Measuring the Humanitarian Impact of War - November 8-9, 2004
This meeting explored the methodologies used by the military, NGOs, and the media to evaluate civilian harm in war – and the possibility of combining these independent efforts into an integrated collateral damage database. Discussions highlighted military approaches to estimate potential civilian casualties before and during combat operations in attempts to minimize civilian harm, and possible ways to include lessons about the causes of civilian harm in the formal military lessons learned process. In addition, participants explored public expectations regarding protecting civilians during war, and the challenges faced by the media and NGOs in their efforts to track and assess civilian harm during U.S. military operations.
Emerging Military Capabilities: Normative and Legal Challenges - April 13-14, 2004
This meeting, cosponsored by the McCormick Tribune Foundation, highlighted the challenges of assessing effects based operations (EBO) and non-kinetic or non-lethal technologies using traditional standards, guidelines, and laws regarding the use of force. After reviewing EBO concepts and supporting capabilities, participants debated their potential to allow the more "humane" use of force. Participants disagreed about both the legality and effectiveness of using more discriminate force against a broader range of targets,, including those with civilian purposes. After considering the status of non-lethal weapons development and use, many participants agreed on the benefits of developing non-lethal alternatives. Yet the discussion suggested potential divisions regarding the appropriate considerations for determining whether non-lethal capabilities should be developed or used. There was widespread consensus that greater military openness earlier in the non-lethal weapon development process would be desirable.
Working with Civilian Actors - April 5-6, 2004
This meeting was the second iteration of Carr Center collaboration with the Regional Studies Course from Ft. Bragg, North Carolina. It formed part of a 10-day visit to Washington by the students qualifying to be Civil Affairs and Psychological Operations specialists to explore the actors and agencies involved in interagency planning and coordination. The panel presentations and discussions focused on the interagency process in planning military interventions (both in Washington and in the field) and on the role of information during such operations. Participants discussed the completing interests and equities of the various actors involved, including the State and Defense Departments, and NGOs.
Civilian Engagement at the National Training Center - January 27-28, 2004
In January 2004, the Carr Center hosted representatives from the National Training Center (NTC) and humanitarian relief organizations to explore how an increase in direct input from international organizations, governmental organizations, and nongovernmental organizations (NGOs) could be useful in planning and executing their training exercises. The discussions raised a variety of issues regarding tensions in civil-military relations that have arisen un recent conflicts, and how civilian input into formulating scenarios and training the role players and observer/controller exercise "referees" might help improve the realism of that aspect of NTC's simulated battlefield training.
NTC, the Army's largest maneuver combat training center, provides training and feedback in simulated battlefield conditions for thousands of soldiers every year. NTC's training approach reflects a relatively recent shift from an exclusive focus on warfighting to addressing the complexities facing the military in recent stability and support operations in the post-major combat operation phase of operations. The training exercises strive to replicate the conditions troops will face in country as accurately as possible. "Civilians on the battlefield" (role players) populate several simulated villages in efforts to replicate the diversity of actors that troops are likely to encounter during operation.
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