Case Studies

Gender and Security Sector Reform: Examples from the Ground

Selected Resources

Training Resource Package: Guide to Integrating Gender in SSR Training- DCAF

Video: Gender in SSR-Stephen Jackson, Chief of Staff at the UN Office in Burundi

The Examples from the Ground are concrete illustrations of ways in which a gender perspective has been integrated in different security sector institutions around the world. They range from measures to counter human trafficking in Kosovo, to women’s organisations’ involvement with security institutions in Nepal, to female parliamentarians’ contribution to post-conflict reconstruction in Rwanda. These examples can help policymakers, trainers and educators better understand and demonstrate the linkages between gender and SSR.

The examples are organised around the following nine themes, for which a short introduction is provided:

• Police Reform and Gender
• Defence Reform and Gender
• Justice Reform and Gender
• Penal Reform and Gender
• Border Management and Gender
• Parliamentary Oversight of the Security Sector and Gender
• National Security Policy-Making and Gender
• Civil Society Oversight of the Security Sector and Gender
• SSR Assessment, Monitoring and Evaluation and Gender

For downloading individual examples and case studies in Integrating Gender into SSR Training on Kosovo, Liberia, Nicaragua, Sierra Leone, Timor-Leste, Hungary, South Africa, the United Kingdom, the Central African Republic, Indonesia, Peru, Somalia, Afghanistan, the Russian Federation, Tajikstan, Rwand, Brazil, Israel, Jamaica, Nepal, the United States, and the regions of West Africa and the Pacific, kindly follow the link. 

case study


Preventing Mass Atrocities: How Can the UN Security Council Do Better?

On Saturday, September 26th IPI, together with The Elders, and the Global Centre for the Responsibility to Protect, co-hosted a high-level panel discussion which looked at ways to improve the Security Council’s ability to prevent and halt the commission of mass atrocity crimes.

More on the webcast Preventing Mass Atrocities: How Can the UN Security Council Do Better?


Ambassador Rice Discusses Security Sector Reform in Africa

Ambassador Susan E. Rice, US Permanent Representative to the United Nations, discusses security sector reform in Africa at the United Nations in New York, NY, October 12, 2011. [Go to for more video and text transcript.]


USAWC - Making National Security Policy in the 21st Century

Dr. Alan Stolberg, Henry L. Stimson Chair of Military Studies Associate Professor of National Security Studies and Director, National Security Policy Program US Army War College, discusses the challenges of Making National Security Policy in the 21st Century.



Citizen Security in Central America: Root Causes and New Approaches

In December, the U.S. Congress approved a big increase in aid to Central America’s “Northern Triangle” countries – El Salvador, Guatemala, and Honduras. The US$750 million seeks to address the so-called “root causes” of violence that is now so severe that over 111,000 children from these three countries were apprehended in the United States or Mexico, while traveling unaccompanied, just between June 2014 and December 2015.

In this podcast by the Washington Office on Latin America (WOLA), the hosts look at the causes of Central America’s insecurity crisis and how the United States has chosen to respond. They look at some of the concerns in Congress and elsewhere about political will, corruption, and human rights, and discuss strategies that can help Central Americans feel safer where they live—without repeating the ineffective and military-heavy approaches of the past.

They are joined by:

  • Geoff Thale, WOLA’s Program Director;
  • Adriana Beltrán, WOLA’s Senior Associate for Citizen Security;
  • José Luis Sanz of El Salvador’s El Faro ; and
  • Héctor Silva Avalos of American University.

For full access to the podcast about Citizen Security in Central America: Root Causes and New Approaches, kindly follow the link.


Policy and Research Papers

White House Factsheet: U.S. Security Sector Assistance Policy

The White House issued a new policy directive on security sector assistance. The goals of this new policy are to: help partner nations build the sustainable capacity to address common security challenges; promote partner support for the policies and interests of the United States; strengthen collective security and multinational defense arrangements and organizations; and promote universal values.

The “security sector” of a government is, as designated by this policy document, composed of institutions that have the authority to use force to protect both the state and its citizens at home or abroad, maintain international peace and security, and to enforce the law and provide oversight of security institutions and forces. Security sector assistance refers to the policies, programs, and activities the United States Government employs to engage with foreign partners in these areas, including to help them build and sustain the capacity and effectiveness of institutions to provide security, safety, and justice for their people; and to contribute to efforts that address common security challenges.


A Unified National Security Budget?

This report looks at a proposal for “unified national security budgeting” (UNSB). In recent years a number of observers and practitioners have identified various facets of US government national security practice as inherently “cross-cutting.” In order to encourage holistic consideration of national security issues, they have called for UNSB. To be clear, the authors argue, their goal is not to refine the US federal system of budgeting, but rather to use budgetary mechanisms to drive changes in US national security practices.

To view this article, please follow this link.


Alliances and Conflict Resolution: NATO’s Role in Security Sector Reform

In the post-9/11 world, the United States (U.S.) has had to cope with “long wars” in Iraq and Afghanistan. What is common between the cases of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts is that even after major combat operations ended, the military presence of multinational forces has not been scaled down as planned. In Afghanistan, the size of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has been expanding. As post-conflict stabilization operations have not made smooth progress as anticipated, allies and coalition partners have to accelerate reform of the security sector including armed forces and police. With current realities of Afghanistan and Iraq flatly contradicting the prewar optimism  entertained by the Bush Administration, Western powers will have to stay engaged in postwar peacebuilding for some time.

In the post-9/11 world, the United States (U.S.) has had to cope with “long wars” in Iraq and Afghanistan. What is common between the cases of the Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts is that even after major combat operations ended, the military presence of multinational forces has not been scaled down as planned. In Afghanistan, the size of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) has been expanding. As post-conflict stabilization operations have not made smooth progress as anticipated, allies and coalition partners have to accelerate reform of the security sector including armed forces and police. With current realities of Afghanistan and Iraq flatly contradicting the prewar optimism  entertained by the Bush Administration, Western powers will have to stay engaged in postwar peacebuilding for some time.

