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Thursday, 30th May 2013

The Search for Common Ground: Civil–Military Relations in Afghanistan, 2002–13

Source: Overseas Development Institute

The belief that development and reconstruction are central to stability and security is not new. It is, however, also highly contentious, perhaps nowhere more so than in Afghanistan, the longest running experiment in stabilisation.

Experiences in Afghanistan have irrevocably shaped how aid agencies regard and relate to military forces during conflict and, arguably, vice-versa. Through the Afghanistan case, this Working Paper seeks to better understand the challenges of civil–military dialogue – dialogue between military forces and independent humanitarian actors – in the context of combined international and national military forces pursuing stabilisation. In particular, it looks at the challenges posed by military forces that actively seek to pursue development and reconstruction – traditionally the domain of aid agencies – as a central component of a military strategy.

Based on extensive interviews with actors from all sides and a review of literature, this analysis aims to uncover lessons from Afghanistan about what can be achieved through structured engagement, at various levels, on civil–military issues.

+ Direct link to document (PDF; 548 KB)

+ Summary (PDF; 177 KB)



Having begun his career in academic libraries, Adrian Janes has subsequently worked extensively in public libraries, chiefly in enquiry work as an Information Services librarian. In this role he has had particular responsibility for information from both the UK Government and the European Union. He wrote a detailed report on sources for the latter which was published by FreePint in 2007, and has contributed articles to FreePint and ResourceShelf. He is involved in training in information literacy and the use of online reference resources.

A Contributing Editor to DocuTicker, he also write reviews for Pennyblackmusic.

More articles by Adrian Janes »

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