Ground Truth in Building Human Security
by douglas batson
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This 2012 Army War College Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI) publication is downloadable from http://www.dtic.mil/docs/citations/ADA570369
Rapid urbanization, the emergence of sub-state entities, trends toward privatization, decentralization, and participatory governance typify a peace operations environment unrecognizable from a decade ago, the aftermath of the 9/11 attacks with its rush to aid post-Taliban Afghanistan. These socio-political trends complicate peacebuilding and underscore why it is doomed to failure in the absence of functioning land governance. There is a systemic inability and, at times, unwillingness on the part of international actors to address post-conflict land tenure and property rights (LTPR) in Iraq and Afghanistan. This paper asserts that the endemic problems encountered there are shared by an additional 1.5 billion people elsewhere in the world, who, although not dwelling in war zones, lack good land governance and are thus vulnerable to repeated criminal and political violence.
The two largest international actors, the United States and the UN, wrangle with how to address future human security3 challenges. One challenge is to overcome the previous lack of focus on and capacity to deal with land tenure property rights (LTPR) issues encountered in their respective peace operations. Dealing with the legion of sub-state entities that recently have emerged as important players in monitoring and resolving land conflict is another challenge. Perhaps more daunting still is the struggle international actors have in elevating land governance to a key pillar of peacebuilding in an era of diminished resources.
There are new tools that can help peacebuilders incorporate land governance into their work. A new sub-state entity, Customary Land Secretariats in Ghana, and a nascent technology based on the Land Administration Domain Model (LADM) are examined. Restoration of human security often takes decades and requires metrics to gauge incremental progress. Thus, the paper introduces a methodology for civil-military peacebuilders to monitor and measure progress in building local-level institutional land governance capacity in post-disaster and post-conflict areas. For the United States and the UN, their coffers drained and troops exhausted by multiple peace operations, it is time to embrace these new tools because they empower the host nation to create and maintain viable land governance systems.
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If there ever was an award for speaking forth silly talk, you would win, this article says much, but makes no sense. I found a lawyer that speaks in a language I can understand, not one that speaks in a foreign tongue, like pig Latin. Keep up the good work, it should be printed in Mad Magazine soon.