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fective institutions and managed the liberalization process more gradually
and deliberately than in previous missions.1 In Kosovo and East Timor, in
particular, peacebuilders have served as “transitional authorities” governing
these territories while indigenous institutions are being erected.
But while this shift toward IBL is welcome, it has not gone far enough.
Peacebuilders in these more recent operations have remained reluctant to
commit themselves to the arduous, open-ended, and inevitably slow task of
transforming war-shattered states into stable societies, and have continued to
place too much emphasis on rapid liberalization at the expense of adequate
institutionalization. As a result, many of the problems experienced in earlier
missions have recurred in the post-1998 operations.
As this book went to press, two new postcon¬‚ict operations were at-
tracting worldwide attention “ in Afghanistan and Iraq, whose governments
were deposed in U.S.-led military operations in 2001 and 2003, respectively.
Both of these operations fall outside the focus of this book, not only be-
cause of their recentness, but also because they followed foreign invasions
rather than civil wars. The challenges of peacebuilding after conquest (and
of peacebuilding conducted by the conqueror) are quite different from those
of the missions examined in this book. However, because Afghanistan had
been suffering from its own civil war prior to the American intervention, I
will brie¬‚y discuss the early results of peacebuilding in that country.
Finally, I shall explore some of the challenges of implementing the IBL
strategy in future missions, which will require not only better coordination
of the international organizations that take part in peacebuilding but also a

1 A fourth operation was authorized for the Democratic Republic of Congo in 1999 but involved
only a handful of personnel until the summer of 2001.

212
Lessons Learned and Not Learned 213

strong political commitment from the states and organizations that sponsor
these operations.


Kosovo
Kosovo is a province of Serbia, one of two territories that now comprise
the Federal Republic of Yugoslavia. The population is more than 90 percent
ethnic Albanian and Muslim. The government of Serbia recognized Kosovo
as a largely autonomous region in 1974, an arrangement that allowed ethnic
Albanians special rights, including their own school system and religious
observances, but these rights were withdrawn in 1989.
Following the secession of Slovenia, Croatia, and Bosnia from the
Yugoslav federation, an armed separatist group known as the Kosovo Libera-
tion Army (KLA), comprised primarily of ethnic Albanians, began a guerrilla
campaign in favor of independence. In the fall of 1998, the Yugoslav army
countered with an offensive that forced both the guerrillas and Albanian
civilians into the remote mountains of Kosovo. With winter approaching
and the civilians in danger of freezing, NATO threatened attacks against
Serb forces unless ordinary people were allowed to return to their homes
unmolested. Serbian leaders relented and drew back their forces, but in
March 1999 they launched yet another military campaign in de¬ance of
international warnings. Once again, Albanian Kosovars ¬‚ed the assault, this
time in even greater numbers; thousands of refugees crossed into neighbor-
ing countries, recounting stories of summary executions and forced expul-
sions by Serbian forces. NATO responded by bombing Serbian targets for
eleven consecutive weeks until the government of Yugoslavia ¬nally accepted
peace terms, which included the withdrawal of Serbian forces and the de-
ployment of “international civil and security presences” to the province.
Soon after, the UN Security Council authorized the creation of a new peace-
building mission for Kosovo. The military dimension of the mission (which
became known as the Kosovo Force, or KFOR) would be organized by
NATO, while the civilian aspects (known as the UN Mission in Kosovo,
or UNMIK) would be supervised by the UN in collaboration with the OSCE
and EU.
Since their deployment, KFOR and UNMIK have been considerably more
assertive and interventionist in constructing functioning governmental in-
stitutions, and in managing the liberalization process, than earlier peace-
building missions “ with substantial success. International of¬cials took over
key administrative functions, from taxation to garbage collection, in what
amounted to the creation of a UN protectorate. Indeed, no previous op-
eration of this kind had exercised such extensive and direct administrative
control over a territory. The special representative of the Secretary-General
(SRSG) assumed “all . . . executive authority with respect to Kosovo,” in-
cluding the right to appoint “any person to perform functions in the civil
Problems and Solutions
214

administration of Kosovo, including the judiciary,” or to dismiss people
from these posts.2 Under the SRSG™s supervision, the UN assumed juris-
diction over public administration, police, and judicial affairs; the OSCE
was tasked with building new political institutions, training local admin-
istrators, and organizing elections; while the EU undertook to reconstruct
physical infrastructure and develop a market-based economy, including a
banking system.
In addition to taking direct responsibility for the reconstruction of gov-
ernmental institutions, peacebuilders in Kosovo also promoted a more con-
trolled process of political liberalization than in earlier operations. Strict
media policies required broadcasters and print journalists to comply with
codes of conduct that banned the dissemination of material that “denigrates
an ethnic or religious group or implies that an ethnic or religious group is
responsible for criminal activity.”3 In addition, newspapers, radio, and televi-
sion broadcasters were prohibited from producing material “that encourages
crime or criminal activities or which carries imminent risk of causing harm,
such harm being de¬ned as death, or injury, or damage to property or other
violence.”4 An internationally staffed Media Hearing Board was established
to handle complaints against particular media outlets and empowered to
impose sanctions, ranging from a warning to the forcible suspension of the
outlet™s operations (subject to the right of appeal to a Media Appeals Board).
At the same time, the OSCE also promoted the development of a professional
and responsible media by offering technical assistance and training oppor-
tunities for local journalists. These initiatives appear to have supported the
growth of a moderate but still largely free press.
Similarly, in the area of democratization, peacebuilders in Kosovo were
more conscious of limiting the excesses of local actors than in previous mis-
sions. Preparations for elections included the drafting of a code of conduct
that not only prohibited political parties and candidates from using language
or symbols “likely to incite hatred towards others” but also imposed a posi-
tive requirement on parties and candidates to “be publicly outspoken in the
condemnation of violence, threats of violence or intimidation, during the
electoral process.”5 Moreover, political parties, coalitions and independent
candidates were allowed to participate in elections only after being certi¬ed
by the internationally run Central Election Commission as complying with
the code of conduct.6 The powers of the territory™s elected Assembly were
limited and subject to the oversight of the SRSG, who retained the right to
dissolve the assembly, call for new elections, and veto any measure passed by
the Assembly that violated the purposes of the peacebuilding operation.7 The

2 UNMIK Regulation 1999/1 (July 25, 1999), http://www.unmikonline.org/regulations/1999/
reg01-99.htm, accessed in July 2002.
3 Temporary Media Commissioner for Kosovo 2000a (section 2.2) and 2000b (section 2.2).
4 5 OSCE 2002a. 6 OSCE 2002b.
Ibid., section 2.1 of both codes of conduct.
7 UNMIK 2001, chap. 8.
Lessons Learned and Not Learned 215

