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Thread: Mass Atrocity Response Operations

  1. #1
    Small Wars Journal SWJED's Avatar
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    Default Preventing Atrocities

    September 2006 - The Marine Corps Gazette has posted the following three articles:

    Preventing Atrocities by Capt Steven D. Danyluk, USMCR (Reprint from June 2000)

    Crimes in Hostilities — Part I by Maj W. Hayes Parks, USMC (Reprint from August 1976)

    Crimes in Hostilities — Part II by Maj W. Hayes Parks, USMC (Reprint from September 1976)

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Default Mass Atrocity Response Operations Project

    A friend has asked me to participate in the Mass Atrocity Response Operations Project or MARO. A joint program between Harvard University's Carr Center for Human Rights and the US Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute, MARO is decribed below:

    The Mass Atrocity Response Operations (MARO) Project aims to equip the United States, other states, and regional and international actors to respond effectively to genocide and mass atrocity when directed by national leadership.

    Among the menu of options—including diplomatic, informational, and economic—it is essential to prepare potential military responses. In collaboration with the U.S. Army’s Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute, the MARO Project will harness professional military expertise to develop credible and realistic operational planning for responding to genocide and mass atrocity, when directed by National Command Authority. The MARO Project focuses on military operations to terminate and mitigate the effects of genocide and mass atrocity. When the complexities and challenges of using military force are well understood, states will be better prepared and more effective in responding to contingencies. Furthermore, greater awareness of the demands and dilemmas of military interventions should foster the development of preventive, non-military approaches, ultimately the preferable response to incipient crises.
    MARO is looking for military and civilian leaders who have dealt with genocide on the ground or in planning to assist in this effort to equip the United States, other states, and regional and international actors to respond effectively to genocide and mass atrocity when directed by national leadership.

    If you would like to throw your name in the hat, contact me by PM or email and I will pass your name on to the planning group.

    Best

    Tom

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    Council Member jcustis's Avatar
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    Default

    Not quite ready (nor do I have the time right now) to let go of the hat, but I am curious. Please refresh this thread when significant updates hit the street.

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    Council Member Rob Thornton's Avatar
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    Tom, will be interested what aspects of working with FSFs get covered.

    Best, Rob

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    Council Member Harry Phillips's Avatar
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    Default MARO Project

    Tom,

    Details are yet to be worked out on FSF. The project's current focus is designing an intervention mechanism in the form of an Annotated Planning Framework acceptable to the USG and allies. The intent is to broaden the range of participants beginning in 2009 to include US interagency and international partners. FSF considerations should come into play at that time.

    Harry Phillips

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    Council Member Tom Odom's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Phillips View Post
    Tom,

    Details are yet to be worked out on FSF. The project's current focus is designing an intervention mechanism in the form of an Annotated Planning Framework acceptable to the USG and allies. The intent is to broaden the range of participants beginning in 2009 to include US interagency and international partners. FSF considerations should come into play at that time.

    Harry Phillips
    Harry Welcome to the SWC. Stick around and join in.


    For the Council: Harry is the friend of whom I spoke.

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    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tom Odom View Post
    MARO is looking for military and civilian leaders who have dealt with genocide on the ground or in planning to assist in this effort to equip the United States, other states, and regional and international actors to respond effectively to genocide and mass atrocity when directed by national leadership.
    Luckily until shooting computers becomes genocide I get to wave from the sidelines. The scope of this problem, the political issues, what appears to be futility just makes the task seem so daunting. Wowser. I'm not sure what the product from an effort like this would be, and what would a success look like? Mucho respect to all participants future and current.
    Sam Liles
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    Intresting.
    But why invent water .......?

    good luck

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    Council Member Harry Phillips's Avatar
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    Default MARO Project

    I share the same questions and concerns posed above. But after my experiences in Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo and the Sudan and knowing how feckless the UN is in responding to such situations, I believe that doing something is better than doing nothing. Like all things of this sort, only time will tell how successful this effort is.

