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Title: Building other people's armies : military capacity building and civil-military relations during international interventions
Author: Neads, Alexander Stephen
ISNI:       0000 0004 6346 9084
Awarding Body: University of Exeter
Current Institution: University of Exeter
Date of Award: 2016
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Following state-building campaigns in Iraq and Afghanistan, the UK has increasingly eschewed large-scale intervention in favour of local proxy forces. Whilst this strategy might appeal to the war-weary and cash strapped interventionist, frequent use of military capacity building as a tool of foreign policy inevitably raises questions about the accountability of those local forces being trained. This thesis examines the exportation of Western concepts of civil-military relations into the Republic of Sierra Leone Armed Forces (RSLAF), carried out by the British-led International Military Advisory and Training Team (IMATT) during intervention and post-conflict stabilisation in Sierra Leone. It argues that external interventionists can reshape local military culture, to promote both democratic civil-military norms and professional military effectiveness, but only through extensive institutional change. In Sierra Leone, IMATT attempted to change the organisational culture of the RSLAF by reforming its institutional mechanisms for socialisation, training, education and promotion. By inculcating a new normative ethos in a cohort of junior RSLAF officers, IMATT sought to promulgate cultural change throughout the military via a structured process of intra-service competition and generational replacement. This novel blend of internal and external processes of military change challenges existing scholarship on military innovation and adaptation, advancing our understanding of the relationship between military culture, military change, and external intervention. However, this process of institutional redevelopment and cultural change in the RSLAF proved to be both heavily contested and deeply political, ultimately leading to partial results. Consequently, IMATT’s experience of RSLAF reform holds important implications for the study of civil-military relations and security sector reform, and with it, the conduct of contemporary military capacity building and liberal intervention.
Supervisor: Catignani, Sergio ; Porter, Patrick Sponsor: University of Exeter ; Babcock International
Qualification Name: Thesis (Ph.D.) Qualification Level: Doctoral
EThOS ID:  DOI: Not available
Keywords: Military Change ; Military Adaptation ; Defence Reform ; Capacity Building ; Security Sector Reform ; SSR ; MCB ; Defence Engagement ; Sierra Leone ; Intervention ; RSLAF ; IMATT ; State-building ; Post-conflict ; Stabilisation