ALLIES Civil Military Relations Conference 2015

by winnonadesombre
Nov 13

The Alliance Linking Leaders in the Education and Services (ALLIES) held their second annual Civil Military Relations Conference (CMRC) on November 6th and 7th, 2015. Attending the conference were delegations from ALLIES chapters at the United States Military Academy, the United States Naval Academy, and Wellesley, along with members of the Tufts University undergraduate and graduate communities. 


This year, the theme of the CMRC was “Where Do We Go From Here: Peacekeeping and Post-Conflict Reconstruction in the 21st Century.” Co-Directors Somya Banwari, Sarah Lubiner, and Brian Pollock organized two panels, a keynote speaker, and a diplomatic crisis simulation. The first panel, the theme of which was Reconstructing Identities and Institutions, consisted of Shamil Idriss, President and CEO of Search For Common Ground, and Pamela Aall, Senior Researcher at the United States Institute for Peace. Aall and Idriss delved into issues such as gender in post-conflict zones and ethnicity and reconciliation. 


The second panel, entitled “The Peacekeeper in the Twenty-First Century,” brought together experts from the field and academia to explore the evolving roles, expectations, and environments impacting peacekeepers. The panel included Professor George Oliver, a retired colonel in the US Army, former military adviser to the US ambassador to the United Nations, and current faculty member at the US Naval War College in Providence, RI. Representing the academic perspective, assistant professor at the University of San Antonio Department of Political Science and Geography, Arturo Sotomayor, discussed his research from his recent book The Myth of the Democratic Peacekeeper: Civil-Military Relations and the United Nations. Former police adviser to the UN Department of Peacekeeping Operations, Mark Kroeker also joined in on the panel, having just recently returned from Liberia, where he was the interim UN Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary General for Rule of Law. And finally, Dr. Phyllis Mihalas spoke on the panel, contributing her own experience as a Civil Military officer and Senior American Military Observer on the UN Mission in Ethiopia and Eritrea. 


To wrap up the conference, attendees were invited to participate in a student designed and run simulation, which challenged them to apply the knowledge they had gained at the conference in navigating numerous crises in a fictitious post-conflict nation. Having the opportunity to represent a range of actors - including the UN, former imperial powers, and rising regional hegemons - students engaged with advisers from the Fletcher school’s military fellowship program as well as visitors from EUCOM reserves to try to save the nation of Paribol.

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