. 6
( 15)


infrastructure. As a result, post-war electricity supply in much of Iraq was worse
than before the war. Food and water distribution was heavily disrupted; hospi-
tals were unable to provide basic services; and children were unable to return to

Not surprisingly, the looting rendered subsequent reconstruction efforts
much more dif¬cult than they might otherwise have been. Efforts to restore
basic infrastructure, already in shambles from years of war, sanctions, and
neglect, have taken considerably longer than they might have because every-
thing from generators to copper wire had been systematically stripped and
carted away. Moreover, the looting and postwar chaos had a cascading effect.
Loss of electrical power, for example, shut down water treatment facili-
ties, thus exacerbating an already existing public health crisis. According

29 Play to Win, supra note 2, at 9.
30 Oakley & Dziedzic, supra note 17, at 529“530.
31 Seth Jones, Jeremy Wilson, Andrew Rathmell, & K. Jack Riley, Establishing Law and
Order After Con¬‚ict (2005), at xii (noting that the “golden hour” may last “several
weeks to several months”).
32 Brie¬ng Note, supra note 27.

to one U.S. of¬cial, looting and sabotage doubled the cost of postwar
The rampant postwar disorder also sharply undermined public attitudes
toward coalition forces and their claim to be liberators rather than occupiers.
Ironically, the United States was initially hesitant to shoot looters for fear
of reinforcing negative images of the United States in the Arab world.34
But the failure to take aggressive steps to establish security at the outset
emboldened a host of forces hostile to the occupation, including remnants
of the Iraqi army, terrorists, and Sunni militants alarmed at their loss of
status within Iraq. These forces carried out increasingly bold and destructive
attacks on coalition forces and reconstruction projects, further impairing
efforts to restore order. Iraqis inclined to be supportive of coalition efforts
to rebuild Iraq had to hedge their bets for fear that the coalition either could
not protect them or might abandon the whole reconstruction project.
Much, of course, depends on the way in which con¬‚ict ends. In Haiti,
because there were no warring belligerents to separate, the U.S.-led multi-
national force focused on creation of a secure environment through the dis-
mantling of the existing Haitian military and the creation of a new civilian
police force. Instead of seizing the initiative and using U.S. soldiers to impose
order, the United States initially “intended to rely on existing Haitian army
units . . . to maintain law and order until a suf¬cient number of international
civilian police could be deployed.”35 The ¬‚aw in this approach became evi-
dent when Haitian soldiers beat civilians gathered to welcome arriving U.S.
forces, while U.S. soldiers stood passively by.36 As a result, the United States
was forced to send hundreds of additional military police to Haiti as a stop-
gap measure pending the arrival of international civilian police.37
In many cases, intervention takes place in support of negotiated settle-
ments to civil wars. In these circumstances, intervention precludes a decisive
military victory by any of the parties to the con¬‚ict. Belligerents must then
decide whether to demobilize and pursue their aims through political pro-
cesses or to retain their arms in anticipation of either renewed ¬ghting or the
possibility of exercising local control over particular regions of the country.
When interveners are timid or incapable of imposing their will, belligerents
are unlikely to stand down. In such cases, they are likely to see both risk
and opportunity. The risk takes the form of a prisoner™s dilemma. Even if
demobilization is the best course, the risk that other belligerents may choose

33 Jeffrey Sparshot, Iraq Reconstruction Costs Said to Have Doubled, The Washington Times,
July 2, 2003.
34 Eric Schmitt & David E. Sanger, Looting Disrupts Detailed U.S. Plan to Restore Iraq, The
New York Times, May 19, 2003, at A1.
35 Dobbins et al., supra note 9, at 76.
36 Id.
37 Id.

to retain their military options puts any belligerent who unilaterally demo-
bilizes in serious jeopardy, especially if the intevenors cannot be counted on
for protection. The opportunity consists of the possibility to achieve some or
all of the belligerent™s earlier objectives or to enter lucrative criminal enter-
prises fostered by war-time conditions and the absence of effective police or
security forces.
Belligerents™ calculations of risk and opportunity will necessarily vary
depending on a host of factors, including the relative strengths of the bel-
ligerents and interveners, the willingness of interveners to use coercion, and
the evolution of post-con¬‚ict reconstruction plans. Intervention and post-
con¬‚ict reconstruction efforts create winners and losers among local forces,
strengthening some and marginalizing others. Those who fear marginaliza-
tion and have the capacity to resist it will do so. In the immediate aftermath
of intervention, however, they and their supporters may doubt their abil-
ity to resist effectively. Thus, prompt action by interveners to sideline or
coopt belligerents and potential spoilers can undercut their will to resist and
undermine their sources of local support.
Conversely, failure to establish security quickly emboldens spoilers and
invites further attacks on interveners and their local partners. As a result,
efforts to restore basic services slow or grind to a halt and local support
dwindles even further. This creates a dilemma for interveners. To restore
order, they must either escalate their own security measures or rely on local
allies or security forces with ties to particular factions or poor human rights
records. Either approach may alienate key segments of the local population.
A vicious circle may take hold, as attempts to suppress spoiler attacks assume
an increasingly draconian form, including air strikes that kill innocent civil-
ians, roadblocks, security checkpoints, house-to-house searches, and similar
measures. Such coercive security actions may in turn generate local resent-
ment of the interveners and support for the spoilers, leading to yet more
spoiler attacks and even more draconian security measures. Conversely, rapid
progress on security at the outset may avoid the vicious circle problem and
greatly ease the post-con¬‚ict reconstruction process.

B. The Security Gap
Effective states rely principally on police to maintain domestic order, because
police are accustomed to living and working within local communities and
are trained and equipped to investigate criminal activity and carry out domes-
tic security tasks. Conversely, effective states rely on their military forces prin-
cipally to ¬ght wars against foreign adversaries and train and equip them
accordingly. In post-con¬‚ict states, however, indigenous police often either
disappear along with the collapse of the state or cannot be relied on to per-
form domestic security tasks because they have been associated with a party
to the con¬‚ict and are seen by the population as repressive and corrupt.

Either way, the absence of acceptable indigenous security forces creates a
“security gap” that interveners must ¬ll until indigenous security personnel
can be vetted, trained, equipped, and deployed, a process that takes months
even under the best of circumstances and typically much longer.
At the outset, that gap must be ¬lled by military rather than police forces,
for two compelling reasons. First, it often takes months to recruit, train,
equip, and deploy international civilian police forces. In “the developed
Western countries, law enforcement personnel are in short supply,” and
police of¬cers may have to retire or resign to join an international civilian
police mission.38 Moreover, unlike military forces, which train and deploy
as units and which exist principally for use abroad, police personnel must
be recruited individually from diverse units and pulled from their usual
duties. Police recruited in this fashion must be organized into coherent units
despite wide variations in language, training, background, and skills and
then deployed where needed. In some instances, police recruited for a par-
ticular operation are rejected on arrival for lack of training and adequate
language skills; many return home early when they ¬nd “dif¬cult condi-
tions” and an “inability to perform what is considered real police work.”39
The result is substantial delay in putting adequate numbers of international
civilian police on the ground. In Kosovo, for example, the civilian police
(CIVPOL) component of the UN mission had achieved only 40 percent of its
authorized strength one year after the mission began. Police units requested
in 1999 “were still arriving in 2002.”40
Second, civilian police often lack many of the skills and capabilities needed
at the outset of post-con¬‚ict security operations. When active combat oper-
ations come to a close, heavily armed belligerents often remain in place,
pending implementation of a disarmament, demobilization, and reintegra-
tion program (DDR). Such forces pose a threat to public order that lightly
armed or unarmed civilian police cannot be expected to manage. Although
high-intensity combat capabilities generally are not needed at this stage,
only military forces can provide many of the diverse capabilities the imme-
diate post-con¬‚ict security environment requires. These capabilities include
the ability to separate and control armed belligerents; to “shape” the post-
con¬‚ict environment with preemptive strikes against spoilers; to patrol inter-
national borders to stop arms traf¬cking, smuggling, and terrorist in¬ltra-
tion; to establish and operate security checkpoints; to search for and collect
or destroy heavy weapons and explosives; and to apprehend or deter mem-
bers of armed opposition groups.

38 Frederick M. Lorenz, Civil“Military Cooperation in Restoring the Rule of Law: Case Studies
from Mogadishu toMitrovica, in Bassiouni, supra note 3, at 829, 842.
39 Id.
40 Brie¬ng Note, supra note 27.