Access full paper at


Security Sector Reform

This document provides Department of State, DoD, and USAID practitioners with guidelines for coordinating, planning, and implementing SSR programs with foreign partner nations. The objective of this paper is to provide guidance on how best to design, develop, and deliver foreign assistance such that it promotes effective, legitimate, transparent, and accountable security sector development in partner states.


Security Sector Reform

This paper provides Department of State, Department of Defense (DoD), and United States Agency for International Development (USAID) practitioners with guidelines for for coordinating, planning, and implementing SSR programs with foreign partner nations.planning and implementing Security Sector Reform (SSR) programs with foreign partner nations. Its objective is also to provide guidance on how best to design, develop, and deliver foreign assistance such that it promotes effective, legitimate, transparent, and accountable security sector development in partner states.


US International Criminal Investigative Training assistance Programme (ICITAP)

This plan outlines ICITAP's projected assistance efforts for FY 2010, which encompasses the following projects areas: Integrated Border Management, Police Development, Accountability, and Human Resources Management, complex Criminal Investigations, Rule of Law Information Management, and Community Safety Action Teams and Community Policing.


Rule of Law Handbook: A Practitioner's Guide for Judge Advocates

The Handbook is not intended to serve as U.S. policy or military doctrine for rule of law operations. Nor is the Handbook intended to offer guidance or advice to other military professionals involved in the rule of law mission. Written primarily for Judge Advocates, the limits of its scope and purpose are to provide the military attorney assistance in accomplishing the rule of law mission. While others involved in rule of law missions may find the Handbook helpful, they should understand its intended audience is the Judge Advocate or paralegal involved in the rule of law mission during on-going military operations.


Independent Progress Review on the UN Global Focal Point for Police, Justice and Corrections

This report presents the results of an independent review of the progress that the GFP initiative has made since January 2012, conducted at the request of the GFP managers, by a joint research team from the Netherlands Institute of International Relations (Clingendael), the Stimson Center and the Folke Bernadotte Academy.



Building Better Armies: An Insider's Account of Liberia

Recent events in Mali, Libya, Syria, Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere demonstrate that building professional indigenous forces is imperative to regional stability, yet few success stories exist. Liberia is a qualified “success,” and this study explores how it was achieved by the program’s chief architect. Liberia suffered a 14-year civil war replete with human rights atrocities that killed 250,000 people and displaced a third of its population. Following President Charles Taylor’s exile in 2003, the U.S. contracted DynCorp International to demobilize and rebuild the Armed Forces of Liberia and Ministry of Defense; the first time in 150 years that one sovereign nation hired a private company to raise another sovereign nation’s military. This monograph explores the theory and practice behind the successful disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration (DDR) of the legacy military and security sector reform (SSR) that built the new one. It also considers some of the benefits and difficulties of contracting out the making of militaries. This is significant since the private sector will probably participate increasingly in security sector reform. The monograph concludes with 28 concrete recommendations for practitioners and 6 recommendations for the U.S. Army on how to expand this capability. Finally, this monograph is written by a practitioner for practitioners.


Field Manual 3-07.1: Security Force Assistance

In an era of persistent conflict, the United States supports the internal defense and development of international partners, regardless of whether those partners are highly developed and stable or less developed and emerging. While many of these partners are nations, they can also include alliances, coalitions, and regional organizations. U.S. support to these partners ranges from providing humanitarian assistance to major combat operations. U.S. support includes conducting conflict transformation, bolstering partner legitimacy, and building partner capacity. A vital part of these three aspects of U.S. support is assisting partner security forces.


Realism and Pragmatism in Security Sector Development

  • Security sector reform (SSR) policies and operational guidance have proved to be ineffective in prioritizing, sequencing, managing, and implementing donor-supported initiatives.
  • SSR policies and operational guidance do not reflect economic and political realities in donor countries. This disjunction requires greater selectivity in the choice of partner countries and the kind of pragmatic support provided.
  • A significant imbalance exists between supply and demand for justice and security development, as core segments of partner governments typically resists and will continue to resists key provisions of SSR.
  • Political will in partner countries is, like its companion concept, local ownership, highly fragmented, reflecting a natural competition between and among rationally self interested stakeholders.
  • Effective programming requires donors to direct their influence and support toward those constituencies (and their leadership) in whose self-interest is to implement SSR programs, despite the resistance to justice and security development by other stakeholders and competing political actors.
  • Donor-supported justice and security programs should be disaggragated and should concentrate on narrowly defines problems and issues, rather than seek to be holistic and comprehensive.

To access the article, follow this link.


Local Ownership of Security Sector Reform

  • Security sector reform (SSR) is a highly complex and political process involving a range of international and local actors. There is a growing policy consensus that sustainability is a critical component of success for SSR programs, and that early local ownership is a critical component of sustainability.
  • Practitioners face several obstacles to achieving local ownership, particularly in conflict affected countries like Iraq and Afghanistan. To overcome these obstacles and effectively promote local ownership, international actors must answer three important questions:
  • First, what are we trying to achieve? Despite the apparent consensus on the importance of local ownership, the definition of local ownership is still debated.
  • Second, which locals should take ownership of SSR? It is often difficult for international donors to select partners, since local actors often have competing visions and priorities.
  • Finally, how do we measure success? In evaluating SSR programs, should international or local values and priorities be used to judge the success of SSR programs?

Access Local Ownership of Security Sector Reform on USIP's site.


Protect and serve or train and equip? us security assistance and protection of civilians

Since the attacks of September 11, 2001, and the subsequent declaration of the "Global War on Terror" (GOWT), US international security assistance has increased substantially, with billions of dollars going to support security forces in Afghanistan, Iraq, and other "frontline" states. The United States has also adopted a new approach to security assistance, called security sector reform (SSR). In principle, SSR moves security assistance well beyond the traditional "train and equip" approach and takes the physical security of the state's population and protection of human rights from the sidelines to mid-field.

In practice, US-supported SSR efforts often continue to focus primarily on training and equipping military and police forces, especially in connection with counter-insurgency and counter-terrorism operations. In Iraq and Afghanistan, reliance on the US military and private contractors to plan and implement US SSR efforts has strongly reinforced the focus on operational capacity over accountability to civilian authority and respect for human rights. Private contractors engaged in SSR have been involved in well-publicized abusive practices, including the killing of unarmed civilians.

