The role of Norwegian soldiers in fragile states?
Addressing the gap between experience, policy and research
This seminar combines experience and academic knowledge in an open and broad discussion about Norway policy for military deployments in fragile states. Since 2002 contingents from the Norwegian armed forces have been continuously sent to war zones in Afghanistan, Syria and Iraq. These engagements have been part of the West’s response to various terror attacks, insurgency and organised crime. Less is known about what the soldiers actually do when they are “over there”, what obstacles they meet and what results they achieve.
The main activity for deployed personnel both from conventional units and special forces is training local security forces. The overall goal is to give these forces the capacity to handle their own security problems. The achievements of Norwegian soldiers have been assessed to be of high quality, but these training programmes are demanding, dangerous and can also have adverse unintended consequences.
PRIO and the Norwegian Military Academy collaborate on a research programme concerning military capacity building. We have invited to the seminar politicians, military personnel and researchers. The programme consists of discussions between military personnel and policy makers with extensive experience from organising and implementing assistance, and researchers who have spent years studying assistance programs in fragile states located in Africa, the Middle East, and Central Asia.
Discussions will be held on three broad themes concerning military capacity building by Norway and similar states:
- Opportunities and challenges for small states
- The cultural factor — experiences, lessons-learned and pre-deployment training
- Hazards and dilemmas