THE CHALLENGES, ROLES AND FUNCTIONS OF CIVIL MILITARY COORDINATION OFFICERS IN PEACE SUPPORT OPERATIONS: A THEORETICAL DISCUSSION

  • Gary Lloyd
  • Gielie Van Dyk

Abstract

The introduction of a multidimensional approach towards peace missions incomplex emergencies emphasises the importance of coordination between the militaryand the humanitarian components at all levels of interaction. Cooperation andcoordination between the military and humanitarian components are critical toachieve a common goal to alleviate suffering and to save lives. The challenge is howto develop, enhance and sustain an effective working relationship to overcome theconflicting views on coordination from the military and humanitarian perspectives.Humanitarians fear the loss of independence and neutrality when associated with themilitary when the military component becomes directly involved in humanitarianaction. During selection, the military needs to identify members who firstly conformto the generic psychological peacekeeping profile and secondly portray the skills,knowledge and abilities to perform the coordination function between the military andthe humanitarian component. The challenge remains to select competent militarymembers in the absence of a psychological profile for the coordination function. Thisarticle paves the way for research on the psychological profile for a civil militarycoordination officer (CIMIC officer), highlighting the importance of coordinationthrough analysing the environment, challenges and perspectives in defining the rolesand functions of CIMIC officers in complex emergencies.
Published
2011-08-08
Section
Articles