Saturday, July 20, 2013

Security Sector Reform: Dr. Sanders Highlights Key Issues at NDU's African Center for Strategic Studies (ACSS)

Speaking to a group of Security Professional in Washington D.C. at the National Defense University's ACSS Center, Ambassador Sanders highlighted the following key points as regards to strategic issues that need to be viewed as part of a new framework on security sector reform (SSR):

  • Today's security landscape is very different from 10 years ago, and we as security sector professionals need to look at the issues differently and be more innovative;

  • Key human cultural elements need to be thought through when addressing/reforming current the SSR framework;

  • There are an array of possible demographics (gender, regional and  world view differences) that are playing a role in how we respond and should address any new SSR Framework;

  • Expand and include other non-traditional players/actors  in the SSR discussion and SSR framework (e.g.judiciary, media, local NGOs, national assemblies, private sector).

  • Don't try to define SSR, be more open as to what the elements of SSR might be as adhering soley to a definition might cause you to miss a strategic change or nuance. Stay away from the "cookie cutter" approach as each country is different.

  • New elements of SSR operations should include more specialized components to address the new framework of SSR such as: small specialized flexable forces that an adapt to rapid on-ground changes; separate communications components looking at both implicit & explicit communications issues; and, expand the network of sectors included in SSR as noted above.

  • The success of any SSR should be measured differently than in the past (i.e. what will be the new performance indicators, past goal=professionalizing military, para-military & police/participate in joint exercises, democratic leadership of military) but what are new performance indicators today)? How should we be measuring the success of any new SSR Framework?