ERGOMAS Military and Police Relations Working Group
- David M Last
- Marina Caparini
- Irina Goldberg
Neoliberal globalization describes the impact of markets on the movement of people and assets across boundaries in a capitalist world. Police, paramilitary, and military functions are undermined in this global market place; states have less control over factors affecting human security, national security, and international security. Police and military may exacerbate violence and injustice, but they can also lead progressive or stabilizing changes. Can police and military operations converge to support peace and justice in the face of evolving threats like loss of social cohesion, interstate competition, survival migration, climate change, and a precarious underclass? This research is a survey of political economy literature not explicitly related to police-military convergence, but relevant to it. The research yields a menu of concepts and problems that are important for security professionals, but not widespread in either military or police education. Understanding the security implications of corporate and economic conflict, rules and legal constraints, socio-economic class, and transnational threats are essential for the military and police leaders, beginning early in their careers. This suggests research and teaching in higher education institutions for military and police. If we don’t teach political economy to security leaders, they will be unprepared for a world in which soldiers do global policing, police wage wars, and money manipulates the operational environment.
Mr. Peter Tinsley decided on 30 September 2008 that the complaints lodged by Amnesty International Canada and the British Columbian Civil Liberties Association (AIC-BCCLA) fall within the mandate of the Military Police Complaints Commission (MPCC). The Attorney General disagrees, drawing a distinction between the conduct of operations and the execution of Military Police functions for which the MPCC has oversight. As a retired army officer teaching politics at Canada’s Royal Military College, this seems to me to raise questions about oversight of operations, organizational culture, and the role of civil society in getting the operational balance right under circumstances where there may be no right answer. RMC might have a role in answering these questions. In this discussion paper, I’ll consider some of the issues the ongoing investigation seems to raise, and suggest how we might proceed with round tables and facilitated in camera discussions.
Interviews suggest that Israel has limited tolerance for international peacekeeping, and is generally suspicious of international involvement. UNDOF and MFO serve useful purposes because they reflect agreement by the parties. UNIFIL has hampered Israeli security, and UNTSO is largely irrelevant. The “Grapes of Wrath” mission served a useful purpose for the same reason that UNDOF and MFO worked, however The International Presence in Hebron (TIPH) has little impact from the Israeli point of view. The EU monitors reporting to Javier Solana have served some useful purposes, negotiating the end to the standoff at the Church of the Nativity for example. Their utility, however, is dependent upon the skills and personal status of individuals and resources their home-countries provide; it has not been effectively institutionalized. It is unlikely that renewed security cooperation between Israeli and Palestinian police will be possible without international supervision, and the role for international monitors is not likely to be agreed or accepted easily. Lack of trust at the working level, Israeli unwillingness to abandon settlements in the West Bank and Palestinian forces’ choice of identity as “freedom fighters” in opposition to Israel rather than “police” serving their own communities make cooperation impossible. Conflicts within the Palestinian security forces make them unstable partners. As the dominant party, Israel will not accept willingly any framework for international policing or monitoring that might be manipulated by the Palestinian authority to pursue goals incompatible with Israeli security. The prerequisite is therefore Palestinian acceptance of Israeli core interests with respect to borders, Jerusalem, and right of return. Some Israelis, however, feel that the current impasse will inevitably result in international intervention, and are beginning to ask how that intervention might be shaped in ways that minimize potential harm to Israeli interests. International forces within Israel are unacceptable, but forces to monitor Palestinian Authority border crossings, air space and policing might make useful contributions. Culturally sensitive international policing in Jerusalem’s old city and contested holy places might also be part of a solution. Any international monitoring missions will have to focus on selecting and developing small numbers of high quality participants prepared to serve for long enough to learn the complexities of the region. Neither Israelis nor Palestinians appear to have much patience with “the usual suspects” associated with the current missions in place.
Police assistance has evolved to include more variations on the themes of policing, monitoring, and training assistance, although the motivations for contributing have been consistent for as long as Canada has sent police abroad. International police, repatriated police, training assistance, training of trainers, institutional capacity building, and technical management assistance are six distinct policy options. Helping other countries to develop the capacity to provide police assistance to conflict-affected countries is a good option, and techniques like Rapid Assessment Process, borrowed from health and development project evaluation, can be used to get the balance of policing assistance right over time. Authors
Police, gendarme, and security forces have co-evolved with states since the origin of the Westphalian system. Their governance structures and functions therefore reflect the history of each polity we might examine. Some security organizations have also evolved transnational aspects, such as colonial police, INTERPOL cooperation and international peacekeeping and policing. This evolution reflects both dominant interests within states (Brodeur's high policing) and those of communities at large (low policing). Both domestic and transnational aspects of governance and division of security functions are partially transferred when the international community attempts to reconstruct or reform the security sector of a post-conflict or weak state. Such target states are also affected by a global political economy, which includes informal and illegal sectors thriving on disorder. Diversity creates three specific problems for the security sector: identity-based economies linked to crime; identity-based conflicts linked to domestic and transnational violence; and identity-based tensions that manifest within security organizations, making it difficult to deal with the other two. The good news is that many countries have passed through these problems to develop stable and effective security sectors. I attempt to generalise about the elements of successful adaptation to diversity. Author David Last served with the Canadian Forces for 30 years, including various NATO and UN missions. He has taught Politics and War Studies at RMC since 1999, researching management of conflict in Sierra Leone, the Balkans, and Israel/Palestine.