Civil Society-Military Roadmap on Human Security

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Military Changes: In response to the challenges and frustrations in Afghanistan and Iraq, top US military and political leaders call for strengthened civilian capacities and more effective civil‐military cooperation. US military personnel increasingly conduct humanitarian, development and peacebuilding activities under a new Department of Defense Directive1 that puts stabilization and reconstruction activities on par with war‐fighting. Military leaders list “building civil society” and “local ownership” in their strategies and seek NGOs as “implementing partners.”

Civil Society Concerns: Many civil society organizations conducting humanitarian aid, development and peacebuilding vehemently oppose military involvement in these activities and are withdrawing from all contact with military actors. Civilians do not yet have the capacity to coordinate massive relief efforts and acknowledge there may be a temporary role for the military in extreme cases. Civil society organizations claim military‐led development endangers their safety, undermines sustainable development, is not cost‐effective, and frequently leads to unintended negative effects counterproductive to human security.2 In the broader field of peacebuilding, OECD guidelines on security sector reform (SSR) and demobilization, disarmament and reintegration/reconciliation (DDR) call for civilian oversight and participation working with military actors when shared goals exist.3