Transitioning from Military Interventions to Long-term Counter-Terrorism Policy
In December 2014, Leiden University’s Centre for Terrorism & Counterterrorism with the Australian National University’s Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy and the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism, commenced a research project to assess how (temporary) military interventions can best prepare the ground for an effective long term counter-terrorism policy. This research is sponsored by the NATO Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme.
The project aims to identify key successes and best practices to be able to transform a broad military intervention, whether conducted by just air and maritime assets, or by troops on the ground using a counterinsurgency or comprehensive approach, into a more limited, both in size and scope, counter-terrorism policy. The project also aims to identify elements for a longer term counter-terrorism policy that would focus on alleviating the threat from terrorist groups, reinforcing host nation capacity and addressing some of the causes of radicalisation and violent extremism.
A roundtable expert meeting held in February 2015 in Brussels provided the framework and structure to work out three specific case studies. The following three interventions will be explored in depth at international expert meetings in the second half of 2015:
1) Libya: with a focus on the aftermath of the intervention;
2) Afghanistan: focusing on post 2014 transition; and
3) Mali: focusing on the current transition.
The seminars will bring together relevant high-level decision makers, policy-makers and practitioners to exchange insights and best-practices and will lead to short, concluding reports. The final overarching report will be able to compare insights from the different case studies and provide general policy recommendations.
The project focuses on the following research areas:
• The Formation of the Military Coalition and Determination of the Command Structure: how this impacts on (national) exit strategies and how long-term counter-terrorism planning can be incorporated.
• Military Operations: how effective are counter-terrorism/targeting operations? How to measure effectiveness of military operations (output versus outcome)?
• Security Sector Reform & Capacity Development: How can limited funds & training capacity be leveraged to ensure long term effective local security forces. Focus on Ministries or operational units, and co-opt or exclude local power-brokers?
• Intelligence Cooperation: How can intelligence services improve counter-terrorism effectiveness?
• Civil Military Relations: Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs), how to coordinate different national (re)construction efforts linked to countering violent extremism policy.
• Strategic Narratives: how communicating the transition impacts on decision making and public support.