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The Politics of Peace: The Challenge of Civil-Military Cooperation in Somalia

Author: JOHN M. GEORGE
Published in PAM, Vol. 10 No. 2

Despite considerable recent experience and attention, effective civilmilitary
cooperation in peace operations remains elusive. This paper
explores the US Armed Forces’ approach to relationships with civilian
relief organizations including UN agencies, US government agencies, and
NGOs. It derives several hypotheses from organizational theory and tests
them in a case study of the planning and execution of peace operations in
Somalia from August 1992-May 1993. In this case, the military’s
organizational interest in reducing uncertainty best explains the generally
uncooperative way in which civil-military relationships developed in
Somalia. This conclusion implies that policy makers in current and
future peace operations may need to press the military to be more
proactive and persistent in cooperating with civilian relief organizations.

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