March 7, 2011 Prism // Center for Complex Operations (National Defense University)
The international security implications of failed and failing states are profound. To achieve stability requires a commitment from the international community to rebuild the host state and avert future conflict. Thus, successful stability operations require a long-term civil-military commitment, as evidenced by lessons from events following World War II and the Korean War. Smith and Shrimpton highlight key lessons from historical and recent nationbuilding interventions in nonpermissive environments, and urge Australia to give higher priority to preemptive strategies that help prevent conflict, and to holistic approaches that build sustainable stability. The authors argue that Australia's primary efforts should remain focused on its nearer geographic region, capitalizing on the interests, relationships, and benefits that proximity offers. This strategic approach to nationbuilding would enhance international security and reduce the prospects of international conflict in the Pacific region while strengthening Australia's contribution to regional stability....
July 28, 2009 Journal of Peace, Conflict and Development
The Australian Defence Force (ADF) is currently involved in peacebuilding operations in Timor-Leste and Solomon Islands; Australian government agencies remain engaged in reconstruction in post-conflict Bougainville (Papua New Guinea). Peacebuilding has been and will remain a major task for the ADF in the Pacific, as part of a larger governmental and aid response. The wider context for these commitments is the view that state incapacity or even failure is in prospect in parts of Australia’s immediate Pacific region. The causes of state failure include lack of a diversified economy, a dependence on exports of natural resources, a rapidly growing population, and poor education levels; a number of Pacific countries exhibit these characteristics. The conflict on Bougainville has been the most intractable in which Australian forces have been involved. The formation of Peace Monitoring Groups (largely composed of ADF personnel, but unarmed) engaged in weapons destruction, building trust and encouraging the eventual realisation of local autonomy was a major contribution to the peace process. The ADF experience of Timor-Leste dates from INTERFET. The need to redeploy peacekeeping troops in 2006 demonstrated that the existing peacebuilding program focused especially on security sector reform, while positive was still too narrow to address governance incapacity problems. From 2003 ADF elements have been central to the RAMSI reconstruction program in Solomon Islands. Though violence has largely been eradicated, the political crisis of 2006 demonstrated the need for the closest cooperation with the host government. These regional case studies show that peacebuilding is a complex task which requires engagement across all of the institutions of order and governance as well as with the wider society. Security sector reform remains a crucial area of peacebuilding in which military forces are inextricably involved. However, effective security reform depends ultimately upon the existence of governments that welcome, support, and own such reform....
Internal conflict has become the predominant threat to the security and stability of many of the small island nations of the Southwest Pacific and particularly in the countries of Melanesia.
Since the late 1980s, conflicts of varying causes and degrees of intensity have occurred in Papua New Guinea (Bougainville secession attempt)i, Fiji (coups and attempted coups), Vanuatu (police rebellion) and Solomon Islands (ethnic conflict and coup).
These events have seriously debilitated the already fragile national economies and polities of all countries, so much so in the Solomon Islands that that country is now being described by many analysts as a “failing”, if not “failed”, state.ii
While most of these countries have so far been able (not without difficulty) to maintain a measure of state integrity, the situation in Solomon Islands has become so precarious that Australia and New Zealand (with the support of most Pacific Island governments and anticipating a request from the Solomons’ parliament) are preparing to intervene in an attempt to restore the rule of law and rebuild administrative institutions. The form of that intervention is not yet clear - it is thought likely to include up to 2,000 armed military and police with a large team of civilian technical personnel – nor has a mandate been determined.
In this context a host of questions arises as to how best to resolve, contain, manage and/or transform these internal conflicts in the interest of the security, stability and well-being of the peoples of the countries concerned and of the region as a whole. The purpose of this paper is to consider one form of conflict management undertaken recently in the region; that is, the peace monitoring interventions by Australia, New Zealand and some Pacific Island Countries (PICs) in Bougainville and Solomon Islands. How useful have these exercises been in assisting peace processes and in conflict management/peace construction, and what lessons can be drawn from them for any future such operations - including perhaps for the more vigorous “co-operative intervention” currently in prospect?...
With this account of his time in Afghanistan, the author describes some of the challenges of ‘contested nation-building’ in that country. This article explores the difficulties of developing civilian capacity while also participating in a counterinsurgency campaign. The author contends that Coalition military forces in Afghanistan must remain responsive to the needs and directions of the fledgling national government while developing the infrastructure required for law and order.
The aim of this essay is to assist researchers in finding legal information regarding asylum seekers and refugees in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom. This comparative approach will allow researchers to see both differences and similarities in the different countries' approach to asylum seekers and refugees. The plight of asylum seekers and refugees in Australia, Canada and the United Kingdom is the subject of many laws, judgments and commentaries.
