«Военная Литература»


Rather than being a temporary post-Cold War phenomenon, «smaller-scale» confrontation and instability (in the form of inter-communal conflict, insurgency, counter-insurgency, terrorism, civil war, humanitarian emergencies) are increasingly prevalent at the outset of the 21st century. With the «center of gravity» of the world conflict potential shifting from global to regional and local level, the political-military boundary between low — and mid-intensity conflicts and between intra-state and inter-state conflicts tends to erode, resulting in the surge of «internationalized» intra-state conflicts. The growing need to counter sub-conventional threats and cope with «non-military» emergencies has led to proliferation of operations other than war (OOTWs) — especially peace support operations and «humanitarian interventions».

Although violence often plays a central role in OOTWs, its function is primarily political in nature. With a unique mixture of political and military elements in operations other than war, it comes as no surprise that civil-military relations assume primary importance. Since all peace support, humanitarian and other OOTW missions are characterized by the interaction of military forces with civilian organizations and heavily dependant on the support of the local population, the level of civil-military cooperation in the field becomes one of the few realistic criteria of OOTWs' effectiveness and success.

While more general issues related to the nature of contemporary «smaller-scale» conflicts, «operations other than war» and post-Cold War civil-military relations, are reviewed in an extended Introduction (Section I), the main focus of this study is on the growing level of military participation in OOTWs and civil-military interaction in the field, with an emphasis on the relations between the uniformed military and the humanitarian sector. The armed forces' increased involvement in worldwide OOTWs is seen as stemming from the search by the governments, particularly in the West, for a new global role for the military with the passing of the Cold War, and the availability of significant military assets at the time when civilian organizations are overwhelmed with relief tasks. The militarization of humanitarian and [255] other OOTWs throughout the 1990s resulted in growing civil-military tensions over operations other than war, requiring tough political decisions to be taken in each case, in close consultation with the military. At the same time, the trend within the armed forces to passively resist embracing OOTWs, as opposed to «nation's wars», is fully balanced by the need to justify current levels of defense spending by searching for «new» missions for the uniformed military in the post-Cold War world.

The militarization of humanitarian and peace support operations has been most evident in the case of NATO OOTWs in the Balkans. Section II of this study examines in detail NATO civil-military cooperation (CIMIC) model as developed and applied by IFOR/SFOR operation in Bosnia (chapter 3), by NATO forces in humanitarian operations in Albania and Macedonia (chapter 4) and by KFOR in Kosovo (chapter 5). NATO civil-military cooperation in the Balkans is analyzed in two areas: security-related tasks and technical, logistic and other support functions.

The main issue with regard to NATO forces' cooperation with the civilian sector in the security field is whether it is reasonable to expect conventional combat forces that have been trained and equipped to fight a full-scale war to adequately perform very different security tasks in peace support, humanitarian or counterinsurgency operations in non-conventional, often intra-state conflicts. While this problem is by no «• means unique to NATO, the alliance's experience in the Balkans most vividly demonstrates a lack or weakness of forces and mechanisms for maintaining order in the so called «gray zone» between cease-fire and lasting peace, law and order. With the functional division between the armed forces' and civil police duties increasingly blurred, «gray zone» security tasks could be effectively implemented by the forces combining the discipline and cohesion of the military with the special training of the police. The few notable exceptions, such as militarized law-enforcement capacities in France (Gendarmerie) and Italy (Carabinieri), prove the general rule: with «escalation dominance» and «force protection» as their main goals, the regular forces of the leading NATO states are unsuitable for most common OOTW tasks, such as riot and crowd control, patrolling refugee camps, providing security for international civil personnel and local population, escorting humanitarian convoys and so on. Most NATO member states, however, have no tenable alternative to deploying their combat troops in OOTWs and letting them drift towards police, peacekeeping and other non-military missions.

NATO' forces involvement in OOTWs for non-security purposes is seen as even more controversial. While the resort to the use of military assets and personnel is often inevitable, especially in crisis situations (such as the 1999 Kosovo refugee emergency), it also has the potential of [256] «blurring» the comparative advantages of the humanitarian (civilian) sector — technical expertise, knowledge of the region, connections to local communities, a longer-term commitment to reconstruction and development — and undermining basic humanitarian principles of neutrality, independence, proportionality of assistance and so on. As demonstrated by NATO operations in Albania and Macedonia, the «generic» comparative advantages of the military (long-haul lift, logistics, communications, and de-mining) tend to decrease as the situation becomes less critical and as the tasks shift to activities more directly related to humanitarian work (such as camp construction and hands-on provision of humanitarian aid). The unprecedented militarization of humanitarian assistance efforts in Macedonia and especially in Albania is explained by NATO's direct involvement in the Kosovo conflict, the ready availability of NATO support and the use of humanitarian activities as a «public relations» cover for military tasks.