To access the article, follow this link.


The Role of the Ministerial Advisor in Security Sector Reform: Navigating Institutional Terrains

International actors in Security Sector Reform (SSR) are increasingly taking on roles as “advisors” to Ministries of Interior, Defense, and Justice. Rather than directly implement changes necessary for SSR, these advisors must persuasively articulate suggestions to their local counterparts. Advisors’ success depends on their ability to convey recommendations in a manner that makes change acceptable to their advisees. Ministerial and governmental advising is not the exclusive purview of any one entity. Rather, advising is undertaken by a diverse range of individuals from U.S. and foreign governments, militaries, NGOs, private contractors, and U.N. agencies. These actors have correspondingly diverse objectives and approaches to SSR; without coordination or consensus on SSR programming, advisors may find themselves working at cross-purposes. Furthermore, the multiplicity of advisors and institutions makes sharing best practices and improving over time and across conflicts extremely difficult.

What common challenges do foreign advisors face, and how might they pool intellectual resources and “lessons learned” to address these challenges?

To access the article, follow this link.


Security Sector Reform in Liberia Part I: An Assessment of Defense Reform

Monrovia, Liberia is on the front lines for security sector reform (SSR) in nations devastated by extended, violent conflict and civil war. SSR initiatives in Liberia are among the most comprehensive in the world in the context of post-conflict reconstruction. As such, these efforts represent a critical opportunity to assess SSR as an element of U.S. and international approaches to post-conflict peace-building. The program in Liberia has broken new ground for SSR in several different areas. This first of two reports on SSR in Liberia focuses on the Liberian defense sector. Part II of this series will address SSR in the law enforcement and justice sectors.

To access the article, follow this link.


Bureaucracy Does Its Thing, Again

How did a U.S. counterinsurgency effort that was intended to foster the Afghan government’s local legitimacy end up undermining it? The answer requires us to quickly dip our toes into the murky waters of Afghanistan’s subnational structures.

To access the article, follow this link.


Afghanistan’s Civil Order Police: Victim of Its Own Success

  • In 2006, a day of deadly riot in Kabul dramatized the need for an Afghan constabulary force capable of controlling outbreaks of urban violence. In response, the U.S. military and Afghan authorities created a elite gendarmerie, the Afghanistan National Civil Order Police (ANCOP).
  • Although ANCOP was conceived of as a riot control force, it was assigned to the Focused District Development Program to replace district-level Afghan Uniformed Police who were away for training. The high demand and constant transfers required by this duty resulted in rates of attrition among ANCOP unit of 75 to 80 percent.
  • In 2010, ANCOP's superior training, firepower, and mobility were recognized in its assignments, along with a "surge" of U.S. military forces, to reverse the Taliban's hold on key areas in Southern Afghanistan.
  • In heavy fighting in Marja, Helmand province, ANCOP was demonstrably unprepared to serve as a counterinsurgency force, particularly in areas that had not been cleared by coalition and Afghan military forces.
  • Subsequent improvements in training and partnering with U.S. forces improved ANCOPS's performance in kandahar, where ANCOP was used to hold areas that had been cleared by the military.
  • By 2011, ANCOP had firmly established its place as an elite rapid reaction and counter-insurgency force with a positive reputation among coalition troops and afghan citizens.

Interagency Security Sector Assessment Framework: Guidance for the U.S. Government

The purpose of the ISSAF is to provide a common foundation for USG agencies to assess a country’s security and justice context and make strategic program recommendations.

Assessments should inform the strategic planning process and underlie program design.

The ISSAF is divided into two parts:

1. A 10-step framework for analysis

2. Areas of inquiry with illustrative questions.

This document outlines key SSR concepts and a process for planning and conducting an interagency assessment. Supplementary assessment tools that focus on specific sub-sector institutions and topics (e.g., police, criminal justice, defense, maritime security sector reform, armed violence reduction, or gender) can be helpful in looking at particular subjects in greater detail. This broader assessment framework enables the assessment team to examine the linkages among various components of the security sector and to identify entry points for integrated programs.

The ISSAF is based on international best practices4 and incorporates existing methodologies for analyzing the security sector in states receiving international assistance. It builds on previous efforts to provide common frameworks through which USG agencies can leverage comparative strengths to implement a whole-of-government approach.


The President's Task Force on 21st Century Policing: Interim Report

Mr. Obama presents the recommendations of a White House task force created in the wake of the Ferguson killings. In this interim report, the panel  offered 63 recommendations, including the creation of a National Crime and Justice Task Force to guide a broad overhaul of the criminal justice system. Led by Charles H. Ramsey, the commissioner of the Philadelphia Police Department and president of the Major Cities Chiefs Association, and Laurie O. Robinson, a former Justice Department official who is a professor of criminology and law at George Mason University,  the panel also offered more specific recommendations. It recommended that police departments be required to collect and post on their websites information about stops, frisks, summonses, arrests and crimes, broken down by demographics. It called for less confrontational practices by the police and steps to “minimize the appearance of a military operation” when dealing with large protests. That could include wearing “soft look” uniforms and removing riot gear “as soon as practical,” the panel said.

Read the report


Building constructive China-US cooperation on peace and security in Africa

Increasingly, external actors are involving themselves in Africa – engagement which is critical to African development, but which has potential either to increase security or further destabilise some of the continent’s already fragile countries. A cooperative rather than competitive approach between two key external actors, the US and China – based on common interests – would greatly enhance the conditions for peace and sustainable development in Africa, as well as providing each with direct benefits.

This briefing looks at obstacles to collaboration between China and the US, opportunities for cooperation, and provides recommendations to both on how the interests of African nations and these key actors can best be served, including:

  • Accept a broadened definition of security and focus on non-traditional security challenges and non-combat operations that offer opportunity without the connotation of military-military support or intervention
  • Prioritize African perspectives
  • Deepen mutual understanding and promotion of knowledge exchange in conflict-sensitive development and the management of conflict, crises, and risk in business sector involvement.

Find more information and download the full brief here.


