Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository

Thesis Format

Monograph

Degree

Doctor of Philosophy

Program

Political Science

Supervisor

Simpson, Erika V.

Abstract

This study aims to understand the security policy of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) and investigate whether NATO’s Security Sector Reform (SSR) approach in Afghanistan was a mixed record of success and failure between 2003 and 2014. In terms of NATO’s SSR approach in Afghanistan, what worked, what did not work, and why did certain aspects of SSR fail? The analysis sheds light on the policy-relevant, logistic and doctrinal intricacies associated with NATO’s now almost twenty-year record of involvement in Afghanistan, as well as liberal institutionalism’s policy relevance. This research benefits the security policy community by asking whether NATO's SSR agenda in Afghanistan was successful, and whether its weaknesses call for the reform of its approach and execution – or its abandonment. The research findings indicate there were faults with the SSR project in Afghanistan, and modes of execution and stages of policy development were incoherent and inconsistent, but liberal institutionalism helps explain how to establish vital institutions and ensure more democratic transitions of power so that the international community and multilateral institutions like NATO remain engaged.

Summary for Lay Audience

This research demonstrates that the NATO’s attempts to reform the security sector in Afghanistan have been marred by both progress and faults. The majority of the problems were with the way in which stages of security policy development were crafted. This research found that they were inconsistent and incoherent, but liberal institutionalist theory helps explain how to establish vital institutions and ensure more democratic transitions of power so that the international community and multilateral institutions like NATO remain engaged.

Available for download on Friday, September 23, 2022

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