How can adherence to International Law be better encouraged during Security Sector Reform? An analysis of the British Army’s professionalisation of indigenous forces.
Crofts, Michael Seth
Thesis or dissertation
University of Exeter
This Study argues that the development of indigenous forces as part of Security Sector Reform (SSR) presents risks to the British Army where they do not adhere to international law. Indigenous forces may not use the skills that they are taught responsibly, because traditions of civil-military control do not exist within receiving states. This could implicate their British trainers in any legal violations that indigenous forces commit. The linkage between SSR and Professionalisation theory is limited in literature. This produces limited understanding of this risk of SSR, which may undermine efforts to develop indigenous forces in the future. Utilising an examination of existing literature, UK military doctrine and open ended interviews with a range of practitioners and former serving military personnel to examine this dilemma, this study makes several recommendations. Indigenous force development has emerged as an effective method of securing states, reducing the need for large scale ground interventions. SSR advocates the development of local security systems by processes of local ownership. However, the British doctrine produced to prepare soldiers for this task is lacking in its understanding of indigenous force development, utilising case studies and terminology that do not aid the concept. This study examines gaps in the doctrine’s understanding of development in conflict and the range of scenarios likely to be encountered. Subsequently, the study identifies a policy-practice gap, where actions at the implementation level differ to what is directed at the policy level. UK forces have developed tactical paradigms that are contrary to public policy and doctrine, but are effective at the tactical level; both at developing indigenous forces and safeguarding British forces. The adoption of a UK Due Diligence Policy on training indigenous forces, methods advocated by other areas of the UK military, such as coaching and mediation and utilising the experience of NGOs to mitigate the dangers identified is also examined.
United Kingdom Ministry of Defence
MbyRes in Strategy and Security