    One other thing, I also believe in Clausewitz' admonishment to not over extend one's national resources. Collaborative work of this type may ultimately serve U.S. national and humanitarian interests somewhere down the road.

    Harry

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    i pwnd ur ooda loop selil's Avatar
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    Mr. Phillips are they looking at this as military action or disaster relief? Those two operations are pretty different though on the surface they have similarities. In a situation like Rwanda or Bosnia the you can sit on the social elements engaged in war but how do you make them stop?

    I totally agree that the UN has little to offer and often makes the situations worse. Please don't take anything I said as criticism. I'm just trying to get my mind around the topic much the same way I might think about the Hadron Collider (which I'm clueless about too). I figure every situation must be different but do you want to respond early and stop depredation or can you only respond after the fact in a recovery mode? During Rwanda one of the Army Generals said something along the lines of you can let them kill each other or go try and stop them and you can kill them for trying to kill each other. Misperception on my part perhaps but like most jobs those worth doing are difficult.
    Sam Liles
    Selil Blog
    Don't forget to duck Secret Squirrel
    The scholarship of teaching and learning results in equal hatred from latte leftists and cappuccino conservatives.
    All opinions are mine and may or may not reflect those of my employer depending on the chance it might affect funding, politics, or the setting of the sun. As such these are my opinions you can get your own.

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    Council Member Abu Suleyman's Avatar
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    Default Interested, but...

    I am interested in this idea but have some questions, that others may share. What are you looking for? Full time employees? Forming a network or informal organization? What kind of qualifications should your candidates have?
    Audentes adiuvat fortuna
    "Abu Suleyman"

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    Council Member Harry Phillips's Avatar
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    ...are they looking at this as military action or disaster relief?

    ...do you want to respond early and stop depredation or can you only respond after the fact in a recovery mode?


    Thanks for your questions. And please note that I'm pretty thick skinned so no offense taken of any sort.

    What the project endeavors to create is a planning tool for use by Combatant Command planners with a view towards both prevention and intervention. Nothing totally new about this, just a way of focusing the planning on genocide situations.

    Following are excerpts from the annotated planning framework that has thus far been developed. Note that force composition is based on the following a. Immediate Intervention Forces, b. Sustainment and Response Forces, c. Stabilization Assistance Forces...for both prevention and intervention.

    i. Prevention

    a. Immediate Intervention Force (IIF) – prepared to immediately intervene in a mass atrocity
    • This element might function as a small but potent symbol of intent to
    intervene and stand as a flexible deterrent option for policy makers at the operational or strategic level.
    • This element should be predominately infantry and range from company to
    battalion-size depending on the situation, and have dedicated helicopter support.

    b. Sustainment and Response Force (SRF) – designated to protect the Stabilization Assistance elements, ensure the overall security of the area and provide quick response combat reinforcements as needed.
    • This element functions as a larger reserve force intent if the smaller element is insufficient, or if the situation has a higher likelihood of escalating toward a mass atrocity.
    • This element must be correspondingly larger than the IIF, i.e. if the IIF FDO
    is company-sized, this must be a battalion. It should have robust ground
    transport and some aviation assets in order to bolster a larger presence over a broader area and occupy key terrain.

    c. Stabilization Assistance Force (SAF) Sustainment – designated to provide
    combat service support to all force elements and humanitarian assistance
    to the population effected by the atrocity
    • This element acts as an FDO focused on the humanitarian aspects of the
    potential atrocity. It should be scaled and organized according to the situation, i.e. a scenario within mountainous terrain at middle latitudes will call for a different medical mix than that at sea-level in the tropics.

    ii. Intervention

    a. Immediate Intervention Forces (IIF) – designated to immediately
    intervene in ongoing atrocities
    • This element can move very quickly to the areas where the atrocities are
    happening to stop/detain those doing the killing.
    • Bolstered by a robust supporting arms component, the IIF can quickly
    overwhelm any opponent.
    • It must have a medical element to care for those wounded before and during the intervention.

