4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on May 27, 2010
This review is based on my experiences as an active duty Marine Infantry Officer who has deployed to both Iraq and Afghanistan. As the nation continues to fight insurgents in Afghanistan, development of the Afghan Police remains an essential component of mission success. Marines, and other service members, who deploy to Afghanistan are expected to train, advise, and partner with Afghan Security Forces in a complex environment with limited security. Significant challenges with Afghan Police development and reform are well documented; however, what has been lacking is a comprehensive book that addresses the role of police in irregular warfare as it pertains to insurgency, terrorism, and the criminal nexus focused on our current conflict in Afghanistan. The Police in War: Fighting Insurgency, Terrorism, and Violent Crime fills that void and serves as an exceptional resource for leaders, planners, and advisors challenged with understanding the role of Police in COIN.
Police in War, explores the most pertinent angles of police by advising and providing the reader with a thorough overview of police development, and most importantly, "getting it right". Moreover, the book provides an intellectual framework with a practical perspective, seamlessly meshing the academic perspective of Dr. David Bayley, distinguished professor of Criminal Justice at University of New York at Albany, with that of the seasoned practitioner's experience of Bob Perito, a senior program officer at the United States Institute of Peace. This unique combination provides the reader both an understanding of the enormity of the conceptual problem and proposes effective practices to resolve it. The book provides great insight for anyone deploying to Afghanistan by helping them understand the long string of well-intentioned efforts that have brought us to our current and most challenging state of affairs with the Afghan Police. Furthermore, Police in War offers the perspective needed to begin to comprehend the US experience in indigenous police development as part of the greater rule of law systems in conflict zones throughout the world.
The book challenges current timelines with the reasonable assertion that effective police development "takes at least five years under optimal conditions." Additionally, the authors point out the concept of "core policing" and articulate potential unintended negative effects of military forces advising civilian police. Principally, Bayley and Perito argue that police forces are not tailored, manned and/or equipped to be counterinsurgent forces-- as evidenced by the drastically higher level of casualties sustained by the Afghan Police compared to the Afghan Army. Baley and Perito also devote a chapter to institutional reform in an effort to improve the judicial system and not to simply teach crooked cops to shoot straight. The chapter on "World Practice in Police Training" which is especially helpful to potential trainers and advisors because it gives a detailed overview and comparison of the various training packages in Iraq, Afghanistan, Bosnia, Kosovo and Timor. The information is detailed enough to benefit a unit commander or police advisor, yet it is not so detailed as to be inaccessible.
To win the wars we are in, we need to be effective at building our partner nations' security forces. Police development is not just critical to building a legitimate government and security force in both Iraq and Afghanistan, but in nations throughout the world. Military professionals, who engage indigenous security forces, will need to understand the nuances of developing police in war as an enduring capability for decades to come. To others in military service, Police in War should be added to theater and service reading lists and included in service school curriculums at multiple levels. To the deploying unit commander or designated personnel tasked with training and advising Afghan police, Police in War will provide an invaluable orientation dealing with this complex problem and will help you to get it right. To the Marine or soldier headed to advise Afghan Police, take it with you...it's designed it to fit in a cargo pocket.
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
on June 6, 2010
Excellent Book by two well regarded researchers in this field. Bayley and Perito have written a well thought out primer concerning the establishment of policing organizations as part of post-conflict stability operations. The book lists recommended training for new police officers along with covering the various skill sets/areas that the new organization should include.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on January 6, 2014
David Bayley is one of the most prolific authors on comparative international policing, and Robert Perito has written extensively on practical police and stabilization issues from the USIP. This is a valuable book because it highlights the blending of military and police functions that occurs in post 9/11 stablization, but is not without historical perspective. It is undercut slightly by its American focus, particularly the bookends - getting it wrong (ch. 1) and getting it right (ch. 8); in between, the “we” is clearly American, but much of the content is nevertheless valuable for general audiences. Ch. 2 addresses what Americans should have learned from as far back as the Spanish-American war of 1898, Panama, Somalia, Haiti, BiH, and Kosovo: local police are not capable; policing is mission critical; military cannot provide police; international civpol are needed to return local police to control; international forces have to arrive with a plan for policing; local police must be accountable to law, not “little soldiers”; don’t use military forces to train police; it takes a decade to build a police force; it takes political commitment and effective governance. Ch. 3 reviews the police role in containing violence, according to US COIN doctrine. I’m not sure that’s the best place to start. US COIN doctrine seems to me a bit dubious at best. Ch. 4 presents a strategic algorithm for balancing legitimacy with the use of force. Here they could be quoting the SWORD papers, but I don’t see Fishel or Manwaring in the references. Legitimacy is one of those wheels that keeps getting reinvented. Ch. 5 addresses fundamentals of police training and core police functions: available, helpful, fair and respectful. Here there are a lot of details about the basic curriculum content, and in this section, it is eminently practical more than academic. This is what Bayley means when he says books on security shouldn’t be too generic to be useful to practitioners. Ch. 6 on world practice is more of the same, at a very tactical level. See p. 118 for a detailed curriculum comparison. Ch. 7 on institutional reform goes to the governance framework within which policing has to function, and the final chapter addresses US policy. Taking away the US-centrism, and the dubious COIN focus, it’s got a lot of useful stuff for international operations in general, and probably obviates the “police-keeping” book Graham Day was talking about writing more than 15 years ago. The Kratcoski and Das book gives an idea about what a more global picture of police operations might look like, although more focused on domestic than international stabilization policing.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on December 29, 2010
This is an outstanding overview/starter for roles of police in conflict zones. As an advisor to the Iraqi MoI police forces, I've used this to refresh my all too fallible memory. The needs of democratic (small 'd' intentional) policing is a neglected area - though well worth effort and emphasis.