1. Enhancing the Military™s Security Capabilities
Although military forces can restore order in the short term, and are often
the only ones who can do so, they cannot provide a medium-term, much
less a long-term, solution to a post-con¬‚ict society™s security needs. Military
forces are usually trained and equipped to apply overwhelming force against
adversaries to secure quick and decisive victories; most soldiers are not
trained or equipped to investigate crimes, secure evidence, make arrests, con-
trol crowds, direct traf¬c, ensure public safety, or conduct a host of other
specialized police tasks.41
In general, western militaries seeking to prepare for the transitional envi-
ronment in the immediate post-intervention period need forces trained and
equipped for roles that blend the requirements of combat and policing. There
are two ways to approach this need for transitional forces and capabilities.
One is to train soldiers widely in policing and crowd-control techniques and
to develop improved doctrine and logistics plans for post-con¬‚ict security
operations. This approach would be particularly valuable in post-con¬‚ict
situations such as Iraq, where rapidly changing conditions may demand that
the same unit handle crowd control and policing duties one week and combat
operations the next.42
Within limits, existing military forces have already proven adept at adapt-
ing to policing and other traditionally civilian roles. In Iraq, for example,
“young lieutenants and captains in the U.S. army [played] the roles of mayor,
town council, and police chief.”43 Moreover, arguments that military forces
are not trained or equipped to carry out law enforcement functions are often
overstated. Majors Gwaltney and Weston note that the U.S. military “has
a sizeable number of personnel and units speci¬cally trained to ful¬ll a law
enforcement function,” including military police (MP) units and criminal
investigation units such as the Army Criminal Investigation Command.44
Further, they contest the widely held view that individual soldiers lack the
training, equipment, and judgment to carry out policing tasks:

Re¬‚ecting the reality of today™s environment of multiple contingency operations,
individual soldiers receive a great deal of instruction on ROE [rules of engagement]
and appropriate levels of force, particularly geared towards missions that fall short of
full-scale armed con¬‚ict. Some soldiers also receive training on law enforcement skills,
such as securing a crime scene, taking witness statements, operating checkpoints, and
41 See Schmidl, supra note 1, at 20; Michael Dziedzic, Introduction, in Policing the New
World Disorder, supra note 1, at 12.
42 We are indebted to Major Ike Wilson for pointing this out.
43 Peter Gantz, The United Nations and Post-Con¬‚ict Iraq, September 8, 2003, available at
44 Gwaltney & Weston, supra note 28, at 876“877. The criminal investigation units “provide
the full range of investigative capabilities that one would typically expect out of a compa-
rable civilian agency, to include forensic laboratories, ballistics experts, narcotics experts,
computer crimes specialists, and polygraphers.” Id.

interacting with interpreters and civil authorities. In addition to such generalized
training, the military provides tailored training for law enforcement in speci¬c peace

This trend toward increased training for individual soldiers in the demands
associated with post-con¬‚ict environments may heighten substantially the
capacity of the average ground unit to respond appropriately to post-con¬‚ict
security challenges.
But in most post-con¬‚ict environments, enhanced training for the average
soldier or the average ground forces unit, although valuable, is not enough.
Of necessity, most ground forces will be trained and equipped primarily for
war ¬ghting. Providing members of a tank battalion some instruction in
police techniques will not enable that battalion to respond with graduated
force and crowd control techniques when a mob attacks a police station.
Instead, and in addition to enhanced training in post-con¬‚ict security
operations for the average soldier, interveners need to develop and deploy
constabulary forces whose primary mission is not war ¬ghting but the main-
tenance of public order. Such units are specially equipped and trained to
perform “both law enforcement and light infantry operations.”46 Examples
include the Italian Carabinieri, the Spanish Guardia Civil, and the French
Gendarmerie Nationale. These standing units are ideally suited to assist reg-
ular military forces in security operations in post-con¬‚ict states. As noted in
a USIP Special Report:
They are equipped with armored vehicles and mounted weapons and can ¬ght as
light infrantry, if required. They are trained to maintain public order and are spe-
cially equipped to deal with civil disturbances. They are also trained to conduct
investigations, make arrests, direct traf¬c, and perform other police functions. These
units are able to deploy rapidly, are highly mobile, and, in Bosnia, Kosovo, and East
Timor, have proven extremely versatile in responding to unforeseen requirements.47

Constabulary forces may be particularly useful in dealing with the “rent-
a-mob” problem “ the use by political elites of large groups of civilians
to create civil disturbances dif¬cult for heavily armed soldiers to control
without unacceptable levels of violence.48
Unfortunately, both approaches “ training large numbers of soldiers for
policing duties or developing and deploying special constabulary units “
run contrary to the dominant philosophy within the U.S. Department of
Defense.49 Although the Pentagon has recently issued new guidance that,
45 Id., at 878. See also Schmidl, supra note 1, at 20“21 (noting that “professional of¬cers and
military forces usually adjust remarkably well to the required ˜constabulary ethic™”).
46 Oakley & Dziedzic, supra note 17, at 519.
47 USIP Report, supra note 26, at 11.
48 See Robert M. Perito, Where Is the Lone Ranger When We Need Him?: America™s Search
for a Post-con¬‚ict Stability Force (2004), at 30“31.
49 See id., at 238“239.

henceforth, stability operations will be considered a core mission, on par
with con¬‚ict operations,50 the fact remains that the military services have
traditionally regarded dedicated post-con¬‚ict capabilities as detracting from
their primary war-¬ghting purpose. The military leadership also has wor-
ried that to prepare for peacekeeping and nation-building duties by training
forces for the unique demands of those kinds of missions would make it easier
for elected of¬cials to use the military in situations in which national security
interests were only peripherally at stake. Partly for that reason, the Depart-
ment of Defense has rejected proposals to develop constabulary forces, even
though the United States has deployed such forces in the past. Instead, the
United States prefers to look to allies with existing constabulary forces when
such capacities are needed. However, these constabulary forces are limited
in number and not always available.51 Even when they are available, the
time required to persuade their home countries to deploy them “can delay
effective action in country for far too long.”52 As a result, the United States
has sometimes been forced to rely on special forces teams to carry out polic-
ing functions in peace operations in Haiti, Afghanistan, and elsewhere when
constabulary forces from mission partners were not available.53
But reliance on special forces, military police, and enhanced training for
the average soldier should not serve as a substitute for a fully developed
security force capability. The United States should work closely with its
NATO partners and other willing states to map out the force levels and
equipment needed to provide effective post-con¬‚ict security. Some division
of labor may be appropriate, with states already experienced in constabulary
operations taking the lead on developing those forces. But given that the
United States cannot count on the ready availability of constabulary forces,
particularly when it engages in interventions that lack a UN mandate or
broad international support, it should also develop such capabilities itself.54

2. Enhancing CIVPOL Capabilities
But even if military capabilities for post-con¬‚ict security operations improve
substantially, military forces must still be complemented by more traditional
50 Department of Defense Directive, No. 3000.05, November 28, 2005, available at http://
www.fas.org/irp/doddir/dod/d3000 05.pdf.
51 See Oakley & Dziedzic, supra note 17, at 520 (noting that frequent use of constabulary
forces in peace operations “could overtax the ¬nite number of member states currently
possessing such a ˜constabulary™ capability”).
52 James O™Brien, Lawyers, Guns, and Money: Warlords and Reconstruction after Iraq, 11
U.C. Davis J. Int™l L. & Pol™y 99, 111 (2004).
53 USIP Report, supra note 26, at 11.
54 Several European states are already working to create a European Gendarmerie Force
(EGF). For discussion of progress in Europe and options for the United States, see David
Armitage and Anne M. Moisin, Constabulary Forces and Post-Con¬‚ict Transition: The Euro-
Atlantic Dimension, November 2005, NDU Strategic Forum, available at http://www.ndu.

international civilian police forces over the medium term and supplanted by
indigenous police forces over the long term. As the post-con¬‚ict environment
stabilizes, international civilian police (CIVPOL) can take over from the mil-
itary much of the basic security work, freeing the military to concentrate on
more exclusively military tasks, such as disarming belligerents and securing
borders. Among other things, CIVPOL can help monitor, train, and men-
tor local police forces and where necessary carry out basic law enforcement
functions.55 CIVPOL are not only better trained for such work, but they are
also much less expensive to deploy than military forces and less likely to
appear to host countries as an occupation force.56
But CIVPOL can only complement military forces and local police, not
replace them. Even when recruitment and deployment problems can be over-
come, CIVPOL are often unarmed, poorly equipped, loosely organized, and
hampered by poor unit cohesion. In Bosnia, for example, the International
Police Task Force was unarmed and understaffed. It also was not mandated
to enforce local law. As a result, it could “operate only with the consent of the
parties.”57 In fact, in most peace operations, CIVPOL units are not armed or
assigned direct law enforcement responsibilities; the fear is that “law enforce-
ment activity by CIVPOL would run the risk of seriously antagonizing at
least one of the former disputants and potentially the indigenous popula-
tion, as well.”58 The obvious problem with this approach is that CIVPOL
often prove ineffective in post-con¬‚ict societies where the potential for vio-
lence and organized criminal activity is high and commitment to a political
settlement is weak.
Proposals to improve CIVPOL capabilities are well known and have been
circulated for years. The Brahimi Report, for example, urged the United
Nations to create on-call lists comparable to those used for rapid deploy-
ment of military forces and urged member states to create national pools of
individuals eligible to ¬ll quickly police and other civilian rule of law spe-
cialist positions. But little progress has been made.59 Only a few states have
moved to create pools of quali¬ed candidates. Many either do not under-
stand what is needed or are unable or unwilling to provide it. Thus, when the
UN sought to ¬ll civilian police positions for the deployment to Liberia in fall
2003, many of the candidates presented “failed to meet basic UN standards,
which include skills such as driving an automobile and speaking English (the
mission language).”60 Accordingly, in most post-con¬‚ict situations, quali¬ed

55 See Schmidl, supra note 1, at 23.
56 Perito, supra note 48, at 87.
57 Lorenz, supra note 38, at 839.
58 Oakley & Dziedzic, supra note 17, at 528.
59 William J. Durch, Victoria K. Holt, Caroline R. Earle, & Moira K. Shanahan, The Brahimi
Report and the Future of UN Peace Operations 80, December 1, 2003, available at
60 Id.

