GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany (Dec. 21, 2012) – Establishing the rule of law in post-conflict societies and the topics that surrounded the issue took center stage at an event conducted by the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies Dec. 10-13.
The Security, Stability, Transition and Reconstruction Community of Interest Workshop drew 36 participants representing 27 countries. Participants came from law enforcement, corrections and legal professions. The event included 12 Marshall Center faculty and staff.
Brittany Riebold, acting program manager for Black Sea/Eurasia outreach programs at the Marshall Center, said the workshop scrutinized and explored the root causes, which “disrupt or assist in the establishment of effective police forces, judiciary, and correctional services.”
During the three-day workshop, attendees examined four case studies from South Sudan, Liberia, Haiti and Timor Leste. Participants were grouped into specific case study working groups per their professional backgrounds and experiences.
The seminar also brought people with expert qualifications to discuss the topic. According to Riebold the attendance list included a Kyrgyzstani police officer assigned to the United Nations in Haiti for three years; and an Army lieutenant colonel who had deployed to three out of the four countries examined in the case studies.
“These sessions provided participants with an open forum to exchange professional and personal experiences, ideas, lessons learned, and methodologies,” said Riebold. “Many of the country representatives have first-hand experience in what is necessary in post-conflict societies to establish effective policing, judiciary and correctional services.”
One participant, Riebold said, offered Bosnia and Herzegovina as an example of a country that has changed its role from consumer to provider of stability operations resources and capabilities. (Note: discussions during the event are covered by the Chatham House Rule).
As another participant noted, “Corruption of judges, lawyers, and cops can be determined by the amount of faith the local population has in its government. Some key identifiers are where a nation’s citizens go for assistance in legal matters and who they approach for registering what has been stolen from them.”
The two keynote speakers at this event included James Bullion, director of task force for business stability operation from the office of the secretary of defense for policy. Bullion discussed rule of law and economic development. The second speaker was the Marshall Center Director, retired Army Lt. Gen. Keith Dayton. Dayton shared his experience as the lead for the U.S. Security Coordinator for Israel and the Palestinian Authority.
Stabilization, security, transition, and reconstruction operations are military operations designed to establish a safe, secure environment and simultaneously work with inter-agency, coalition, multinational, and host nation partners. They support the establishment of a new domestic social order in countries where a national government is weak, corrupt, incompetent, or has no governing authority.
The Marshall Center conducted a SSTAR course from 2007 and ended it in February. The Program in Security Sector Capacity Building will replace it in September 2013. Its focus is building security capacity in partner nations rather than large scale military/civilian intervention.
The SSTAR Community of Interest Workshop provides a forum for active networking and renewed professional relationships for Marshall Center alumni and other professionals who are current security leaders serving in stability operations’ related positions.