Military Power-Sharing and Inclusion in Peace Processes

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Authors: Christine Bell, Sam Gluckstein, Robert Forster, and Jan Pospisil

Key Findings:

  • Military power-sharing is an effective tool for ending violence.
  • Military power-sharing arrangements focus on the inclusion of groups key to the conflict, but in doing so can create perverse incentives to smaller groups outside of the main peace agreement consensus to assert their claims violently.
  • International militaries are often also involved both in the fabric of military power-sharing arrangements, and in supporting the development of military power-sharing and the practical training and financing of its implementation.
  • Military power-sharing must be understood as one part in a wider ‘security transition’.
  • Military power-sharing needs to be supported with contextual awareness and understanding of the different possible goals of the arrangements.
  • It is important to anticipate whether military power-sharing proposals are likely to result in joint exercise of power in a unified state army or ‘split’ security force with ‘forces within forces’ reporting to a split ‘government of national unity’ or a highly territorially devolved political arrangement.
  • Consider what rule of law and reform measures might mitigate the role of elite and powerful leaders maintaining permanent dominance through military power-sharing in the long-term.