international civilian police are simply unavailable in the requisite numbers
when ¬rst needed.61
Ideally, states with long traditions of effective and democratic policing
should develop a surplus police capacity and conduct regular joint training
exercises so that international police could be deployed as formed units
with common doctrine and training and appropriate equipment. Doing so is
harder for countries such as the United States, which do not have national
police forces, but not impossible. One could imagine federal support for state
and local police agencies willing to take on additional personnel in return
for a commitment to make some number of police available for periodic
training and deployment in emergencies, a sort of police equivalent to the
national guard. At a minimum, on-call lists of the sort recommended by the
Brahimi Report should be created.
Of course, even if CIVPOL can be recruited and deployed in a timely
way; can overcome problems of unit cohesion created by the diverse lan-
guages, background, and training of the individually recruited CIVPOL unit
members; and can be appropriately armed and mandated to enforce locally
applicable law, they are still only at best a medium-term expedient. In the
long term, as discussed in Part IV of this chapter, only local police can main-
tain order. As Erwin Schmidl points out,

“[C]ommunity policing” as we now know it in Western Europe and North America
is quite different from military operations engaged in ¬lling the initial public security
gap. It can only be performed by of¬cers living in the community who are able to
communicate directly with the people “ preferably without interpreters “ gaining
their trust and con¬dence. Local laws, customs, and institutions must be understood
in their cultural context. Peacekeepers are often hampered by their lack of knowledge
of local culture. Language alone can be a serious problem.62

Accordingly, as considered more fully in Chapter 6, interveners must help
rebuild indigenous police capabilities by vetting, training, and reorganizing
existing police forces or recruiting and building new forces from scratch.
Until such forces can take over, interveners must take on the job of pro-
viding order themselves. In most cases, that means ¬rst and foremost that
interveners must ¬nd a way to manage threats to the peace process from pow-
erful local actors who fear that a successful peace process will disadvantage
61 See id., at 81, 83. The Brahimi Report acknowledges that there is no existing standard
timeline for deployment of civilian police. The report recommends that the United Nations
develop the ability to deploy peacekeepers (including civilian police) to “traditional” peace
operations (i.e., those in which the UN role is principally to serve as a neutral interposition
force) within thirty days, and to “complex” operations (involving potentially aggressive
peacebuilding measures) within ninety days. Even if the United Nations develops such a
rapid deployment capability, a “deployment gap” will still exist at the outset of the mission,
which military forces will still have to ¬ll. See Gwaltney & Weston, supra note 28, at 876.
62 Schmidl, supra note 1, at 23“24.


During the Cold War, in what are now often referred to as “¬rst-generation”
peacekeeping operations, peacekeepers typically deployed only after the par-
ties to a con¬‚ict accepted a negotiated peace agreement, and then only with
the consent of the previously warring parties. To maintain that consent,
peacekeepers followed a strict policy of neutrality and used force only in
self-defense. Their job was to assist the parties in maintaining their agree-
ment, not to coerce compliance. Taking sides in particular disputes would
inevitably alienate one or more parties and might embroil peacekeepers in
¬ghting for which they were not equipped or mandated.
Peace operations evolved dramatically in the post“Cold War period, how-
ever. As the U.S. military puts it, peace operations now are typically “designed
to create or sustain the conditions in which political and diplomatic activities
may be conducted.”63 This shift “has necessitated a fundamental revision of
earlier principles of peace operations.”64 In peace enforcement operations,
peacekeepers “may have to ¬ght their way into the con¬‚ict area and use
force to separate the combatants physically.”65 Moreover, “[c]on¬‚ict, vio-
lence, disorder, and possibly even chaos, rather than peace, describe the
environment” and “one or more of the parties to the con¬‚ict prefers it that
way.”66 In this context, “[a] neutral posture toward local actors who seek
to obstruct the peace process through violence and intimidation is no longer
appropriate. Peace implementers must take active measures to support those
who support the peace and sanction those who oppose it.”67
At the same time, the primary goal of peace operations remains the same:
to support a political resolution to the underlying dispute. Even the most
determined interveners will ¬nd it dif¬cult if not impossible to achieve a
sustainable peace through the use of force or to “solve the underlying prob-
lems that caused peaceful relations to dissolve.”68 Accordingly, the principal
post-con¬‚ict role for the military must be to create “the necessary security
conditions so that the efforts of civilian counterparts can bear fruit.”69 With
this in mind, military doctrine for peace enforcement (at least in the United

63 U.S. Joint War¬ghting Center, Joint Task Force Commander™s Handbook for Peace Oper-
ations, June 16, 1997, available at http://www.dtic.mil/doctrine/jel/research pubs/k516.pdf,
quoted in Dziedzic & Lovelock, supra note 3, at 854 (hereinafter Peace Operations
64 Dziedzic & Lovelock, supra note 3, at 853.
65 Joint Chiefs of Staff, Joint Tactics, Techniques and Procedures for Peace Operations,
February 12, 1999, at III-3, available at http://www.apan-info.net/peace operations/uploads/
jp3 07 3.pdf (hereinafter Joint Tactics).
66 Id., at III-2.
67 Dziedzic & Lovelock, supra note 3, at 853.
68 Joint Tactics, supra note 65, at III-2.
69 Id.

States and the United Kingdom) calls for restraint in the use of force and
impartiality to the extent it can be employed consistently with the over-
all mission objectives.70 Impartiality, however, does not mean neutrality; it
means that interveners may choose to act against individuals or groups who
seek to obstruct efforts to promote a political resolution to the underlying
con¬‚ict or to build a functioning rule of law-oriented state.71 As Jock Covey,
then Principal Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General in
Kosovo, succinctly put it, “[w]e support those who support UNSCR 1244
[the UN Security Council resolution setting out the principles for a political
solution in Kosovo], and we oppose those who act against it.”72 In prac-
tice, this means that coercion must sometimes be used to “make the political
embrace of peace more attractive than continuance of the con¬‚ict.”73 In
particular, interveners must be prepared to use force against spoilers, that is,
political elites who will bene¬t from the failure of the mission and who are
prepared to use violence to pursue their goals.
Although the use of coercion to support internal political settlements
evolved principally in the context of peace operations in places such as
Bosnia and Kosovo, the same general principles apply to the post-con¬‚ict
environments in Afghanistan and Iraq. In fact, in all of the cases examined
in this book, interveners have struggled to ¬nd the right balance between
accommodating and confronting potential spoilers.

A. Fight or Coopt?
Because the military™s role in peace operations is to assist the relevant political
actors in achieving a political resolution to the con¬‚ict, determining who is
a spoiler and whether and when to act against a spoiler should be a political
rather than a military decision.74 The intentions, capabilities, and tactics of
spoilers will vary signi¬cantly from one case to the next and so too will
the resolve, capabilities, and tactics of the interveners and their local allies.
Thus, in each case, interveners must make a political judgment on whether
to work with or oppose potential spoilers and whether and when to employ
inducements, sanctions, force, or some combination of each.
In most cases, confronting spoilers vigorously and early will greatly
enhance the prospects for successful peace implementation efforts. Spoil-
ers who conclude that interveners lack the political will to confront them

70 Id.; see also Dziedzic & Lovelock, supra note 3, at 853.
71 See Report of the Panel on UN Peace Operations (Brahimi Report), at 9, available at
http://www.un.org/peace/reports/peace operations/.
72 The Quest for a Durable Peace in Kosovo: Evolving Strategies of Peace Implementation
(Jock Covey, Michael Dziedzic, & Leonard Hawley, eds.) (forthcoming), quoted in Dziedzic
& Lovelock, supra note 3, at 856.
73 Joint Tactics, supra note 65, at III-2.
74 See Dziedzic & Lovelock, supra note 3, at 856.

will invariably take advantage. Unlike interveners, spoilers are there for the
long haul. If given a chance, they will sabotage peace efforts or simply stall
until interveners give up in frustration. But when spoilers prevail, the result is
often the resumption of con¬‚ict and the collapse of whatever the interveners
have previously managed to accomplish.
Unfortunately, it is often dif¬cult for interveners to muster the political
will to support aggressive measures against spoilers in the post-con¬‚ict inter-
vention phase. Public attention wanes quickly in the aftermath of a military
intervention, and political support and associated resources dwindle accord-
ingly. Tolerance for casualties similarly declines, particularly in interventions
viewed as elective, that is, those undertaken principally for humanitarian
rather than strategic or national security reasons. Mission leaders who lack
strong mandates and ¬nd themselves strapped for resources and personnel
often elect to pursue polices of accommodation rather than confrontation.
Painful experience demonstrates, however, that such policies usually fail,
often catastrophically.