SRSG exercised his veto power almost immediately, annulling a resolution
passed by the Assembly in May 2002 that would have supported Kosovo™s
becoming a sovereign state rather than remaining part of Serbia “ an issue
that the Assembly was explicitly prohibited from addressing due to its highly
controversial nature, given that the government of Yugoslavia had agreed
to the deployment of UNMIK on the understanding that the mission would
not facilitate Kosovo™s secession.
At the same time, peacebuilders have been training local Kosovars to serve
in the internationally run administration of the territory in the hope of even-
tually producing an entirely indigenous, professionalized, and independent
bureaucracy to support the territorial government, which will in turn gain
more powers.8 Taken as a whole, the willingness of international authorities
to assume full responsibility for the governance of the territory, then hand
over political authority to local elected leaders and trained administrators
in a gradual and controlled manner, represents a departure from the hastier
and less interventionist approach to democratization that was practiced in
earlier peacebuilding missions. To date, this approach seems to have lim-
ited the potentially destabilizing effects of liberalization that affected many
previous missions.
However, the signi¬cant progress that peacebuilders have made in Kosovo
has been diminished by their apparent unwillingness to embrace the IBL
strategy more fully. At the outset of the operation, in particular, interna-
tional of¬cials were reluctant to assert their powers over the political and
judicial affairs of the province, which ultimately made it more dif¬cult to
end violence and revenge attacks against the minority population of ethnic
Serbs, to promote peaceful coexistence between the Serbian and Albanian
communities, to remove extremist groups and individuals from positions
of responsibility, and to establish a neutral and effective international ad-
ministration over the territory. The period immediately following the termi-
nation of Yugoslav military operations in Kosovo was ¬lled with revenge
attacks upon Serb civilians perpetrated by extremist elements in the KLA,
who intimidated Albanian moderates and extended their control of a per-
vasive black market economy transshipping drugs to Western Europe, and
who also began to establish their own local governments in violation of
the peace agreement.9 Peacebuilders were initially hesitant to suppress the
violence and remove these illegal governance structures for fear of being per-
ceived as “overly colonial.”10 As a result, these bodies became harder to dis-
lodge and impeded efforts to establish the rule of law and human rights.11 By
mid-2002, illegal political structures continued to exist (particularly within



8 See the website of the Institute for Civil Administration: http://www.osce.org/kosovo/
democratization/ica, accessed in July 2002.
9 10 Rhode 2000. 11 O™Neill 2002, p. 38.
O™Neill 2002.
Problems and Solutions
216

Serbian sections of Kosovo) and to block UNMIK from exercising its gov-
erning authority throughout the province.12
Tentativeness also marred efforts to establish the rule of law in Kosovo.
UNMIK of¬cials were at ¬rst disinclined to impose an internationally staffed
justice system on the province and refused calls for an internationalization
of the judiciary, even in the face of “overwhelming” evidence of intimi-
dation and ethnic bias among local judges and prosecutors.13 Under these
circumstances, attacks upon Serb civilians continued with relative impunity,
diminishing the prospects of promoting peaceful relations between Serbian
and Albanian communities. It was not until 2000 that UNMIK ¬nally real-
ized its mistake and began to appoint international judges and lawyers, but
by then much harm had been done to the peace process. As William O™Neill
argues, if UNMIK and KFOR had immediately declared the equivalent of
martial law in Kosovo and established an effective international justice sys-
tem, hard-liners in both the Serb and Albanian communities might have
recognized that violent attacks would not be tolerated, and fewer minorities
might have been forced to ¬‚ee their homes.14
Moreover, while the democratization process has been handled more ef-
fectively in Kosovo than in many previous missions, UNMIK may have
moved too quickly to hold elections, reinforcing the power of those politi-
cians who are committed to Kosovo™s separation from Yugoslavia. The
November 2001 territorial elections were praised internationally on the
grounds that they represented a “clear victory for political moderates,” as
the Washington Post wrote in an editorial, which also noted that Ibrahim
Rugova, a longtime proponent of achieving Kosovar independence through
nonviolent means, had won the largest number of votes.15 But political mod-
eration in Kosovo is a relative concept: Most of the province™s politicians,
including Rugova, reject any option short of full independence for Kosovo.
In the long term, the election of these politicians to public of¬ce poses a
problem for peacebuilders, in that they are likely to press for outright se-
cession, which is precisely the scenario that UNMIK and the UN Security
Council would like to avoid. International of¬cials fear that a declaration
of independence by the Kosovo Assembly could spark renewed con¬‚ict not
only in Yugoslavia, whose central government in Belgrade is ¬ercely opposed
to the province™s secession, but perhaps also in neighboring states, including
Macedonia, where there is a signi¬cant Albanian minority. Furthermore, the
November 2001 elections registered modest gains for parties that are polit-
ical successors of the KLA, and which have not clearly rejected the use of
violence to achieve independence.16
In sum, it is dif¬cult to understand how the empowerment of Kosovo
separatists through democratic elections serves the interests of achieving a

12 13 Ibid., p. 89. 14 Ibid., pp. 75“76 and 138.
Wood 2002.
15 Washington Post 2001 (November 23).
16 Dempsey 2001; International Crisis Group 2002, pp. 10“11.
Lessons Learned and Not Learned 217

long-term peaceful solution to the Kosovo problem. The fact that UNMIK
pushed for rapid elections that bolstered the power of secessionists is even
more puzzling in the light of UN Secretary-General Ko¬ Annan™s statement
in 1999 that he did not wish to repeat in Kosovo the “mistakes” of elections
in Bosnia, which according to Annan “legitimized those who caused the
war.”17
There was never much danger that elections would incite violent rebel-
lion by Serb communities in Kosovo because more than two-thirds of the
Serb population had ¬‚ed the province during the NATO offensive of 1999
and before, leaving only a rump community of approximately eighty to a
hundred thousand, and this remnant population no longer enjoyed the mili-
tary support of the Yugoslav government. For these reasons, the danger that
democratization would spark renewed civil war in Kosovo was not high,
just as it was not high in Croatia or Namibia: One party to the preceding
con¬‚ict had effectively abandoned the territory. Nevertheless, relations be-
tween the remaining Serb community and Albanian majority remained tense
and violent, and encouraging peaceful coexistence was one of the central
objectives of the peacebuilding mission. Elections have not furthered this
objective because most Serbs have refused to participate in a procedure
they have viewed as illegitimate.18 Under pressure from the SRSG, Rugova
did include a Kosovo Serb in his cabinet in March 2002, but this gesture
did little to diminish the widespread Serb belief that elections serve merely
to further the goals of Albanian separatists “ a view that has some basis
in fact.19
Finally, there have been disturbing signals that UNMIK may be using
rapid democratization as a means of extracting itself from Kosovo prema-
turely. When Michael Steiner was appointed as the new SRSG in February
2002, he announced that his top goal was to transfer administrative powers
to Kosovo™s elected leaders as quickly as possible, although it was far from
clear how doing this would advance the goal of resolving the dispute over
Kosovo™s status within Yugoslavia.20 Although Steiner emphasized that ¬nal
status negotiations should not commence until Kosovo has fully functioning
governmental institutions, he and other UNMIK of¬cials have hinted that
they believe that they are in a “race against time” to complete the peacebuild-
ing mission.21 “We™re not going to be here much longer,” said the spokesman
for Kosovo™s UN police in March 2002, who went on to note that the
American government is skeptical of long-term peacekeeping deployments


17 Quoted in Perlez 1999.
18 More Serbs participated in the November 2001 elections than in previous votes, but the vast
majority of the Serb population refused to participate (International Crisis Group 2002, p. i).
19 Indeed, this was also the prevailing view in Albania proper, where most commentators
celebrated the November 2001 election as a major step toward Kosovar independence. See
Mici 2001.
20 21 UNMIK 2002.
Arieff 2002.
Problems and Solutions
218

and that the British government is pushing for greater attention to Africa™s
problems.22
As we have seen in the case of many of the missions that preceded UNMIK,
speedy democratization is one way of creating the appearance of a peace-
building “success” without resolving dif¬cult issues and underlying sources
of con¬‚ict. It is essential that the Kosovo mission, which has largely recog-
nized the need for effective institutionalization and managed liberalization,
not squander its substantial accomplishments by pushing democratization
before the territory™s status “ and its capability to manage its internal and
external affairs peacefully “ is fully secured.


