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Abstract: Transnistria, a sliver of land on the east bank of the river Nistru, broke away from the rest of Moldova in 1990. Although there was fighting after that, there have been no fatalities since 1992. This is not really a conflict: it is a stand-off which benefits the business interests of those who are close to ruling elites, and suits some external players.
Transnistria has little prospect of being recognised, even by Russia. Meanwhile Moldova has little hope of eventual EU membership while the Transnistrian problem remains. To escape this stalemate, Moldova and Transnistria need to find a solution. Moldova needs to show Transnistrians that a resolution will be good for them, just as the EU works with Russia to show that a solution does not harm Russia.
This study is timely in that it comes at a moment when Moldova is reaffirming its EU perspective, while elections in Transnistria may also presage some change. The problem of Transnistria is now on the borders of the EU: Transnistria is the EU's problem. A German-EU initiative in 2010 sought to address the Transnistrian issue at a strategic level, engaging the key external player, Russia.
This study brought together focus groups of ordinary people both in Transnistria and in the rest of Moldova. It is the first such study. The focus groups provide non-elite input, important when some in the elite have a personal interest in maintaining the status quo. The focus group perspectives have been reinforced by interviews with politicians and experts in Chisinau, Tiraspol and Berlin. The study is in three sections: a conflict analysis, an examination of the players, and themes from the focus groups. At the end, the report provides detailed policy and programme recommendations to the European Union.
The People’s Peacemaking Perspectives project is a joint initiative implemented by Conciliation Resources and Saferworld and financed under the European Commission’s Instrument for Stability. The project provides European Union institutions with analysis and recommendations based on the opinions and experiences of local people in a range of countries and regions affected by fragility and violent conflict.
Abstract: The political transitions in Egypt and Tunisia have rekindled
the interest in how states and societies have moved from authoritarian
regimes to democracy after overthrowing old regimes.
This report responds to that interest by providing a factual
overview of transitions to democracy of nine European states
between 1974 and 1991.
The states covered fall into two geographical regions:
Southern Europe, and Central and Eastern Europe. The context
of transition in each of these regions was different. The transitions
in Southern Europe took place as mainly discrete events
with little influence of one country over another. In contrast,
there was a strong regional dynamic in Central and Eastern
Europe, where all transitions were influenced by Gorbachev’s
policies of perestroika and glasnost and the loosening of the
Soviet Union’s grip on its satellite states.
Abstract: Under pressure from the rebellion, an international intervention, and comprehensive sanctions, Muammar al-Qaddafi’s regime is on the verge of collapse. As of late March 2011, regime forces are focused on retaining control of the north-western Libya, raising the prospect of protracted civil war and partition. Qaddafi’s demise is a necessary, but not sufficient, condition for Libya’s renewed stabilization. The post-Quaddafi state will essentially have to be built from scratch. However, political players will likely be more focused on the redistribution of wealth than on state building institutions. Scenarios for the post-Quaddafi era include a new deal among former regime elites that would lead to a renewed instability in the medium-term, or a more protracted, but ultimately more sustainable, state-building process. Hastening Qaddafi’s fall should be the main priority of Germany and other EU member states now. External actors should also support the Interim National Council as the nucleus of a post-Qaddafi government. However, they should refrain from playing an active role in the state-building process that will follow Qaddafi’s demise, as this would risk discrediting the process.
Abstract: Germany has followed the comprehensive approach for the NATO International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) area of operations in Afghanistan, providing counterinsurgency support primarily for security, economic aid, and social development. The author, commander of the Bundeswehr Operations Command in Potsdam, Germany, provides a German perspective of lessons learned from the ISAF mission. To be effective, counterinsurgency requires comprehensive measures and adherence to fundamental guidelines advancing legitimacy and unity of effort, taking into account political factors, establishing rule of law, and isolating insurgents. NATO must strengthen its intelligence capacity, promote unity of effort, and prepare for a long-term commitment.
