Reconstructing the Infrastructure of Damaged Societies
Civil-military interaction is a crucial factor for today's missions to succeed as so many of them take place in highly complex environments that are characterized by insecurity, weak governance structures and the most dire socio-economic circumstances. Afghanistan, Colombia, the Balkans, Syria, Iraq, Libya and Rwanda are all examples of such difficult operating environments. In most mission areas, a multitude of different actors present themselves. These actors are military as well as civilian, international as well as local and public as well as private. Interaction between these actors is simply inevitable, but is not without its challenges.
Peacekeeping efforts in the Balkans and Afghanistan demonstrated that there is a period from about one year to 18 months after the cessation of hostilities when the host nation is in limbo. In most cases, there is not enough infrastructure to facilitate economic recovery, there are not sufficient internal assets to provide the required infrastructure, and there is no external force in place that legally can provide the infrastructure help to promote the necessary economic growth. This chapter examines the complementary capabilities that civilian agencies and military forces bring to a peacekeeping mission demonstrating that a combined approach that meshes these capabilities should result in a more rapid reconstruction timeline. Using the case of Bosnia will illustrate the type of agencies that may be present in a peacekeeping operation and will further demonstrate arising issues when military and civilian forces are not coordinated.
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