Identifying and Mitigating Risks in Security Sector Assistance for Africa's Fragile States

This report explores the nature of the risks inherent in U.S. security sector assistance to the fragile states of Africa and how the United States might better anticipate and mitigate these risks. It examines these issues through a review of qualitative and quantitative literature from both the academic and policy fields and through interviews conducted throughout the agencies of the U.S. government. The quantitative literature suggests a stark dilemma for those responsible for U.S. security sector assistance to the AFRICOM area of responsibility: The countries that are most in need of assistance are usually the ones least able to make positive use of it. Case studies of security sector assistance in the fragile countries in Africa are used to trace multiple specific pathways by which such assistance can have negative second- and third-order effects. Finally, the report provides numerous recommendations about ways in which the United States can improve the processes by which it monitors and evaluates, plans, and implements security sector assistance in the fragile states of Africa and more generally.

Find out more and download the report here.


The Thin Blue Line and The Impact of Terrorism on the Transformation of Law Enforcement

Originally published as a dissertation, this research by Valarie Findlay explores both the notion of terrorism and counterterrorism policies throughout history, asking whether the events of 9/11 were responsible for the transformation of law enforcement and a watershed of legislation in the United States, the United Kingdom and Canada. The author uses qualitative and quantitative data, as well as the examination of key factors that set the foundational context and measurement criteria, such as relevant aspects in the history of law enforcement, the organisational structure of law enforcement, the incidence of militarisation, the powers of law enforcement and specific legislative responses to terrorist incidents, societal conflict and societal change.

Read the article online.


What Works in Reducing Community Violence: Spotlight on Central America and Mexico

The Wilson Center’s Latin American Program is pleased to launch an innovative report from Harvard’s Kennedy School that identifies promising strategies for reducing community violence and suggests how evidenced-informed policy options might be adapted to high violence areas in Mexico and Central America. 

For full access to the report on What Works in Reducing Community Violence: Spotlight on Central America and Mexico, kindly follow the link. 


Maritime Security in the Asia-Pacific: China and the Emerging Order in the East and South China Seas

Dr. Kun-Chin Lin and Dr Andrès Villar Gertner argue in this Chatham House Research Paper argue that the maritime domain embodies unique risks that require different solutions from those deriving from a Westphalian notion of statehood and land-based projection of power. The United States and China in particular need to exercise statesmanship in the deteriorating context of the South China Sea. Four dimensions of tensions are evaluated: geostrategic balance, national identity politics, regional and domestic institutions, and international maritime law.

Instruments and institutions of collective commitment, voluntary compliance and dispute resolution – from bilateral agreements on fisheries management to the UN Convention on the Law of the Sea (UNCLOS) – are available to support shared values on sustainable development of ocean resources and freedom of navigation. More generally, the authors argue that a breakthrough in maritime governance will depend on the representation of a broad constituency that encompasses trading sectors, fisheries, energy and transport industries, scientific communities, NGOs, think-tanks, environmental activists and local communities.

To access the research paper on Maritime Security in the Asia-Pacific: China and the Emerging Order in the East and South China Seas, kindly follow the link.


The Integration of Women in the U.S. Military

This study from the Institut de rechercher stratégique de l'école militaire (IRSEM) by the lieutenant-colonel Arnaud Planiol examines the most important questions related to the integration of women in the U.S. military and the European implications of the debate.

The research is divided in three parts, and presents first the fundamental questions linked to the presence of women in armies as well as the challenges they face when they decide to enter the military. The second part presents the different phases of integration of women in the U.S. military, from the creation of the U.S. to the early 2000s. Finally, the third part focuses on the one hand on the conflicts of the last fifteen years, which prompted an evolution of american mentalities, and on the other hand on the policies of the different armies following January 2013.

Kindly follow the link to download the study on the integration of women in the U.S. military. All the studies by the IRSEM are accessible on this page.


The Science of Justice: Race, Arrests, and Police Use of Force


Despite the importance of understanding how race intersects with police use of force, little research has used police administrative data to investigate whether or not disparities exist. Because the dominant narrative around race and law enforcement is that crime rates drive police behavior, the Center for Policing Equity used data from the National Justice Database—the Center's project to provide national-level data and analyses on police behavior—to investigate racial disparities in use of force benchmarking against demographics of local arrest rates. Even though this is a conservative estimate of bias, the analyses of 12 law enforcement departments from geographically and demographically diverse locations revealed that racial disparities in police use of force persist even when controlling for racial distribution of local arrest rates. Additionally, multiple participating departments still demonstrated racial disparities when force incidents were benchmarked exclusively against Part I violent arrests, such that Black residents were still more likely than Whites to be targeted for force. This method is very likely prone to underestimate racial disparities because African Americans are overrepresented in violent crime arrests but Part I violent crimes constitute only 1/24th of all arrests nationally (BJS, 2012), and previous research has found arrests for violent crimes to involve police use of force only 1.3 times as often as arrests for all other crimes (Worden, 1995). These disparities were robust across multiple categories of force (hand weapon, OC spray, and Tasers).

In addition to these findings and consistent with previous literature, Taser usage represented a large percentage of departments’ use of force. Specifically, residents who were targeted for force were far more likely to be targeted by Tasers than by deadly weapons. While previous research has demonstrated the stark rise of Taser usage (Taylor et al., 2011) and its potential to reduce injuries (Alpert et al., 2011), the relatively high incidence of Taser usage relative to all other categories (it was the second most common category across all departments trailing only hand/body weapons) deserves significantly more public and scholarly attention given that Tasers are also the category closest to use of deadly force in most use of force continuums. It is important to be cautious about overgeneralising these results because of the relatively small number of departments and because we do not know very much about what residents did during the interactions that turned forceful. However, the narrative that crime is the primary driver of racial disparities is not supported within the context of these departments. This suggests that scholars and practitioners should look at racial disparities in other situational factors (e.g., resistance, drug and alcohol use, and officer perceptions of dangerousness) to determine whether or not they explain racial disparities in force.

For full access to the report on The Science of Justice: Race, Arrests, and Police Use of Force, kindly follow the link.