1. Somalia: Bungling the Warlord Challenge
Somalia is a case in point. The overthrow of Siad Barre™s regime in 1991
marked the failure of the Somali state, which quickly “translated into chronic
and destructive civil war, predatory banditry, famine, warlord ¬efdoms and
general lawlessness.”75 Bitter ¬ghting among clans and a protracted drought
combined to produce a massive humanitarian crisis. In response, the United
Nations dispatched a small, lightly armed mission (UNOSOM I) in 1992 to
monitor a negotiated cease-¬re but soon realized that a more vigorous mis-
sion was needed to confront recalcitrant warlords such as Mohamed Farah
Aideed. In late 1992, the Security Council authorized the U.S.-led Uni¬ed
Task Force (UNITAF I) to use all necessary means to create a secure envi-
ronment for the delivery of food and other humanitarian assistance. Because
UNITAF included a substantial contingent of U.S. troops, local warlords
initially concluded that “challenging the U.S.-led operation would lead to
disastrous results for their forces.”76 Thus, UNITAF™s arrival presaged “a
substantial diminution of con¬‚ict between warlords and a period of relative
quiescence,” during which UNITAF was able to carry out its humanitarian
relief mission.77
But UNITAF failed to pursue its initial advantage. Fearing “mission
creep,” the United States resisted efforts to expand UNITAF™s mandate to

75 International Crisis Group, Somalia: Countering Terrorism in a Failed State, May 23,
2002, at 2, available at http://www.crisisweb.org//library/documents/report archive/
A400662 23052002.pdf.
76 Dobbins, supra note 9, at 61.
77 Id.

deal with the obstructionist tactics of some Somali warlords. As a result,
UNITAF did not attempt to disarm local militias, which soon grew bolder
and began increasingly to obstruct relief efforts. In May 1993, UNITAF was
replaced by UNOSOM II, in keeping with U.S. insistence on an early exit
for most U.S. forces. UNOSOM II had a mandate to use force more aggres-
sively against spoilers, but the substitution of “poorly equipped Pakistanis”
for well-equipped U.S. forces left UNOSOM a much weaker force than
UNITAF.78 Recognizing the mismatch between mission and forces, the
United Nations insisted that UNITAF should disarm local militias prior to
UNOSOM™s takeover. The United States refused, arguing that disarmament
was not part of UNITAF™s mission.79
As security deteriorated, Somali warlords became increasingly aggressive.
In June 1993, ¬ghters associated with Aideed attacked Pakistani peacekeep-
ers, killing twenty-¬ve. In the ensuing hunt for Aideed, U.S. Rangers became
embroiled in the street battle depicted in the movie Black Hawk Down; the
deaths of nineteen U.S. soldiers in that incident prompted the withdrawal
of U.S. forces in March 1994. The United Nations then decided it could not
maintain an effective humanitarian operation with the forces provided to
it, and UNOSOM II withdrew in 1995. Thus, the failure to confront war-
lords at the outset and with adequate forces resulted in the collapse of the
entire relief effort. Moreover, it haunted humanitarian intervention prospects
for years; most notably, memories of Somalia helped persuade the Clinton
Administration to resist demands for UN-authorized military intervention
to end the 1994 genocide in Rwanda.

2. Liberia: If You Can™t Beat ™Em, Elect ™Em
Unfortunately, similar mistakes have been made in numerous other cases.
In Liberia, ECOMOG forces in 1991 managed to drive Charles Taylor™s
National Patriotic Front of Liberia (NPFL) troops out of Monrovia and
more or less secure the capital. But constrained by sharp political divisions
within the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the
nominal sponsor of the ECOMOG intervention, ECOMOG troops did not
follow up. As a result, Taylor was able to reorganize, establish his own capital
city, strip the country of its resources, and render future international efforts
at political reform largely illusory. Elections held in 1997 put an electoral
imprimatur on Taylor™s rule, but the inability of ECOMOG and the UN to
demobilize the various belligerents rendered the election a farce. Liberians
voted for Taylor because they knew that to do otherwise would mean the
renewal of civil war, something that Taylor™s subsequent misrule ensured
would occur anyway.

78 Id., at 62.
79 Id.

The ripple effects of the refusal to confront Taylor in the early years of
the Liberian con¬‚ict were felt throughout the region. Even as he worked to
secure control over Liberia for his own ends, Taylor supported rebel move-
ments in neighboring countries. Most notably, he assisted the Revolutionary
United Front (RUF), which launched a brutal civil war in Sierra Leone in
1991 and eventually joined forces with elements of the Sierra Leonean mili-
tary to oust the elected government of Ahmad Tejan Kabbah in 1996. Taylor
also supported insurgencies in Guinea and Cote D™Ivoire, states that in turn
supported rebel movements ¬ghting Taylor™s government.80 Although deci-
sive action in 1991 might have overwhelmed Taylor™s forces, inaction led
inexorably to a proliferation of rebel movements and the migration of con-
¬‚ict back and forth across state borders in an escalating cycle of violence.

3. Sierra Leone: If You Can™t Beat ™Em, Join ™Em
In Sierra Leone, President Kabbah, instead of confronting the RUF, con-
cluded a peace agreement with it less than a year after his election.81 Six
months later, low-level military of¬cers acting with support from the RUF
staged a coup, forcing Kabbah from of¬ce despite almost universal con-
demnation of the coup both inside and outside of Sierra Leone. ECOMOG
forces (dominated by Nigeria) intervened, and after heavy ¬ghting, man-
aged to force the junta leaders to ¬‚ee the country. But Nigeria was unable
or unwilling to defeat the RUF; in 1999, the RUF again invaded Freetown,
“killing, mutilating, and abducting thousands of people.”82 The attack gal-
vanized the international community, but Nigeria under a new democrat-
ically elected president wanted to withdraw, and no country wanted to
assume its role. As a result, the United States, the United Kingdom, and
Sierra Leone™s neighbors pressured Kabbah to negotiate another agreement
with the RUF and its leader, Foday Sankoh.83 In this agreement, the Lom´ e
accord, “Sankoh was, astonishingly, given the status of vice president and
put in charge of the strategic minerals” that had fueled the war, includ-
ing diamonds.84 Notwithstanding the horri¬c nature of their crimes, RUF
members were given amnesty,85 and a UN peacekeeping force, the United
80 See International Crisis Group, Liberia: The Key to Ending Regional Instability, Africa
Report No. 62, April 30, 2003, at 8.
81 The prior government hired Executive Outcomes (EO), a South African mercenary out¬t, to
secure Freetown and Sierra Leone™s diamond ¬elds. Executive Outcomes™s success in ¬ghting
the RUF rendered the 1996 elections possible, but Kabbah unwisely agreed to the RUF™s
demand for EO™s departure, leading to his own ouster a few months later. International
Crisis Group, Sierra Leone: Time for a New Political and Military Strategy, Africa Report
No. 28, at 2 (hereafter Time for a New Strategy).
82 Id., at 2.
83 Id., at 12.
84 Id., at Appendix A.
85 See Kenneth Roth, Wall Street Journal Europe, International Injustice: The Tragedy of
Sierra Leone, August 2002, available at http://www.hrw.org/editorials/2000/ken-sl-aug.htm.

Nations Assistance Mission for Sierra Leone (UNAMSIL), was dispatched
to oversee implementation of the accord. Not surprisingly, the Lom´ agree-
ment soon collapsed, in large part because the RUF sabotaged the peace
Thus, the attempt to treat as political partners warlords who “lacked a
coherent political agenda and almost any political base” proved to be “a vain
exercise motivated largely by international expediency.”87 Progress in Sierra
Leone did not occur until the international community abandoned the strat-
egy of trying to coopt the RUF and other warring groups and instead applied
sustained political and military pressure to the RUF and its supporters. In
2001, the British sent a small military force to Sierra Leone and demon-
strated a willingness to use it against spoilers.88 Pressure on Charles Taylor,
a strengthened UNAMSIL, and a successful campaign by Guinea against
RUF soldiers on its western border combined with the psychological impact
of the British government™s “extraordinary campaign of intimidation” over
time forced the RUF to accept demobilization and paved the way for the
progressive extension of government authority throughout much of Sierra

4. Bosnia: Entrenching Spoilers
In Bosnia, NATO confronted a variation on the entrenched belligerents prob-
lem. Instead of a failed state, Bosnia in 1995 consisted of three distinct and
antagonistic mini-states, each with its own military and police. In keeping
with the Dayton Agreement that ended the ¬ghting among those contend-
ing proto-states, NATO ensured the physical separation of the previously
warring forces but otherwise left them intact and in control of agreed terri-
tories. As a result, Bosnia post-Dayton remained a divided country with three
armies and multiple overlapping jurisdictions with little police cooperation
across jurisdictional lines. Extremist nationalist politicians have since frus-
trated many peacebuilding initiatives. Moreover, the reluctance of NATO
to confront spoilers fostered an environment in which organized crime has
¬‚ourished and become part of the political fabric of the state.
To a substantial extent, Bosnia™s inability to function as a modern, effec-
tive state re¬‚ects the bargain struck at Dayton. The decision in 1995 to accept
Bosnia™s division into three ethnic mini-states with an ineffective central

In response to sharp protests over the amnesty, the UN indicated that it did not consider the
amnesty binding on international tribunals. Id.
86 Time for a New Strategy, supra note 81, at 3. Among other things, the RUF captured and
held hostage some 500 UN peacekeepers.
87 Id.
88 See International Crisis Group, Managing Uncertainty, Africa Report No. 35, October 24,
2001, at 1“2.
89 Id.

government serving as a thin common roof provided political and legal
cover for nationalist politicians intent on blocking genuine reuni¬cation
and building personal ¬efdoms through corruption and organized crimi-
nal activity. Coercing spoilers in Bosnia is thus a much more complex task
than in places such as Liberia or Sierra Leone. Opportunities for spoilers to
frustrate reform efforts were built into the constitution of postwar Bosnia,
making it dif¬cult for interveners to confront spoilers without undermining
their own rule of law message. Still, NATO could have pursued indicted
war criminals much more aggressively than it has throughout most of the
post-Dayton period. And the High Representative could have used his nearly
proconsul powers more vigorously in the early post-Dayton period to under-
mine nationalist politicians (whose return to power through elections in
2002 “was widely assessed as a calamity” by observers of the Bosnian peace
Nonetheless, considerable progress has been made in recent years. As dis-
cussed in Chapter 4, the Of¬ce of the High Representative has taken many
steps, including the removal of obstructionist politicians from of¬ce, to trans-
form Bosnia into a functioning state eligible for entry into the European
Union. A variety of factors, including the economic attraction of integration
into Europe, the passage of time, political change within the Federal Republic
of Yugoslavia, and vigorous action by the High Representative have helped
position Bosnia for negotiations on a Stabilization and Association Agree-
ment with the European Union. But limited progress on police reform, as
a result of obstruction by nationalist politicians in the Republika Srpska,
remains a major stumbling block.91