    b. Sustainment and Response Forces (SRF)– designated to protect the humanitarian assistance elements, ensure the overall security of the area and provide quick response combat reinforcements as needed
    • Provides immediate combat support to the IIF.
    • Controls movement within the area of operations.
    • Ensures security of victim and refugee encampments.
    • Functions as the lead coordination element between coalition political and
    military agencies.

    c. Stabilization Assistance Forces (SAF) – task organized to support
    immediate and prioritized large-scale medical, sanitary, infrastructure
    requirements
    • Provides immediate treatment for wounded and injured.
    • Provides sanitary and secure areas for intermediate medical facilities.
    • Functions as a coordinating element between the coalition's military and
    humanitarian NGOs operating in the area.

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    Council Member Harry Phillips's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Abu Suleyman View Post
    I am interested in this idea but have some questions, that others may share. What are you looking for? Full time employees? Forming a network or informal organization? What kind of qualifications should your candidates have?
    Immediately, we are looking for senior officers (or retired officers) to join our core planning group during a meeting scheduled for 24 & 25 September 2008 in Washington DC.

    We are not looking for full time employees as the project has its full time staff. Those of us on the core planning group volunteer our time and expertise in support of the project. At some juncture we will be engaging senior level civilian officials of the U.S. interagency and the international community. Qualifications first and foremost at this juncture have to do with military planning experience and experience as an operator in the field during complex peacekeeping/humanitarian operations and warfighting.

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    Quote Originally Posted by selil View Post
    I totally agree that the UN has little to offer and often makes the situations worse.
    It is worth remembering, that in Rwanda, the key UN member states--especially France and the US--were well aware what was unfolding, but preferred not to act. While there is much fault that can be laid at the feet of the UN (notably DPKO), it does have to be noted that the caution shown by DPKO and the SG reflected its (accurate) assessment that the UNSC was unwilling to support a more robust mission, and instead likely to leave UNAMIR to dangle.
    Last edited by Rex Brynen; 06-20-2008 at 05:19 PM.

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    Council Member Harry Phillips's Avatar
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    National interests outweigh international interests even at the Security Council. As a legislative body, the Council's inability to stop genocide points to the inherent challenges associated with competing national interests of Council members which in turn impacts on: the timeliness (or lack thereof) of decision making; issuing a mandate to protect via Security Council resolution; identifying member states to execute the mandate; and finally the actual execution by member states in support of a mandate.

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    Council Member redbullets's Avatar
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    I would recommend rounding up some of the old Kurdistan hands on this, like Peter Galbraith, as there are a few academics and humanitarians who responded or attempted to rally political will during the Anfal Campaigns in Iraqi Kurdistan during 1987-8. There are a few decent histories of Anfal out there, and a number of those who are authorities on the matter can be identified through those publications. Mike Amitay, formerly Executive Director of the Washington Kurdish Institute could probably guide you to the right folks. Galbraith was pulled in as Ambassador to Croatia in 1995 based on his advocacy against Anfal, but managed to tick someone off in the administration for being morally/philosophically consistent and was shown the door, if memory serves.

    Speaking of Anfal, we had the RDJTF or QRDF or whatever we called the 82nd/101st/24th during that era. Dropping in light infantry rapid response folks to intervene would have been operationally feasible, no? What prevented it was national interst and lack of political will. That would seem to me to be a more important area to focus on - its a heck of a lot easier, IMO, to prepare military formations to respond in these situations than it is to convince our leadership that there is an imperative to do so, humanitarian or otherwise, in locations where compelling national interests are not easy to identify, if they exist at all. During Anfal it seems it was more important to have Saddam as a bulwark against Khomeni than it was to keep 100 grand or so folks out of mass graves.

    If you'd like to get hold of some of the old Kurdistan crew, let me know, as I was part of that group of starry-eyed idealists.

