Lambert Mbom

The Conflict Prevention & Resolution Forum Presents: Civil Society-Military Relations and Human Security
Tuesday, March 08 2011, 9:30 a.m. – 11:00 a.m.
Venue: Johns Hopkins SAIS
Nitze Building, Kenny Auditorium
1740 Massachusetts Ave. NW
Washington, D.C. 20036

In response to the challenges and frustrations in Afghanistan and Iraq, top US military and political leaders call for strengthened civilian capacities and more effective civil-military cooperation. Civilian government, civilian contractors, civil society organizations (CSOs) and the civilian public are very different kinds of “civilians.” The intense challenges of coordinating government civilians with military actors and the increasing use of civilian contractors confuses and overshadows the distinct nature of how an independent civil society relates to military forces.

US military personnel increasingly conduct humanitarian, development and peacebuilding activities, list “building civil society” and “local ownership” in their strategies, and seek NGOs as “implementing partners.” Yet many civil society organizations conducting humanitarian aid, development and peacebuilding vehemently oppose military involvement in these activities and are withdrawing from all contact with military actors.

This forum provides an orientation to the perceptions, tensions, and opportunities between civil society organizations and military actors in conflict-affected regions. It will build on the ideas presented in 3D Security’s “Civil Society-Military Roadmap on Human Security.” Participants are encouraged to read this before the forum.

Rosa Brooks, Deputy Secretary of Defense, United States Department of Defense; Lisa Schirch, Director, 3D Security, Eastern Mennonite University; Col. Mark Mykleby, Special Strategic Assistant to Chairman, Joint Chiefs of Staff; Fulco van Deventer, Policy and Political Advisor, Cordaid