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New Armies from Old

Merging Competing Military Forces after Civil Wars

Roy Licklider

Publication Year: 2014

Negotiating a peaceful end to civil wars, which often includes an attempt to bring together former rival military or insurgent factions into a new national army, has been a frequent goal of conflict resolution practitioners since the Cold War. In practice, however, very little is known about what works, and what doesn't work, in bringing together former opponents to build a lasting peace.

Contributors to this volume assess why some civil wars result in successful military integration while others dissolve into further strife, factionalism, and even of renewed civil war. Eleven cases are studied in detail -- Sudan, Zimbabwe, Lebanon, Rwanda, the Philippines, South Africa, Mozambique, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Sierra Leone, Democratic Republic of Congo, and Burundi -- while other chapters compare military integration with corporate mergers and discuss some of the hidden costs and risks of merging military forces. New Armies from Old fills a serious gap in our understanding of civil wars, their possible resolution, and how to promote lasting peace, and will be of interest to scholars and students of conflict resolution, international affairs, and peace and security studies.

Published by: Georgetown University Press

Title Page, Copyright, Dedication

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pp. i-vi


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pp. vii-viii

List of Tables

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pp. ix-x

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Bruce Russett

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pp. xi-xii

This volume fills a serious gap in our understanding of civil wars and their possible resolution. Especially since the end of the Cold War, study of the causes and consequences of civil wars has become a huge academic and policy-wonk industry. This research delves into how and why civil wars end, why they often soon resume between the original combatants or new ones, the role of institution building after civil wars, civil–military relations, the disarmament and demobilization of combatants, and the...

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pp. xiii-xiv

One of the joys of academic research is how helpful people are, from your friends and family to total strangers. Clearly, my primary debt is to the authors who responded to my critiques and comments, met my deadlines, ignored it when I missed my deadlines, and remained cheerful through it all. It has been a pleasure working with them....

A Note on Abbreviations

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pp. xv-xvi

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1 Introduction

Roy Licklider

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pp. 1-12

Until the end of the Cold War, it was conventional wisdom that civil wars necessarily ended in military victories (Iklé 1971, 95; Bell 1972, 218; Modelski 1964, 125–26; Pillar 1983, 24–25). Nonetheless, more than twenty negotiated settlements of civil wars have been reached since 1989 in places as disparate as El Salvador and South Africa. Some of these compromise settlements have ended civil wars and resulted in postwar regimes that are substantially more democratic than their predecessors....

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2 Mixed Motives? Explaining the Decision to Integrate Militaries at Civil War’s End

Caroline A. Hartzell

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pp. 13-28

Sixty-four countries fought and ended 128 civil wars between 1945 and 2006.1 Forty-six of the settlements ending those conflicts, or roughly 40 percent of the total, called for some form of integration of the government and nonstate actors’ military forces. Laos’s first civil war (1959–73), which ended in a negotiated agreement, did not include any terms for the integration of the armed adversaries’ military forces. However, the settlement following the country’s second civil war (1975), which concluded...

PART I: Early Adopters

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3 Sudan, 1972-1983

Matthew LeRiche

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pp. 31-48

The failure of the attempt to integrate the South Sudanese Anyanya (“snake poison”) rebel fighters and the Sudanese military, a major requirement of the 1972 Addis Ababa Peace Agreement, made a return to war in Sudan almost inevitable.1 When the Addis Ababa Peace period deteriorated into confrontation among Southerners and between Southerners and Northerners, former fighters who had integrated into the new Sudanese Armed Forces (SAF) returned to the bush to fight for their original...

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4 Military Integration from Rhodesia to Zimbabwe

Paul Jackson

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pp. 49-68

At the end of the Rhodesian War in 1980, each major faction had a significant military or paramilitary force at its disposal and each leader felt that he would do well in any subsequent election and therefore play a part in developing the new state (Lectuer 1995). However, the history of independent Zimbabwe started with an election victory for Robert Mugabe and his faction, and this faction has systematically destroyed its rivals until, thirty years later, the military and political elite act with virtual impunity....

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5 Merging Militaries: The Lebanese Case

Florence Gaub

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pp. 69-84

The Lebanese civil war is a classic case of the evolution of an internal conflict into something more complex: A conflict that started internally, with (mostly Christian) Phalangist and (mostly Sunni Muslim) Palestinian militias opposing each other, led to the emergence of other militias and to intervention by two neighboring countries. Although the war saw several national as well as international attempts to broker peace among the warring factions, it finally came to an end in an inter-Lebanese conference that took place in Saudi Arabia after fifteen years of conflict....

PART II: Autonomous Development

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6 From Failed Power Sharing in Rwanda to Successful Top-down Military Integration

Stephen Burgess

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pp. 87-102

For decades peacemakers have established arrangements to fashion integrated militaries out of previously warring government and rebel forces. In many cases successful military integration has proven to be one of the most important parts of the peace-building process. Four factors have proven significant in achieving success in integration (Burgess 2008): ...

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7 From Rebels to Soldiers: An Analysis of the Philippine Policy of Integrating Former Moro National Liberation Front Combatants into the Armed Forces

Rosalie Arcala Hall

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pp. 103-118

In 1996, the Philippines embarked upon the unprecedented project of inserting former insurgent/combatants from the Moro National Liberation Front (MNLF) into the military. A total of 5,750 ex-combatants and their proxies were integrated into the Philippine army in line with the Final Peace Agreement signed by the national government and the MNLF. The processes underlying this integration/insertion project were controversial and had lasting effects on the composition and performance of the national army....

