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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

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 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 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

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 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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