5. Afghanistan: Divide and Misrule
Everything accomplished in Afghanistan stands in jeopardy partly because
of the reluctance of the interveners, principally the United States, to confront
the warlords and military commanders who run much of the country. In the
early post-intervention period, the failure to disarm Afghanistan™s numer-
ous armed factions made it “inconceivable that any of the key elements”
of the Bonn political process could “be meaningfully implemented.”92 As
Lakhdar Brahimi, the former Special Representative of the Secretary-General
for Afghanistan, reported to the Security Council in January 2003, the new
constitutional order established through the Bonn process “will only have
meaning for the average Afghan if security improves and the rule of law is
90 International Crisis Group, Bosnia™s Nationalist Governments: Paddy Ashdown and the
Paradoxes of State Building, Balkans Report No. 146, July 22, 2003, at i.
91 International Crisis Group, Bosnia™s Stalled Police Reform: No Progress, No EU, Report
No. 164, September 6, 2005, at 1.
92 International Crisis Group, Disarmament and Reintegration in Afghanistan, Asia Report
No. 65, September 30, 2003, at i (hereinafter Disarmament and Reintegration).

strengthened.”93 But until 2005, little progress on security was made; if any-
thing, movement was in the other direction, as warlords consolidated their
power in the Afghan countryside.94
The coalition™s intervention in Afghanistan ended temporarily more than
twenty years of internecine ¬ghting. But it also crystallized the division
of Afghanistan into “a patchwork of militia ¬efdoms, with varying levels
of internal organisation.”95 Coalition forces working with the Northern
Alliance ousted the Taliban but simultaneously empowered Northern
Alliance commanders and other anti-Taliban militia groups, some of which
have taken control of regions throughout the country. Some of the stronger
commanders took control of key government ministries, including the
defense ministry, and used these ministries to develop their own power bases
largely outside the control of the national government.96
These many and loosely organized regional warlords stand a great deal
to lose from the success of the Bonn political process. With little effective
central authority outside Kabul, they were free to siphon off reconstruction
aid, collect “taxes,” run smuggling operations, and collect the vast revenues
associated with Afghanistan™s booming trade in opium. As a result, “for
too many Afghans, the daily insecurity they face comes not from resurgent
extremism associated with the Taliban, destabilizing as that is, but from
the predatory behaviour of local commanders and of¬cials who nominally
claim to represent the government.”97 Growing insecurity in turn impeded
reconstruction efforts and jeopardized the political, institutional, and legal
reforms needed for long-term stability.
For obvious reasons, the United States initially focused its efforts on com-
bating Taliban and al-Qaeda forces along the border with Pakistan. The
downside of this strategy, however, was that the United States used war-
lord proxies to assist its ongoing military campaign, helping some warlords
entrench themselves even further. Only recently has the United States begun
to ramp up its security efforts. In 2004, the United States almost doubled
its force size in Afghanistan, from 11,000 to 20,000. In anticipation of the

93 Statement of Lakhdar Brahimi to the UN Security Council, January 15, 2003, available at
http://www.unama-afg.org/docs/ UN-Docs/sc/brie¬ngs/03.jan15.htm.
94 See S/2003/1212, Report of the Secretary-General on the Situation in Afghanistan and Its
Implication for International Peace and Security, December, 2003, at 15 (noting that “inse-
curity in the south and south-east, particularly, has had the effect of shrinking the area in
which the Government, the United Nations and the international community can effectively
95 Disarmament and Reintegration, supra note 92, at 2.
96 See, e.g., Brahimi, supra note 93 (noting the need for security institutions that are “truly
national, rather than factionally dominated”); Anja Manuel & P. W. Singer, A New Model
Afghan Army, 81 Foreign Affairs 44, 46 (2002) (noting that a “subset of Tajiks control[led]
key ministries and the former secret police”).
97 Brahimi, supra note 93.

elections held in October 2004, the United States also pressed Pakistan to step
up its efforts to control the in¬ltration of Taliban forces into Afghanistan.
As a result, Taliban threats to disrupt the elections through violence came
to little, and voter turnout demonstrated a broad-based desire for continued
political reform. Moreover, the United States and NATO have also signi¬-
cantly expanded the number and range of ISAF forces, which work with the
Karzai government to help it extend its authority to rural areas. Progress
has been greatest in the north and west of the country, though as of January
2006, ISAF had plans to expand gradually into the south as well.
Nonetheless, Afghanistan remains an unstable and fractured place, and
the explosive growth in the drug trade threatens to turn Afghanistan into
a narco-state in which the rule of law cannot take hold.98 Unfortunately,
forcibly subordinating Afghanistan™s warlords, defeating the Taliban, and
curtailing the drug trade would require more troops and resources than the
United States or others appear ready to commit, and in the short term may
run counter to efforts to overcome ethnic tensions. Unless that changes, the
strength of spoilers may continue to dictate efforts to coopt rather than
subdue them,99 even though continuing along that path seems a prescription
for future instability.

6. Iraq: Pursuing Spoilers and Making Enemies
Iraq is one of the few cases in which interveners have made a concerted
effort to pursue spoilers. The mixed results achieved so far illustrate the
dif¬culties and dangers of this approach, at least when dealing with insur-
gents commanding some degree of popular support. Postwar Iraq is cur-
rently a breeding ground for spoilers of all sorts. Years of authoritarian
misrule, international sanctions, and war have divided the population along
sectarian, ethnic, tribal, and clan lines. In this environment, Sunni, Shiite,
and Kurdish leaders jockey for power, and remnants of the former regime,
militant Islamist groups, and foreign terrorists carry out deadly attacks on
coalition forces, Iraqi police, and anyone working with them on an almost
daily basis.100

98 See Jones et al., supra note 31, at 88, 99 (concluding that “there is little security in notable
parts of the country,” and that “Afghanistan still has one of the most ineffective justice
systems in the world”).
99 See Manuel & Singer, supra note 96, at 53 (“[g]iven the warlords™ deep-rooted hold over
local power structures, the government probably could not crush them “ indeed, it would
be injudicious even to try”).
100 See International Crisis Group, Governing Iraq, Middle East Report No. 17, August 25,
2003, at ii (noting that opposition “comes in various shades: Baathist loyalists; nationalists;
Islamists, who for the time being are predominantly Sunni; tribal members motivated by
revenge or anger at the occupiers™ violation of basic cultural norms; criminal elements;
Islamist and other militants from Arab and other countries”).

The United States and its coalition partners misjudged the extent to which
occupation forces would encounter violent resistance and then compounded
the misjudgment by several ill-advised decisions taken at the outset of the
occupation. The United States failed to deploy suf¬cient troops to seal off
Iraq™s borders or to impose order in the so-called Sunni Triangle and the cap-
ital.101 Moreover, the decision to disband the Iraqi army, though later mod-
i¬ed, initially put hundreds of thousand of soldiers, many with little loyalty
to Saddam Hussein™s regime, out on the streets with their arms but “with-
out pay, future, and honour.”102 This step, along with heavy-handed de-
Baathi¬cation efforts, also alienated many Iraqis, particularly Sunnis, who
were disproportionately represented in both the army and the civil service.103
Within limits, coalition forces have vigorously pursued individuals sus-
pected of attacks, using both counterinsurgency and policing methods. But in
doing so, the coalition has angered many Iraqis, and in the process arguably
compounded an already potent security crisis. As the International Crisis
Group notes, “as in any foreign occupation, checkpoints, searches, [and]
raids have a cumulative negative effect, strengthening the forces of resis-
tance they are designed to suppress.”104 Moreover, U.S. tactics have often
displayed an inadequate understanding of local culture:
[M]any Iraqis accuse U.S. forces of heavy-handedness and insuf¬cient cultural sen-
sitivity. Civilians have been killed as a result of egregious U.S. errors or in cross ¬re;
Iraqis claim that U.S. soldiers leave behind considerable material damage, breaking
furniture and doors in their attempts to snuff out resistance; U.S. soldiers also have
been blamed for stealing money and jewelry during their weapons searches. Coalition
forces™ raids against mosques “ at times used as hideouts or as staging areas for attacks
against U.S. soldiers “ and alleged con¬scation of alms or zakat, have fuelled anger.
The use of police dogs “ considered by observant Muslims as sources of impurity “
has provoked similar protests. Physical searches by male soldiers of women and the
storming of their private bedrooms (without giving them a chance to cover them-
selves properly) are experienced by Iraqis as dreadful breaches of local norms and
sinful transgressions of Islamic law.105

To achieve its security goals, the coalition must not simply pursue spoilers;
it must do so in a culturally acceptable way, while simultaneously building
the capacity of and political support for the Iraqi government. Shifting secu-
rity responsibilities to indigenous military and security forces, with coalition
forces acting in a support role and ensuring adherence to international norms,
may offer the best way to combat spoilers without generating new enemies.
101 See Michael R. Gordon, The Strategy to Secure Iraq Did Not Foresee a 2nd War, The New
York Times, October 19, 2004, at A1.
102 International Crisis Group, Iraq: Building a New Security Structure, Middle East Report
No. 20, December 23, 2003, at i.
103 Id.
104 Governing Iraq, supra note 100, at 5.
105 Id., at 4“5.