This factsheet details Australia's role in Afghanistan. Australia has approximately 1,090 defence personnel working in Afghanistan, as part of Operation SLIPPER.
In April, 2009, the Australian Government announced an additional 450 troops would be sent to Afghanistan. When they arrive, Australia's contribution will be approximately 1,550.
The size and scope of the U.S.-led coalition in Iraq has dwindled since the height of the invasion in 2003. Britain, the largest member of the coalition after the United States, recently announced plans to withdraw 1,600 troops from Iraq in the months ahead and to shift their combat role to support and training. U.S. and British officials say this partial withdrawal is a positive sign because security is improving in parts of the south, where coalition forces are primarily stationed, and where Iraqi forces are increasingly "stepping up." The shrinking of the coalition coincides with a surge of U.S. forces deployed to Anbar and Baghdad provinces but may complicate efforts to eventually redeploy from Iraq....
Australia is a regional leader in the fight against trafficking in persons, and is committed to preventing trafficking in persons, prosecuting perpetrators, and protecting victims of trafficking. Australia is a destination country for a small but indeterminate number of women trafficked for commercial sexual exploitation from countries in Southeast Asia, South Korea, and People's Republic of China. Some women travel to Australia voluntarily to work in both legal and illegal brothels, and those who are trafficked have been deceived or coerced into debt bondage or sexual servitude. Authorities believed that sex trafficking networks were composed primarily of individual operators or small crime groups that often relied on larger organized crime groups to procure fraudulent documentation for the trafficked women....
June 8, 2006 Government of Australia // Department of Defence
Operation Anode is the name of the Australian Defence Force (ADF) contribution to the Australian-led Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (RAMSI). RAMSI's assistance is known as Operation HELPEM FREN (Pidgin English for 'Helping Friend'). RAMSI's mission is to assist the Solomon Islands' Government in restoring law and order. The military component of RAMSI comprises of personnel from five troop contributing nations. They are; Australia, New Zealand, Fiji, Papua New Guinea and Tonga. The main task for the military component is to provide security for RAMSI's multinational Participating Police Force....
June 8, 2006 Government of Australia // Department of Defence
Australia's contribution to the international coalition against terrorism is an important component of the Australian Government's commitment to working together with the international community to help prevent acts of terrorism around the world.
Many adults in Australia believe their government is wrong in boosting the country’s military presence in Afghanistan, according to a poll by Essential Research. 49 per cent of respondents oppose the commitment of another 450 troops to Afghanistan.
Afghanistan has been the main battleground in the war on terrorism. The conflict began in October 2001, after the Taliban regime refused to hand over Osama bin Laden without evidence of his participation in the 9/11 terrorist attacks in New York and Washington. Al-Qaeda operatives hijacked and crashed four airplanes on Sept. 11, 2001, killing nearly 3,000 people.
At least 1,141 soldiers—including 10 Australians—have died in the war on terrorism, either in support of the U.S.-led Operation Enduring Freedom or as part of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) led by the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). There are currently about 1,100 Australian troops serving in Afghanistan, most of them involved in reconstruction efforts....
Afghanistan is not going well. Events are not yet catastrophic but if the situation doesn't change we'll probably lose the war. The Taliban and al-Qaeda, and not the Afghan people, will control the country.
The insurgency is at least as difficult as that in Iraq. It is complex ethnically, religiously and tribally, the country is poorer, the population less skilled, the border porous but violence is still far less than it was for most of the six years of Iraq's insurgency. Iraq exemplifies the possibility of success, the need to keep our nerve, the importance of endurance and the fact that severe downturns are war's norm.
Four lines of operations give structure to counter-insurgency - security, governance, development and information - and the situation is deteriorating in all.
Attacks on security forces, the people and NGOs, are increasing and there is a reliance on local militias or warlords. The Taliban and al-Qaeda have border sanctuary in Pakistan. There is a lack of unity of effort among the foreign security forces, which is grossly understrength and limited in effectiveness by the operational restrictions placed on elements by their own governments. Protection of the population and essential services is weak. The Afghan National Army is understrength and undeveloped. The Afghan National Police faces severe problems....
Besides imposing smart sanctions, travel advisories to ensure that tourist industry is affected, periodic verbal and economic threats and lobbying international agencies to cut their links with Fiji, both Australia and New Zealand think that by these methods a small country like Fiji could be squeezed into submission. They are mistaken.
The Kokoda Foundation has been established as an independent, not-for-profit think tank to research, and foster innovative thinking on, Australia's future security challenges. The Foundation's Priorities: To conduct quality research on security issues commissioned by public and private sector organisations; To foster innovative thinking on Australia's future security challenges; To publish quality papers ( The Kokoda Papers ) on issues relevant to Australia's security challenges; To develop Security Challenges as the leading refereed #journal in the field; To encourage and, where appropriate, mentor a new generation of advanced strategic thinkers; and Encourage research contributions by current and retired senior officials, business people and others with relevant expertise....