Developing an Assessment, Monitoring, and Evaluation Framework for U.S. Department of Defense Security Cooperation


The authors set out to answer to the following key research questions:

  1. What kinds of planning and assessment, monitoring, and evaluation (AME) processes and practices are being conducted inside and outside the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD) that are relevant to security cooperation? What are their strengths and weaknesses?
  2. How can AME methods be applied, integrated, and implemented by major security cooperation organizations so that they conform as closely as possible to analytic best practices and existing DoD policies, plans, and processes?

At the end of the research paper, they lay out their key findings and a set of useful recommendations.

To read the full report please click on: Developing an Assessment, Monitoring, and Evaluation Framework for U.S. Department of Defense Security Cooperation


Preparing for Complex Conflicts

complex conflicts

The Fragility Study Group is an independent, non-partisan, effort of the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, the Center for a New American Security and the United States Institute of Peace. This brief is part of a series authored by scholars from the three institutions that build on the chair report to discuss the implications of fragility on existing U.S. tools, strategic interests and challenges.

To access the brief Preparing for Complex Conflicts kindly follow the link.


Untangling the Web: A Blueprint for Reforming American Security Sector Assistance

The United States transformed its approach to national security after the attacks on September 11, 2001. As terrorist organizations spread across the globe, so too did the U.S security presence. Now, after more than a decade and a half of costly war, the United States has turned to foreign militaries and police to fight threats before they reach America’s borders.

For full access to the report Untangling the Web: A Blueprint for Reforming American Security Sector Assistance, kindly follow the link.


Dénucléarisation de la Corée du Nord: quel bilan trois mois après le sommet Trump-Kim?

Alors qu’un sommet historique entre le président américain Donald Trump et le leader nord-coréen Kim Jong-un s’est déroulé il y a trois mois à Singapour, il semble que les négociations vers une dénucléarisation « complète, vérifiable et irréversible » de la Corée du Nord soient retardées et qu’une nouvelle stratégie soit nécessaire pour les États-Unis.

Afin d'accéder à l'article, Dénucléarisation de la Corée du Nord: quel bilan trois mois après le sommet Trump-Kim?, veuillez suivre le lien.


Security Strategies Today : Trends and Perspectives

There have been considerable developments in security-policy thinking since the end of the Cold War, and a complex set of transnational threatsand challenges necessitates new security policies and strategies. Not only the attacks of 11 September 2001, but also the dark side of globalisation such as climate change, the global spread of dangerous technologies and international organised crime have changed the security perspective and policy procedures in recent years. Consequently, new
national-security strategies, white papers and security-policy documents have been drafted in order to take into account the changing security landscape.

On 6 April 2009, the Geneva Centre for Security Policy (GCSP) welcomed a group of leading security experts for a seminar entitled “Security Strategies Today : Trends and Perspectives”. The goal of the seminar was to provide a forum for experts from different European states, major international powers and regional and international organisations to take stock of current security polices in the European region and beyond. The participants had an opportunity to assess the direction of security-policy thinking by analysing a number of key security-policy documents such as national-security strategies, defence concepts and white papers, among others. Assumptions regarding future threats were considered, as were a variety of drafting processes and methodologies.

More than 30 participants attended the seminar, including representatives of the Defence Ministries of Finland, Germany and Sweden, as well as representatives of the United Nations (UN), the European Union (EU) and the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO). In addition to faculty members from the GCSP, regional and international experts from a range of academic and policy institutions participated, including speakers from PricewaterhouseCoopers, the International Affairs Institute (Rome), the Institute for International Strategic Studies (Beijing), the Royal Institute of International Relations (Brussels) and the Foundation for Strategic Studies (Paris).


The Interior Ministry's Role in Security Sector Reform

In international peace and stability operations, reform of the interior ministry and the police forces under its control is critical to success. This is also an essential element in reforming the wider security sector, which includes the defense ministry and military forces. Yet surprisingly little has been written on the subject, and efforts to reform the interior ministries in Iraq and Afghanistan were done only on an ad-hoc basis. This report explains the role of the interior ministry, the needed steps in ministerial reform, and the role of foreign advisers in this process. It then describes the consequences of the U.S. failure to reform the interior ministry in Iraq and recommends changes in infrastructure and staffing that would enable the United States to conduct better ministerial reform in future operations.

To view this publication, please follow this link.


Mapping Evolving Internal Roles of the Armed Forces

DCAF's newest addition to its SSR series has just been published, co-authored by Albrecht Schnabel and Marc Krupanski and titled "Mapping Evolving Internal Roles of the Armed Forces." It is widely assumed, at least from a Western perspective, that the armed forces provide national defence against external threats. In reality, within many consolidated Western democracies the armed forces are assuming an increasingly wide range of internal roles and tasks. These can include domestic security roles and the provision of humanitarian assistance in situations of natural or humanitarian catastrophe, often under the command and control of different civilian agencies. This SSR Paper seeks to make sense of this complex reality. Different internal roles of armed forces are analysed, drawing on the cases of Austria, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, Spain, Sweden, the United Kingdom and the United States of America. Through carefully examining evolving internal roles and identifying patterns and lessons from these experiences, this SSR Paper provides an important contribution to understanding the evolving nature of contemporary armed forces.


National Security Decision-Making Structures and Security Sector Reform

This report was prepared for the UK’s Security Sector Development Advisory Team in June 2005. Its aim is to act as a basis for discussion and to provide an opportunity to learn from the successes and failures of intelligence and security legislation in various countries. Drawing on the body of academic work in this field and the knowledge of RAND staff, this report: provides a definition of intelligence; describes in detail how intelligence is produced; examines the role of intelligence in security sector reform; highlights the importance of control and accountability in intelligence structures; examines how six countries have developed and implemented intelligence legislation and associated reforms; and, finally, draws out a number of key lessons to be considered in any future security sector reform activity encompassing intelligence structures. The report outlines the choices that need to be made when designing or implementing legislative oversight on intelligence and security services. The report will be of interest to policy makers in countries seeking to reform their security sectors and to practitioners in the international aid community seeking to support security sector reform.

