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Policing in Peacekeeping and Related Stability Operations: Problems and Proposed Solutions

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One of the most crucial and difficult tasks in peacekeeping and related stability operations is creating a secure and stable environment, both for the foreign peacekeepers and for the indigenous population. During the past decade, the United States and the international community have tried various approaches to providing that security. Most of these approaches have included the use of United Nations International Civilian Police UNCIVPOL, whose forces are contributed on a case-by-case basis by U.N. Member states. While other countries usually contribute police personnel from their own national forces, the United States contracts those it contributes through a private corporation. In a few cases, such as Afghanistan and Iraq at this time, coalition and U.S. military forces, and not the United Nations, train and work with indigenous police forces to provide security. Despite continuing improvements over the past decade, the current system has several drawbacks. UNCIVPOL has been unable to provide an adequate number of well-trained policemen for individual operations and to deploy them rapidly. Their police forces experience a lack of consistency in the type and levels of training and a shortage of needed skills. Military forces, on the other hand, are usually not trained to deal effectively with police situations. These deficiencies lead to three gaps that impede the establishment of law and order, particularly in those cases where not all parties to the conflict are dedicated to peace or where criminal networks have taken root. The first is the deployment gap, when international police are not available as quickly as needed. The second is the enforcement gap, where those deployed lack military and policing constabulary skills, as well as investigative and intelligence-gathering skills to deal with organized crime. The third is the institution gap, where competent judicial and penal personnel are needed to provide followup services to police work.

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  • Government and Political Science
  • Sociology and Law
  • Unconventional Warfare

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