Bridging the strategic gap: new strategies in post conflict management. A within-case and across-case study of security sector reform and rule of law institution building in post conflict states

Kleponis, W. Gregory (2018) Bridging the strategic gap: new strategies in post conflict management. A within-case and across-case study of security sector reform and rule of law institution building in post conflict states. PhD thesis, University of Bolton.

KLEPONIS - Critical Appraisal Final.pdf - Submitted Version

Download (1MB) | Preview


Over the course of the last half century, it is commonly understood that the nature of warfare has changed dramatically. New ways to engage in what is known as the operational art have been devised and through a mixture of strategic and tactical approaches to waging war, combined with emerging technologies have dramatically changed the nature of warfare. While waging war has in some ways become significantly more efficient, sadly however “waging the peace” in the aftermath of war has been, to the experience of many states, decidedly less so. Conflicts, such as those in Iraq and Afghanistan, where the US and its coalition partners intervened and removed governments they deemed pernicious, are clear examples of the attempt to reform and to build new institutions and systems viewed as acceptable. Sadly however, by nearly every International governance standard and institutional metric they have largely failed. Despite billions of dollars in assistance from the international community, these countries even now, with continuous international assistance, struggle to manage their economies and political systems after over a decade on their own. This failure has not been due to a wholesale lack of will on the interveners. Certainly, as previously mentioned, there has been a seemingly endless supply of aid. While there have been the challenges of intra-state violence, dysfunctional political parties at odds with one another, institutional failures and endemic corruption, they do not alone explain the frustratingly slow pace of progress. The challenges listed above are merely the symptoms of dysfunction. The real failures can rather be traced to a lack of foresight in planning, lack of cross culture competence and awareness and the inability to understand the history, culture and religion of the country. These three key elements of any society are essentially the animating force of the people. A failure to assess what role they play in post-crisis environments and the institutions that develop in them will set the conditions for slow progress, passive and active resistance from local partners, loss of trust and hope of the people and the emboldening of violence among opposition groups both inside and outside the borders. This work describes in an overarching way, using the various published works with specific examples, of how important it is to design institutional systems and processes that are built around the foundational elements of society. The work describes an end to end methodology of integrated, operational tools for analysis, planning, operating and assessing change in complex human adaptive conflict-affected operating environments. These are largely in the Middle East and South Asian Cultural context, where the animating elements of history, religion and cultural practice will inform everything we as post conflict, post crisis practitioners and policy makers do. The papers themselves address several of these elements or “real-life” examples of using the transforming conflict systems analytical tool toward solving both macro as well as micro institutional problems. These examples provide examples where there is a mis-match in policy and program objectives with the cultural, normative or human dimensions. Other papers address the aspects of Coalition Forces holding nationals of those state that are not only contradict International Law, but violate existing historical or cultural norms and further disrupting already conflictual societies. Other works examine the effect of corruption, its basis in culture and efforts on political and social development. Lastly, the remainder of the works address the introduction of what I will refer to hereon as the intervening forces (US, Coalition,) and the local population. Interveners need to recognize, identify and mitigate the shortfalls in order to Bridge the Strategic Gap in policy.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Additional Information: Electronic version of the thesis Submitted in partial fulfilment of the requirements for the degree of Doctor of Philosophy Through Practice in International Conflict Studies in the School of Law, University of Bolton. This version does not include the papers discussed due to copyright.
Divisions: School of Law
University of Bolton Theses > Law
Depositing User: Tracey Gill
Date Deposited: 24 Apr 2019 13:25
Last Modified: 24 Apr 2019 13:25

Actions (login required)

Edit Item Edit Item


Downloads per month over past year

View more statistics