View National Security Decision-Making Structures and Security Sector Reform


Defence White Papers in the Americas

In preparation for the October 2000 Defense Ministerial of the Americas (DMA) in Manaus Brazil and at the request of the Office of the Secretary of Defense, the Institute for National Strategic Studies (INSS) studied the global trend toward the creation of Defense White Papers. The study aimed to understand the nature of these documents in order to prepare the U.S. delegation to discuss the tendency in Latin America and the Caribbean during the DMA. The INSS study team found no agreement about what constitutes a 'white paper' other than each is a consensus statement on a topic. The team examined 15 defense documents worldwide and interviewed participants in the development process and independent analysts. The results suggest that the formative, often difficult, process through which governments must move to solidify their approach to national security defense policy, and the structure to implement it and build consensus for it is the essential part of a 'white paper,' providing a constructive experience that benefits the country. Governments tended not to want a template for this process, although at the working level there is some interest in the experience of other states. Defense White Papers become highly stylized nationalistic documents that reflect a state's unique domestic circumstances and international geopolitical situation. The attached chart provides an overview comparison of the Defense White Paper processes of Canada, the United States, Argentina, Brazil, Chile and South Africa. Past efforts by U.S. agencies to design templates have failed.


The National Security Policy Process: The National Security Council and Interagency System

This annual report by Dr. Alan G. Whittaker, Frederick C. Smith and AMB Elizabeth McKune describes the national security decision-making process of the US government.


US National Security: Policymakers, Processes & Politics

The fourth edition of "US National Security" reflects the strategic landscape as it has evolved in the aftermath of the September 11 terrorist attacks. The ongoing US military involvement in Afghanistan and Iraq, the focus on homeland security, the significant organizational changes in the intelligence bureaucracy, and the impact of the Bush Doctrine are among the current issues that inform the authors' presentation and appraisal of US security interests, politics, and processes.


Cybersecurity: Authoritative Reports and Resources

Cybersecurity vulnerabilities challenge governments, businesses, and individuals worldwide. Attacks have been initiated by individuals, as well as countries. Targets have included government networks, military defenses, companies, or political organizations, depending upon whether the attacker was seeking military intelligence, conducting diplomatic or industrial espionage, or intimidating political activists. In addition, national borders mean little or nothing to cyberattackers, and attributing an attack to a specific location can be difficult, which also makes a response problematic.

Congress has been actively involved in cybersecurity issues, holding hearings every year since 2001. There is no shortage of data on this topic: government agencies, academic institutions, think tanks, security consultants, and trade associations have issued hundreds of reports, studies, analyses, and statistics.

This report provides links to selected authoritative resources related to cybersecurity issues. This report includes information on:

  • “Legislation”
  • “Executive Orders and Presidential Directives”
  • “Data and Statistics”
  • “Cybersecurity Glossaries”
  • “Reports by Topic”
  • Government Accountability Office (GAO) reports
  • White House/Office of Management and Budget reports
  • Military/DOD
  • Cloud Computing
  • Critical Infrastructure
  • National Strategy for Trusted Identities in Cyberspace (NSTIC)
  • Cybercrime/Cyberwar
  • International
  • Education/Training/Workforce
  • Research and Development (R&D)
  • “Related Resources: Other Websites”

The report will be updated as needed.



Security Activities of External Actors in Africa

Security Activities of External Actors in Africa  is the first book to systematically map the security-related policies, strategies and activities of major external actors in Africa. It assesses the involvement of seven key external actors—China, France, Russia, the United Kingdom, the United States, the European Union and the United Nations—in sub-Saharan Africa. It pays special attention to military presences, military interventions, contributions to peace operations, arms supplies, defence and security agreements, military training, and other forms of military and security assistance.

Mapping the diverse security-related activities of external actors in Africa is an important first step towards understanding Africa’s evolving security environment. This book takes that step.


Teaching Gender in the Military

The Teaching Gender in the Military Handbook documents the knowledge outcomes of a series of four workshops organised by the Security Sector Reform and Education Development Working Groups of the Partnership for Peace Consortium of Defense Academies and Security Studies Institutes (PfPC). The handbook aims to (a) strengthen the ability of faculty to integrate gender in professional military education and (b) improve the capacity of gender experts to deliver educational content. In other words, it aims to cover both ‘what to teach’ and ‘how to teach’ when it comes to gender and the military. The Handbook was created in response to a call to integrate gender in military education and training articulated in the UN Security Council Resolutions on Women, Peace and Security; the NATO frameworks to implement these resolutions; and national policies and initiatives in the NATO-PfP area.

The handbook’s 19 authors comprise both military and civilian subject matter experts in gender and military education from 13 NATO and PfP Member Nations.  It has ten peer-reviewed chapters divided into two sections:


Section I: What to Teach

“Why and How Gender is Vital to Military Operations” Lena P. Kvarving, Norway & Rachel Grimes, United Kingdom

“The Political and Legal Framework for Gender Education and Training” Sally Longworth, Sweden/UK, Nevena Miteva, Bulgaria & Ankica Tomić, Bosnia and Herzegovina

“Gender Education and Training in the Military” Yvette Foliant, Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations & Martina Lindberg, Sweden

4“How to Integrate Gender into Military Curricula” Aiko Holvikivi, DCAF, with Kristin Valasek

Section II: How to Teach

5 “Adult Learning Principles and Transformative Learning in Teaching Gender” Kathaleen Reid-Martinez, Oral Roberts University; Iryna Lysychkina, Ukraine & Andreas Hildenbrand, George C. Marshall Center

6 “Gender Dynamics in the Classroom” Callum Watson, DCAF

7 “Lesson Planning: Backwards Design and Active Learning in Teaching Gender” Iryna Lysychkina, Ukraine; Andreas Hildenbrand, George C. Marshall Center & Virpi Levomaa, Nordic Centre for Gender in Military Operations

8 “Evaluation as a Tool for Improvement” Elizabeth Lape, United States

9 “Leveraging Technologies to Support Teaching Gender” Tanja Geiss & Gigi Roman, NATO School Oberammergau

10 “Faculty Development: Mentoring and Coaching” Nathalie Levesque, Canada & Maka Petriashvili, Georgia



Developing Iraq's Security Sector

Soon after the coalition’s occupation of Iraq began in April 2003, it became evident that prewar assumptions about the security situation that would follow the ouster of Saddam Hussein had been unduly optimistic. The environment was not benign—in fact, it was deteriorating. Iraqi security forces had largely disintegrated, and those that remained were incapable of responding to rising criminality and political violence. In this environment, the coalition confronted three security imperatives: (1) to restore order and neutralize insurgents and terrorists; (2) to rebuild Iraqi security forces, which could eventually take on responsibility for Iraq’s security; and (3) to build security sector institutions, such as national security management institutions, the interior and defense ministries, and the justice sector, to ensure that the Iraqi security sector could be an effective bulwark for a democratic Iraq in the future.