Abstract: Damaged by shelling during the 1992 conflict, the Gura Bicului Bridge, which
spans the Dniestr river, was reconstructed in 2001 with money from the
European Union. The bridge—along the main highway between the Black Sea
and the Baltic coast—should facilitate trade and contacts between Moldova and
the break-away region of Transdniestria. But it has never been reopened: only
pedestrians and bicyclists are allowed to cross. It stands as a potent symbol of how
hard it has been, for the past twenty years, to bridge the two sides of the Dniestr.
Abstract: This handbook is intended to serve as a document that provides relevant information on issues that external actors who interact with diasporas in development and peacebuilding will encounter. It does not present simple replicable techniques, tools or instruments; rather, the authors aim to explain the underlying philosophy and aspects of process involved in facilitating participation of diasporas in development and peacebuilding (Pretty et al., 1995: ii). How to best apply these principles will vary from context to context. The document is based on experiences with various diaspora communities in the five European countries (Finland, Germany, Italy, the Netherlands and Norway), though many of the examples cited focus on the Somali diaspora and, more generally, on diasporas originating from Africa. A number of those experiences are described in detail in separate text boxes.
Abstract: Although approximately 5,000 US soldiers were transferred into Northern Afghanistan in the first half of 2010 and there have been initial military successes, the intensity of the insurgency in the Kunduz region has not diminished. Instead, there has been a continuing escalation of violence there in recent months. The unabated strength of the insurgency is based primarily on highly diversified leadership and logistical structures. The insurgency in the northeast consists of several groups, which follow different strategic objectives, but maintain close tactical cooperation. The main groups are the Afghan Taliban, the Islamic Party of Gulbuddin Hekmatyar, and the Islamic Movement of Uzbekistan. Additional groups include the Haqqani Network and al-Qaeda. It is important to assemble precise information about the ideological and strategic characteristics of these groups as only then can effective military action be taken and only then can decisions be made about which groups must be approached as negotiation partners.
Abstract: This report compiles the latest evidence of European countries' complicity in the CIA's programmes in the context of the fight against terrorism in the aftermath of the 11 September 2001 attacks in the USA.
"The EU has utterly failed to hold member states accountable for the abuses they've committed," said Nicolas Beger, Director of Amnesty International's European Institutions Office.
"These abuses occurred on European soil. We simply can't allow Europe to join the US in becoming an 'accountability-free' zone. The tide is slowly turning with some countries starting investigations but much more needs to be done." Intergovernmental organizations such as the Council of Europe, the European Union and the UN have been at the forefront of investigating human rights violations associated with the CIA rendition and secret detention programmes.
Following disclosures in their reports, inquiries into state complicity or legal processes aimed at individual responsibility took place or are currently in progress in countries such as Germany, Italy, Lithuania, Macedonia, Poland, Romania, Sweden and the United Kingdom.
Abstract: In December 2009, President Barack Obama revised the American strategy for Afghanistan. He announced an increase of 30,000 American troops for the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) International Security Assistance Force (ISAF). Concurrent with this increase, he also announced the planned withdrawal of U.S. Armed Forces beginning in 2011. In the 18-month period between the influx and drawdown, NATO must act collectively to counter the full range of threats against Alliance members from terrorist attacks and to build capacity for the Afghanistan government to self-govern effectively.
Americans anticipate relatively less of a combat contribution from Germany and other European Allies. Steven Erlanger described the American view of Europe as a partner that is "seen just now as not a problem for the [United States], but not much help either."1 In an address about NATO's strategic concept, Secretary of Defense Robert Gates expressed concern about what he perceived to be demilitarization by European powers in light of the collapse of Dutch government support and the public opposition to military deployments to Afghanistan in many European countries, even in the face of serious 21st-century threats.2 The refusal of Germany and other European Allies to accept a combat role as part of their NATO commitment is at the root of the clash between American and European leaders on Afghanistan policy.
Abstract: Domestic public opinion is frequently and correctly described as a crucial battlefront in the war in Afghanistan. Commentary by media and political figures currently notes not only the falling support for the war in the United States but also in many of its key allies in Europe and elsewhere, making it all the more difficult for the Obama administration to secure the help it believes it needs to bring the war to a successful conclusion. This study is an extensive examination of the determinants of domestic support for and opposition to the war in Afghanistan in the United States and in five of its key allies--the United Kingdom, France, Germany, Canada, and Australia. Tracing the trajectory of public opinion on the war from the original invasion in 2001 to the fall of 2009, this paper concludes that the combination of mounting casualties with a declining belief that the war could be won by the Coalition is the key factor driving the drop in support. Other factors, such as the deployment of numerous and shifting rationales by the political leadership in various countries, and the breakdown of elite consensus have played important but secondary roles in this process.
