Jan 2018 – Dec 2018
This project aims to advance the understanding of what the impact of military aid is on peace, conflict and stability. The project will look specifically at three conflict clusters in northern Africa: 1) the Horn of Africa (the fragile states of Somalia and South Sudan), 2) Libya, Mali and neighboring states, and 3) Nigeria and Cameroon.
The provision of military aid is the most common policy tool used by Western states attempting to influence conflict and security in recipient countries. The aid includes donation of training, weapons, other military equipment, non-military stores (e.g. fuel), and other services (e.g. intelligence), to the armed forces as well as coast guards and border guards. Compared to other forms of intervention, military aid is considered economical, sustainable and easy to adapt to the local context. In addition, these programs are usually popular with recipient governments.
However, very little is known about the effectiveness and consequences of providing military aid, including that provided by Norway and its allies in NATO and similar countries. The greatest potential for negative effects occur when military aid is given to government armies in fragile states, and to non-state armed groups operating in such environments, where lack of institutional oversight and control increase the likelihood of unintended consequences. The project team intends to create a better informed policy-making, decision-making and public debate. It will specifically do so through assessing the effects of military aid, outlining a list of the potential unintended consequences, and sketching the circumstances in which effects intended by donors and recipients occur, and what makes unintended consequences more likely.
December 5-7, PRIO hosted a workshop titled ‘Security Force Assistance in Fragile States’. Involving 30 leading academics and practitioners from around the world, the workshop provided fruitful and stimulating discussions and will stimulate future research agendas.
As part of the workshop, PRIO arranged an open seminar at Litteraturhuset on Wednesday 5 December titled ‘Military Capacity Building as a “One Size Fits All” Solution to Norway and NATO’s Security Challenges in Fragile States’. The seminar was chaired by PRIO senior researcher Øystein H. Rolandsen, and the panel consisted of: Michael Miklaucic, of the US National Defense University and editor of PRISM journal; Ruth Hanau Santini professor at the Università Orientale (Naples); Emily Knowles, director of the Remote Warfare Programme at the Oxford Research Group; and PRIO research professor Kristian Berg Harpviken. Henrik Urdal opened the seminar and welcomed the audience and participants.
Journal Article in Journal of Intervention and Statebuilding