At the time that the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) handed over authority to the Iraqi Interim Government (IIG) on June 28, 2004, it was clear that the coalition had made little progress in the first task. Insurgent and terrorist violence was escalating, organized crime was flourishing, and the security situation was threatening both the political transition and the reconstruction program. The coalition’s record on the second and third tasks, however, is somewhat less simply categorized. From April 2003, the coalition embarked on efforts to rapidly field Iraqi security forces and to build security sector institutions. This effort was broad in scope, but its implementation was patchy, its results were varying, and its ultimate success or failure remains difficult to determine. Significant analysis has focused on the inability of the coalition to adequately counter political violence and crime in post-Saddam Iraq. There has also been considerable discussion about the coalition’s effort to develop Iraqi security forces. The matter of institutionbuilding, however, has been largely ignored by observers and policymakers; it is often seen as a long-term issue that is too far removed from immediate security needs. But the three efforts are interdependent: Iraq’s future security depends on its indigenous security forces, and these forces’ success and sustainability depend on the institutions that support them. This report concerns itself with the efforts to build both forces and institutions in Iraq. It provides a historical record of the coalition’s experience and seeks, insofar as is possible at this early stage, to draw lessons from the successes and failures of that experience.

Follow this link to view the publication.


Security Sector Reform

This paper explores the definition of SSR as it has emerged in the international community. It examines the makeup of the security sector, identifies emergent principles for implementing SSR in the community of practice and specifies the outcomes that SSR is designed to produce. Supporting case studies of Haiti, Liberia, and Kosovo assess the impact of SSR programs on host nation security sectors. The authors conclude that those conducting SSR programs must understand and continually revisit the policy goals of SSR programs, to develop concepts that support a transitional process that moves forward over time. They also identify a need for rebalancing resources committed to SSR, especially since justice and civil law enforcement typically are undersourced as elements of SSR. Lastly, the authors cite the need for more flexible and better integrated funding processes to support SSR activities within the U.S. Government.


Advancing the Rule of Law Abroad

In the modern era, political leaders and scholars have declared the rule of law to be essential to democracy, a necessity for economic growth, and a crucial tool in the fight for security at home and stability abroad. The United States has spent billions attemptingto catalyze rule-of-law improvements within other countries. Yet despite the importance of the goal to core foreign policy needs, and the hard work of hundreds of practitioners on the ground, the track record of successful rule-of-law promotion has been paltry. In Advancing the Rule of Law Abroad, Rachel Kleinfeld describes the history and current state of reform efforts and the growing movement of second-generation reformers who view the rule of law not as a collection of institutions and laws that can be built by outsiders, but as a relationship between the state and society that must be shaped by those inside the country for lasting change. Based on research in countries from Indonesia to Albania, Kleinfeld makes a compelling case for new methods of reform that can have greater chances of success. This book offers a comprehensive overview of this growing area of policy action where diplomacy and aid meet the domestic policies of other states. Its insights into the practical methods and moral complexities of supporting reform within other countrieswill be useful to practitioners and students alike.


US Military Forces and Police Assistance in Stability Operations

Establishing an effective local police force is one of the most critical elements of successful counterinsurgency and stability operations, but is a task for which the U.S. government is poorly prepared and lacks capacity. This monograph retraces the recent history of U.S. foreign police training, from the well-coordinated effort by the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID) from 1961 to 1974, the U.S. congressional prohibition of the use of foreign assistance funds for police training which ended the USAID police training role in 1974, and the subsequent evolution of a patchwork approach to U.S. foreign police training involving up to 30 departments and agencies, a variety of private police contractors, and multiple fund appropriations. Despite this bureaucratic complexity, the key principles for developing effective local police in stability operations remain the same. There must be a distinction between stability policing and community based policing, with a transition from the former to the latter at the appropriate phase of stability operations. Normative standards are critical for effective community based policing, and must be established by shaping police organizational subculture in the context of local societal culture. This monograph explores the way ahead to achieve these goals for effective local police in stability operations in the current complex and challenging operational environment.


Improving Capacity for Stabilization and Reconstruction

Until recently, governments and militaries have preferred to focus attention and resources on conventional military operations rather than stabilization and reconstruction missions. Thus, skills and capacities for the latter set of missions have remained underdeveloped or have been allowed to atrophy. U.S. experiences in Iraq and Afghanistan have demonstrated, however, that improving U.S. capacity for stabilization and reconstruction operations is critical to national security. To help craft a way ahead, the authors provide an overview of the requirements posed by stabilization and reconstruction operations and recommend ways to improve U.S. capacity to meet these needs. Among other findings, the authors suggest that the United States

  • emphasize building civilian rather than military capacity
  • realign and reform existing agencies rather than creating new organizations
  • fund and implement the Civilian Stabilization Initiative
  • improve deployable police capacity
  • develop stronger crisis-management processes
  • ensure coherent guidance and funding.

Peacebuilding and police reform

Reforms of local police forces in conflict or post-conflict areas need to be dealt with in order to create a certain level of security for the local people. This volume presents the discussions of professionals in the field of peacekeeping, civilian police activities and police reform, both academics and practitionaers, on the issue of internationally assisted police reform in transitions from war to peace. Contributions include theoretical insights and informed case studies from El Salvador and Guatamala, the Balkans, West Bank and Gaza, and Mozambique and South Africa.


Guide to Rule of Law Country Analysis

This guide, published by USAID’s Office of Democracy and Governance, is aimed at USAID democracy and governance (DG) officers and other USAID staff who are developing strategies to address weak or inadequate justice systems. It provides a conceptual framework for analysing challenges to the rule of law, as well as guidelines for conducting a justice sector assessment and for designing and prioritising program interventions.

