“Fixing Broken Windows”: Security Sector Reform in Palestine, Lebanon, and Yemen

“Fixing Broken Windows”: Security Sector Reform in
The bulk of development security sector aid in Palestine, Lebanon, and Yemen has consisted of military training and equipment. The West should adopt a comprehensive approach to aid where security reform is only one part of a broader reform strategy.
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Although important, development assistance aimed at reforming the security sectors in Palestine, Lebanon, and Yemen has achieved only limited results. The bulk of such aid has consisted of military training and equipment, which does nothing to ensure that security forces answer to legitimate civilian leaders.

Whether by design or default, the United States and European countries have a narrow focus on counterterrorism in Palestine, Lebanon, and Yemen—all countries with weak and quasi-democratic governments. Without an integrated approach that includes support for democracy and the rule of law, security sector reforms are not sustainable and can reinforce local power struggles.
Five Lessons for the United States and Europe:

  • Emphasize reconciliation: Donors should help build consensus in Palestine, Lebanon, and Yemen.  
  • Don’t condition aid on the exclusion of opposition groups: National governments should take the lead in security sector reform, but domestic opposition groups should not be excluded.
  • All assistance alters the domestic balance of power: Donors need to recognize that security assistance always impacts power balances—it helps one group more than others—and distorts incentives.
  • Rhetoric about the importance of democracy and the rule of law should become reality: The West often talks about the necessity of democratic reforms and developing the rule of law, but most assistance goes to counterterrorism—more assistance should match the rhetoric and support better governance.
  • Security personnel need civilian leadership: Training, equipping, and building operational skills only goes so far if democratic oversight is missing. 

“To enable real reform, the West must adopt a comprehensive approach which treats security reform as only one part of a broader political strategy, and encourage governments and security commanders in Palestine, Lebanon, and Yemen to buy into such a strategy,” says Sayigh. “Pursuing counterterrorism in the absence of the rule of law perpetuates the undemocratic governance of the security sector and undermines state building and post-conflict reconstruction.”

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About the Middle East Program

The Carnegie Middle East Program combines in-depth local knowledge with incisive comparative analysis to examine economic, sociopolitical, and strategic interests in the Arab world. Through detailed country studies and the exploration of key crosscutting themes, the Carnegie Middle East Program, in coordination with the Carnegie Middle East Center in Beirut, provides analysis and recommendations in both English and Arabic that are deeply informed by knowledge and views from the region. The program has special expertise in political reform and Islamist participation in pluralistic politics.

Source http://carnegie-mec.org/2009/10/27/fixing-broken-windows-security-sector-reform-in-palestine-lebanon-and-yemen/awus

In Fact



of the Chinese general public

believe their country should share a global leadership role.


of Indian parliamentarians

have criminal cases pending against them.


charter schools in the United States

are linked to Turkey’s Gülen movement.


thousand tons of chemical weapons

are in North Korea’s possession.


of import tariffs

among Chile, Colombia, Mexico, and Peru have been eliminated.


trillion a year

is unaccounted for in official Chinese income statistics.


of GDP in oil-exporting Arab countries

comes from the mining sector.


of Europeans and Turks

are opposed to intervention in Syria.


of Russian exports to China

are hydrocarbons; machinery accounts for less than 1%.


of undiscovered oil

is in the Arctic.


U.S. government shutdowns

occurred between 1976 and 1996.


of Ukrainians

want an “international economic union” with the EU.


million electric bicycles

are used in Chinese cities.


of the world’s energy supply

is consumed by cities.


of today’s oils

require unconventional extraction techniques.


of the world's population

will reside in cities by 2050.


of Syria’s population

is expected to be displaced by the end of 2013.


of the U.S. economy

is consumed by healthcare.


of Brazilian protesters

learned about a massive rally via Facebook or Twitter.


million cases pending

in India’s judicial system.

1 in 3


now needs urgent assistance.


political parties

contested India’s last national elections.


of Egypt's labor force

works in the private sector.


of oil consumed in the United States

is for the transportation sector.


of Chechnya’s pre-1994 population

has fled to different parts of the world.


of oil consumed in China

was from foreign sources in 2012.


billion in goods and services

traded between the United States and China in 2012.


billion in foreign investment and oil revenue

have been lost by Iran because of its nuclear program.


increase in China’s GDP per capita

between 1972 and today.


billion have been spent

to complete the Bushehr nuclear reactor in Iran.


of Iran’s electricity needs

is all the Bushehr nuclear reactor provides.



were imprisoned in Turkey as of August 2012 according to the OSCE.

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