Twenty Years of Prioritizing the Protection of Civilians: February 1999 – UN Security Council Convenes First-Ever Meeting Focused on Protecting Civilians in Conflict

This is the first piece in a series that CIVIC will publish throughout 2019 to mark the 20th anniversary of the UN Security Council taking up the protection of civilians on its agenda. Follow along here, on Facebook, and on Twitter with #POC20 as we reflect on the status of the protection of civilians during this important…

In Coalition Ops, Civilian Protections Are Only As Strong as the Weakest Link

By: Dan Mahanty and Annie Shiel Multinational coalitions have become an enduring feature of American wars, from standing alliances like NATO to the ad-hoc coalitions fighting Operation Inherent Resolve in Iraq and Syria. Yet, for the frequency with which the US turns to coalitions as a preferred mode of fighting, remarkably little has been done to examine the relationship between…

How the “Arms Sales Oversight Act” Could Prevent American Arms from Contributing to the Next Overseas Crisis

By: Daniel R. Mahanty and Eric Eikenberry The debate over U.S. complicity in Yemen’s humanitarian catastrophe is coming to a head in the Senate, with a series of votes on the Sanders-Lee-Murphy war powers resolution. But beyond this immediate measure, other members of Congress are planning to increase their long-term leverage over weapons sales to problematic…

The Pentagon Put Someone in Charge of Its Civilian Casualty Policy. Now What?

By: Daniel R. Mahanty and Rita Siemion For all the time and attention that the Defense Department has rightly spent addressing civilian casualties, no single official at the Pentagon has ever been formally charged with overseeing the many challenges involved with proactively preventing civilian casualties and assessing and responding to reports of harm. And while many…

Protecting South Sudan’s Peacekeeping Mission from the Regional Actors who Brokered Peace

“Accepting Ugandan & Sudanese troops in peace-keeping mission (UNMISS) would be a Mistake.” After five years of civil war, egregious violence against civilians, and seemingly countless failed ceasefires, politicians are celebrating the latest round of South Sudanese peace and security agreements. Today, President Museveni of Uganda and President Bashir of Sudan will be in the…

Military Policies and Practices on the Use of Explosive Weapons in Populated Areas

The use of explosive weapons in populated areas has been identified as a key issue on the protection of civilians agenda by states and organizations over recent years. Operational policies and procedures provide guidance for armed forces including over the choice of weapons and how weapons can be used. Such policies and procedures to assess, reduce, and mitigate civilian harm…