The document outlines a four-step framework for assessing the justice sector:

1. A broad look at the political and historical context as it affects the rule of law;
2. An analysis of the roles of major players who affect the rule of law and political will;
3. Examination of the programme options beyond the justice sector;
4. An in depth examination of the justice system itself exploring order and security, legitimacy, checks and balances, fairness and effective application.

Appendix A includes a series of illustrative assessment questions which can be used in the institutional assessment of the justice sector.


Handbook for Military Support to Rule of Law and Security Sector Reform

This handbook, published by the United States Joint Force Command, defines the “Rule of Law;” explains the interrelationship between rule of law, governance, and security; and provides a template to analyze the rule of law foundation essential to successful stability operations.


Governance in Post-Conflict Societies: Rebuilding Fragile States

This book explores the problem of states that fail, leading to conflict and war, and how to rebuild them. Focusing on governance as critical to post-conflict reconstruction, the contributors illustrate the connections among the core functions that governance fulfills in any society: assuring security, achieving effective provision of public goods and services, and generating legitimacy. This volume brings together chapters by scholars and practitioners studying and working on governance issues from a variety of perspectives. Divided into three sections, this volume opens by taking a fresh look at the historical record on nation-building, constitutional design in deeply divided societies, the dynamics of elections, and governance of the security sector. It then explores the range of actors involved in governance reconstruction and highlights the evolving role of the US military, the influence of multinational firms, the importance of the civil service, and the potential impact of Internet-based diasporas. Finally, it looks at local governance, highlighting the subnational state-society structures and relations in fragile and post-conflict states, and draws on case studies from Latin America, Africa, and Afghanistan." "This book will be of much interest to students of international public administration, global governance, post-conflict reconstruction, foreign policy and international relations in general, as well as to practitioners in the field.


Public Security And Police Reform in the Americas

How are security problems being addressed in the Americas? What lessons can be learned from these experiences? This book from the University of Pittsburgh Press examines public security and police reform in Brazil, Chile, Colombia, El Salvador, Mexico and the United States. Public perception of increased crime and violence has led to public security policies that emphasise punishment and symbolism, such as highly publicised national plans and the importation of unadapted ideas from abroad. Procedural safeguards are needed to monitor human and civil rights in the region as security forces are strengthened.


Effective, Legitimate, Secure: Insights for Defense Institution Building

Today, the United States faces a security paradox. On the one hand, the U.S. military is unrivaled in size, strength, capacity, and budget; on the other hand, the global operating environment of the 21st century is diffuse and complex, and threats are often asymmetric and transnational. Such challenges stipulate that no single nation, regardless of its traditional military might, can completely address its security objectives alone. The United States is no exception. Developing a network of competent partners that can share the burdens and responsibilities of global security, embracing a strategy of coalition and cooperation, is therefore vital to U.S. interests. 

The challenge is how to best invest resources to help establish strong and capable defense partners. To this end, traditional security cooperation and assistance approaches have proven insufficient to instate sustained improvements to partners’ defense sectors. Defense institution building (DIB) seeks to fill this gap by supporting partner stakeholders as they seek to develop the systemic capabilities and strong institutional foundations needed for legitimate, effective, professional, and sustainable defense sectors that are responsive to civilian control and contribute to the overall security and prosperity of the state—and in turn, to regional stability and U.S. national security. 

Effective, Legitimate, Secure: Insights for Defense Institution Building  offers an introduction to the concept of DIB and argues that establishing effective and legitimate defense institutions to undergird a partner’s defense establishment is the only way to ensure long-term security.

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Creating Strategic Vision

America faces a 21st century challenged by military and political competition with the Soviet Union, terrorism in the Third World, and economic competition with Asia and Europe. Our weaknesses are due as much as anything to our lack of strategic vision. We lack effective systems for systematic, long-range planning and an ability to think about long-range agendas for large institutions. This book is a key building block to development of American strategic vision, long-range planning, innovation and thinking about the future. The effort to look at the Air Force experience, to consider a surprise-free future for dealing with the Soviet Union, and to outline the fundamental questions of an introductory model for long-range planning will be helpful to everyone who is concerned about America's defense establishment and about America's future.


New Directions in U. S. National Security; Strategy, Defense Plans, and Diplomacy

The U.S. Government has recently issued seven major studies that together put forth a comprehensive blueprint for major global changes in U.S. national security strategy, defense plans, and diplomacy. These seven studies are brought together in this illuminating book, which portrays their individual contents and complex interrelationships and evaluates their strengths and shortfalls. It argues that while these studies are well-written, cogently argued, and articulate many valuable innovations for the Department of Defense, Department of State, and other government agencies, all of them leave lingering, controversial issues that require further thinking and analysis as future U.S. national security policy evolves in a changing and dangerous world. For all readers, this book offers a quick, readable way to grasp and critique the many changes now sweeping over the new U.S. approach to global security affairs.


U.S. Army War College Guide to National Security Policy and Strategy

This edition of the U. S. Army War College Guide to National Security Policy and Strategy reflects to some extent recent changes in the structure of the core curriculum at the War College. The college broke its traditional core course, “War, National Policy and Strategy,” into two courses: “Theory of War and Strategy” and “National Security Policy and Strategy.” The result for this book is the expansion of the block on strategic theory and the introduction of a block on specific strategic issues. Because little time has past since the publication of the most recent version of this book, this edition is largely an expansion of its predecessor rather than a major rewriting. Several chapters are new and others have undergone significant rewrites or updates, but about two-thirds of the book remains unchanged. Although this is not primarily a textbook, it does reflect both the method and manner we use to teach strategy formulation to America’s future senior leaders. The book is also not a comprehensive or exhaustive treatment of either strategy or the policymaking process. The Guide is organized in broad groups of chapters addressing general subject areas. We begin with a look at some specific issues about the general security environment—largely international. The section on strategic thought and formulation includes chapters on broad issues of strategy formulation as well as some basic strategic theory. The third section is about the elements of national power. A section on the national security policymaking process in the United States precedes the final section that deals with selected strategic issues.