1st Edition

Reconstructing Afghanistan Civil-Military Experiences in Comparative Perspective

Edited By William Maley, Susanne Schmeidl Copyright 2015
    196 Pages
    by Routledge

    214 Pages
    by Routledge

    This book identifies some of the main lessons for civil-military interactions that can be derived from the experiences of Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) in Afghanistan.

    The book has three main themes. Firstly, the volume analyses why the ways in which civil and military actors interact in theatres of operations such as Afghanistan matter — for both those categories of actors, and for the ordinary people who their interactions serve. Second, the book highlights that these interactions are invariably complex. The third theme, which arises specifically from ‘the PRT experience’ in Afghanistan, is that such teams vary significantly in their roles, resourcing, and operational environments. Consequently, to appraise the value of ‘the PRT experience’, it is necessary to unpack the experiences of different PRTs, which the use of case studies allows one to do.

    The volume comprises an introduction, identifying some key questions to which the PRT experience gives rise, and case studies of the experiences of the United States, United Kingdom, New Zealand, Canada, The Netherlands, Australia, Germany and France; chapters dealing with the roles played by NGOs and the UN system and a discussion from an Afghan perspective of the implications of civilian casualties. It is the combination of the diverse cases discussed in this book with a focus on the broad challenges of optimising civil-military interactions that makes this book distinctive.

    This book will be of much interest to students of the Afghan War, civil-military relations, statebuilding, Central Asian politics and IR in general.

    1. Introduction, William Maley and Susanne Schmeidl 2. Fumbling the Baton: US Civil-Military Relations in the Afghan War, David J. Kilcullen 3. The Civil-Military Approaches Developed by the UK under its PRTs in Mazar-e Sharif and Lashkar Gah, Barbara J. Stapleton 4. New Zealand Civil-Military Relations in Afghanistan: Aims, Assessments, and Lessons, Stephen Hoadley 5. Canada’s Whole of Government Approach: More and Less Than Advertised, Stephen M. Saideman 6. Civil-Military Interaction: The Uruzgan Experiment, Sebastiaan Rietjens 7. Playing Three-Dimensional Chess: Australia’s Civil-Military Commitment in Afghanistan, Raspal Khosa 8. Civil-Military Interaction in Afghanistan: The Case of Germany, William Maley 9. Civil-Military Cooperation in Afghanistan: The French Experience, Frédéric Grare 10. Boundary Wars: NGOs and Civil-Military Relations in Afghanistan, Jonathan Goodhand 11. Civil-Military Relations of the United Nations Assistance Mission and other Funds, Agencies and Programmes in Afghanistan 2001-2011, Joseph Mohr 12. When Few Means Many: The Consequences of Civilian Casualties for Civil-Military Relations in Afghanistan, Niamatullah Ibrahimi 13. Conclusions and Reflections, William Maley


    William Maley is Professor and Director of the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy, Australian National University. He is author/editor of many books, including The Afghanistan Wars (2nd edn, 2009), Rescuing Afghanistan (2006), and Fundamentalism Reborn? Afghanistan and the Taliban (2001).

    Susanne Schmeidl is Senior Consultant to The Liaison Office (TLO), and a Visiting Fellow at the Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy, The Australian National University. She has been a Senior Research Fellow at Griffith University and a researcher at Swisspeace, and has published widely on refugee policy, statebuilding, and Afghan politics and society.