This project aims at identifying and analyzing different views and approaches in post-conflict management, including stabilization, civil-military cooperation and democratization, in order to work towards a common understanding and comprehensive strategy.
Over the last decade, post-conflict management has emerged as a central concern on the transatlantic agenda. Since 1998, the EU has developed its European Security and Defense Policy (ESDP) with a view to meeting these new challenges. The EU emphasizes long-term development and sustainability and, to this purpose, provides a wide range of civil capabilities and resources. In contrast, the United States has taken a more short-term approach focused on the military dimension. It has only been in the last few years that a more reconstruction-orientated approach taking civil means more prominently into consideration has emerged in U.S. security policy.
As the current NATO/EU operations in Afghanistan and the Balkans show, the development of a comprehensive transatlantic approach to this type of operations is crucial for the success of the complex task of post-conflict management. This requires the formation and use of common strategies, structures and tools to integrate – or at least better coordinate – the various military and non-military actors (e.g., international organizations, NGOs) taking part in the stabilization mission. In the Balkans, the international community had overall responsibility in the post-conflict phase, the states being placed under UN rule, which facilitated operations. In Afghanistan, on the contrary, the international community has a solely supporting role to the elected government.
The NATO Secretary General has consistently highlighted the need for a comprehensive approach to post-conflict stabilization. However, the ability of the international community to meet these challenges has been hindered by the divergence of views between the U.S. and Europe about how to foster an adequate response to the many tasks at hand.
2. Research questions
Building on lessons learned from recent operations in the Balkans and Afghanistan, this project seeks to identify the existing transatlantic strategies of post-conflict management, their shortfalls and ways of making them more effective and successful. In doing so, it examines a series of specific questions:
What are the views on both sides of the Atlantic of the concept of “post-conflict management”? In what respects are they substantively divergent?
Is there any common transatlantic ground in this regard?
What strategies and tools could be developed to promote a better transatlantic approach to this issue?
How feasible will it be to implement these strategies?
What needs to be done to improve NATO-EU and NATO-UN cooperation in post-conflict operations?
What criteria can be used to determine the best fit of a strategy for a certain operation?
3. Format and Proceeding
The first event, a workshop will take place in December 2007 or early 2008 and the second event, a conference, in May 2008. Short papers will be presented at both workshops and will later be published in a conference volume made available on the project website as well as disseminated in a print version. The final policy report, which will be presented in the GMF office in Washington shortly after the November 2008 presidential election, will not only highlight differences and challenges, but also the potential for a multilateral agenda shared by both sides of the Atlantic.