This report is based on a workshop, “Halting Widespread or Systematic Attacks on Civilians: Military Strategies and Operations Concepts,” held at the Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Center in Ghana in 2007. The meeting brought together former force commanders and mission leaders who served in international peace operations that faced the threat or reality of large-scale attacks against civilians. The purpose of the workshop was to glean lessons from military leaders about the requirements, challenges, and operational realities that they faced in the field when carrying out such operations. The workshop aimed further to generate operational concepts and identify military roles and strategies in halting or mitigating large-scale attacks on civilians.
This report identifies major themes and recommendations that emerged from the workshop. It focuses on the challenges faced by mission leaders when confronted with the threat of large-scale violence against civilians; tries to identify and to synthesize the major issues raised, especially the gaps that are likely to face future missions charged to protect civilians under imminent threat; and identifies potential strategies to address these challenges.