The “3 D´s:” Diplomacy, Development and Defense

Posted in Other | 06-Oct-09 | Author: Dieter Farwick

A comparative analysis of international strategies sponsored by the German Bertelsmann Foundation has been presented in the book "Diplomacy, Development and Defense: A Paradigm for Policy coherence," edited by Stefani Weiss, Hans-Joachim Spanger and Wim van Meurs.

The book attempts to assess the extent to which both international organizations and states have lived up to the new insights of the "D" continuum and adopted strategies corresponding institutional settings and policy instruments to provide the necessary culture of policy coherence for tackling the problems of precarious (or failed or fragile) statehood and the international security challenges posed by about 50 defined states.

On the national level, the cases studied are the United States, the United Kingdom, Germany and the Netherlands. On the international level, the United States and the European Union were examined.

The editors offer a kind of checklist as to what should and could be done in pro-active politics at a very early stage to prevent an emerging crisis from getting "hot." The knowledge is available. There is a great demand for strategic thinking into the future.

National governments are in charge of developing a culture of coherence at the intra-institutional level and joining up with other national, regional and international actors. This is not the task of one national agency or ministry, but a complete governmental effort. Based upon national capabilities, the UN and the EU should coordinate and orchestrate national commitments following one important lesson that has been learned: There is no development without security and no security without development.

For critical observers of previous and current crises and conflicts, it comes as no surprise that there are myriads of national and international agencies and organizations that too often lack the will and capability to cooperate. Intrastate and interstate rivalries prevent pragmatic solutions.

In this context, Afghanistan is a case model or a test-bed. More than 40 countries are involved in enhancing security and stability - the prerequisite for any state or non-state organization to bring civilian supporters in. Observers are aware that the military cannot win the war, but they are reluctant to give the military the instruments to enhance security and stability.

On the other hand, the UN and the EU were not willing and capable of building a kind of "peace corps" with well-trained leaders and competent staff at all administrative levels. The military and civilian leaders should be co-located to enable close cooperation. The same is true with emerging crises in precarious and failed states. There must be one agency in charge on the ground - not in New York or Brussels.

This analysis shows that the world is far away from implementing a coherent system for crisis prevention and crisis management.

The analysis can be looked upon as a script to start urgently needed improvements. About 50 failed or precarious states - with more to come - are ticking time bombs.

There is no excuse for national and international failures.