The strategy of coercion in humanitarian intervention can the eu do it
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The Strategy of Coercion in Humanitarian Intervention: Can the EU Do It?. By Christina Zygakis Founder & Director, The New IR Scholar project. What is the strategy of coercion?. Practically, a combination of military mobilization (military coercion) and diplomacy (coercive diplomacy) vs.

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The Strategy of Coercion in Humanitarian Intervention: Can the EU Do It?

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The strategy of coercion in humanitarian intervention can the eu do it

The Strategy of Coercion in Humanitarian Intervention: Can the EU Do It?

By Christina Zygakis

Founder & Director, The New IR Scholar project


What is the strategy of coercion

What is the strategy of coercion?

  • Practically, a combination of military mobilization (military coercion) and diplomacy (coercive diplomacy)

    vs.

    Consideration of these terms as synonymous in Strategic Studies scholarship


What is the strategy of coercion1

What is the strategy of coercion?

  • Definition: “Coercion is the use of threats to influence the behavior of another (usually a target state but occasionally a non-state actor) by making it choose to comply rather than directly forcing it to comply (i.e. by brute force)” (Bratton, 2005)


What is the strategy of coercion2

What is the strategy of coercion?

  • Diplomacy-Military force Developments in the one shape developments in the other

    “We need to think about force and diplomacy not strictly dichotomously and not even necessarily sequentially: force “and” diplomacy, not just force “or” diplomacy” (Stanley Foundation, 2006)


What is the strategy of coercion3

What is the strategy of coercion?

  • Purpose: to force the opponent to avoid, cease or undo an unwanted action (e.g. ethnic cleansing)


What is the strategy of coercion4

What is the strategy of coercion?

  • Means of coercion

    3 schools

  • Use of diplomacy separately from the use of force

  • Almost exclusive use of force (mainly air power)

  • Application of both diplomacy and force


What is the strategy of coercion5

What is the strategy of coercion?

  • Positive analogy between each actor’s power and possibilities of violence escalation

  • Dependence on deliberate decision making

  • Cost of non-compliance Very important factor


Factors for success and failure

Factors for Success and Failure


Factors for success and failure1

Factors for success and failure

  • Compliance of the opponent and avoidance of full materialization of threats/full escalation of violence by the coercer Success

  • Materialization of threats/full escalation of force (no matter who is victorious) Failure


Factors for success and failure2

Factors for success and failure

Table 1. Measuring success of coercion. Source: Jacobsen, Peter V., “Coercive Diplomacy: Frequently Used Seldom Successful”, KunglKrigsvetenskapsakademiensHandlingarOchTidskrift, April 2007


Factors for success and failure3

Factors for success and failure

Table 2. Western use of coercive diplomacy to stop/undo acts of agression, 1990/2005. Source: Jacobsen, Peter V., “Coercive Diplomacy: Frequently Used Seldom Successful”, KunglKrigsvetenskapsakademiensHandlingarOchTidskrift, April 2007


Factors for success and failure4

Factors for success and failure

Table 2. Western use of coercive diplomacy to stop/undo acts of agression, 1990/2005. Source: Jacobsen, Peter V., “Coercive Diplomacy: Frequently Used Seldom Successful”, KunglKrigsvetenskapsakademiensHandlingarOchTidskrift, April 2007


Factors for success and failure5

Factors for success and failure

Table 2. Western use of coercive diplomacy to stop/undo acts of agression, 1990/2005. Source: Jacobsen, Peter V., “Coercive Diplomacy: Frequently Used Seldom Successful”, KunglKrigsvetenskapsakademiensHandlingarOchTidskrift, April 2007


Factors for success and failure6

Factors for success and failure

Table 2. Western use of coercive diplomacy to stop/undo acts of agression, 1990/2005. Source: Jacobsen, Peter V., “Coercive Diplomacy: Frequently Used Seldom Successful”, KunglKrigsvetenskapsakademiensHandlingarOchTidskrift, April 2007


Factors for success and failure7

Factors for success and failure

Table 2. Western use of coercive diplomacy to stop/undo acts of agression, 1990/2005. Source: Jacobsen, Peter V., “Coercive Diplomacy: Frequently Used Seldom Successful”, KunglKrigsvetenskapsakademiensHandlingarOchTidskrift, April 2007


Factors for success

Factors for success

  • Constant maintenance of a communication channel with the target actor through diplomacy

  • Credibility

  • Persuasiveness

  • Offering “rewards”/“motives” for giving in

  • Assuring that compliance will not bring new demands


Factors for success1

Factors for success

  • Right timing

  • Good intelligence system

  • Enough resources and capabilities

  • Deadlines for compliance

  • Stressing the overwhelming costs of non-compliance

  • Exact identification of the target actor

  • Exact identification of objectives of each coercion initiative


Factors for success2

Factors for success

  • Support from public opinion

  • Support by multiple actors and from major international institutions (UN)

  • Coherence and solidarity when it comes to multiple coercers

  • Consider each case as unique


Factors for failure

Factors for failure

  • Inability to give in due to domestic factors

  • Psychological reasons (e.g. humiliation for giving in)

  • Coercee’s perception that maintaining the undesirable conduct is more beneficial than abandoning it

  • The cost of failure is paid by the coercer


The eu tools and prospects for coercion

The EU Tools and Prospects for Coercion


The eu tools and prospects for coercion1

The EU tools and prospects for coercion

  • Since 1992, the EU has obtained a variety of military and diplomatic decision-making bodies appropriate for a coercion strategy:

  • External Action Service leaded by the High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy

  • Military Committee

  • Military Staff

  • Crisis Management and Planning Directorate

  • EU Political and Security Committee


The eu tools and prospects for coercion2

The EU tools and prospects for coercion

  • Tools appropriate for military coercion

  • Petersberg Tasks

  • EU Battle Groups


The eu tools and prospects for coercion3

The EU tools and prospects for coercion

  • Map of EU operations as of September 2012

    http://www.consilium.europa.eu/eeas/security-defence/eu-operations?amp;lang=en


Can the eu conduct a coercion strategy

Can the EU conduct a coercion strategy?

  • No!


Obstacles for the use of coercion

Obstacles for the use of coercion

  • Nature different from that of a traditional nation state

  • Complex response system with plenty of overlaps and inter-institutional competition

  • Lack of political will

  • Indecisiveness of the High Representative

  • Clash of interests among the Member States

  • Individual actions by the Member States, outside the EU instruments

  • Too strong resource dependence from NATO

  • Funding issues


Obstacles for the use of coercion1

Obstacles for the use of coercion


Obstacles for the use of coercion2

Obstacles for the use of coercion

  • Lack of credibility and persuasiveness

  • “Tied hands”


How could we make the eu effective in coercion

How could we make the EU effective in coercion?

  • Leave riskless paperwork and fancy chairs, get to bloody work!

  • Invest money in strong and fast-deployable military capabilities

  • Establish a decisive diplomacy with people both being and feeling committed to the establishment of the EU as a serious global political actor

  • Invest in the practice of force, instead of “dust cleaning”


How could we make the eu effective in coercion1

How could we make the EU effective in coercion?

  • Find a way to detach the CSDP from NATO equipment pool

  • Focus on the EU’s interests rather than national interests during decision-making procedures

  • Less focus on enlargement

  • Real, realistic and exact strategic doctrine


The end

The End

Thank you!


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