But making that transition, something coalition forces hope to do sooner
rather than later, requires rebuilding the indigenous security forces and fos-
tering a political climate in which those forces will act in the public interest.
This is necessarily a time-consuming process, rendered more dif¬cult by the
coalition™s early missteps in disbanding the army and stripping all national
institutions, including the army and police, of their senior leadership through
wholesale de-Baathi¬cation efforts. After a series of false starts, the coali-
tion has trained a number of Iraqi military units, which have assisted with
mixed results in counterinsurgency and general security efforts.106 In time,
these units may serve as the nucleus of a new and professional Iraqi Armed
Forces. Similarly, the coalition has trained and deployed thousands of Iraqi
police. But the late start to security efforts, and the overwhelming politi-
cal pressure to deploy indigenous forces quickly, have in some cases led to
premature deployment of Iraqi units that are not fully trained or equipped.
Moreover, it is not at all clear that Iraqi government leaders are committed
to democratically accountable security forces and that those forces will not
revert to protection of regime rather than state interests.107 Thus, ground
lost early in the ¬ght against spoilers has proven extraordinarily dif¬cult to
make up.
The way in which interveners deal with spoilers will necessarily depend
on the interveners™ political objectives, commitment, and capacity as well
as the nature, objectives, and strength of the spoilers the interveners con-
front. As in Somalia, Liberia, and Sierra Leone, a weak intervention force
hobbled by political dissension among the interveners will have little choice
but to attempt to work with spoilers, however unattractive and unlikely to
succeed such an approach may be. A strong intervention force at least has
the choice of working with potential spoilers (as in Afghanistan) or pursu-
ing them aggressively (as in Iraq). In general, attempts to co-opt spoilers are
unlikely to produce more than short-term gains in the form of a temporary
cessation of con¬‚ict. When interveners later attempt to pursue their long-
term objectives of establishing central government authority throughout the
state and instituting the rule of law, spoilers whose power and resources are
threatened will disrupt or derail the process.
When spoilers consist principally of warring factions seeking personal
enrichment and lack broad popular support, aggressive efforts to defeat
or sideline them may offer substantial and quick bene¬ts to the larger
post-con¬‚ict rehabilitation effort, as occurred when the British used force
against spoilers in Sierra Leone. When spoilers take the form of ideologically
106 The U.S. political and security strategy for Iraq is outlined in the National Security
Council™s National Strategy for Victory in Iraq, November 2005, at 18“22, available at
http://www.whitehouse.gov/infocus/iraq/iraq national strategy 20051130.pdf.
107 See Jones et al., supra note 31, at 173.

motivated insurgents with signi¬cant popular support, as in Afghanistan and
Iraq, aggressive military tactics may prove insuf¬cient and even counterpro-
ductive. In such cases, even more so than in places such as Somalia, Liberia,
and Sierra Leone, the real struggle is political rather than military.108 The
establishment of effective and respected domestic political institutions and
indigenous security capabilities is the only long-term solution, and “long-
term” means years, sometimes many years. In the interim, foreign military
actions against spoilers must be designed to assist indigenous security forces
in their efforts to extend government control over contested areas gradually
while minimizing civilian casualties to avoid generating a backlash against
the interveners and the government they support.109

B. DDR and Its Discontents
In most post-con¬‚ict environments, dealing with spoilers requires the disar-
mament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) of combatants into civil
society. In a nutshell, the goal is to “give the central government a monopoly
over military force in the country.”110 The failure to demobilize and reinte-
grate ex-combatants gives faction leaders leverage to obstruct any aspect of
the peace process they deem inimical to their interests and renders resump-
tion of warfare an easy option in the event that it seems to offer greater
bene¬ts to one or more parties than pursuit of peace. The long string of bro-
ken peace accords and continued warfare in places such as Liberia and Sierra
Leone illustrates the fragility of any peace agreement that is not accompa-
nied by an effective DDR program. In short, unless politics is demilitarized,
and warring factions are transformed into political parties or interest groups,
“civil wars cannot be brought to an end, and the consolidation of democracy
and the protection of human rights have little chance of success.”111
Unfortunately, achieving effective DDR is extraordinarily dif¬cult. In
most cases, international peace operations are launched to compel or to
support an agreed political process for post-con¬‚ict reconciliation and recon-
struction. In such cases, interveners seek if at all possible to treat the previ-
ously warring factions, many of whom signed the relevant peace agreement,
as partners in the peace process rather than spoilers. DDR is encouraged, but
seldom coerced, because coercion risks dragging interveners into a civil war

108 See Thomas X. Hammes, Real Victory Will Come with Political Control, International
Herald Tribune, October 6, 2004, at 6.
109 Id.
110 Michael Bhatia, Kevin Lanigan, & Philip Wilkinson, Minimal Investments, Minimal Results:
The Failure of Security Policy in Afghanistan, 6 Tidskrift 59, 83 (2004).
111 Stephen John Steadman, Implementing Peace Agreements in Civil Wars: Lessons and Recom-
mendations for Policymakers, IPA Policy Paper Series on Peace Implementation, May 2001,
at 3, available at http://www.ipacademy.org/PDF Reports/Pdf Report Implementing.pdf.

they lack suf¬cient national interest incentive to ¬ght. For many interveners,
this is the lesson of Somalia. Attempts to disarm Mohamed Farah Aideed™s
faction by force ended in disaster because interveners did not have suf¬cient
reason to devote the troops and resources necessary to succeed.
Accordingly, interveners typically attempt to induce DDR through politi-
cal pressure and economic incentives. But faction leaders often conclude that
they are better off retaining a military capability, for several reasons. First,
retaining ¬ghting forces provides leverage in post-con¬‚ict decision-making
on the distribution of political power and the other spoils of governance. In
Afghanistan, for example, some militia leaders have been rewarded with dis-
trict governorships and other political posts. Second, faction leaders distrust
one another. They recognize that disarmament may render them vulnerable
to adversaries who do not disarm, particularly when interveners lack the
capacity and the will to protect them. Interveners can attempt to overcome
this factional security dilemma by staging demobilization and disarmament
in phases keyed to simultaneous compliance by each of the major warring
parties. The dif¬culty with this approach is that cheating is pervasive and
dif¬cult to prevent. Third, faction leaders often seek to take advantage of
those who do disarm by threatening to resume ¬ghting (or actually doing
so) whenever it is to their advantage. In short, for faction leaders, “DDR is
¬rst and foremost a political exercise. To shut down one™s war machine is to
close an option for reaching one™s political goals.”112
Individual ¬ghters also often prove reluctant to lay down their arms. For
some, it may be the only life they have known. With few skills and few com-
munity ties, they may justly fear rejection, loss of status, and unemployment.
Thus, absent strong outside pressure or incentives, both faction leaders and
rank-and-¬le ¬ghters will keep their options open.
But generating the necessary pressure or incentives is dif¬cult. In many
cases, DDR programs are slighted in post-con¬‚ict planning and implemen-
tation. When ¬ghting dies down, international interest wanes. Raising funds
to support DDR programs proves dif¬cult, and local economic conditions
typically make post-con¬‚ict employment for former combatants hard if not
impossible to ¬nd. When interveners attempt to proceed with inadequately
resourced DDR programs, the results may be worse than failing to pursue
DDR at all. The promise of DDR often generates high expectations on the
part of ex-combatants, followed by a backlash when those expectations can-
not be met.

112 Jean-Marie Gu´ henno, Under-Secretary-General for Peacekeeping, Disarmament, Demobil-
isation, and Reintegration in Peace Operations, NGO/DPI Workshop on Demobilising War
Machines “ Making Peace Last, September 11, 2002, at 2, available at http://www.un.org/

Further, DDR programs are notoriously dif¬cult to monitor and verify.
Interveners usually lack sophisticated local intelligence capabilities. As a
result, “information on the numbers of combatants and their location is
often available only from the parties.”113 Even when interveners learn of
violations of DDR agreements, interveners may be reluctant to report them
for fear of alienating the factions whose cooperation they seek to carry out
their mission. In Angola, for example, peacekeepers falsely veri¬ed UNITAF™s
demobilization claims to characterize their mission as successful.114
Thus, from the standpoint of the belligerents, the risks and opportunity
costs of DDR are high, the bene¬ts are speculative, and the chances of being
caught, much less sanctioned, for reneging on demobilization promises are
slight. As a result, “cheating is pervasive in the demobilization of soldiers.”115
In some cases, belligerents turn in only old or badly functioning weapons,
often only the least combat-capable belligerents demobilize, or belligerents
demobilize but cache their arms and remain together, ready to mobilize again
as circumstances dictate.
DDR can succeed, but only when it is part of a holistic enterprise. Interven-
ers must back demands for DDR with meaningful incentives and a realistic
threat of coercion. DDR programs must be comprehensive and long term and
must be integrated into the larger blueprint for post-con¬‚ict reconstruction.
Ex-combatants must receive adequate training and reorientation programs
to prepare them for the return to civilian life.116 They also need adequate
“reinsertion” packages to ensure that they have food, clothing, and shelter
for the period required to transition to self-sustaining employment in local
communities. Moreover, DDR must be accompanied by efforts to restart
the broader economy so that demobilized combatants will have economic
opportunities to replace those lost when they give up their weapons. DDR
programs should also include efforts to assist ex-combatants to integrate
into communities that may regard them with fear, suspicion, and anger and
that may resent the special privileges given to those who “earned” them only
by waging war and killing civilians.
Special attention must be paid to gender issues in DDR. Marginalized
groups in society, particularly women and children, usually suffer the most
during internal con¬‚icts of the sort that trigger external military interven-
tion. In Sierra Leone and Liberia, for example, women were often treated
as a commodity, to be taken forcibly to serve as bush wives or reluctant

