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Caught in the Conflict: Civilians and the international security strategy in Afghanistan

Caught in the Conflict: Civilians and the international security strategy in Afghanistan

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Published by Oxfam
This paper makes recommendations on how the security strategy of the international community should be changed in order to minimise the harm caused to Afghan civilians and reduce the disruption to development and humanitarian activities in the current environment in Afghanistan. The paper does not attempt to address all dimensions of the current conflict, but focuses specifically on issues which concern or relate to international security strategies and military forces as they affect Afghan civilians. It therefore addresses issues of relevance to officials in troop-contributing countries, for whom the recommendations are primarily intended. In particular, the paper is directed at politicians, policymakers and military officials attending the NATO Heads of State and Government Summit on 3-4 April in Germany.
This paper makes recommendations on how the security strategy of the international community should be changed in order to minimise the harm caused to Afghan civilians and reduce the disruption to development and humanitarian activities in the current environment in Afghanistan. The paper does not attempt to address all dimensions of the current conflict, but focuses specifically on issues which concern or relate to international security strategies and military forces as they affect Afghan civilians. It therefore addresses issues of relevance to officials in troop-contributing countries, for whom the recommendations are primarily intended. In particular, the paper is directed at politicians, policymakers and military officials attending the NATO Heads of State and Government Summit on 3-4 April in Germany.

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Published by: Oxfam on Apr 12, 2011
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02/08/2013

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EMBARGO FOR MEDIA: 3 April 2009
Caught in the Conflict
 
______________________________________________________ 
Civilians and the internationalsecurity strategy in Afghanistan
A briefing paper by eleven NGOs operating in Afghanistan for theNATO Heads of State and Government Summit, 3-4 April 2009
 
 
Contents
 
Introduction...............................................................................................................................3
 
NGO signatories........................................................................................................................3
 
Summary ...................................................................................................................................4
 
1 Protection of civilians............................................................................................................8
 
2 Transparency and accountability........................................................................................10
 
3 Compensation and ex gratia payments..............................................................................11
 
4 Provincial Reconstruction Teams.......................................................................................13
 
5 Civil-military coordination...................................................................................................17
 
6 Community and tribal empowerment and defence............................................................18
 
7 A comprehensive strategy...................................................................................................24
 
Author:
1
Matt Waldman, Head of Policy, Oxfam International, Afghanistan.
Cover photo:
Alixandra Fazzina, 2008.
 
 
 
3
Introduction
This paper makes recommendations on how the security strategy of the international community shouldbe changed in order to minimise the harm caused to Afghan civilians and reduce the disruption todevelopment and humanitarian activities in the current environment in Afghanistan.As independent humanitarian organisations, which adhere to humanitarian principles, the eleven
 
NGOsignatories to this paper can not and will not comment on the efficacy of the security strategies adopted byany of the parties to the conflict in Afghanistan.The paper does not attempt to address all dimensions of the current conflict, but focuses specifically onissues which concern or relate to international security strategies and military forces as they affect Afghancivilians. It therefore addresses issues of relevance to officials in troop-contributing countries, for whomthe recommendations are primarily intended. In particular, the paper is directed at politicians, policy-makers and military officials attending the NATO Heads of State and Government Summit on 3-4 April inGermany.As NATO has command of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF), which has the primaryinternational security mandate for Afghanistan, the policies adopted by NATO have major repercussionsfor the safety and welfare of Afghan civilians. With the steady deterioration of security conditions inAfghanistan, and the severe, adverse implications for development and reconstruction activities, westrongly urge NATO and its member states to take the steps set out in this paper. The wider internationalcommunity and Afghan government should also support the elaboration and implementation of theserecommendations.The recommendations seek to reflect the research and analysis of authoritative organisations and expertson Afghanistan. They reflect the long-standing experience in Afghanistan of the NGO signatories to thispaper as well as other NGOs that operate throughout the country and who work with many Afghan partnerorganisations.
NGO signatories
ActionAidAfghanaidCARE AfghanistanChristian AidCordaidDACAARInterchurch Organisation for Development CooperationInternational Rescue CommitteeMarie Stopes InternationalOxfam InternationalSave the Children UK

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