East Timor
The operation in East Timor also illustrates the increased willingness of
peacebuilders to focus on institutional reconstruction and move in the di-
rection of the IBL strategy. East Timor had been a subject of concern to
the United Nations since the 1960s, when the territory (which is located
at the eastern end of the Indonesian archipelago, just north of Australia)
was still administered by Portugal. In 1974 Portugal attempted to establish
a provisional government that would determine the status of East Timor,
but civil war erupted between those who favored independence and those
who advocated integration with Indonesia, and when Portugal withdrew,
Indonesian military units intervened and annexed East Timor. It was not
until 1999 that Jakarta agreed to hold a “popular consultation” under
UN auspices to determine whether the people of East Timor were willing
to approve a special autonomy arrangement for the territory within In-
donesia. In August of that year, the East Timorese voted overwhelmingly
(78.5 percent) against autonomy, a result that was correctly interpreted as
an expression of support for independence. Immediately, anti-independence
militias in East Timor, some of which were reportedly controlled by the
Indonesian armed forces, began a campaign of violence and intimidation
that resulted in the deaths of approximately two thousand people and
the displacement of hundreds of thousands of civilians, many of whom
¬‚ed the territory.
In response, the UN authorized the creation of an Australian-led military
force to restore order in East Timor, which it quickly accomplished, but only
after ¬ghting had destroyed much of the territory™s physical infrastructure
along with the civil administration and judicial systems. In September 1999,
Indonesia agreed to transfer political authority over East Timor to the
United Nations, pending the territory™s transition to sovereign independence
and self-rule. The Security Council consequently empowered a new peace-
building operation “ the UN Transitional Administration in East Timor

22 Quoted in Holley 2002.
Lessons Learned and Not Learned 219

(UNTAET) “ to assume “overall responsibility for the administration of East
Timor” and “to exercise all legislative and executive authority, including the
administration of justice.”23 UNTAET was instructed to establish an “effec-
tive administration” over the territory and to support “capacity-building for
self-government.”24 In August 2001, more than 91 percent of East Timor™s
eligible voters went to the polls once again, this time to elect a Constituent
Assembly that would draw up plans for future elections and the transition to
full independence. With international guidance, the Constituent Assembly
signed into force the territory™s ¬rst Constitution in March 2002, and the
following month presidential elections were held. More than 80 percent of
˜
voters selected Xanana Gusmao, a former guerrilla leader who had fought
˜
against Indonesian rule, as the country™s ¬rst president. Gusmao was sworn
in and East Timor became an independent nation on May 20, 2002.
While the UN™s experience in East Timor from 1998 to 2002 showed how
much international peacebuilders can accomplish when they commit them-
selves to the task of reconstructing the governmental institutions of war-torn
territories, the early phases of UN involvement actually highlighted the dan-
gers of precipitous and ill-prepared liberalization. Many international ob-
servers had predicted that the 1999 referendum would end in bloodshed, and
that anti-independence gangs supported by the Indonesian army would not
allow East Timor to secede without a ¬ght.25 Even pro-independence cam-
˜
paigners, including Gusmao himself, said that they preferred several years
of quasi autonomy to prepare for the referendum, rather than moving ahead
immediately.26 Nevertheless, the UN proceeded with the vote, deploying
only a small number of observers and security forces (three hundred soldiers
and four hundred police) into a highly unstable environment, leaving the
primary responsibility for security during and after the referendum in the
suspect hands of the Indonesian armed forces. As widely expected, violence
erupted and thousands of civilians were killed or driven from their homes.
Many criticized the UN for lack of foresight and preparation, including the
editorial writers for Le Monde, France™s newspaper of record: “By taking
on the organization of the referendum, the UN implicitly guaranteed not
only the security of the voting operation, but that of the voters in the after-
math of the poll. It has betrayed their trust; it has abandoned them without
defense.”27 Furthermore, the United Nations did not authorize the deploy-
ment of a multinational force to restore peace and security in East Timor
until two weeks after the vote, and foreign troops only started arriving in
large numbers at the end of September.28

23 24 Ibid.
UN Security Council Resolution 1272 (October 25, 1999).
25 26 Shukman 1999.
For example, Knox 1999; and Le Monde 1999b.
27 Le Monde 1999a.
28 For a glimpse into the UN™s complete lack of preparation for this scenario, see Martin 2001,
chap. 7.
Problems and Solutions
220

Why the UN failed to foresee this outcome, even after the organization™s
experience with abortive elections in other deeply divided societies, remains
unclear. According to Secretary-General Annan, “Nobody in his wildest
dreams thought that what we are witnessing could have happened.”29 Yet
the peacebuilding record to date should have provided Annan with suf¬-
cient grounds to anticipate the problems that surrounded East Timor™s 1999
referendum.
The UN was able to recover from this setback. UNTAET soon assumed
greater governing powers over East Timor than international agencies had
exercised in any previous peacebuilding mission, including Kosovo, and
quickly began the process of reconstituting a functioning governmental ad-
ministration for the territory.30 As in Kosovo, the Secretary-General™s spe-
cial representative was granted extraordinary powers to enact new laws
and regulations and to amend or repeal existing ones “ powers that he
immediately used to create a central ¬scal authority, courts and police sys-
tem, defense force, and even traf¬c rules. International military contingents
were given robust rules of engagement and permitted to pursue and ¬re
on anti-independence militiamen who in¬ltrated the territory from neigh-
boring West Timor.31 Under direct international governance, the rule of
law was largely restored, roads and schools rebuilt, health systems reestab-
lished, and training programs begun in order to prepare the East Timorese
for their gradual assumption of positions of responsibility within the ad-
ministration. The April 2002 presidential election and the campaign that
preceded it were well regulated, peaceful, and orderly, proceeding “with-
out signi¬cant incidents.”32 As Jose Ramos-Horta, the Nobel peace laureate
who became the country™s ¬rst foreign minister, commented after the elec-
tion, “[The UN mission to East Timor] has been a tremendous, dramatic
accomplishment.”33
The success of the East Timor mission to date is a testament to the willing-
ness of peacebuilders to assume full responsibility for the reconstruction of a
functioning state apparatus. Yet without diminishing these real accomplish-
ments, it is also true that in East Timor the immediate postcon¬‚ict period
was less fragile, less susceptible to a resurgence of violence, and less vulner-
able to the disruptive effects of liberalization than in most other countries
that have hosted peacebuilding operations. After the defeat and departure of
anti-independence militias from the territory in 1999, there were effectively
no “formerly warring parties” in East Timor. Rather, they were individuals
who had been more or less af¬liated with the Indonesian regime. The elite of
the society was broadly united, and “no signi¬cant group [felt] marginalized

