Supporting the rule of law in war-torn societies - tasks and comparative advantages of civilian police and military forces
Supporting a reform of the security sector and the rule of law has been recognised as a critical component of peace and state building after a conflict. Although international operations now routinely consist of military, police and constabulary force components, the approach to cooperation is still too rigid. Military forces are loath to take on policing tasks and the international civilian police resent any military interference in law enforcement and police reform. As usual, the truth lies in the middle ground. The present study represents an effort to identify the tasks necessary to put in place a sustainable, effective and just rule of law and use those tasks as the starting-point for an analysis of the comparative advantages of military forces, international civilian police and constabulary forces in the support of the rule of law. Overall, a civilian lead is always desirable when it comes to policing and the rule of law. However, it has become clear that a more differentiated view does indeed open for greater interaction and mutual support among military forces, international civilian police and constabulary forces. Especially the military contribution is valuable wherever establishing public order calls for more robust action or wherever there is a shortage of manpower or logistics capacity. Without necessarily moving beyond their mandate, the military forces can offer substantial assistance to the international police components and at times are the only component that has the resources to meet public security challenges.