “to act before a crisis occurs. Conflict prevention and threat prevention cannot start too early”.4 Nevertheless the absence of system approach to conflict prevention, lack of foresight and effective intelligence in international relations, including conflict dynamics, still prevail. International organizations are ineffective and their decisions are very often ignored, especially by the superpowers (OSCE and the conflict in Moldova is a striking example here). It is well known that according to international agreements the Russian troops should been withdrawn from Transistria more than a year ago. Nevertheless they are still there and there is a little doubt that the strategic tasks of these troops is to effectively cut Ukraine from the West in the case of crisis. But the West was silent and pretends that nothing had happen. Washington opened one eye only when Russia almost succeeded in imposing upon Moldova one side prepared Memorandum that granted unprecedented autonomy to Transistria and guaranteed the presence of Russian troops for the next 30 years. Only then Mr. Voronin had been reminded of the more than one billion illegal accounts of his family and drastically changed his position, - in the last moment refused to sign the already prepared Memorandum. Of cause this is as well the crisis management – passive, reactive way of crisis management and policy making in general. This is outdated approach. It reminds the reaction of dead frog crucified on the laboratory table with two electrodes one connected to the leg and other inserted into the back part of the poor amphibian. If one switch the 100 volts battery to these electrodes the dead frog jerk convulsively with it leg, if not correspondingly not. This is the way of the dead frog, the way the majority of present day politicians react. They begin to jerk only when acute crisis began and bloodshed started. Only then they awake and try to do something and in result they are always late. Such purely reactive behavior and conflict management is aggravated by liberal pluralistic nature of democratic system. What we need to cope with the present day’s challenges is the future oriented thinking and active preventive 3 The National Security Strategy of the United States of America. White House. September, 2002, p.15. 4 A Secure Europe in a Better World. European Security Strategy. Brussels. 12 December, 2003, p.7. 2
  • way of action - in other word we need preventive forecasting and management. And the core of this management is the creation of the network of early warning structures, sophisticated intelligence gathering systems, permanent flexible preventive forecasting. Not one time act, but regular activity that allows estimating and predicting the crisis dynamics, form the proper and timely correction signals. These signals should be accumulated and send through the back-loop channels to prevent the father conflict escalation, to tame the possible crisis. Simultaneously the development of prevention strategies including peacekeeping and peacebuilding should start. This is the concept of adaptive management - the most effective tool of conflict resolution. But true political will is needed here to take action before not after the conflict has blown up. Effective early warning institutions and more “intelligence sharing” of cause are necessary. But the existing structures mainly in the international organization are very bulky, inefficient and overbureaucratised. Official Early Warning UN Structure – office for Research and the Collection of Information (ORCI) that had mandate for early warning was in 1992 integrated into the Department of Humanitarian Affairs and Regional Political Services of the Secretariat and now is practically useless. Early Warning System of the UN Administrative Coordinating Committees deals mainly with humanitarian field (refugees, displaced persons, foods etc.). Conflict Prevention Center (CPC) of OSCE in Vienna that had been given the task to serve as a forum for comprehensive and regular consultations on security issues with political military implications (forum for consultation and cooperation in conflict prevention and implementation of decisions on crisis management, with some functions in fact finding monitor missions related to unusual military activity 5 proved to be ineffective and often ignored by conflicting sides (Chechnya, Moldova). NATO Early Warning structures (including Current Intelligence Groups or NATO Situation Center) depending upon national intelligence gathering and assessment systems are oriented mainly on military crisis and first warning of hostile military actions. The situation in many conflict region (especially in CEE is enhanced the unwillingness of the national governments to cooperate closely with international missions and 5 Prague Document on Further Development of CSCE Institutions and Structures. Chapter I, para 2, Jan.1992. 3
  • observers. One of the possible solutions to create the network of non-governmental analytical early warning centers that could make the independent regular monitoring of the local and regional conflicts and cooperates closely between themselves and international structures. This idea for example is under discussion in the Black Sea - Caspian region, but this is not the subject of this report. The problems of effective crisis prevention are not only organizational ones. A lot of other problems concerning the estimation, measurement and analysis of the conflict parameters and causal factors are still unresolved. So I’d like to speculate a little on this issues. The general idea of conflict monitoring and prevention is enough simple and transparent (fig.1). Intensity level Hot conflict 1,00 Preventive Critical level 0,75 measures should started Danger level 0,50 Early warning signal 0,25 0 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 Time Fig.1. Conflict dynamics and early warning / preventive measures thresholds It is necessary to chose a number of key causal so-called conflictogeneouse factors and than scaled them (set up criteria for their estimation and measurement). After the key 4