29 30 Suhrke 2001. 31 Smith with Doe 2003.
Quoted in Thoenes and Vo 1999, p. 1.
32 “Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Transitional Administration in East
Timor,” UN document S/2002/432 (April 17, 2002), para. 7.
33 Quoted in Chandrasekaran 2002.
Lessons Learned and Not Learned 221

or tempted to start a civil war.”34 As in Namibia, the roots of the con-
¬‚ict were more those of foreign occupation than indigenous civil war.35
When the foreign presence departed, the task of promoting reconciliation
was greatly eased “ although some divisions (including those caused by the
residual effects of Indonesian occupation) continue to exist in East Timorese
society.
Nonetheless, the East Timor model of assertive peacebuilding, with an
emphasis on institution building and managed liberalization, represents an
improvement upon the quick-and-dirty style of peacebuilding that prevailed
for much of the 1990s. Indeed, one of the distinguishing features of the
East Timor mission has been the willingness of the UN and other interna-
tional agencies to maintain a major presence in the country even after the
territory became formally independent. Both the SRSG for East Timor and
˜
the Secretary-General himself, along with President Gusmao, have empha-
sized the importance of continuing international institution-building efforts
into the postindependence period.36 Much work was required in the area of
training indigenous bureaucrats and further developing the courts and po-
lice system.37 Accordingly, in May 2002 the Security Council authorized the
continued deployment of 5,000 UN troops to maintain security, 1,250 police
of¬cers to preserve law enforcement, and more than 100 civilian UN per-
sonnel to serve directly in the newly independent national government.38
In the words of the SRSG, “we can™t just let them [the East Timorese]
fend for themselves.”39 The process of handing over responsibility for ju-
dicial and security affairs was scheduled to continue, gradually and de-
liberately, as local capacities for peaceful and effective self-governance
increased.
The territory will continue to face challenges in the coming years, includ-
ing more traditional problems of economic development: When East Timor
gained independence, it instantly became the poorest country in Asia. But
the record of peacebuilding in East Timor to date illustrates how much can
be accomplished (albeit under relatively favorable circumstances) when in-
ternational agencies devote time and resources to rebuilding institutional
structures in war-torn lands and carefully manage the movement toward
democratization.

34 Steele 2002, p. 86.
35 Meden 2002. As John Sanderson (2001, p. 159) writes: “[T]he situation in East Timor lends
itself to political experimentation in a way that would be very dif¬cult and costly in most
other places.”
36 “Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Transitional Administration in East
Timor,” UN document S/2002/432 (April 17, 2002); Holloway 2002; and Annan 2002.
37 On the need for more extensive and coordinated training of local judges and lawyers, for
example, see Pritchard 2001.
38 UN Security Council Resolution 1410 (May 17, 2002).
39 Quoted in Chandrasekaran 2002.
Problems and Solutions
222

Sierra Leone
Sierra Leone is a West African country that gained its independence from
Britain in 1961. Its civil con¬‚ict began in March 1991 when a guerrilla
group, the Revolutionary United Front (RUF), launched a military campaign
from the eastern part of the country, near the border with Liberia, aimed at
overthrowing the government. In 1992, in the midst of the war, junior of¬cers
in the Sierra Leone army staged a coup, claiming that the government was
not providing suf¬cient support to front-line soldiers. Initial support for the
coup from ordinary citizens soon dissipated as it became clear that the new
regime was no less corrupt or brutal in its treatment of the civilian population
than its predecessor had been.40 In response to international pressure, the
military government agreed to hold multiparty elections in February 1996 “
the country™s ¬rst free vote since 1967 “ which resulted in victory for Ahmed
Tejan Kabbah. But Kabbah was soon overthrown in another military coup,
whose leaders immediately suspended the country™s short-lived democratic
constitution.
Kabbah ¬‚ed to neighboring Guinea, where he mobilized international sup-
port. With the assistance of a large Nigerian-led military force, which was
of¬cially sponsored by the Economic Community of West African States,
Kabbah was restored to power in the spring of 1998. Thereafter, the
ECOWAS force took a leading role in ¬ghting the RUF guerrillas on be-
half of the Kabbah government. The RUF continued to battle for control
of the countryside and the capital, Freetown. After several stillborn efforts
to negotiate an end to the con¬‚ict, the parties ¬nally reached an agreement
in July 1999, which included the demobilization of the RUF and a power-
sharing arrangement between the Kabbah government and the RUF rebels
during a transitional period leading up to new elections, all of which would
be supervised by the UN Mission in Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL).
However, ¬ghting soon resumed, and when rebels took more than ¬ve
hundred UN troops hostage in May 2000, the future of UNAMSIL appeared
to be in doubt. The arrival of a British military task force later that month
stabilized the deteriorating situation by securing Freetown and neighboring
areas and by undertaking to retrain the disorganized Sierra Leone army. The
Security Council also responded by increasing the size of the military con-
tingent attached to UNAMSIL (from an initial deployment of 6,000 soldiers
to 17,500 in March 2001) and by expanding the mandate of the mission to
permit UN troops to ¬ght the rebels directly. Elections were postponed from
November 2001 to May 2002. During this period, the RUF ceased hostilities
and largely abided by the cease-¬re, UNAMSIL and the Sierra Leone army
gained control of most of the country, the RUF began to transform itself
into a political party (as required under the 1999 peace agreement), and

