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CS2016 - External interventions in fragile states (wk 4 to 6)

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Yvan Guichaoua

on 29 February 2016

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Transcript of CS2016 - External interventions in fragile states (wk 4 to 6)

Nested logics of external interventions
Aid to "Fragile States"
'Humanitarian' Wars
CT / COIN operations
Political Interference
"Capacity building"
. covers a wide range of heterogeneous features (inc. public services provision, political legitimacy, rule of law, security)

. Relative standardisation of practices

Actors involved
. bi- or multi-lateral agencies, state (as donors), non-state, INGOs

. 'Liberal' intentions dominant
. based on R2P
Jus a bellum: just cause, last resort, reasonable chance of success
Jus in bello: proportionality, discrimination
Jus post bellum: reparations, transitional justice

. military component opaque

Actors involved
. mixed but military in the driving seat. Role of NGOs debatable

. well-intentioned but in practice?


Pretty straightforward if we talk of technology of warfare (IEDs, suicide attacks...)
But what if we adopt a sociological / political standpoint (IRA)?
Terrorism not very helpful as an analytical tool
But a powerful rhetorical device to disqualify opponents... and attract external support

. Secrecy (e.g. cost of Serval)

Actors involved
. Army + special forces dominant... Sometimes anthropologists (cf. HTS)!

. security-driven, strategic

Pitfalls of CT approaches in Mali
3. 'Accidental guerrillas'

see: http://nyti.ms/1xDFqGL

4. Exactions likely, with numerous adverse effects

If you keep seeing in us what we are not, we will become what you want us to become
(Arab elder from Timbuktu, April 2013)
I'm not a secessionist but if I have to choose between my country and my family, I will choose my family
(Arab trader from Gao, April 2013)
1. Peacekeepers and the 'parallel force'. http://bit.ly/1pWlZZ6
Pitfalls of CT approaches in Mali
Pitfalls of CT approaches in Mali
2. Who is a bad guy?
Why using force abroad?
Just wars?
Jus ad bellum
Jus in bello, jus post-bellum
"The truth is that no intervention can be apolitical, and humanitarian action cannot substitute for political strategy [...] Once an intervening force begins to fight, it can do nothing else (…) There is no such thing as humanitarian military intervention distinct from war or counterinsurgency" (de Waal 2007)
Simplistic logic
"Bad things happen because bad men do them, so if we eliminate the bad men, the problem is solved" (de Waal 2010)

Who is the sheriff
? No legitimate supranational authority

and masked imperialism

Endogenous effects
. War-making has its own logic that supersedes humanitarian concerns once it kicks off (Thucydides, Kalyvas)

When does the mission

What’s the
of government installed by alien forces?
Jus in bello

(minimising destruction)
(who is a fighter?)
"Anything affiliated with Hamas is a legitimate target" (IDF spokesman during Operation Cast Lead in Dec 2008 - Jan 2009)

Jus post bellum

Transitional justice
Avoiding victor’s justice
"Something more than the restoration of the status quo ex ante" (Walzer)
Just cause
(risk of large-scale loss of life, according to R2P)

Last resort
(has everything be attempted to avoid violent confrontation?)

Reasonable chance of success
(the outcome should represent an improvement compared to the original situation)

Right intention
(can France intervene in its former colonies?)

Proper authority
(the UN?)
Source: http://bit.ly/1xT5VpR
Official Inception at UN World Summit in 2005 (see http://bit.ly/1PLQFXw)

Three branches
- Jus ad bellum (justice of war)
- Jus in bello (fair conduct in war)
- Jus post bellum (post-conflict behaviours)

Historical background: genocide in Rwanda (1994)
--> "Never again" rhetoric

The cosmopolitan / moral argument (Kaldor) v Realism

Remember the reversibility of interventionnist logics (Luckham's table last week)

IIlustration worth 10 lectures
The In-Khalil incident
State substitution
Devils in the details
. Modest, piecemeal approach required? An example: http://fam.ag/1Xfx1Vc
Dilemmas of humanitarianism
Helping others in historical perspective
A frozen world (the Cold War Era)
Hopes, hubris and failures
The post 9/11 world. Blurring the lines
The humanitarian space challenged
Philosophical roots

Enlightenment + evangelical Christians (moral progress) v functionalist or Foucaldian explanations

Solferino 1862

Helping wounded soldiers
Core principles

Key notion.
Humanitarian space
Strict compliance with the principle of
accompanied by massive episodes of violence (Korea, Vietnam, Cameroon, Algeria, Biafra, Latin America...)

Activism favours self-determination (pro-state) movements

Rise of
Wilsonian NGOs
--> e.g. CARE

Emergence of dissenting voices: the will of nations impedes relief --> the ideas behind
MSF creation
. From self-determination to anti-atrocities
1991-1993. Temporary euphoria following the demise of the Eastern Bloc (Kurdistan, Somalia)
1993. US debacle in Somalia causes Clinton’s reluctance to intervene in Africa
1994. Rwanda
1995. Bosnia ‘safe areas’ UN powerless (complicit?)

Just as surely as our diplomats and military, American NGOs are out there serving and sacrificing on the frontlines of freedom. NGOs are such a force multiplier for us, such an important part of our combat team
(Colin Powell, US Secretary of state, Oct 2001)

--> NGOs the hearts and minds component of liberal interventionism?
Gradual professionalisation / rationalisation of practices yet problematic increased alignment with Western liberal gov
--> makes humanitarians
("seeing the world through the eyes of the powerless") lost?
--> Humanitarians not above
How humanitarianism is seen today
. Civilian component of more muscular intervention?

Humanitarian governance
fig leaf of realist agendas or a separate project? i.e. is humanitarian governance different from global governance?

has its own
, constantly reshaped through trials and errors and changing global environment --> is humanitarianism losing its alleged original purity through increased politicisation of aid?
A serious precedent. ICRC and the Holocaust
MSF pragmatic responses
Constant assessment of costs and benefits of intervention
Self-critique permanent
Speaking out in specific circumstances only
--> consistently annoys those who want to kill in silence
. "The point is less to establish clear blame for wrongdoing, than to
produce a context within which fuller understanding of human conflict can be created
. It is no help to the victims in Paris to point out that the negative aspects of the war in Iraq helped to produce the organization which killed or maimed them; but this depressing reflection should – and must – inform post-Paris counter-terrorist response if we want to limit the future occurrence of terrorism" (Richard English) http://bit.ly/1UjTD7u
. Researchers are not military advisers either
Relational approach
Resarcher's positionality
Not paying much attention to homegrown terrorism (e.g. de-radicalisation)

COIN-related activities and their effects

NB: war is not the only response possible to insurgencies or terrorism. Reconciliatory, defensive or criminal justice approaches may be privileged
Scope of the lecture
"iron fist" (indiscriminate violence")

Kalyvas & Kocher 2007 v Lyall 2009 v Lyall 2014

"mowing the grass"

"Enhanced interrogation techniques"
Proxy militias
Hearts and minds

- QIPs
- Security
- HTS?
The operational, a-ethical question: does COIN work?
Answer: it depends on insurgent orgs and their ties to pop, as well as on the phase of the conflict
Full transcript