  • conflictogenouse factors have been analyzed and scaled the general summary index that characterized the intensity level of the conflict could be calculated. Going ahead with the regular monitoring of this general index and corresponding conflictogenouse factors the whole dynamic of the conflict could be determined and corresponding forecast for the future could be made. The crucial question here is the question of selection and measurement of key parameters. One of the simplest and most efficient methods of factor selection and scaling is the expert procedures. The national or international team of experts (usually 10-20 persons) is asked to select and range on intensity and importance (weight index) the key parameters of the given conflict. As a result the table of key parameters/conflictogenouse factors is formed (tabl.1). General index-I, that characterize the conflict intensity usually is calculated as an arithmetical: k ∑WiPi I = i =1 k or geometrical sum of weighted parameters ∑Wi i =1  k  W min  1 / k I = ∏ Pi   i =1  Wi   where Pi – intensity parameter, Wi – weight index, k- number of parameters. The expert procedures could be open, anonymous or more sophisticated methods like “Delphi technique” could be implemented. In more advanced research (UNESCO, US Council on Environmental Quality) the modern methods of multidimensional statistics, factor and cluster analysis are used. These techniques, well known in modern sociology, could be effectively used for the purposes of conflict monitoring and prevention. Tabl.1. Intensity dynamics of imaginary conflict in CEE 5
  • Factor/Parameter Intensity (0 ÷ 1) - Pi Weight index (0 ÷ 5) – Wi 1.01.2003 1.01.2004 1.01.2003 1.01.2004 Ethnic 0,5 0,6 5 5 Historic 0,4 0,4 1 1 Internal Political 0,1 0,8 1 2 External Political 0,3 0,3 4 4 Geopolitical 0,1 0,1 1 1 Economic 0,8 0,9 2 4 Military 0,4 0,9 4 4 Cultural 0,1 0,2 3 3 Language 0,2 0,4 4 2 Religion 0,1 0,1 3 3 k ∑WiPi I1 (2003 year) = 0,32 General Intensity Index : I = i =1 k ∑Wi i =1 I2 (2004 year) = 0,56 The absence of adequate network of early warning institutions is not the only problem of conflict prevention. The other fundamental problem is the luck of future oriented thinking in the international relations, outdated and overbureaucratised system of decision-making. In result the pessimists among the professional analysts are deeply convinced: even if timely early working information signals were send, they are never received in a proper way. If the signals were received they are never analyzed. If the signals were analyzed, they are never reached the end user (so called Decision Making Persons). If the signals were reached the DMP no timely decisions are taken. If the decisions were taken they are never implemented into reality. And if even a miracle has happen and decisions were implemented, they were implemented in a completely different way they had supposed to be implemented. 6
  • The CIA met exactly this problem in case of al Quaeda terrorist attack in N-Y. There were the warning signals about attack, numerous signals and CIA had got them, but these signals had never reached the DMP and h ad never been analyzed property. As a result no preventive measures had been taken. In other words from pessimistic, skeptical point of view any attempts of effective conflict prevention and management are absolutely useless. But I try to be an optimist and simply mention some other problems of conflict prevention and management. Conflict prevention is not universal panacea. Conflict in itself is a very useful phenomena. The great philosophers from Heraclitus and ibn Haldun to Hegel repeatedly stressed that conflict is necessary precondition of the social development. There is no progress without the conflict. In international politics the major danger of conflict prevention and management especially in military interpretation is that it could undermine the basic principles of international relations, such as non-intervention and national sovereignty. It is highly possibly (Chechnya is a good example here) that the major powers will misused the intervention and conflict management to push forward they own selfish interests. The all national liberation and self-determination movements could be very easy proclaimed the threats to national and regional security and colonial war in Chechnya for example could be considered as necessary anti-terrorist operation. From the “preventive thinking” logic invasion of the Warsaw pact troops in Czechoslovakia in 1968 was only typical and very effective peacekeeping operation on the broad multinational base. Operation that had guaranteed peace and stability in the region for more than 20 years. So it is obvious that conflict prevention approach objectively have some limits and never should be used indiscriminately. From the other point of view there is no doubt that effective war against terrorism presuppose certain kind of intervention and preventive measures. They are absolutely necessary even if they contradict in some way to the classical principles of the international law. 7