40 Laggah, Allie, and Wright 1999, p. 184.
Lessons Learned and Not Learned 223

UN personnel supervised the disarming and demobilization of tens of thou-
sands of rebel troops. Elections took place on May 14, 2002, in relatively
peaceful conditions, with President Kabbah taking over 70 percent of the
vote. It was, as the International Crisis Group pointed out, “the ¬rst truly
non-violent vote in the country™s history.”41
The record of peacebuilding in Sierra Leone to date supports a number
of provisional observations. First, the key difference between the failed elec-
tions of 1996 and the apparently successful elections of 2002 was that no
internationally sponsored demobilization or institution building took place
preceding the 1996 election, whereas the 2002 vote followed several months
during which international actors rebuilt the Sierra Leone army and disarmed
antigovernment rebels. Between June 2000 and September 2001, the British
retrained no fewer than eighty-¬ve hundred members of the Sierra Leone
army.42 Moreover, the national army was reinforced by a large contingent of
UN troops, who effectively fought on behalf of the government, and “ most
importantly “ by an elite British military task force. British intervention was
“decisive” in overcoming the RUF on the battle¬eld and in convincing rebels
to abide by the 1999 peace agreement.43 British forces routed RUF ¬ghters
near Freetown and went on to capture the group™s leader, Foday Sankoh,
incarcerating him on murder charges. What peacebuilders did, in effect, was
to focus on one vital institution of the Sierra Leone government “ the army “
and make it more effective in order to deter and suppress violent challenges
to the electoral process or its results. In this way, the peacebuilding mission
pursued one element of the IBL strategy.
However, peacebuilders did little to establish functioning governmental
institutions in Sierra Leone prior to the elections “ and this seems likely to
become a source of problems in the future. As of mid-2002, the country still
lacked an effective police and courts system. Although the UN and Com-
monwealth have provided some police training, and Britain and the UNDP
have provided some equipment, the capacity of the Sierra Leone police to
perform basic law enforcement is very limited. At the heart of the problem is
a lack of resources and training. Most districts are understaffed; some lack
even such vital equipment as vehicles and radios, and few police personnel
have managerial skills or the capacity to train new recruits.44 The judiciary
barely functions: Only ¬ve of the fourteen magistrate courts in the country
are operational, and even these courts have “very limited capacity in terms
of trained personnel and logistics.”45 Furthermore, governmental bureaucra-
cies at both the national and local levels are rife with corruption and incompe-
tence. In spite of the efforts of the internationally sponsored Anti-Corruption

41 42 Chege 2002, p. 155. 43 Tran 2002.
International Crisis Group 2002, p. i.
44 International Crisis Group 2002, pp. 12“13.
45 “Fourteenth Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone,”
UN document S/2002/679 (June 19, 2002), para. 24.
Problems and Solutions
224

Commission to root out government of¬cials who misappropriate funds, the
problems of corruption and the lack of trained administrators are so pro-
found that some international of¬cials have privately expressed doubt that
measurable progress has been made in professionalizing the Sierra Leone
bureaucracy.46 Without an effective police and courts system, and a mini-
mally competent and ef¬cient bureaucracy, the new government “ faced with
popular demands for peace, justice, public services, and economic reform “
risks collapse.
Furthermore, few institutional mechanisms have been established to en-
sure that the newly elected government will uphold its constitutional com-
mitments to preserve democracy. Like the experience of its neighbor Liberia,
Sierra Leone™s history of political instability and violence is a story of rival
factions competing for total power in a system of “winner-take-all” politics,
where ruling groups use their control of the state to enrich themselves and
their associates while brutally suppressing their opponents.47 This style of
politics has resulted in a vicious cycle of violent uprisings and coups, followed
by repression and embezzlement, which give rise to new uprisings and new
coups. If democratization is to provide Sierra Leone with an escape from this
cycle of violence, such mechanisms as an effective constitutional court are
needed to prevent the new Kabbah government from reverting to one-party
rule. In the aftermath of the May 2002 elections, there were already signs
of possible backsliding: Despite international entreaties to create a broad-
based cabinet, President Kabbah appointed only loyalists af¬liated with his
own party. Further, his party™s overwhelming domination of parliament has
diminished hopes that an effective “loyal opposition” will emerge. Failure to
guard against an unconstitutional usurpation of power may result in a tragic
and wasteful loss of the real, but fragile, accomplishments of peacebuilding
in Sierra Leone.
In hindsight, it might have been preferable for peacebuilders to assume
more direct responsibility for the administration of the country before
holding national elections. In Kosovo and East Timor, by contrast, inter-
national governance has built a preliminary foundation not only for more
effective and professional administration but also for a politically neutral
bureaucracy. Peacebuilders should remain in Sierra Leone for an extended
period in order to preserve what is still a tenuous peace. They should redou-
ble their efforts to build effective state institutions, not only to help the new
government meet the challenges of postwar reconstruction and reconcilia-
tion but also to protect the country against possible governmental excesses.

46 International Crisis Group 2002, pp. 15“16. Hirsch (2001) suggests that leadership positions
in the bureaucracy could be staffed, at least initially, by professionals recruited from the large
diaspora community of educated Sierra Leoneans who ¬‚ed the country during the preceding
two decades.
47 ˚
Bøas 2001; and Kandeh 2002.
Lessons Learned and Not Learned 225

Although UN of¬cials have publicly called for a continuation of the peace-
building mission beyond 2002, the countries supporting this mission and the
Secretary-General himself actually seem to be preparing to scale back the op-
eration. In June 2002, Annan reported that “planning for the drawdown of
UNAMSIL” was under way;48 and in July the British government withdrew
two hundred of the three hundred military of¬cers who had been retraining
the Sierra Leone army,49 a decision that caused anxiety among observers in
Sierra Leone, who fear that the national army still lacks the skill and cohesion
to operate independently.50 Sierra Leone has emerged from a period of ap-
palling brutality, and an opportunity now exists to set the country on a path
toward stable and lasting peace. The international community should resist
the temptation to declare the peacebuilding mission a completed “success”
on grounds that Sierra Leone is now a “democracy.”


Backsliding in Afghanistan
Recent missions in Kosovo, East Timor, and Sierra Leone suggest that inter-
national agencies have begun to embrace longer-term, more interventionist
forms of postcon¬‚ict peacebuilding that place greater emphasis on institu-
tional reconstruction and on more gradual and controlled approaches to
liberalization. But these developments have been modest in comparison to
the Institutionalization Before Liberalization strategy set out in Chapter 10.
Furthermore, this budding trend toward more assertive and gradual peace-
building was partly reversed in 2001 with the deployment of a postcon¬‚ict
mission to Afghanistan “ a mission that has suffered from a lack of in-
ternational commitment to rebuild effective governmental structures in the
country.
Following the September 2001 terrorist attacks on New York and
Washington, D.C., the United States launched a military operation in
Afghanistan to destroy members of the Al Qaeda organization and to over-
throw Afghanistan™s ruling Taliban regime. The ¬ghting was largely over by
mid-December, at which point the UN Security Council voted to authorize
the deployment of a multinational security force to maintain order in the
country™s capital city, Kabul, and immediate environs. The decision to create
the security force had been made a few days earlier at a meeting in Bonn,
Germany, which brought together Afghan leaders, UN of¬cials, American
diplomats, and representatives of other interested states. Participants at the
Bonn meeting also set out the framework for postwar transitional arrange-
ments in Afghanistan, including the rapid creation of a new government
for the country. Although a new civilian UN mission was to be created for

48 “Fourteenth Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Mission in Sierra Leone,”
UN document S/2002/679 (June 19, 2002), para. 42.
49 50 Fofana 2002.
Hall 2002.
Problems and Solutions
226