113 Id., at 3.
114 Steadman, supra note 111, at 16.
115 Id.
116 UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Disarmament, Demobilization, and Rein-
tegration of Ex-Combatants in a Peacekeeping Environment: Principles and Guidelines,
December, 1999, at 9.

low-level combatants. In Bosnia, rape was intentionally used as a vehicle for
ethnic cleansing. Unfortunately, women also suffer disproportionately when
organized violence ends. Returning male combatants, long removed from
conventional social settings, may lapse readily into domestic violence.117
Moreover, returning but unemployed combatants may displace women from
economic roles assumed during the height of the con¬‚ict. In Sierra Leone,
scarce resources for DDR went disproportionately to male combatants, with
little for women combatants and less for women who served for years in the
bush, willingly or not, as camp followers.118 Few women, and few organiza-
tions that specialize in women™s issues, are typically included in discussions
on how to design and implement DDR programs. Including a gender per-
spective in future DDR efforts will help ensure a more balanced and, in the
long run, more successful DDR process.
As dif¬cult as it is to carry out successful DDR programs, the alternatives “
leaving combatant forces intact or simply disbanding them by ¬at “ are
even worse. Liberia illustrates the folly of leaving warring factions intact. In
Liberia, political divisions among the interveners, and ties between the war-
ring factions and neighboring states, frustrated any hope for disarmament
and demobilization in the early years of Liberia™s long civil war. ECOMOG™s
unwillingness or inability to force disarmament left Charles Taylor in place
to spread insurrection to neighboring states even as warring factions pro-
liferated within Liberia itself. DDR efforts stood no chance of success until
2003, when the United Nations returned peacekeepers to Liberia in force and
started to approach DDR as a regional rather than a purely local problem;
even then, the UN mission lacked the coercive mandate that may yet prove
essential to successful DDR.119
Iraq illustrates the dif¬culty of simply disbanding combatant forces with-
out providing them with alternative avenues to status and employment.
Before the war began in March 2003, U.S. plans called for enlisting most
Iraqi soldiers in security and reconstruction tasks.120 But shortly after assum-
ing power in Baghdad, the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) discov-
ered that state institutions had “evaporated overnight”; most soldiers and
police simply went home, in effect “self-demobilizing.”121 The CPA then
decided formally to dissolve the army in its entirety. Enlisted men lost their

117 See Tracy Fitzsimmons, Engendering Justice and Security after War, in Call, supra note 12,
at 351“352.
118 In Sierra Leone, many women and child combatants were left out of DDR efforts in part
because of “the absence of credible data in relation to children and women associated with
the ¬ghting factions.” Bengt Ljunggren and Desmond Molloy, Some Lessons in DDR: The
Sierra Leone Experience, June 2004, at 1 (paper on ¬le with authors).
119 See S.C. Res. 1509 (2003) (deciding that UNMIL should develop an action plan for DDR,
and “carry out voluntary disarmament” as part of a DDR program).
120 Iraq: Building a New Security Structure, supra note 102, at 5.
121 Jones et al., supra note 31, at 112.

employment; high-ranking of¬cers in addition lost status and eligibility
for future public service.122 The CPA™s decision effectively to ratify self-
demobilization is now widely regarded as a serious mistake. Iraqi soldiers
could instead have been given paid leave and recalled as conditions stabilized;
indeed, the CPA was soon forced to resume payments to the Iraqi military
in the face of escalating demonstrations by demobilized soldiers and attacks
on coalition forces.123
Despite the dif¬culties, a comprehensive DDR program, properly imple-
mented, can make a vital contribution to the success of post-con¬‚ict stability
and reconstruction efforts. Relative success stories include Sierra Leone and
Kosovo, though each remains a work in varying stages of progress. Liberia
may yet join the potential successes, but it has further to go.
In Sierra Leone, military pressure compelled the RUF to agree to dis-
arm and demobilize in 2001. The process was carried out in stages. First, a
strengthened UNAMSIL gradually deployed throughout the country, work-
ing to secure Sierra Leone™s borders, cut off the RUF™s supply routes, and
gain the con¬dence of the combatants.124 Second, disarmament and demo-
bilization efforts followed in UNAMSIL™s wake as ¬ghters were encouraged
to turn in their weapons in exchange for modest payments and bene¬ts such
as access to vocational training.125 Third, as ¬ghters demobilized, the Sierra
Leone government gradually extended its own authority through deploy-
ment of army and police forces and eventually civil administrators.
At ¬rst the process was replete with problems. Many hard-core RUF ¬ght-
ers refused to disarm; weapons turned in were often of low quality; and
civilians sometimes posed as ¬ghters to claim DDR bene¬ts.126 Over time,
however, the DDR process gained momentum. By December 2001, most
RUF ¬ghters had either “disarmed and accepted the programs on offer for
reintegration into society” or left “to take up lucrative mercenary jobs with
Charles Taylor.”127 By January 2002, the DDR process was largely complete,
and by May 2002, Sierra Leone, after eleven years of civil war, managed to
hold its ¬rst genuinely nonviolent elections.
The Sierra Leone DDR process was ¬‚awed in many ways and left a sig-
ni¬cant number of ex-combatants without assistance. But through active
cooperation, the Sierra Leone government and various international partners
managed to ¬nd innovative ways to keep the process moving, including tar-
geted grants and micro-¬nance schemes aimed at individual entrepreneurs,

122 Id., at 5“6.
123 Id., at 8.
124 Managing Uncertainty, supra note 88, at 4.
125 Id.
126 Id.
127 International Crisis Group, Sierra Leone: Ripe for Elections?, Africa Brie¬ng, December 19,
2001, at 1.

efforts to involve youth in sports, and a “StopGaps” system to “offer labor
intensive, quick impact” programs to employ ex-combatants when such
intervention seemed necessary to avoid renewed con¬‚ict.128
Much remains to be done before Sierra Leone can be declared a success
story. Governance reforms are vital, and security remains uncertain. Prob-
lems with the army persist, the community-based civil defense forces could
easily remobilize, and many ex-combatants remain frustrated with the often
poor quality of the reintegration training and assistance available.129 Thus,
the durability of Sierra Leone™s transition remains uncertain. Still, Sierra
Leone has made extraordinary progress, enough for the Security Council to
declare UNAMSIL™s mandate concluded in December 2005 and to replace
UNAMSIL with a follow-on mission, the United Nations Integrated Of¬ce
for Sierra Leone, intended to help consolidate the peace.
Considerable progress has also been made in Kosovo, though the expul-
sion of FRY security forces and the perception of NATO forces as liber-
ators among most Kosovars helped immeasurably in laying the ground-
work for demobilizing KLA forces. In June 1999, shortly after the FRY
accepted NATO™s terms for ending the con¬‚ict over Kosovo, the KLA agreed
to its own demilitarization, and by September 20, the NATO-led Kosovo
Force (KFOR) declared that the demilitarization was complete.130 Some
KLA forces joined the newly formed Kosovo Protection Corps, a mostly
unarmed quasi-national guard force established as a compromise between
NATO™s desire to dispense with any local military entity and the desire of
most Kosovars for their own army. Other KLA members joined the newly
constituted Kosovo Police Service (KPS). Still others entered politics as mem-
bers of a KLA political party. Although these developments are largely posi-
tive, they have a dark side. KLA leaders retain in¬‚uence in ways that render
them a “new kind of nomenklatura which is exclusive and hard to join.”131
Moreover, some members of this nomenklatura have become involved in
organized crime, of the sort that now festers throughout the war-torn areas
of former Yugoslavia. Thus, demobilization, although generally positive, is
no guarantee of stability in Kosovo, particularly given continuing uncer-
tainties regarding Kosovo™s future status and still strong animosities be-
tween Kosovo™s ethnic Albanians and Kosovo™s dwindling number of ethnic
After years of warfare in which almost 400,000 of its three million peo-
ple died, Liberia faces a much tougher challenge than Kosovo. Like Sierra

128 See Ljunggren and Molloy, supra note 118, at 3.
129 International Crisis Group, Sierra Leone: The State of Security and Governance, Africa
Report No. 67, September 2, 2003, at 1, 6“8.
130 International Crisis Group, What Happened to the KLA?, Balkans Report No. 88, March
3, 2000, at 1.
131 Id., at 2.