    Cheers,
    Joe

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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Hi Folks,

    Quote Originally Posted by Harry Phillips View Post
    National interests outweigh international interests even at the Security Council. As a legislative body, the Council's inability to stop genocide points to the inherent challenges associated with competing national interests of Council members which in turn impacts on: the timeliness (or lack thereof) of decision making; issuing a mandate to protect via Security Council resolution; identifying member states to execute the mandate; and finally the actual execution by member states in support of a mandate.
    Quote Originally Posted by redbullets View Post
    What prevented it was national interst and lack of political will. That would seem to me to be a more important area to focus on - its a heck of a lot easier, IMO, to prepare military formations to respond in these situations than it is to convince our leadership that there is an imperative to do so, humanitarian or otherwise, in locations where compelling national interests are not easy to identify, if they exist at all.
    I've got to agree with RB that they limiting factor is more political than pragmatic. It also strikes me that there is a rather thorny question that hasn't really been raised here, which is the question of what is the source of political legitimacy and authority for MARO?

    Right now, there seem to be two, or possibly three, competing sources of legitimacy: UNSC resolution, alliance agreement, and/or individual national "authority". Under what political authority would MARO be operating?
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
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    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
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    Council Member davidbfpo's Avatar
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    Default First steps?

    I've read this thread twice and checked the MARO website. My question is how is genocide identified and then communicated enough to persuade external actors (nation states, NGOs etc) to call for action?

    Secondly who investigates the genocide - before and after intervention?

    Sadly we have the example of Darfur now and Rwanda a few years ago.

    If there is no or very limited external access to a nation state / area where genocide is in prospect or has happened very little will happen.

    davidbfpo

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    Council Member Harry Phillips's Avatar
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    Thank you all for the last set of questions and comments.

    for RB: I think anyone with insights to the Anfal campaigns would be of very high value to the MARO project. I especially believe individuals such as Peter Galbraith and Mike Amitay would bring a lot of credibility to the project at large. I would very much like to see them in dialogue with Sarah Sewell, the MARO project's lead.

    MARCT: regarding political legitimacy. There is much work to be done regarding this issue and will be addressed in 2008 and 2009 after completion our initial work during this phase of the project. At this stage, the MARO project's focus is U.S. national authority and the annotated planning framework is intended for use by planners at the combatant commander level. There is however an awareness of the international community on the part of the project. A meeting is planned for the November timeframe to engage and inform international partners. Ultimately, Security Council or alliance resolutions backing U.S. initatives vis a vis genocide intervention, using the MARO construct, could potentially serve to provide international political authority. Again, there is much work to be done in this arena.

    davidbfpo: very tough question. As a retired Army MI officer I've already sounded the alarm with respect to this and even made a recommendation for indepent/autonomous research to support our efforts through avenues such as the intelligence analysis program at Mercyhurst College. Your second point regarding access...anyone who has ever been on a UN mission understands it is only done after agreement on the part of parties to a conflict indicating they accept such a force. It's not always permissive as we know from places like Bosnia, Rwanda and now Darfur. Your question requires much more study.

    Harry

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    Council Member marct's Avatar
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    Harry,

    Thanks for the response on political authority. It is one of my bugaboos .

    Let me toss out a (possibly) silly suggestion for monitoring and reporting. If I remember correctly, Stephen Marrin is at Mercyhurst and has been doing a lot of work on the issue of professionalization of "intelligence". You might want to talk with him and see if he would be interested in creating something like "Analysts Without Borders" (hey, I think I'm going to copyright that ) as an international, professional service group that monitors genocide and genocide in the making.
    Sic Bisquitus Disintegrat...
    Marc W.D. Tyrrell, Ph.D.
    Institute of Interdisciplinary Studies,
    Senior Research Fellow,
    The Canadian Centre for Intelligence and Security Studies, NPSIA
    Carleton University
    http://marctyrrell.com/

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