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Thread: Vetting in Post-Conflict Environments

  1. #1
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    Default Vetting in Post-Conflict Environments

    Military Review, Jul-Aug 07: The Art and Aggravation of Vetting in Post-Conflict Environments
    ...Unfortunately, no model for vetting exists, and recent efforts to establish a vetting process in Iraq and elsewhere have been ad hoc and disappointing. Nor has the situation been helped by the paucity of literature, either academic or practical, on vetting indigenous security forces: there is scant scholarship on the issue and no large-scale comparative study of vetting. That no international treaty addresses the subject reflects the relative novelty of the issue and the general lack of interest in formulating a common approach. Also, no U.S. Government, United Nations or non-governmental organization has written a manual on vetting; a remarkable fact given that security forces are currently being reconstituted in Iraq, Afghanistan, Liberia, Sierra Leone, the Democratic Republic of Congo and elsewhere....

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    Actually a really good model does exist; we just never bothered to look at it. The German model for vetting East German military officers into the Bundeswehr after re-unification provides a good baseline to depart from. we should have hit the Germans up for a "how they did it" concept, and then modify accordingly to what we specifically need.

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    Quote Originally Posted by Jimbo
    Actually a really good model does exist; we just never bothered to look at it. The German model for vetting East German military officers into the Bundeswehr after re-unification provides a good baseline to depart from. we should have hit the Germans up for a "how they did it" concept, and then modify accordingly to what we specifically need.
    German military integration at reunification can't really be looked at as a realistic "model". Given the resources available to the Bundeswehr at the time to aid in effective integration, it would be virtually impossible to replicate the same methods in the type of post-conflict situations under discussion.

    Not only did the Good Germans speak the same language as the Ossi's, but there was a tremendous amount of current and background intelligence available on officers and soldiers of the Nationale Volksarmee; both that collected during the divison and that obtained upon reunification. Nothing even remotely like that is available to support coalition efforts at building security forces in Iraq and Afghanistan, even if there were no language issues at all.

    Of course, there is also the straightforward issue that, in many post-conflict situations, we are not trying to vet and integrate members of a former standing army like the NVA, but men who used to belong to any of a variety of rag-tag militias, who kept no formal records of any kind (and although Saddam's forces were intense record-keepers, much of that was destroyed early on).

    No, the challenge of vetting during post-reunification German military integration is but a poor, dim shadow of the huge problem faced by coalition members attempting to build effective indigenous security forces in Iraq, Afghanistan and other ratholes around the globe.

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