The Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Afghanistan: Role model for civil-military relations?

TitelThe Provincial Reconstruction Teams in Afghanistan: Role model for civil-military relations?
Typ der PublikationBook
Untertitel / SerientitelBICC Occasional Paper (October 2009)
AutorInnenRunge, P
BandBICC Occasional Paper IV
Anzahl Seiten27 pp.
VerlagBonn International Center for Conversion (BICC)

(The following text has been excerpted from the conclusions:)
Humanitarian aid organizations adhere to the humanitarian imperative, while armed forces are bound by political instructions and principally follow a military logic. Owing to these different mandates, it is necessary to define the political framework conditions for cooperation between aid organizations and armed forces as accurately as possible. Humanitarian organizations should be clear about the fact that future multinational military operations will focus on cooperation with civil counterparts as part of an integrated approach. The military needs to be aware that the distinction between humanitarian aid and military action becomes blurred when there is a perception that humanitarian organizations and their personnel are merely tools within integrated approaches to conflict management; and that, as a result, aid agencies insist on a distance strategy.From the humanitarian perspective, the following sets of recommendations can be distilled from the PRT experience in Afghanistan:
- It is essential to keep the mandates of armed forces and humanitarian agencies separate.
- The division of labor has to be based on the respective comparative advantages. - PRTs have to focus on security and stabilization and should not implement humanitarian assistance unless as a 'last resort'.
- The scope and emphasis of PRT activities should be redirected from "hearts and minds" activities to security.Implementation of humanitarian aid:
- There is a need for independent humanitarian aid and the maintenance of distinction between the civil and the military domains.
- Humanitarian space and a humanitarian consensus among all parties to the conflict should be restored as soon as possible.
- An independent cross-donor evaluation should analyze the impact of PRTs and their CIMIC activities/ QIPs in general and also on the delivery of humanitarian aid.Guidelines on civil-military relations:
- The compliance of donors with the existing guidelines on civil-military relations should be monitored.Scope of cooperation:
- Humanitarian organizations should refrain from direct cooperation with armed forces, if their mission is jeopardized and their independence put at risk.
- Humanitarian organizations and military actors should exchange information in UN coordination meetings (but not on NGO premises).
- Strategically, contacts between armed forces and NGOs at home should be intensified to achieve a better mutual understanding of the different organizational cultures and political guidelines.

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