View Full Version : Solomon Islands (inc. Guadalcanal) peacemaking by RAMSI

05-18-2006, 01:28 PM
Moderator's Note

The thread's original title came from this post 'Coalition Joint Task Force 635', today it was merged with the later two posts 'Analyzing the Success of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands' and retitled 'Solomon Islands (inc. Guadalcanal) peacemaking by RAMSI' (ends).

May issue of the Marine Corps Gazette - Coalition Joint Task Force 635 (http://www.mca-marines.org/Gazette/2006/06field.html) by LTC Christopher A. Field, Australian Army.

In the early hours of 22 December 2004, an Australian Federal Police Protective Services officer was murdered by sniper fire in Honiara, Guadalcanal while conducting a vehicle patrol with the Australian-led regional assistance mission in the Solomon Islands (RAMSI). Company A (Co A), 1st Battalion, The Royal Australian Regiment, Ready Company Group (1 RAR RCG) was alerted that same day, and 100 men, vehicles, and equipment arrived by 3 Royal Australian Air Force C–130 aircraft in the Solomon Islands within 18 hours of the Australian Government’s decision to support RAMSI through the reinforcement of the Australian Defence Force’s (ADF’s) Operation ANODE.1

The Co A, 1 RAR RCG rapid deployment on Operation ANODE demonstrated the inherent utility and flexibility of light infantry by rapidly deploying forces into an unfamiliar and complex environment, assuming command of a 5-nation coalition joint task force (CJTF), working in support of an 11-nation participating police force (PPF),2 and quickly demonstrating Australian Government resolve to support the continued success of RAMSI.

This article aims to provide a brief background about RAMSI and Operation ANODE, broadly discuss capabilities of the Ready Battalion Group (RBG)/RCG, and describe operations conducted by the 1 RAR RCG between 22 December 2004 and 25 January 2005 while deployed to the Solomon Islands...

03-20-2007, 05:52 PM
COIN in a Test Tube: Analyzing the Success of the Regional Assistance Mission to the Solomon Islands (http://www.rand.org/pubs/monographs/2007/RAND_MG551.pdf)

On July 24, 2003, a joint, multinational, interagency force landed in the Solomon Islands at the request of that nation’s prime minister. Its intent was to “reinforce and uphold the legitimate institutions and authorities in the Solomon Islands, and to ensure respect for the country’s constitution and implementation of its laws.” The call for help came after years of turmoil during which the legitimacy and effectiveness of the Solomon Islands government had been undermined by social strife, corruption, intimidation, and armed groups acting with no regard for the law. Within weeks, the worst of the problems had been suppressed and national rebuilding began. This analysis considers why the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) succeeded in its first weeks, months, and years, and what lessons of value its operations might offer to counterinsurgency (COIN) and reconstruction efforts in Afghanistan, Iraq, and elsewhere....

Chapter One: Background and Brief History of Operation Helpem Fren, the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI)

Chapter Two: Considering the Nature of Insurgency and Counterinsurgency

Chapter Three: July 2003 Solomon Islands as an Insurgency: Participant Perspectives

Chapter Four: Successful COIN: Three Crucial Conditions

Chapter Five: RAMSI: Was It a Counterinsurgency?

Chapter Six: Fitting the RAMSI Square Peg into the World’s Round Holes

Mark O'Neill
03-21-2007, 12:08 PM
From an Australian perspective, an interesting read, especially seeing familar names for change.

I am not sure that this is useful from a COIN perspective. To use an old Army term, I think the idea behind this report is 'chasing ground'. The argument that "it would have developed into an insurgency if we hadn't done something" is nonsense. No one can predict with any surety what 'might' have happened. The Solomons, like may other states, has seemingly existed on the margins of state failure for years. Looking at some of the challenges it faces, it probably still does. The 'fall from grace' in the South Pacific has often proven to be slow and non-linear. It often is also not not much of a fall from the norm.

Interestingly, no government official or analyst here has used publically used the term COIN 'on the record' in relation to commentary about RAMSI. From the Prime Minister down. Nor is it routinely discussed in Australian Army circles , or the COIN manual that is currently been drafted, as such.