Leone, Liberia has been torn apart by multiple warring factions. Its political
and factional leaders remain committed to advancing their personal interests
rather than any conception of the national interest. The country is awash
in arms from over a dozen years of warfare. Although all this bodes ill
for the success of ongoing DDR efforts, there are some positive elements.
The United Nations Mission in Liberia (UNMIL) has 15,000 troops and a
Chapter VII mandate, and most Liberians are desperate for peace. UNMIL™s
early DDR efforts in December 2003 collapsed because UNMIL was not
ready for the number of combatants who wished to participate,132 but more
UNMIL troops have since deployed and UNMIL has learned from its mis-
takes. UNMIL recognizes that combatants must be disarmed for peace to
have any chance of taking hold and is attempting to emulate the success
achieved in Sierra Leone by securing Liberia™s borders and detaching ¬ghters
from their corrupt and self-serving commanders.
To succeed, UNMIL and others must come up with effective reintegration
packages while simultaneously attempting to reform Liberia™s security sec-
tor, rebuild state institutions, overcome endemic corruption, and promote
good governance in a country that has never known it.133 Efforts so far have
yielded mixed results. The formal disarmament and demobilization period
ended in November 2004. According to UNMIL, over 100,000 Liberians
turned in their arms, including over 20,000 women and over 10,000 chil-
dren.134 The sheer number of those seeking reintegration packages (many of
them not genuinely entitled) has strained the system beyond its capacity. As
of September 2005, some 26,000 ex-combatants were still waiting to partic-
ipate in reintegration programs.135 Some have rioted to demand payments
due them; others have been rerecruited into con¬‚icts in neighboring states.
The program faces continuing funding shortfalls and delays. In a country
where most people live on less than a dollar a day, opportunities for employ-
ment are bleak. Thus, the prospects for a stable peace, much less for the rule
of law, remain tenuous.
In Liberia, as in other cases examined here, reconstruction must be a
holistic process. Providing security, combating spoilers, and demobilizing
combatants are only essential ¬rst steps in the larger process of governance
reform, economic recovery, and state rebuilding. Moreover, these efforts
cannot proceed in a vacuum. Although interveners can establish order and
demobilize combatants in the short term, the longer-term success of those

132 See International Crisis Group, Rebuilding Liberia: Prospects and Perils, Africa Report
No. 75, January 30, 2004, at 5.
133 See generally id.
134 S/2005/177, Sixth Progress Report of the Secretary-General on the UN Mission in Liberia,
March 17, 2005, at 5.
135 S/2005/560, Eighth Progress Report of the Secretary-General on the UN Mission in Liberia,
September 1, 2005, at 5.

efforts requires the reconstitution of domestic security and justice institu-
tions. In particular, states need effective and reasonably apolitical police,
courts, and prisons for security genuinely to take hold.


The need for functioning police, courts and prisons is never greater than in the
immediate aftermath of intervention. With the collapse of existing security
institutions, crime ¬‚ourishes; if nothing is done quickly, organized criminal
activity can become woven tightly into the political fabric and almost impos-
sible to eradicate later. As Hansjeorg Strohmeyer notes with reference to the
aftermath of NATO™s intervention in Kosovo:

Looting, arson, forced expropriation of apartments belonging to Serbs and other
non-Albanians . . . became daily phenomena. Moreover, organized crime, including
smuggling, drug traf¬cking, and traf¬cking in women, soon ¬‚ourished. It was appar-
ent, within the ¬rst few days, that the previous law enforcement and judicial system in
Kosovo had collapsed. Criminal gangs competing for control of the scarce resources
immediately started to exploit the emerging void.136

Six years later, organized crime remains one of the greatest threats to the
rule of law in Kosovo.
Moreover, because of the often close links between organized crime and
political leaders in some post-con¬‚ict societies, the resources generated by
criminal activity are often used to fund further con¬‚ict.137 In Bosnia, for
example, “the exigencies of the war drove political leaders from all three
warring factions to rely on the criminal underworld to perform various
essential functions,” including smuggling of military equipment banned by
the then applicable UN arms embargo and raising revenue to prosecute the
war.138 At times, political leaders relied “upon local thugs and armed gangs
to prosecute the war effort” and conduct ethnic cleansing.139 The continuing
postwar interpenetration of crime and politics makes building an effective
justice system an urgent priority if efforts at governance reforms are to have
any chance of success.
When judicial systems in post-con¬‚ict societies have collapsed, interven-
ers face a dilemma. Quick action is required to combat spoilers, limit crime,
restore public con¬dence, and protect the intervention forces. But carrying
136 ¨
Hansjorg Strohmeyer, Collapse and Reconstruction of a Judicial System: The United Nations
Missions in Kosovo and East Timor, 95 Am. J. Int™l L. 46, 8“49 (2001).
137 See Speech by NATO Secretary-General Lord Robertson, International Security and Law
Enforcement “ A Look Ahead, June 19, 2001, available at http://www.nato.int/docu/speech/
138 Michael J. Dziedzic and Andrew Bair, Bosnia and the International Police Task Force, in
Policing the New World Disorder, supra note 1, at 253, 260.
139 Id.

out large-scale arrests with no clear legal authority by troops from multiple
states using widely varying procedures and doing so in the absence of func-
tioning courts and in violation of international standards sends a message of
arbitrary rule that threatens to undermine the rule of law norms interveners
hope to promote.
The experience of interveners in the immediate aftermath of the Kosovo
intervention illustrates the problem. Confronted with the complete collapse
of the precon¬‚ict judicial system and the rapid spread of organized crime,
interveners scrambled to restore minimum public order. Because the UN
needed months to deploy civilian police and administrators, KFOR of neces-
sity took the lead initially on security. Immediately after deploying to Kosovo,
KFOR began to arrest dozens of individuals. KFOR detained those caught
in the act of committing serious crimes even while releasing most suspects
with only a warning. In two weeks, KFOR was holding over 200 detainees in
makeshift NATO and UN jails,140 with no functioning courts in which to try
them or adequate prisons in which to hold them. Because KFOR forces came
from multiple countries, the policing and arrests were not done “according
to a uniform standard.”141 Moreover, by holding suspects inde¬nitely and
in many cases without charge, KFOR ran afoul of the human rights prohibi-
tion on prolonged, arbitrary detention. Thus, KFOR at the outset undercut
its own rule of law message. But the alternative, releasing violent offenders,
would have undercut rule of law efforts even more.
Many of the problems encountered by UNMIK at the outset of its adminis-
tration of Kosovo might have been prevented or at least minimized by better
advance preparation. In December 2000, Bernard Kouchner, the highest-
ranking UN of¬cial in Kosovo at the time, declared that the “lesson to be
learned from Kosovo” is that “peacekeeping missions need a judicial or law-
and-order ˜kit™ made up of trained police of¬cers, judges and prosecutors,
plus a set of draconian security laws or regulations that are available on their
arrival. This is the only way to stop criminal behavior from ¬‚ourishing in
a postwar vacuum of authority.”142 Kouchner™s call for a law-and-order kit
parallels other proposals for creation of law-and-order teams available for
rapid deployment to con¬‚ict zones.143 These proposals make considerable

140 See Strohmeyer, supra note 136, at 49.
141 Wendy S. Betts, Scott N. Carlson, Gregory Gisvold, The Post-Con¬‚ict Transitional Admin-
istration of Kosovo and the Lessons Learned in Efforts to Establish a Judiciary and Rule of
Law, 22 Mich. J. Int™l L. 371, 374 (2001).
142 R. Jeffrey Smith, Kosovo Still Seethes as UN Of¬cial Nears Exit, The Washington Post,
December 18, 2000, at A20.
143 For example, the “Winning the Peace Act of 2003,” legislation introduced in the U.S.
Congress based on the report of the bipartisan Commission on Post-Con¬‚ict Reconstruction,
calls for the United States to “present to the North Atlantic Council a proposal to establish
within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization an Integrated Security Support Component
to train and equip selected units within the North Atlantic Treaty Organization to execute
security tasks in countries or regions that require reconstruction services.” H.R. 2616, 108th

sense, and the expense of maintaining such teams would likely fall far short
of the costs incurred by missions that must jump-start security from scratch.
Nonetheless, governments have exhibited little interest in developing and
maintaining rapid deployment legal teams. But more limited steps in this
direction might prove feasible. Oakley and Dziedzic, for example, argue
that “[t]he standby force concept currently used to assemble military troop
contributions for peace operations should be adapted for use in CIVPOL
mobilization” and that similar standby arrangements, or rosters of poten-
tially available experts, could be developed for judicial and other needed legal
personnel.144 Implementing such proposals might help interveners avoid or
surmount the initial legal vacuum created by the collapse of local security
Historically, interveners have been reluctant to shoulder the burden of
ensuring domestic security for any extended period of time. Policing duties
are dangerous and complex, and international civilian police, which must
often be pulled from their domestic responsibilities, are in short supply.145
Moreover, assuming security functions risks drawing interveners ever more
deeply into the internal politics, and con¬‚icts, of the affected state. Accord-
ingly, “[o]nly in exceptional, emergency situations will states be convinced
that is in their interest to submit their own domestic order to further
pressure in order to take on the burdens of the internal order of another
Until recently, most peace operations con¬ned international policing
efforts to monitoring, advising, and training local police, with particular
attention to human rights practices.147 But growing demands for more effec-
tive responses to internal disorder, and growing recognition that the failure
to establish effective indigenous security institutions jeopardizes the entire
intervention effort, led inexorably to expanding international involvement
in security matters. These efforts culminated with the decisions of the inter-
veners in Kosovo and East Timor to assume full responsibility for providing
security in the short term and for establishing effective indigenous security
But the trend toward greater assumption of security responsibilities may
already have peaked. In Kosovo and East Timor, UN missions were given
full executive policing authority; unlike most earlier missions, international


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