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8 South Africa

Roy Licklider

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pp. 119-134

South Africa has a fair claim to be considered the poster child for negotiated settlements, although its relatively low level of wartime violence makes calling it a civil war a stretch. Analysts spent several decades seized with the fear of a race war in a country with nuclear weapons; the eventual settlement caught almost all outsiders by surprise, and the country’s ability to shift from white to black political dominance in a peaceful, democratic manner was, in retrospect, nothing less than astounding. Moreover,...

PART III: International Involvement

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9 Half-Brewed: The Lukewarm Results of Creating an Integrated Military in the Democratic Republic of the Congo

Judith Verweijen

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pp. 137-162

On May 17, 1997, the regime of one of Africa’s longest-reigning autocrats, the selfproclaimed Field Marshal Mobutu of Zaire, was toppled by a heterogeneous coalition of forces known as the AFDL. Led by, among others, the former revolutionary leader Laurent-Désiré Kabila, this hastily recruited liberation army managed to conquer the country after an insurgency campaign lasting only seven months. Heavy backing from a regional coalition led by Rwanda, Uganda, and Angola was crucial to this victory....

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10 Merging Militaries: Mozambique

Andrea Bartoli and Martha Mutisi

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pp. 163-178

Mozambique has been at peace now for longer than its previous civil war lasted. The peace period is remarkable because the country experienced a long war of independence before the internal struggle. Having been a Portuguese colony for centuries, Mozambique emerged as a political player through a military struggle with first the colonial power, and later civil war. The historical and cultural role of the military in the country has been marked by these prolonged armed conflicts. The very flag of independent Mozambique maintains the rifle as part of its essential symbolism....

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11 Bosnia-Herzegovina: From Three Armies to One

Rohan Maxwell

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pp. 179-194

The Republic of Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) declared its independence from a disintegrating Yugoslavia in April 1992, the third republic to do so and the one to suffer the most severe consequences. The population was almost entirely made up of three ethnic groups.1 About half were Bosniaks (Bosnian Muslims); one-third were Bosnian Serbs (Orthodox Christian); and a little less than one-fifth were Bosnian Croats (Roman Catholic). In general, Bosniaks strongly supported independence from Serb-dominated Yugoslavia; Bosnian Serbs preferred to remain part of Yugoslavia, or at least to separate...

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12 Bringing the Good, the Bad, and the Ugly into the Peace Fold: The Republic of Sierra Leone's Armed Forces after the Lomé Peace Agreement

Mimmi Söderberg Kovacs

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pp. 195-212

Almost a decade after the end of the civil war that ravaged the country for most of the 1990s, Sierra Leone has come a long way. The same small country in West Africa that for years was known to many outsiders for its brutal conflict, numerous coups, and flagrant human rights abuses, along with the almost complete collapse of its state institutions, has witnessed a remarkable process of transformation. State authority has been reestablished, and the security situation throughout the country has improved considerably. In 2007, the second postwar elections were...

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13 Military Integration in Burundi, 2000–2006

Cyrus Samii

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pp. 213-228

This chapter describes military integration in Burundi associated with the 2000–2006 peace process that ended the civil war that began in 1993. Burundi is a small, impoverished, landlocked country of approximately 8 million people (as of 2010) in central Africa. It has been racked by political violence since it gained independence in 1962. Like Rwanda to the north, Burundi has a society marked by a caste-like stratification that has historically privileged a Tutsi minority relative to majority Hutu and a very small third group, the ...

PART IV: Alternative Perspectives

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14 The Industrial Organization of Merged Armies

David D. Laitin

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pp. 231-244

The chapters of this volume focus on mergers between state armies and their former enemies—insurgent militias. These mergers are a key, although insufficiently studied, element of civil war settlements. The motivation of international peacekeepers in promoting these mergers is not difficult to discern. A country with a divided military is a recipe for conflict and dysfunction, as the prior forces will inevitably find themselves arming one against the other over issues of policy and resource allocation. The follow-up questions are more difficult to answer. What makes the United Nations...

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15 Military Dis-Integration: Canary in the Coal Mine?

Ronald R. Krebs

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pp. 245-258

The rising tide of civil wars in the second half of the twentieth century, and especially the post–Cold War surge, gave rise to a postconflict peace-building industry. One of that industry’s guiding faiths has been that the future stability of these devastated polities is determined in part by whether a new national army can rise from the ashes. Indeed, there is no question that, in the wake of civil war, negotiations over the future of the various armed forces, state and rebel, are often central to peace negotiations, and with good reason. Yet we should not take it on faith that the way in which the conflicting...

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16 So What?

Roy Licklider

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pp. 259-268

So what does all this add up to? The cases are all interesting, but we are not historians; we are interested in them for what they may tell us about current and future situations. Each is obviously different, but do any common elements emerge?
Perhaps the most counterintuitive conclusion to be drawn from these studies is that it is in fact possible under a variety of circumstances to integrate personnel from competing military groups after civil wars. Obviously the outcomes varied a lot, but...


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pp. 269-292


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pp. 293-296


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pp. 297-320

E-ISBN-13: 9781626160446
E-ISBN-10: 1626160449

Page Count: 288
Illustrations: 10 tables
Publication Year: 2014