Colin D Robinson

Policy and Research Papers

Revisiting the rise and fall of the Somali Armed Forces, 1960–2012

The history of the Somali Armed Forces, principally the army, forms an important part of studying the Somali civil war. With the twentieth century context covered, and in some places reinterpreted, this article focuses on the uncertain rebirth of the Somali Armed Forces since 2008, using a host of primary and United Nations sources. Assistance efforts have been focused on Mogadishu, but limited success has been made in forming truly national armed forces. Future prospects are uncertain, but there are some signs oh hope.

For full access to the resource, Revisiting the rise and fall of the Somali Armed Forces, 1960–2012, please follow the link.

Paper

How might Democratisation Affect Military Professionalism in Africa? Reviewing the Literature

The search continues for methods to improve security for development in Sub-Saharan Africa.One of the important actors in this security arena is Sub-Saharan African governments’ armies. Much of their capability to meet security challenge depends on how militarily professional they are. The wave of democratic evolution in Africa since 1990 also affected military professionalism. This article reviews three models for assessing how democratisation might affect military professionalism in Sub-Saharan Africa, with special attention to post-conflict states.

For full access to the paper, How might Democratisation Affect Military Professionalism in Africa? Reviewing the Literature, please follow the link.

Paper

Army Reconstruction in the Democratic Republic of the Congo 2003-2009

Since the peace agreements of 2002–2003 which ended the second war in the Democratic Republic of Congo, reconstruction of the army has been an inherently political process, in common with other attempts to carry out security sector reform (SSR). This article briefly sketches out the Congolese army’s history.

For full access to the paper, Army Reconstruction in the Democratic Republic of the Congo 2003-2009, please follow the link.

Paper

The Eastern Africa Standby Force: History and Prospects

The Eastern Africa Standby Force is one of the five planned regional forces of the African Standby Force (ASF). Since February 2004 work has been underway to raise an Eastern Africa brigade to operational status. However, Eastern African states may prefer to solve their security problems in a unilateral military fashion, rather than through the integrated model of the ASF. Resources, as always in Sub-Saharan Africa, are scarce, operational capability appears to be growing only slowly, and significant training and airlift problems are unsolved. As these problems are common to all five brigades, some thoughts are presented in the conclusion to provide a simplified ASF way forward.

For full access to the paper, The Eastern Africa Standby Force: History and Prospects, please follow the link.

Paper

Discussion Note: Is a Post-Conflict Army Reconstruction Framework Possible, or Useful?

This paper asks to what extent the experience gained since 1945 can be pulled together in a unified framework to guide army reconstruction efforts. Surely the mixed record since 1945 might be aided by a coherent set of guidelines? Since 2007 there have been at least two attempts by the British and United States armies to write doctrine for their efforts in Afghanistan and Iraq, and the French Army is also understood to be examining this question. But how effective are these national frameworks, and how universally useful might they be beyond their specific nationally-tailored circumstances?

For access to the Discussion Note Is a Post-Conflict Army Reconstruction Framework Possible, or Useful?, please follow the link.

Paper

Military or Hybrid Solutions for Border Patrolling in Liberia?

Border surveillance in Liberia, far from the capital Monrovia, is vitally important in regions where armed groups may be exploiting or smuggling natural resources or drugs.The Armed Force of Liberia (AFL) is one of a number of developing state armies that have been systematically reconstructed in the past few years. 

For full access, Military or Hybrid Solutions for Border Patrolling in Liberia?, please follow the link.

Paper