Abstract: The German Army and civilian helpers have now been in Afghanistan since the end of 2001.
Towards the end of 2003 German troops deployed to Northern Afghanistan, where they took
over the US Army camp in Kunduz, at the same time Germany took on the responsibility for
the entire northern region of the country and established bases in Kunduz, Feyzabad,Taloquan
Germany rapidly established a Provincial Reconstruction Team in Kunduz which was run by
both the Military and representatives of the German Foreign Office. The concept from the
outset was that the German Army, together with the Afghan Security Forces, would ensure
the security of the region. The German Ministry of Overseas Development would then be able
to provide aid and reconstruction for the region. The German Ministry of the Interior was
responsible for training the Afghan Police and the Foreign Office was to coordinate all the
A sound enough plan when viewed from a desk in Berlin which reflected the official view
that the Germans were in Afghanistan not to wage war on Islamic extremists, but there to
improve the lot of the civilian population.
Abstract: The Netherlands Ministry of Defence (NL MOD) commissioned RAND Europe to identify the strengths and weaknesses of the Netherlands armed forces, asking RAND to focus on recent deployments of the Netherlands armed forces relative to the deployments of other countries' armed forces. This study is therefore not a root and branch consideration of the Netherlands armed forces, but a comparative study of several different armed forces to illustrate contrasts and similarities with those of the Netherlands. This study was conducted within the context of the NL MOD's Future Policy Survey, which is a review of the Netherlands' future defence ambition, required capabilities and associated levels of defence expenditure. The Future Policy Survey was delivered to the Netherlands Parliament in April 2010. The overarching aim of the Dutch Future Policy Survey is to provide greater insight into how to exploit and enhance the potential contribution of the Netherlands armed forces.
Abstract: Recent experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan remind U.S. policymakers of the tremendous obstacles and challenges that confront states as they attempt to install liberal, democratic political institutions. The multifaceted transition process involves a host of overlapping and interrelated political, economic, and social innovations that often must be tailored to the specific historical, demographic, and regional needs of each community. While it would be presumptuous to suggest any rigid schedule or set of priorities, most scholars and policymakers agree that restructuring the security and civil-military institutions is vital to the transition. The primary focus of this analysis is a detailed examination of two earlier and successful efforts at democratization—the Federal Republic of Germany and South Africa—paying particular attention to the role of civil-military institutions. The West German and South African examples illustrate the intricate complexities and numerous considerations that factor into this process and provide some important lessons for the future. This monograph analyzes the decisionmaking process behind the construction of the German and South African armed forces in their transition to democracy, and it concludes with a brief list of policy recommendations for future efforts geared toward democratizing formerly authoritarian armed forces.
Abstract: Afghan civilians deserve amends from warring parties for deaths, injuries, and property
losses—that is, some form of recognition and monetary compensation. Under international
law and agreements signed with the Afghan government, the troop contributing nations
(TCNs) of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) are not liable for damage to
civilian property or civilian injury or death as a result of lawful operations. However, most
ISAF members now offer payments when such losses occur. This is a marked improvement
from the early days of the conflict when the US and its NATO allies declined to address civilian
harm. CIVIC’s research into the experiences of ISAF troops and Afghan civilians demonstrates that
when international military forces provide payment (henceforth called “compensation” to
indicate both monetary and in-kind help), especially combined with an apology for harm,
civilian hostility toward international forces decreases. However, the effectiveness of these
payments has been limited by the lack of uniform policies across ISAF nations, limited information
gathering about civilian harm generally and, in many cases, insensitive requirements
that civilians suffering losses take the initiative to file claims.
