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?

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.

    Consideration of these terms as synonymous in Strategic Studies scholarship


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 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 coercion?

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


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 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

  • 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 failure

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


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 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 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 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 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

  • 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 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 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

  • 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

  • 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 coercion

  • Tools appropriate for military coercion

  • Petersberg Tasks

  • EU Battle Groups


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?

  • No!


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 coercion


Obstacles for the use of coercion

  • Lack of credibility and persuasiveness

  • “Tied hands”


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 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

Thank you!


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