Afghanistan, its role was limited to providing technical, humanitarian, and
¬nancial assistance to the newly formed indigenous government, and no UN
or international administrative power was envisaged. On the contrary, the
United Nations emphasized that its presence would be “based on the concept
of having a ˜small footprint™ in the country.”51
In many respects, the postwar mission in Afghanistan is unlike those stud-
ied in this book: It followed the conquest of the country by the United States
and its allies, rather than a negotiated settlement to a civil war. Neverthe-
less, the country was (and remains) deeply divided along ethnic and tribal
lines, and it was engaged in a civil war for more than a decade prior to
the American intervention. So the conditions in postwar Afghanistan bear
some resemblance to the states that hosted peacebuilding missions in the
1990s.
One of the interesting features of the postcon¬‚ict mission in Afghanistan
is the relatively modest role that international agencies have assumed, in
comparison to the more extensive functions performed in Kosovo and East
Timor, in particular. The apparent “reversal of the increasingly intrusive
trend in transitional administration”52 raises an important question that is
directly relevant to this study: Has the “light footprint” model of interna-
tional peacebuilding in Afghanistan proven effective to date?
The answer appears to be no. At the time of this writing, the international
security force continues to be limited to Kabul. Feuding warlords remain in
control of most of the country, including local police and security forces,
while the new Afghan government barely exercises its writ beyond the sub-
urbs of the capital. The Taliban seems to have been destroyed and members
of Al Qaeda largely expelled from the country, but conditions that fueled the
earlier civil war in Afghanistan are still very much present: most importantly,
the absence of an effective central state and the continued fragmentation of
political authority among adversarial, local warlords.53 The light-footprint
approach to peacebuilding in Afghanistan seems, by its very nature, to be
incapable of addressing this problem. Providing “technical advice” to a frag-
ile and weak Afghan government will not, by itself, create an effective state.
Internationally sponsored efforts to retrain a national army, which might be
used to counteract the power of the warlords, have been underfunded and
painfully slow.54 Meanwhile, American troops in the country (who are not
part of the international security force in Kabul) have focused on hunting
down remaining pockets of suspected terrorists and are not available for
peacekeeping work.
Without a more extensive international commitment to rebuilding a stable
and effective central government, the prognosis for peace in Afghanistan is
not encouraging; nor are the prospects that the country will break out of

51 United Nations 2002, p. 11. See also Chesterman 2002.
52 53 Goodhand 2002. 54
Their and Chopra 2002, p. 894. Sedra 2003.
Lessons Learned and Not Learned 227

its cycle of state failure and violence.55 Even the U.S. military commander
in the country, Lt. Gen. Dan McNeill, expressed his frustration in March
2003 that the international community had “not made a more bold step”
to rebuild an effective government for Afghanistan.56 Observers report that
conditions outside Kabul are reverting to the anarchy of the previous years.57
As Kimberly Zisk Marten writes, “Creating new security institutions that will
be fully operational only after several years™ time is not an adequate response
to these dangers. To get itself on its feet and prove itself to the population,
the central government needs security support throughout the country now,
not later.”58
Without effective central institutions, moreover, there is a danger that
democratic elections (currently scheduled for 2004) will act as a stimulus for
destructive competition among the country™s major factional leaders. The
Bonn Agreement explicitly required elections to be held within two years
of the formation of the Afghan transitional administration. By emphasizing
time limits rather than setting out substantive preconditions for successful
elections, the Bonn Agreement repeated the errors of the quick-and-dirty
approach to liberalization that, I have argued, diminished the effectiveness
of earlier peacebuilding missions. Pressing forward with elections without
having ¬rst begun the process of building these institutional foundations “
including a central government with authority beyond Kabul, agreement
on the detailed provisions of a new constitution, an independent judicial
mechanism to interpret the constitution and uphold electoral laws, and an
effective and neutral security apparatus “ is a recipe for continued instability
in a country that has no experience with democracy and a long history of
violent, zero-sum competition among regional warlords.


The Challenges Ahead
Given the continued problem of civil violence in many parts of the world,
the demand for new peacebuilding operations is unlikely to diminish in the
coming years. The best hope for future progress toward more realistic and
effective forms of postcon¬‚ict intervention is to build upon the achievements
of the Kosovo and East Timor operations and to embrace the IBL strategy
in its entirety as the guiding doctrine for peacebuilding. The effective imple-
mentation of the IBL strategy, however, will ultimately require more than
just a commitment to the speci¬c policies outlined in Chapter 10. In order
to accomplish these policies, international peacebuilders will also need 1) to
coordinate their activities much more closely, and 2) to rely on strong sup-
port from the principal states that sponsor and fund peacebuilding missions.
I address each of these issues in turn.

55 56 Quoted in Reeves 2003. 57
Goodson 2003. Gall 2003; Bar™el 2003.
58 Marten 2002/03, p. 39.
Problems and Solutions
228

Better Coordination of Peacebuilding Agencies
IBL presupposes the ability to manage different elements of peacebuilding in
a carefully coordinated manner “ elements that include the construction of
political and economic institutions, the development of “good” civil society
and independent media, the design and implementation of market-oriented
economic reforms, and planning for democratic reforms including elections.
The decentralized and jumbled structure of peacebuilding operations has
been a common criticism of past missions,59 but lack of coordination among
international agencies would be even more problematic under the IBL strat-
egy, which calls for a more controlled and phased approach to liberalization
than has been the practice to date.
Institutional turf battles among peacebuilding agencies are common, with
individual organizations sometimes working at cross-purposes in vital policy
areas. In El Salvador, Mozambique, and Cambodia, for example, the UN
urged the governments of these war-shattered states to increase spending
on peacebuilding-related programs, while the IMF pushed in the opposite
direction, demanding ¬scal restraint.60 Attempts in more recent operations to
achieve greater coordination among peacebuilding agencies have been only
partly successful. In Kosovo, for example, peacebuilders devised an explicit
division of labor that gave speci¬c agencies the primary responsibility for
different tasks under the overall supervisory authority of the SRSG, who
was empowered to “coordinate the activities of all United Nations agencies
and other international organizations” in Kosovo.61 In practice, however,
the mission continued to suffer from signi¬cant overlaps and con¬‚icts in the
activities of these agencies “ a problem that numerous observers noted.62
Similar criticisms were also leveled against the Bosnia operation, where the
“United Nations did not respond as a system but rather as a series of separate
and largely autonomous agencies. Each had its own institutional dynamics,
formulated its own priorities, and moved according to a timetable of its own
devising.”63
The lack of a clear institutional center for peacebuilding also makes it dif-
¬cult to accumulate expertise and experience from one mission to the next.
Because none of the agencies engaged in these operations views peacebuild-
ing as its primary task, the personnel, resources, and knowledge necessary
for peacebuilding must be cobbled together every time. This problem was
evident in the planning for the East Timor operation.64 Before the violence

