As we speak, the United States is planning its transition out of Afghanistan, bringing an end to thirteen years of US major combat operations—but not an end to violent conflict there or in other places where sustainable peace and stability are imperatives. Recent events in Iraq have overturned years of hard-fought gains with startling speed. Worldwide, the list of transitional countries sliding back towards widespread violence is growing, not shrinking. Yemen, Libya, Egypt, South Sudan, Nigeria—the template for transition out of violent conflict into stable, sustainable peace, from military-provided stabilization to civilian-led safety and community policing initiatives, remains elusive.
However, there are examples and lessons to learn from that can help both planners and operators in current and future transitional operations.
On 26 June, 2014, Saferworld, the Joint Center for International Security Force Assistance, the Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute and Massey University invite you to a joint event in Washington to hear the presentation of research findings and participate in a discussion on the transitions to civilian-led policing from Northern Ireland, Timor Leste and the Solomon Islands. Each of these offers critical lessons for planners of current and future engagements.
Joining the panel will be high-ranking members of the Police Services of Northern Ireland, Belfast-based peacebuilding organization Intercomm, and Massey University. Massey University’s research on Timor Leste and the Solomon Islands offers rare insight into these complex areas. The research to be presented on Northern Ireland is a unique look into police reform and security transition, informed by the concrete experience of those police officers who were central to the strategic implementation of the community policing model – and those community leaders, both Loyalist and Republican, who gave leadership in their communities to build confidence in the new policing arrangements.
- Dr. Anna Powles, Massey University
- John Loughran, Program Director, Intercomm
- Tim Mairs, Superintendent, Police Services of Northern Ireland