We press militaries to do what’s right and what’s smart when it comes to civilians on the battlefield. They listen to us because our recommendations are based on solid research and tested expertise. We work with them directly to change minds and actions.
We offer solutions to civilian suffering in wartime to militaries who say and show a commitment to this goal. We help them make smarter choices in their operations, by advising on prevention of civilian harm and response to harm caused. We don’t take money from warring parties themselves, preferring to remain independent. We function in a neutral advisory role, as advocates for civilians caught in armed conflict.
Our efforts have changed training, doctrine, tactics, and mindsets with the US military, NATO and its national militaries, the Department of Peacekeeping Operations at the UN, African Union forces, Afghan forces, and others.
We provide troops and their leadership with a modern, strategic, and ethical view of civilians in the battle space. This includes advice, training, and guidance on keeping “the civilian” front and center when planning operations, avoiding harm during operations, and responding to harm caused including by tracking casualties, learning lessons through analysis, and dignifying losses.
In Somalia, we advised on an African Union civilian protection policy and are supporting African Union forces to build a cell to track, analyze, and respond to civilian harm. In Afghanistan, we developed a seven-step process for responding to civilian harm for international and Afghan forces. With the US military, we helped draft the first civilian harm mitigation doctrine.
Our military engagement work also includes training exercises that explore civilian harm prevention and response at US bases and for thousands of officers in the Afghan National Security forces. We’re developing a full array of best practices and working to institutionalize lessons learned on civilian protection, tracking and analysis, and making amends for civilian harm.
Our engagement with militaries represents some of our most successful work and gives us hope for humanity even in times of war.