This report describes the policies and practices of major ISAF TCNs. It finds that soldiers as
well as civilians view amends for harm favorably. The process of investigation, negotiation
of payment, and offers of formal compensation are opportunities to strengthen relationships
with local leaders and communities, to explain what happened, and acknowledge loss.
Abstract: After the London Afghanistan Conference earlier this year, allies pledged to reinforce ISAF with another 9,000 soldiers. Germany, the third largest contributor to ISAF and the lead nation for Regional Command North (RC-N), agreed to moderately increase its troop contingent by an additional 500 soldiers. Besides the new deployments, the government reconfigured its Afghanistan strategy, finally reacting to the deteriorating situation in Northern Afghanistan. The new mandate was discussed and passed by parliament on 26 February 2010, but not without being disputed. During the debate, commotions resulted in the expulsion of the Left party due to unlawful demonstrations in the chamber. The current German strategy is guided by the principle of ‘responsible hand-over’, laying an emphasis on reconstruction, training, and protection. With regard to reconstruction efforts, financial aid will be doubled to 430 million Euros a year to achieve four main objectives until 2013; programs to create employment and income in rural areas shall reach about 75% of the population in the northern provinces (from 30%); constructing additional 700kms of all-seasoned accessible roads to improve infrastructure and help connecting rural areas with the provinces and districts; supply of electricity and clean drinking water for all provincial and half of the district capitals, increasing accessibility to 50% of the population (from 22%); training teachers and building schools to provide access to education for 60% of the population (from 25%). Germany will also contribute 50 million Euros to the fund aimed at reintegrating insurgents.
Abstract: Since January 2010, Pakistani security forces have arrested nearly a dozen leading figures of the Afghan Taliban. While these arrests have dealt a serious blow to the Taliban, Pakistan's leadership has not made any fundamental changes to its policy for dealing with insurgents. Pakistan still clings to its objective of exercising significant influence on Afghanistan's political fortunes and will continue to look to elements within the Taliban as an ends to fulfilling this objective. Current actions should be seen as more of a reaction to changes in the larger political situation. Pressure has long been placed on Islamabad by the USA to finally take effective action against the Afghan Taliban and al-Qaeda in Pakistan. At the same time, Pakistan's military leadership wants to participate in talks that are currently being conducted with the Taliban and therefore also presents itself as willing to cooperate. The arrests have caused shifts within the Taliban's internal power structure, which also has an impact on the situation in Kunduz and German troops in Afghanistan.
Abstract: New administrations took office in 2009 in both Germany and the United States, bringing with them renewed
focus—and perspectives—on counterterrorism measures. Still, despite ever-increasing cooperation among
allies, the German and American publics react differently to threats of terrorism. As part of AICGS’s project
on “Political, Cultural, and Economic Origins and Consequences of International Terrorism: American and
European Answers,” this Policy Report looks to increase German-American understanding of the issue and
to offer policy solutions. In this Policy Report, Frank Gadinger looks at German
counterterrorism policies, explaining not only how the German government perceives of counterterrorism, but
also how and why the German public reacts to counterinsurgency (COIN) and data retention policies as it
does. Discussing the American approach to counterterrorism, Dorle Hellmuth looks at the response to
terrorism following 9/11, the strategic culture in the U.S., and the remaining challenges for President Obama
in light of his commitment to closing Guantanamo and sending additional troops to Afghanistan. Together,
these essays show that much can be learned across the Atlantic as we strive to protect our societies from
the global threats of terrorism.
Abstract: Until recently, German officials denied that the Bundeswehr was at war in Afghanistan, insisting that its role was to stabilize rather than to fight. In November 2009, Federal Minister of Defense Karl-Theodor Freiherr zu Guttenberg first referred to »warlike circumstances« and described the situation as a »non-international armed conflict« taking place in parts of Afghanistan. This position was now specified by Federal Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle, who in an official government address to the German Bundestag stated that even the situation in the north of Afghanistan was to be qualified as an armed conflict within the meaning of international humanitarian law. But the search for appropriate terminology is much more than a matter of clear communication. It is above all a question of maximizing legal security for the forces on the ground.