During the Kosovo emergency, fundamental humanitarian principles were violated not only by the Alliance, but also by the leading civilian agencies by their decision to directly cooperate with NATO as with a party to the conflict. While observation of these principles remains an important «corporate interest» of the humanitarians, allowing them to work in zones of conflict, the unprecedented level of donor activity and military involvement in the Kosovo emergency solved many of the problems, typically confronting humanitarian organizations and NGOs (such as access to refugees and internally displaced), allowing them to apply humanitarian principles selectively. However, this level of politicization, publicity and NATO involvement is unlikely to be seen in other conflicts in the regions, less important to the West.

Saying all that, one has to recognize that NATO, on the basis of its Balkan experience, was able to construct the most developed and structured model for civil-military cooperation, which is now seen by the Alliance and its member-states as an important component of OOTW missions. Despite certain difficulties, NATO also managed to cope with one of the main general problems of building civil-military cooperation (primarily directed by national strategies and approaches) in operations other than war (that are increasingly multinational). At the same time, in a situation when CIMIC structures remain strictly «supportive» of the Alliance's military goals and tasks, and lack specially trained personnel, the practice of NATO troops' direct involvement with the civilian populations is more widespread, than it is envisaged by NATO civil-military doctrine.

Chapter 6 focuses on the emerging UN CIMIC model, developed within the UN humanitarian coordination system by the Office for Coordination of Humanitarian Assistance and based on principles («Oslo [257] guidelines») and practice of the use of military and civil defense assets and capabilities in emergency relief and other non-military operations. It is the vast experience of using these resources in complex humanitarian emergencies that gives the UN agencies an opportunity to put forward a more balanced, more integral and less politicized CIMIC model, more acceptable to non-Western states and more compatible with fundamental humanitarian principles (as compared to NATO). The first lessons of the UN CIMIC concept are analyzed: the case of the UN involvement in East Timor in 1999–2000 serves as an example.

Finally, chapter 7 tries to explore whether the international and particularly Western civil-military cooperation experience in operations other than war is relevant and could be of any use to Russia. Rather than choosing a «lessons learned» approach, the author tries to focus on the highly specific character of Russia's operations other than war, using the 1999–2000 situation in the North Caucasus as an example. In contrast to most Western states, for Russia the problem of countering sub-conventional violence is a matter of primary and immediate security concern, as the difficulties of the post-Soviet nation — and state-building processes resulted in a number of limited conflicts on the Russian periphery — both inside and outside Russia — in the form of inter-ethnic clashes, internal unrest or inter-state border disputes.

The ability of Russian armed forces to perform the novel OOTW tasks has been scant, at best, as demonstrated by the prolonged crisis in the North Caucasus and several other conflicts on the post-Soviet space. However, in contrast to most Western countries, especially the United States, with their lack offerees and structures to perform «gray zone» tasks in OOTWs, Russia's important structural advantage lies in the abundance of state «paramilitary» (militarized) forces, that could be re-oriented to conducting OOTWs. Of these, special attention is paid to the performance of militarized police forces (Internal Troops and special units of the Ministry of Interior) and Russia's emergency response structure (Ministry for Civil Defense, Emergencies and Elimination of Consequences of Natural Disasters — EMERCOM) in the North Caucasus. It is argued, that given Russia's financial constraints, it is only logical to preserve and further develop the existing organizational pattern by making armed forces responsible for combat tasks in OOTWs, while charging other forces, already well-established structurally, with «gray zone» security tasks (Internal Troops and other Ministery of Interior units) and with emergency humanitarian response functions (EMERCOM).

An important implication for civil-military relations in operations other than war is that, structurally, there is no need for Russia to overburden its armed forces with the non-combat OOTW-specific [253] missions. The practice of Russian OOTWs also demonstrates that they have not reached the stage characterized by fully developed civil-military relations at the operational level due to an apparent lack of multi-agency civil presence, commonly replaced by militarized security and emergency response structures and only partly compensated by international humanitarian presence. With civilian (and particularly NGO) sector underrepresented in Russian OOTWs, it is paramilitary-military rather than civil-military relations that have so far assumed the critical importance in the field.