About this Guidance

Corruption and conflict are bedfellows and their coexistence feeds a vicious circle of violence and instability.  International military operations —from stabilisation missions and peace operations to security assistance—frequently take place in environments affected by corruption and conflict. Corruption can undermine the purpose of the mission, perpetuate insecurity, and cause misery for whole societies. Corruption in mission forces themselves – from diversion of resources into the black market and bribery in exchange for employment to abuse of civilians – compounds the problem. It exposes missions to reputational harm, wastes resources, and feeds into levels of corruption in the area of operations.

Armed forces on the ground can model and support integrity-based behaviour and support those who push for integrity and good governance. However, their presence also comes with the influx of resources and political support for host nation actors, which can be used to augment the influence of corrupt networks that benefit from conflict and undermine peace.  These networks and resources can strengthen adversaries and ultimately have dire consequences for the missions’ effectiveness and success.

Ultimately, corruption – if left unchallenged – can and will have dire consequences for mission effectiveness.  It is therefore imperative that armed forces are prepared to recognise and mitigate the extent, severity and impact of corrupt practices in operational theatres, to mitigate corruption risks in their own activities, and to support wider anti-corruption measures.

The Interventions Anti-Corruption guidance provides the resources and support for analysts, planners and implementers tasked with recognising and mitigating corruption risks in military operations. The Guidance is a suite of analytical materials, tools, and resources that educate military personnel, civilian and military planners, and key defence decision-makers on the significance of corruption for military operations. The Guidance offers insight into the key corruption risk pathways and areas; guides planners toward applying corruption mitigation strategies; lays out likely areas of responsibility for military personnel; and offers suggestions for incorporating corruption issues into military exercises. Within the Guidance, you will be guided through learning to recognise and mitigate corruption risks within the operational environment, and offered tools that can assist planners in developing anti-corruption strategies tailored to needs. The Guidance also contains in-depth case studies illuminating the significance of corruption in operational environments, and tailored to those wishing to develop deeper expertise on the subject.

Getting Started

The guidance is divided into several interconnected sections, including Planning, Exercises, Case Studies, and Tools.  If this is your first time using the platform, it would be best to begin with the Planning section. This section will lead you through the corruption risk pathways and areas that affect military operations, and will highlight best practice for recognising and responding to corruption in the operational environment.  Within each risk pathway, useful case studies and examples of risks and mitigations are highlighted. Planning guidance, also available in this section, is offered as both a general iteration applicable to large-scale operations and security force assistance, and adapted to specific processes, including NATO’s Comprehensive Operational Planning Directive.

For those involved in exercise planning, key resources for incident development and MEL/MIL scripting, including examples of storylines, are available, with further guidance and support provided by our team upon request. Finally, in the Tools section you will find quick links to the Mitigation Strategy Builder, the NATO Planning Guidance, and the Operational Planning guidance tools, which will help design and evaluate an exercise. These tools will also help guide the development of a strategy for addressing corruption in your operational environment and provide guidance for ensuring corruption considerations are integrated into your planning process early on.

Armed forces can serve as a model for best practice within operational environments and help lead the way for developing and upholding integrity-based structures internally and externally. The resources provided here will help you shape those vital initiatives.

What Next:

Planning: Guidance and Tools for Planners

The planning guidance provides you with an overview of the risk pathways and draws your attention to common indicators and warnings of different corruption risks. It also offers insight into key strategies for mitigating these risks in the operational environment, and provides you with specific planning guidance helping to incorporate anti-corruption measures in existing planning processes.

View planning guidance