Abstract: The outsourcing of military functions is always accompanied by a loss of control over the use
of force. Whereas the variances in handling consequences by weak versus strong states have
already been addressed in other studies, we know little about the causes of differences among
strong states. I will argue that strong states are very well aware of the risk of losing control by
outsourcing. In order to mitigate the risk, they develop outsourcing strategies. The strategies
of the two states considered here—the United States and Germany—are similar. Despite the
resemblance, the U.S. Army faces much greater losses of control than does the German
Bundeswehr. This is the result of differences in the compliance with their respective
strategies. Whereas the Bundeswehr almost always sticks to its strategy, the U.S. Army
instead violates it in numerous cases. This difference can be explained by the different scopes
of the two forces’ demand-capability gap, a factor that directly affects compliance-behavior
with the strategy. The larger the gap, the less compliance is shown and the greater the loss of
control. Since the U.S. Army experiences a larger gap than the Bundeswehr, the former
suffers a greater loss of control.
Abstract: During World War II, more than half a million tons of bombs were dropped in aerial raids on
German cities, destroying about one-third of the total housing stock. This paper provides causal evidence
on long-term consequences of large-scale physical destruction on the educational attainment, health status
and labor market outcomes of German children. I combine a unique dataset on city-level destruction in
Germany caused by Allied Air Forces bombing during WWII with individual survey data from the
German Socio-Economic Panel (GSOEP). My identification strategy exploits the plausibly exogenous
city-by-cohort variation in the intensity of WWII destruction as a unique quasi-experiment. My findings
are as follows: First, these children had 0.4 fewer years of schooling on average in adulthood, with those
in the most hard-hit cities completing 1.2 fewer years. Second, these children were about one centimeter
shorter and had lower self-reported health satisfaction in adulthood. Third, their future labor market
earnings decreased by 6% on average due to exposure to wartime physical destruction. These results
survive using alternative samples and specifications, including controlling for migration. Moreover, a
control experiment using older cohorts who were not school-aged during WWII reveals no significant
city-specific cohort trends in schooling. An important channel for the effect of destruction on educational
attainment appears to be the destruction of schools and the absence of teachers, whereas malnutrition and
destruction of health facilities during WWII seems to be important for the estimated impact on health.
Abstract: In 2001, when foreign militaries – including the American, Belgian, British, Canadian, Danish, German, Italian, and Turkish – entered the country, Afghans welcomed them warmly, strewing flowers as they passed through towns and villages. There was widespread hope that the country would finally see peace and stability after decades of war.
Eight years later, however, there is still a consistent failure to establish the appropriate mechanisms for security and development in Afghanistan. Since the Bonn Agreement, both security assistance and development assistance have taken a short term view – primarily addressing immediate and acute problems rather than identifying and responding to underlying weaknesses. Such a “quick fix” approach has cost time and popular support from those eager for change, and has wasted resources and opportunities. Significant amounts of aid are re-routed back to the donors’ home countries through contractors and consultants. The creation of parallel structures of governance such as command and control centers and prisons has undermined national authority, inhibited national initiative, weakened security, and slowed development. Prospects for sustainable development are slim, and the initially close relationship between the Afghan public and international forces has deteriorated.
Underlying the current approach is the assumption that Afghanistan could only be rescued by an enormous international intervention. However the presence of the international community, even if extensive and well-directed, will not be useful if Afghans are not in charge of their own recovery and development. Although the international community and the Afghan government have rhetorically committed themselves to inclusive nation-building, significant progress has yet to be made in including a wide cross-section of Afghan society.
Abstract: Germany's federal elections passed without incident on September 27, though they took place against a backdrop of intense concern in the German security services about a growing number of increasingly pointed al-Qaeda videos threatening Germany over its military deployment in Afghanistan. These messages included a videotape from Osama bin Laden on September 25, entitled "To the Peoples of Europe." The video had English and German subtitles along with footage of German cities and monuments. The message appeared only two days before the German elections. Germany has 4,200 troops in northern Afghanistan, where they have come under more frequent attack in the last year as the Taliban insurgency spreads. While the message from bin Laden is alarming, it appeared to only incidentally target Germany, without the terrorist leader naming it specifically. A more direct threat came from a series of videos released by Bekkay Harrach (a.k.a. Abu Talha al-Alamani), a Moroccan-born German citizen who has joined al-Qaeda in the Afghanistan-Pakistan frontier region.