In July 2003, under Operation Helpem Fren, the 16 member states of the Pacific Islands Forum deployed troops, police and civilian advisors to Solomon Islands through the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI). As of late-2007, there were are over 350 Australian police and military personnel serving in Solomon Islands as part of RAMSI, together with more than 150 civilian advisors. The military forces are tasked to provide security for police and civilian staff who make up RAMSI’s Participating Police Force (PPF) - over 220 police from the Australian Federal Police (AFP) and state police forces are part of the PPF, which also includes police contingents from around the region. Under Operation Anode, the ADF has deployed a military contingent to support the policing operation in Solomon Islands. ADF personnel are the largest contingent in a Combined Task Force serrving together with New Zealand, PNG, Fijian and Tongan troops. Australian civilian advisers make up the overwhelming majority of RAMSI staff working in various Government ministries and in RAMSI-supported projects. The numbers of Australian Defence Force (ADF) personnel deployed to Solomon Islands have varied over time - after an initial deployment of over 1,400 people in July 2003, the number of troops has wound down, and the military component has recently been supplemented by rotations of reserve troops from Australia and New Zealand....
April 4, 2011 Australian Council for International Development
This study was commissioned by the Australian Council for International Development (ACFID) Afghanistan Working Group (AWG) to provide a clearer overview of the key aid modalities used by the Australian Government in Afghanistan. Particular attention was paid to aid delivered by the Australian Agency for International Development (AusAID), and the Australian Defence Force (ADF) as part of its counterinsurgency efforts in Uruzgan Province. The study was carried out from May – July 2010.
Australia’s engagement in Afghanistan dates largely from 11 September 2001. Prior to this and dating back to 1994, the Australian aid portfolio was minimal and ADF involvement was limited to mine clearance activities through the United Nations. After 9/11, and due to its role as major non-North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) ally and an ally of the US increased significantly in 2006 with the deployment of ADF personnel to Uruzgan Province to support both military and stabilization/reconstruction efforts.
Currently Australia supports the revised Obama Administration’s strategy for Afghanistan that has seen a strategic shift in military command of NATO-International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), with a changed emphasis and the direction of military operations towards a counter-insurgency (COIN) ‘clear, hold and build’ campaign. The central principle in COIN strategy is to protect the population, reverse the Talban’s momentum and create the space to develop security and governance capacity in Afghanistan....
July 8, 2010 Strategic Studies Institute // United States Army War College
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....
April 28, 2010 Lowy Institute for International Policy
In a new Lowy Institute Perspective, West Asia Program Director Anthony Bubalo explores two major changes that are creating a new Middle East: the end of American hegemony; and the economic and strategic reconnection of the Middle East to Asia. Bubalo explores some of the implications of this shift for Australian international policy, against the background of continuing community ambivalence toward the Middle East and to those issues that are part of the Middle East security equation, most notably, Afghanistan. The ‘New Middle East’ is a title with an unhappy history.
In 1993, Shimon Peres, then Israeli Foreign Minister and now Israeli President, declared that
peace would be the foundation for a dramatic regional transformation. A ‘New
Middle East’, he argued, could be built upon a web of economic, cultural and scientific links
spun across the region.
His vision barely survived the scepticism of his fellow Israelis and the suspicions of the
Arabs. Ultimately, Peres’ vision of a ‘New Middle East’ perished where it began. The
demise of IsraeliPalestinian
put an end to any dreams of IsraeliArab
In 2006, then US Secretary of State, Condoleezza Rice, used the term in reference to another
project for regional transformation. Defending charges of American inaction in the IsraeliLebanon
war of that year, she argued that the United States was not interested preserving an
unhappy status quo. What the world was witnessing in the Lebanon war, Rice promised, was
‘the birth pangs of a New Middle East’. She was, of course, referring to the Bush Administration’s ambitious project for a democratic
revolution in the region, which it kicked off by invading Iraq. But Bush’s vision proved as
stillborn as Peres’. In coming years Iraq may well emerge as a reasonably stable and
relatively democratic state, but not in any way that people in the region will be clamouring to
emulate. Even if one does not have a grand scheme of change in mind it is wise, therefore, to be
cautious about predicting change in the Middle East. Nevertheless, I do believe we are on the
threshold of two major, closely related changes in the region: the end of US hegemony and
the Middle East’s reconnection with the rest of Asia....
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....
April 13, 2010 Campaign for Innocent Victims in Conflict
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....