Security Sector Reform in Liberia: Mixed Results from Humble Beginnings
ARMY WAR COLL STRATEGIC STUDIES INST CARLISLE BARRACKS PA
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The reform and the democratic control of the security sector and the joining together of security and development have become a major focus of international intervention into post-conflict societies. In theory, security sector reform SSR programs derive from a comprehensive national defense and security review. They involve, at the core, the transformation of a countrys military and police forces but they also involve a comprehensive review and restructuring of intelligence services, the penitentiary, the judiciary, and other agencies charged in some way with preserving and promoting the safety and security of the state and its citizenry. However, the process of SSR in Liberia, supported by the United Nations, the United States, and a number of bilateral donors, is far more rudimentary than the conceptual paradigm suggests. It is aimed simply at the training and equipping of the army and the police, with little attention or resources being devoted to the other components of the security system. In this monograph, Mr. Mark Malan of Refugees International finds that the SSR program in Liberia is not governed by an overarching strategic framework, not informed by a wide-ranging and integrating public security concept, and not effectively linked to wider government planning and budgeting processes. He argues that a multi-sectoral, whole-of-government approach to SSR, while conceptually valid, has not been applied in Liberia. He concludes that much more can be done to arrest insecurity in Liberia within a more modest program that focuses primarily on military and criminal justice reform, but that this would require a sustained injection of technical and financial support from the United States. He also calls for the U.S. Government to provide advice and support to the Government of Liberia in the formulation and implementation of a comprehensive national security strategy and policy.
- Government and Political Science
- Civil Defense
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics