Thought leadership: 2007/8

Vietnam and Africa

The Foundation maintains a high-level engagement with experts and practitioners on international peace-building operations, in particular the economic and development aspects of post-conflict situations.

Dr Greg Mills was seconded to Kabul, Afghanistan for three months in mid-2006 as part of the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) IX, where he advised the overall commander General Sir David Richards and headed the Prism Group analysis section embedded within the headquarters. Dr Terence McNamee conducted research for the Prism Group in Afghanistan in June 2006. Dr Mills was seconded again to Afghanistan on two occasions in 2010.

The Foundation and its Associates have written extensively on the insurgency in Afghanistan from 2006 onwards, along with lesser known campaigns in Rhodesia/Zimbabwe and Rwanda.

Tswalu Protocol on Peace-building

This Protocol articulates a consensus derived from the experience of a select group of civilian and military professionals, academics, individual organisations, concerned government departments and heads of state who have been at the epicentre of peacekeeping and peace-building missions. Convened by The Brenthurst Foundation, it evolved, in particular, out of the experience of Dr Mills in serving on secondment as the special adviser and head of the Prism strategic analysis group to the Ninth International Security Assistance Force (ISAF IX) in Afghanistan in 2006.

Recognising the ad hoc nature of international responses to armed conflict and state failure, the Protocol proposes a pragmatic and realistic approach to improving co-ordination of the international community in such missions. Instead of simply calling for more co-ordination, it offers a set of principles and practical guidelines for future peace-builders.

It is a result of a series of meetings and wider consultations, evaluating the successes and failure of past peace-building missions from Afghanistan to the Balkans, Somalia to Sierra Leone.

The Tswalu Protocol is available in:

Download the full publication from RUSI with all the background papers.

  • President Paul Kagame (Rwanda): ‘This Protocol outlines a strategy for greater success in peace-building which deserves to be read, debated and hopefully adopted by all interested parties.’

  • Vice-President Francisco Santos Calderon (Colombia): ‘Only in this way [through the Tswalu Process] can new light be shed on the sometimes dark road towards a lasting and sustainable peace.’

  • General Carlton W Fulford (USMC rtd): ‘This Protocol will intensify dialogue, highlight enduring lessons for future efforts, and make way for more effective and sustainable peace-building activities in the 21st Century. I commend it to thoughtful leaders and committed peace advocates around the globe.’

  • State Secretary for Foreign Affairs Ib Petersen (Denmark): ‘By its comprehensive coverage of past missions, this Protocol clearly identifies obstacles and pitfalls to be avoided and successes to be replicated. The Tswalu Process’ recommendations are highly relevant for all those embarking on peace-building missions.’

  • HE Patrick Mazimhaka (African Union): 'The Tswalu Protocol is the distillation of experiences world-wide in peace-building, bringing peace to fragile states. It offers a best practice guide in plain language to future operations, and as such will help future peace-builders avoid the mistakes of the past. It is essential reading for Africans, the African Union's Peace and Security Department and others engaged in such operations.’

  • General Sir David Richards (British Army): ‘I wish this excellent piece of work had been available before I deployed to Afghanistan. I commend it to anyone involved in the leadership of complex peace-building missions.’

And from others:

  • President Dahir Rayale Kahin (Somaliland): ‘Peace-building is a difficult and often a long, home-grown process. The Tswalu Protocol greatly simplifies this process for both the host governments and the international community. It offers clear strategic thinking and operational good sense in proposing a series of guidelines for such international missions and should be adopted by those interested in peace through stability and prosperity.'

  • Lord Paddy Ashdown (fmr. High Representative for Bosnia and Herzegovina): ‘I found this Protocol a most useful distillation of what succeeds which, given our track record of repeated failures in intervention, will I hope be read by policy makers.’

  • Sir Malcolm Rifkind (fmr. UK Foreign Secretary): ‘The Tswalu Protocol is a splendid initiative which should remind governments as well as the public that peace and security in Afghanistan and elsewhere will require a coherent and agreed strategy by all involved as well as cash, military might and high ideals.’

  • Professor Barry Desker (RSIS, Singapore): ‘The Tswalu Protocol offers a comprehensive overview of what it takes for successful international responses to peace-building in failed states. It details realistic steps for states and aid-agencies to improve peace-building interventions. A must-read for all scholars and practitioners interested in international peacekeeping and peace-building missions.’

  • Dr Tapani Vaahtoranta (Finnish Institute of International Affairs): ‘Hundreds of years of combined peace-building experience from throughout the world has been distilled to its essence by the authors of The Tswalu Protocol - if practitioners and political decision makers take its wisdom to heart, we will see more successful attempts at peace-building. Nordics, too, should read it.’

  • Professor Mike Clarke (RUSI, London): ‘There are many weighty volumes on ‘lessons learned’ in peace-building, but only the Tswalu Protocol offers a concise synthesis of all the most relevant lessons. It is a distillation of the thinking of some of the world’s most experienced practitioners in real life, peace-building operations. As such, it represents the most concise and accessible guide to best practice that has so far been written.’

  • Abdulaziz Sager (Gulf Research Centre): ‘Peace-building continues to be a subject that is too often neglected but the Tswalu Protocol offers clear and practical suggestions that should be considered by policy-makers and specialists world-wide.’

  • Professor Hugh White (SDSC, Australian National University): ‘The Tswalu Protocol provides a very sober, balanced and well-informed guide to the difficult choices required to make peace-building operations work. It will provide a most valuable guide to action, and a wonderful stimulus for further research and debate.’

  • Dr Shireen M Mazari (Institute for Strategic Studies, Islamabad): ‘The Tswalu Protocol provides a definitive step forward in building an international consensual approach towards peace-building and thereby conflict termination.'

  • Lt.-General (Ret) Gebretsadkan Gebretensae (CPRD, Ethiopia): ‘Building peace in countries emerging from conflict is not easy. Often it is linked with building state capacity; which usually is shattered by the conflict. It is also not for the faint-hearted. It is time taking and costly, sometimes dangerous, and fraught with problems, sensitivities and unresolved agendas. The Tswalu Protocol makes the job of peace-builders easier by identifying where international action should stop and domestic responsibility should begin. It should be closely studied by every would-be peace-builder.’

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