59 For example, Jones 2002; and Fleitz 2002, chap. 5.
60 On El Salvador see de Soto and del Castillo 1994; on Mozambique see Willet 1995; on
Cambodia see UNRISD 1993. For other examples of coordination problems, see Jones 2002;
and Fleitz 2002, chap. 5.
61 “Report of the Secretary-General Pursuant to Paragraph 10 of Security Council Resolution
1244 (1999),” UN document S/1999/672 (June 12, 1999), paras. 2“3.
62 63 Minear et al. 1994.
For example, Erlanger 1999; Rueb 1999; and Wilkinson 2000.
64 This example is drawn from Suhrke 2001.
Lessons Learned and Not Learned 229

of 1999, the UN™s Department of Political Affairs (DPA) had been the prin-
cipal unit in the Secretariat to handle East Timor, and it had developed
considerable knowledge about local conditions in the territory. But when
preparations for a major peacebuilding mission began in the wake of the
violence, responsibility for the operation was transferred to the Department
of Peacekeeping Operations (DPKO), the unit normally tasked with running
military operations. Not only did DPKO lack DPA™s local knowledge of East
Timor, but it also had little expertise in direct governmental administration,
which was a central feature of the mission.65 Secretary-General Annan him-
self acknowledged that the mission lacked “important expertise in a number
of ¬elds.”66
The improvised character of peacebuilding can also lead to damaging
delays in the deployment of operations to the ¬eld. The task of establish-
ing the rule of law, in particular, becomes more complicated when the ar-
rival of peacebuilders is postponed during the vital ¬rst weeks of a mission.
The Kosovo operation, like others, had to be patched together largely from
scratch, thereby slowing the deployment of security and judicial personnel
and making it more dif¬cult for UNMIK to perform its governance functions
at the outset of the operation. Instead of a strong international presence, a de
facto institutional vacuum existed for several weeks, permitting the spread
of retributive violence and illegal governance structures “ problems that the
mission is still struggling to manage.67
These and other dif¬culties that arise from the ad hoc nature of peace-
building operations have not gone unnoticed within the UN. A high-pro¬le
panel report, commissioned by the secretary-general and chaired by former
Algerian foreign minister Lakhdar Brahimi, offered the following observa-
tions and recommendations in August 2000:
Effective peacebuilding also requires a focal point to coordinate the many different
activities that building peace entails. In the view of the Panel, the United Nations
should be considered the focal point for peacebuilding activities by the donor com-
munity. To that end, there is great merit in creating a consolidated and permanent
institutional capacity within the United Nations system.68

While the implementation of this proposal might help to resolve some of
the organizational problems within the UN itself, it does not address the
challenge of coordinating the activities of non-UN agencies that are major
players in peacebuilding. Tinkering with the UN™s internal organizational
chart is not enough. What is needed, in the words of the British ambassador

65 Suhrke 2001.
66 “Report of the Secretary-General on the United Nations Transitional Administration in East
Timor (for the period January 27“July 26, 2000),” UN document S/2000/738 (July 26),
para 64.
67 Strauss 1999; USGAO 2002, p. 2.
68 Panel on United Nations Peace Operations 2000, para. 44.
Problems and Solutions
230

to the UN, is a “paradigm shift to a more integrated approach among the
international institutions” engaged in peacebuilding.69 The problem is sys-
temic in the sense that it extends across all of the agencies that conduct
peacebuilding, and it therefore requires a systemic remedy.
One possible solution is the creation of a new central international agency
(either inside or outside the existing structure of the UN) that would be ded-
icated to postcon¬‚ict peacebuilding.70 This agency could be equipped with
a permanent staff of experts on international governance and postcon¬‚ict
rehabilitation, some of whom might be rapidly deployed to establish the
leadership component of new peacebuilding missions. For the bulk of the
civilian personnel and equipment required for each operation, the agency
could rely on prenegotiated agreements with other international organiza-
tions (including regional organizations, such as the OSCE and EU, and UN
agencies), which would pledge in advance to provide staff and resources di-
rectly to the central peacebuilding agency for the duration of the mission.
In this way, peacebuilding personnel would be responsible to a single en-
tity, not to a hodgepodge of independent agencies. On the military side, the
new body could continue to rely on the UN Security Council to authorize
either UN-run “blue helmet” forces or non-UN “coalitions of the willing.”
But these forces, once created, should be placed under the direct authority
of the peacebuilding agency, acting on behalf of the Security Council. The
ultimate disposition of military forces “ including the power to terminate
the military dimension of operations “ should remain under the jurisdiction
of the Security Council, but the day-to-day management of military forces
should be fully delegated to the peacebuilding organization.
Because political control of this peacebuilding body would be a sensitive
issue, a new political council should be created with the sole purpose of over-
seeing the agency™s activities. The council™s composition might be designed
to re¬‚ect the constellation of actors that have the most direct interest in
postcon¬‚ict peacebuilding, including national governments and major inter-
national and nongovernmental organizations that are deeply involved. State
membership might be determined by the Security Council, perhaps on a sys-
tem of rotating regional representation, reserving a certain number of seats
for states that have contributed the most resources to previous missions.


69 “Statement to the Security Council by Sir Jeremy Greenstock, Permanent Representative
of the United Kingdom, February 5, 2001,” reproduced on the website of the United
Kingdom Mission to the United Nations, http://www.ukun.org/xq/asp/SarticleType.17/
Article ID.207/qx/articles show.htm, accessed in August 2002.
70 If the new agency is established within the UN framework, it should be conceived as an
entirely new body, not a reconstituted version of the UN Trusteeship Council. Reviving
the Trusteeship Council would be legally dif¬cult (Gordon 1995) and might unnecessarily
taint the new peacebuilding agency with the Trusteeship Council™s historical connections to
colonialism (Langford 1999).
Lessons Learned and Not Learned 231

Major international and nongovernmental organizations could also serve
on a rotating basis.
Some might oppose the creation of a centralized peacebuilding organiza-
tion on the grounds that it would represent a revival of colonialism. In par-
ticular, comparisons might be drawn between the new body and the League
of Nations™ mandates system or the United Nations™ trusteeship system,
which served the quasi-colonial function of legitimizing the continuation of
direct foreign rule by certain “advanced” states over a number of “non-self-
governing territories,” most of which were former European colonies.71 Yet
there would be vital differences between those older mechanisms and the pro-
posed new peacebuilding agency: Countries placed under the authority of the
new agency would be administered not by a single state, as in the mandates
and trusteeship systems, but by a multilateral organization comprised of
several states, along with international and nongovernmental organizations.
The decisions of this new entity would be subject to the approval of the
agency™s political council, and ultimately to the oversight of the UN Secu-
rity Council. Local parties in the host state would also be provided with an
opportunity to address the political council and with the right to appeal its
decisions. Most importantly, the new agency would not serve as a “cover”
for the continuation of colonialism, as the mandates and trusteeship systems
largely did,72 but would seek instead to restore the effective sovereignty of
war-shattered states by working to create conditions under which such states
could govern themselves independently and peacefully.73


