Support civilian anti-corruption initiatives such as task forces and dedicated courts. Where possible, help protect whistleblowers, investigators and prosecutors.
Work with others to utilise a comprehensive mixture of incentives and pressures that could limit opportunities and shape incentives for corrupt networks.
Introduction to key mitigation
In many cases, effective anti-corruption approaches require a combination of sticks, carrots and limits on opportunities that can breed corrupt practices. The armed forces are rarely able to achieve this combination by themselves; rather, they are likely to support civilian initiatives or to liaise with other agencies to help achieve overarching political-military goals.
Mixed civilian-military approaches can support a variety of measures and designs, but two examples stand out: one, helping implement key civilian initiatives, and two, combining military and civilian levers of pressure to limit opportunities and shape incentives for corruption.
Costs and benefits
Implementing comprehensive civilian-military initiatives frequently goes beyond narrowly understood civil-military cooperation. Rather, it requires a political-strategic approach capable of looking at overall goals that international actors wish to achieve, and of understanding how the different levers of power can fit into it and what they can achieve. This requires time, flexibility and willingness to invest in the analysis that can yield commonly accepted goals.
At the operational level, cooperating across organisational cultures is unlikely to be an easy task, especially as military processes are often not easily accessible to civilians and civilian planning and understanding of crises can follow different patterns. It is, however, possible and, given the potential benefits, worth the effort.
Anti-corruption practitioners in operations have identified inter-agency approaches to sanctioning and limiting opportunities for corrupt networks as some of the most effective and with the greatest deterrent value. But tools such as visa denials and asset confiscation, while they can be effective, need to be applied carefully and with discernment. Being to some extent arbitrary and based on confidential information, they can cause resentment if used indiscriminately.