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Transitioning From Military Interventions to Long-Term Counter-Terrorism Policy

These three repors are part of a research project that assesses how military interventions can best prepare the ground for an effective long-term counter-terrorism policy. Three different cases have been studied, and they have each provided the input for the policy relevant recommendations that are presented in this report. The case studies concern the military intervention and transition in Afghanistan (2001), Libya (2011) and Mali (2013).

Sergei Boeke and Jeanine de Roy van Zuijdewijn
15 April 2016

The primary objectives of this research were:

  • To identify key success factors and best practices to be able to transform a broad military intervention, whether using a counter-insurgency or comprehensive approach, into a more limited, both in size and scope, counter-terrorism policy.
  • To identify elements for a longer-term counter-terrorism policy that would focus on alleviating the threat from terrorist groups, reinforcing host nation capacity and addressing some of the causes of radicalization and violent extremism.

This project was conducted by Leiden University, the Australian National University (ANU) and the International Centre for Counter-Terrorism – The Hague (ICCT). An initial workshop was organised to help formulate the research questions and structure the reports. Subsequently, for each case study a draft report formed the setting for a one day, high-level expert meeting. A mix of around thirty policy-makers (including several serving or retired generals), politicians (including two former Ministers of Defence) and international academics from different backgrounds attended the seminars and provided extremely valuable feedback on the draft reports.

The high-level expert meetings were organised as follows:

  • Initial workshop to determine the framework study, held on 4 February 2015, Brussels, Belgium
  • Libya, held on 29 June 2015, The Hague, The Netherlands
  • Afghanistan, held on 10 September 2015, Brussels, Belgium
  • Mali, held on 7 December 2015, Lille, France

The project has been made possible by NATO’s Science for Peace and Security (SPS) Programme.


Research paper  on the case of Libya, during and after NATO’s 2011 intervention.

Research paper  on the case of Afghanistan, since 2001.

Research paper  on the French military operation in Mali, and its transition, from 2013 onwards.


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