Security Sector Reform in Timor-Leste: Missed Opportunities and Hard Lessons in Empowering the Host-Nation
ARMY WAR COLLEGE CARLISLE BARRACKS PA PEACEKEEPING AND STABILITY OPERATIONS INSTITUTE
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In 1999, the people of East Timor voted, overwhelmingly, against a proposal that would make their island an autonomous province of the Republic of Indonesia. Though it appeared that all of the factors for a successful transition from conflict to peace and stability were present and it was expected that establishing a new state would be fairly straightforward, surprisingly, to the International Community, this was not the case. This paper examines the United Nations UN efforts in Timor-Leste formerly East Timor as an important case for the study of SSR and postconflict stabilization and reconstruction. The authors argue that, despite presumed favorable conditions especially when contrasted against other contemporary peace support operations, the SSR program has failed. The paper begins with a brief history of the UNs efforts at SSR in Timor-Leste and then presents an analytical framework to assess these efforts based on the Guiding Principles for Stabilization and Reconstruction, co-authored by the U.S. Institute of Peace and U.S.
- Military Operations, Strategy and Tactics