71 After World War I, the League of Nations established a mandates system to oversee the ad-
ministration of colonies that had been stripped from Germany and Turkey as a result of their
defeat in the war, and it assigned responsibility to particular states “ most notably, Britain
and France “ to administer the dependent territories directly, under the general supervision
of the League™s Mandates Council (see Wright 1930; and Hall 1948). The administering
states were required to provide for the “welfare and development” of their dependent ter-
ritories and to help them develop the capacity to eventually “stand by themselves under
the strenuous conditions of the modern world” (Article 22 of the League Covenant). But
in practice, the Mandates Council imposed few practical constraints on the behavior of the
administering states themselves, which tended to treat these territories as colonial holdings
of their own. After World War II, the mandates system was incorporated into the UN™s
new Trusteeship Council, which again assigned administrative responsibilities to particular
states, mostly former colonial powers (Article 73 of the UN Charter). With the rise of the
decolonization movement in the 1950s and 1960s, however, most trust territories moved
quickly to independence.
72 Haas 1952 and 1953.
73 That said, peacebuilding does represent a form of international control over territories that
have proven incapable of self-government, and in this sense may be viewed as a type of
trusteeship, but one that is essential in order to prevent the recurrence of civil wars that
have devastated civilian populations and threatened regional and international security. For
an elaboration of this argument, including a discussion of the similarities and differences
between peacebuilding and colonialism, see Paris 2002a.
Problems and Solutions
232

There may be other ways “ apart from creating a new, central peace-
building agency “ to address the problem of insuf¬cient coordination among
peacebuilding agencies. But whatever solutions are considered, the broader
point is that current arrangements are not well suited to the implementation
of the relatively demanding policies of the IBL strategy. Indeed, unless the
coordination problem is remedied, the IBL strategy may be too dif¬cult to
implement in practice.

The Requirement of Political Support
In addition to establishing mechanisms aimed at centralizing the manage-
ment of peacebuilding, implementing the IBL strategy will also demand ex-
tensive political and ¬nancial support from the states and international orga-
nizations that fund and administer peacebuilding operations. Critics might
argue that the international community currently lacks the political will to
implement the IBL strategy “ and they might be right. The minimalist char-
acter of the peacebuilding mission in Afghanistan seems to have been driven,
in part, by the hope of accomplishing the goals of postcon¬‚ict reconstruc-
tion “on the cheap.” One of the functions of this book, however, has been to
highlight the inadequacy of half-hearted and hurried approaches to peace-
building, and to make the case for a more sustained and serious response to
the problem of consolidating peace in war-shattered states.
Faced with the challenges of postcon¬‚ict reconstruction, the international
community has three basic options. First, it can choose to ignore these chal-
lenges by allowing war-torn states to sort out their own problems without
international involvement. This, I would argue, is the worst possible course
of action. Chronic civil violence poses a threat most directly to people living
within affected states, whose suffering cannot be ignored, particularly when
it becomes so acute that it attracts the attention of international media. Even
if we were to disregard this suffering, the problems of state failure and civil
con¬‚ict can rarely be contained within the borders of a single state, or even
a single region. As one World Bank study has shown, intrastate wars tend to
destabilize neighboring countries, produce the world™s largest refugee ¬‚ows,
spread infectious diseases like malaria and HIV, facilitate the production
and international traf¬cking of illegal narcotics, and attract international
criminal syndicates and terrorist groups.74 Thus, allowing con¬‚ict-ridden
countries to fester in violence is “not just heartless, it is foolish.”75 Such
arguments may be gaining ground, particularly since the terrorist attacks
of September 11, 2001, which prompted policymakers in many countries to
acknowledge that global security depends, in part, on establishing effective
governments within failed states.
The second option for the international community is to maintain the sta-
tus quo and launch new peacebuilding missions on the same faulty and overly

74 75
Collier et al. 2003, chap. 2. Ibid., p. 11.
Lessons Learned and Not Learned 233

optimistic premises that governed the design and conduct of missions in the
1990s: that war-torn states can be transformed into stable market democ-
racies without investing the time and effort in establishing the institutional
conditions for successful democratization and marketization. For reasons
I have already described in detail, this approach is not likely to provide a
sustainable or effective response to the problem of civil violence.
The third option is to rethink the basic assumptions, strategies, and tools
of peacebuilding. Chapter 10 identi¬ed guidelines for a new Institutional-
ization Before Liberalization strategy, derived from the preceding analysis of
the ¬‚awed assumptions of recent peacebuilding missions. Although IBL is
just one possible alternative to the status quo, any new approaches should be
based on the understanding that rapid democratization and marketization
do not provide an easy cure for civil violence.


Conclusion
The record of peacebuilding in Kosovo, East Timor, Sierra Leone, and
Afghanistan offers cause for both hope and concern over the prospects of im-
plementing the IBL strategy. In Kosovo and East Timor, peacebuilding agen-
cies appear to have learned from previous experience that rapid liberalization
without adequate attention to the construction of effective institutions is a
risky strategy for rehabilitating war-shattered states. But the new empha-
sis on more assertive and longer-lasting peacebuilding operations, focusing
more directly on the task of institutionalization, has been tentative and in-
complete, even in East Timor and Kosovo. Furthermore, the peacebuilding
experience in Sierra Leone and Afghanistan, where efforts to rebuild domes-
tic institutions have been relatively insubstantial, suggests that the lessons
highlighted in this book remain largely unlearned, with potentially grave
consequences for both of these countries.
Conclusion




Peacebuilders in the 1990s placed their faith in rapid democratization and
marketization as a means of consolidating peace in countries that were just
emerging from civil wars. As it turned out, however, immediate liberalization
generated a number of destabilizing side effects that endangered the very
peace that such policies were intended to strengthen. This conclusion has
cast doubt on the prevailing methods of peacebuilding. It has also exposed
a blind spot in the existing literature on the “liberal peace thesis,” which
has paid relatively little attention to the war-proneness of states that are
undergoing the transition to market democracy, particularly those with a
recent history of civil con¬‚ict.
A central dilemma for peacebuilders, I have argued, is to devise methods of
avoiding the pathologies of liberalization, while placing war-shattered states
on a long-term path to democracy and market-oriented economics. The ¬rst
step in resolving this dilemma is to recognize that democratization and mar-
ketization are inherently tumultuous and con¬‚ict-promoting processes, and
that postcon¬‚ict states are poorly equipped to manage these disruptions.
By constructing the foundations of effective political and economic insti-
tutions prior to implementing extensive liberalizing reforms, peacebuilders
should be able to bolster the “con¬‚ict dampening” qualities of societies that
host these missions, and in so doing, increase the likelihood of a successful,
gradual, and peaceful transition to stable market democracy over the longer
term. Classical liberal theorists understood the importance of effective state
institutions as a prerequisite for domestic peace, and their insights should
now be reincorporated into the scholarship on the liberal peace and into the
practice of peacebuilding itself.
The effectiveness of future peacebuilding operations has implications that
reach far beyond the borders of the states hosting such operations. One of
the principal problems facing the world in the early years of the twenty-
¬rst century is the prevalence of internal war and state failure. Chronic civil
violence cannot be ignored, for it directly endangers millions of innocent
235
Conclusion
236

civilians; threatens the stability of neighboring states; impedes efforts to con-
trol the spread of disease, famine and crime; and provides refuge to transna-
tional terrorist organizations. Unless the international community improves
its techniques for preventing hostilities from reigniting after a cease-¬re, at-
tempts to terminate ongoing con¬‚icts will have little prospect of achieving
durable and self-sustaining, stable peace. Making peacebuilding more effec-
tive is, therefore, an essential ¬rst step in countering the broader problem of
civil con¬‚ict in the post“Cold War era.
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