For any state to function well, a strong and effective police force arguably plays a vital role. The influence of lawmakers is limited unless there is a functioning police regulating and upholding the law. Hampered by war for the last decades and dependent on foreign aid, the Afghan state has made several attempts at creating an effective civilian police force from untrained men – and women – who would get little or no pay and little or no equipment, and without allocating the necessary funds. The challenges are tall, as the country is highly factionalised, loyalties are uncertain, and corruption is widespread. The Afghan police have a mixed record, and there is now massive pressure to find new solutions to restore security, as the NATO coalition countries are about to pull out their military forces.

Mark Sedra will give an assessment of the impact and legacy of assistance to Security Reform in Afghanistan. Everett Summerfield will comment based on his perspective and experience from police service in Afghanistan.

PRIO Director Kristian Berg Harpviken will chair the event.

Bio Mark Sedra
Mark Sedra is a Senior Fellow at the Centre for International Governance Innovation (CIGI) and an Assistant Professor at the University of Waterloo. His current research focuses on the topic of post-conflict state-building with an emphasis on security issues. He has conducted research on a number of countries and regions, including Northern Ireland, the Middle East, and the Balkans; however, the bulk of his research in recent years has centred on Afghanistan. Research interests include state failure and state-building, civil wars and insurgencies, post-conflict reconstruction and peace-building, as well as security sector reform (SSR)

Bio Everett Summerfield
Chief Superintendent Everett Summerfield, Canada’s Royal Canadian Mounted Police, is the current Canadian Police Commander in Kabul, responsible for Canadian civilian police programs and personnel in Afghanistan. In his 36 years with the RCMP he has served in a range of duties and commands at various locations throughout Canada as well as liaison officer and advisor with the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. He has extensive international experience from the Geneva Centre of the Democratic Control of Armed Forces as the Manager of the Police Program (2009-2011), the European Union Police Mission in Afghanistan as Head of Program Directorate (2008-2009), and the United Nations Mission in Kosovo as Head of Training (1999-2000). He has a diverse background in Operational Policing, Operational Support, Training, Administration and Senior Executive Management.