Abstract: The general election in Germany on 27 September 2009 has seen the Christian Democratic Party again emerge as the largest party, giving Angela Merkel the opportunity to extend her term as chancellor and head a new governing coalition with the Free Democratic Party led by Guido Westerwelle. The election campaign was unusual in that foreign affairs, and especially Germany's military role in Afghanistan, played a prominent role - and in a way that has serious domestic-security consequences. The debate over Afghanistan began to feature strongly in the campaign after an incident on 4 September when Bundeswehr commanders requested an air-strike in Kunduz province against two fuel-trucks that had been hijacked by the Taliban, which led to the death of dozens of Afghan civilians. It intensified on 18 September with the broadcast of a new "video-letter" by Bekkay Harrach, a 32-year-old German citizen of Moroccan origin and purported al-Qaida "soldier". The message of "Abu Talha al-Almani [the German]" (as Harrach is also known) echoes that in his earlier such videos, released in October 2008 and January 2009: he urges the German people to take responsibility for electing a government that will withdraw from Afghanistan, and says that their failure to do so would legitimise violent (and economically destructive) al-Qaida attacks against them.
The re-emergence of a jihadi threat increased security concerns in Germany in the last stages of the campaign. These are likely to continue long after the election. On the eve of the vote, an audio-announcement from Osama bin Laden himself was posted on jihadist websites; this "message to the European people" called on European states to pull their forces from Afghanistan or bear the consequences, but of immediate significance is that German as well as English subtitles are provided. In the wake of the election, on 28 September, German security agencies detained two men in Munich said to have links with Harrach amid warnings of a possible threat to the famous Oktoberfest in the city.
Abstract: On September 4, NATO's International Security Assistance Force conducted an airstrike on a fuel tank hijacked by the Taliban in northern Afghanistan. The attack killed dozens of people including civilians, according to NATO sources. However the German Minister of Defense, Franz Josef Jung, has stubbornly denied that the attack harmed civilians, insisting instead that "only Taliban were killed." Jung even verbally attacked NATO and EU statements on the topic, saying that "other countries should not interfere."
Because of this unjustifiable military strike German citizens, who have never forgotten the two world wars, have finally begun to realize that Germany is at war. A majority continues to demand the withdrawal of troops from Afghanistan, a demand that has only become amplified by the obvious fraud in the recent Afghan elections. According to a September 12 poll, 59% of the Germans were in favor of a withdrawal. Although Germans have rejected their government's rhetoric and policies toward Afghanistan the resistance is largely passive, with no massive uproar on the streets.
This latest attack has revealed the reality of Germany's involvement in Afghanistan. It is not a "stabilization effort" (as the speaker of the Minister of Defense called it on September 4). Nor is the German Bundeswehr providing "development aid." Germany is engaged in an authentic military action that has led to many civilian deaths.
Abstract: The summer of 2009 has been without a doubt a bad one for ISAF, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force in Afghanistan. The increase in fighting this summer has led to debates in most of the troop contributing nations as to how they perceive Afghanistan’s future and their role in it. A complex insurgency has spread across the country as different groups have come together under the banner of the Taliban fighting both the international troops and the Afghan government. In the south and the east of Afghanistan, where guerilla warfare has been ongoing for at least three years, the fighting has intensified and an increase in the technical abilities and tactical skill of the Taliban insurgents has taken a heavy toll on coalition soldiers. In the north and west of Afghanistan—previously considered safer areas—the security situation has worsened considerably and troops who had been able to focus predominantly on reconstruction work are increasingly finding themselves soldiering in far more traditional ways. The Afghanistan general elections of 20 August can be considered a very limited success at best, not only because of the extensive and seemingly well based accusations of vote rigging, but also because in many parts of the country although the ISAF forces could secure the voting sites themselves, they could not provide sufficient security to stop Taliban intimidation from dissuading many Afghans from going to the polls in the first place. As the fighting has increased across the country, it is the Afghan civilians who are paying highest price.