Security Sector Reform in Afghanistan and Iraq: Exposing a Concept in Crisis
Security sector reform (SSR) has come to be a cornerstone of the state-building project in postconflict contexts, providing an enabling environment for peacebuilding and development. However, an examination of the Afghan and Iraqi cases illustrates that the SSR model applied there is illequipped to confront the challenges of post-conflict environments. The failure to actualise the holistic, people-centred aims envisaged in both cases highlights a disjuncture between policy and practice consistent with the SSR experience in other post-conflict cases. This has led to questions concerning the feasibility of the SSR model in the aftermath of September 11. This article argues that resolving the crisis in which the SSR process is mired requires its re-conceptualisation and a fundamental shift in donor policy and practices.