Policy and Research Papers

Fixing Iraq's Internal Security Forces: Why is reform of the Ministry of Interior so hard?

This paper examines the charge laid out in the US Marine Corps General Jim Jones report, explains why institution building and reform at the MOI have proved so difficult, and notes flaws in the international capacity building effort that need to be addressed. The central argument is that Iraq’s political dynamics, combined with the unprecedented burdens being placed upon the MOI, will continue to make institutional development and reform terribly difficult. However, assessments such as the Jones report ignore the fact that the ministry is more functional than it may at first appear. Furthermore, there are signs of incipient, MOI-led reforms; these provide hopeful pointers. In order to take advantage of these incipient reforms, the international assistance effort needs to significantly raise its game. If this can be achieved, then, gradually and painfully, the ministry could become a more positive force in Iraqi society. However, even if technical institutional reforms are successful, it will be important to understand that the ministry will reflect Iraq’s political make-up; it cannot stand above national politics.

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The EU Strategy for Central Asia says 'security'. Does this include Security Sector Reform?

This policy brief assesses in what aspects of Security Sector Reform the EU is engaged in with Central Asia andin what context these possible activities should be viewed. The main focus will be on direct engagement on security topics such as the EU Border Management project BOMCA.
However, indirect activities such as education programmes that might be beneficial to security and stability in Central Asia will not be ignored. After an exposé on EU security interests in Central Asia, in the second paragraph attention is devoted to national and regional threats to the security of Central Asian republics and engagement of the EU. The paper concludes with a few recommendations for EU institutions and member states that could help to strengthen EU–Central Asia security cooperation including aspects of Security Sector Reform.

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Tajikistan: Revolutionary Situation or Resilient State?

Since 2008, after a period of relative growth and social stability, the situation in Tajikistan has been steadily deteriorating, leading to increased speculation that the country could emerge as a failing state. Given its proximity to Afghanistan and Pakistan, and the role it plays in the Northern Distribution Network (a line that funnels military supplies from Europe to NATO ISAF troops in Afghanistan), the ramifications of potential instability in Tajikistan would resonate beyond the country. The current briefing assesses to what extent such danger is in fact real by outlining developments in the key areas of economy and security, and examining the regime’s capacity to cope with emerging challenges. The briefing concludes with recommendations for the EU and an outlook for future.

For full access to Tajikistan: Revolutionary Situation or Resilient State?, please follow the link. 

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Tajikistan's Domestic and Regional Priorities and Challenges

This paper summarizes a roundtable discussion on the domestic, regional and international political context of Tajikistan and various challenges it faces in the realm of state and human security.

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Tajikistan Evolution of the Security Sector and the War on Terror

This paper is concerned with the functioning of the security sector in Tajikistan. It argues that many aspects of security are outsourced to external players – most notably Russia, - while the regime can concentrate on the tasks it is most interested in. According to the author, heightened attention of other players has made this tendency even more pronounced, as offers to "share the burden" have started to come in. The paper concludes with a reflection on prospects for change and what they might mean for stability in Tajikistan.

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