The praise of RAMSI's success must also be taken with a pinch of salt. We have had a modicum of success -so far. RAMSI only remains in location and doing its assigned tasks at the whim of the duly elected Solomons government. That 'permission' has held, to date. There are no guarantees that this situation will endure. Recent developments do little to encourage undue optimism.

I am not sure what the point about repeated emphasis on 'governments' in the insurgency definition is, unless it is some form of endorsement of David Kilcullen's 'Global Insurgency' theory. What is the relevance of its repeated emphasis in relation to the Solomons?

The paper is a good summary of how 'whole of government' / 'interagency' can work in a specific example. However, in this regard it is not necessarily 'new' - several papers publsihed here last year made the same point.

A final, minor observation. Regarding the story about an 'ex army lawyer' talking about the worry that the AFP might not be able to use ADF 'Glocks'. The Australian Army's service pistol was then, and still is now, the 9mm Browning SLP. It either says something about our Lawyers and their knowledge of guns, or the quality of editing / checking of the paper. I will be charitable and subscribe to the former.

07-25-2013, 02:21 PM
Ten years on since this multi-national, Pacific nations, intervention the Lowy Institute's weblog has two commentaries. For Americans the Solomon Islands may mean little, so this word will - Guadalcanal.

The shortest is by an Australian diplomat:http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2013/07/25/A-unique-and-complex-operation-What-I-saw-in-the-Solomon-Islands-with-RAMSI.aspx

Within is a gem; a strange situation for both sides:
I got to know Prime Minister Allan Kemakeza pretty well as I accompanied Nick Warner to his daily briefing sessions with the PM. Although Kemakeza has been criticised, I thought he showed a lot of courage to not only facilitate the intervention but to work so closely with RAMSI to ensure the mission's success, especially given that he knew he would one day be arrested by RAMSI police and probably jailed for his role in a raid on a law firm in 2002, which he eventually was in 2008.

The longer piece, with many links, is a backgrounder and notes the mission is now police-led, with the military component leaving tis month:http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2013/07/24/RAMSI-ten-years-on.aspx

The phrase 'unique and complex' comes from an ADF officer.

05-22-2014, 03:17 PM
Two recent commentaries via the Lowy Institute. First a paper that starts with:
In this Analysis Lowy Institute Melanesia Program Director, Jenny Hayward-Jones, argues that Australia’s massive expenditure of $2.6 billion on the Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) was a high price to pay for restoring stability in a small country. She argues that although there were many laudable achievements, the key lesson of RAMSI for Australia is the importance of knowing how much to spend and when to leave.


Without a full reading I noted this mission had a large policing component, with the military role in the background after the initial intervention.

A counterpoint argues that:
We argue that these claims need to be tested against global experience and Solomon Islands' social and economic realities.


08-31-2016, 09:07 PM
From Australia's Lowy Institute:
The Solomon Islands government is rearming its police force (http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/08/24/solomon-islands-aims-rearm-police-aust-led-peacekeepers-set-leave) as the peacekeeping mission RAMSI prepares to depart after 13 years in the country. Australia is attempting to establish (http://www.sbs.com.au/news/article/2016/07/22/australia-seeks-permanent-federal-police-station-solomon-islands) a permanent federal police presence.Link:http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2016/08/31/Pacific-Island-links-Emerging-Leaders-Dialogue-mining-in-Bougainville-RAMSIs-departure-and-more.aspx? (http://www.lowyinterpreter.org/post/2016/08/31/Pacific-Island-links-Emerging-Leaders-Dialogue-mining-in-Bougainville-RAMSIs-departure-and-more.aspx?utm_source=Lowy+Interpreter&utm_campaign=39ae184c86-RSS_EMAIL_CAMPAIGN_WEEKLY&utm_medium=email&utm_term=0_eed7d14b56-39ae184c86-59375461)

06-01-2019, 08:49 PM
The latest RUSI Journal (January 2019) has a lengthy article on RAMSI by John Fraenkel, a New Zealand academic; it is free to view today via:https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/03071847.2019.1605018

The sub-title says:
The pioneering mission might not have been as successful as commonly believed.

There is a short 2017 article citing the author and others via:https://www.aspistrategist.org.au/australia-solomon-islands-and-ramsi/