Police-military cooperation in foreign interventions: Timor-Leste and the Solomon Islands



Publication Details

A. Goldsmith & V. Harris, 'Police-military cooperation in foreign interventions: Timor-Leste and the Solomon Islands' in F. Lemieux(ed), International Police Cooperation: Emerging Issues, Theory and Practice (2010) 221-237.


[extract] Police-military cooperation within and between Western countries has tended to be limited in nature and, with some exceptions, rarely practised. In this regard, the picture is quite different from militarymilitary cooperation in war-fighting and peacekeeping (Soeters and Manigart 2008). In the latter role, until recently, policing per se has tended to be performed by the military, largely for the reason that they ha e been 'present, capable and we1l-resourced' (Hills 2009: 43). The United Kingdom's experience in Northern Ireland during the 1970s, 1980s and 19905 is one exception (Brewer et al. 1988). For most of the past two centuries, the separate role of the military and police institutions in the life of nation-states has been a shibboleth of constitutional government (Critchley 1967: 51ft). It was, however, acknowledged that there would be situations that might now be characterized as domestic 'enforcement gaps' where the military, whose task was essentially to focus on external threats, might provide 'aid to the civil power', for example in the face of riots, major breakdowns of law and order, or threats to the integrity or indeed survival of governments. As its name suggests, the doctrine of military aid to the civil power (MACP) is intended to limit the involvement of military personnel in internal affairs to. very restricted circumstances, basically to those when the civilian authorities (including the police) were unable to deal with civil unrest threatening public safety and the continuity of democratic government.

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