Towards Sustainable Peace in Colombia and the World: A Critical Perspective on Army Transformation

Research Visit to Colombia, August 2016

Research Visit to Colombia, August 2016

In this project, Dr Idler and her team critically analyse the process of transformation of the Colombian army. In particular focus is its role in achieving sustainable peace in the country and contributing to international security.

On 29 August 2016, the Colombian government and the leftist insurgent group FARC initiated a cease-fire. The two parties had reached a remarkable peace accord a few days earlier, hoping to end 52 years of civil war. Colombian President Juan Manuel Santos announced that the peace deal a formal signing of the peace deal on 26 September, triggering the 180-day demobilisation of the FARC.

Colombia’s armed conflict, the longest-running in recent global history, left more than 220,000 people dead and about 6.7 million displaced within the region. The ceasefire formalises the end of combat activities between state forces and the FARC, formally known as the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia—and all hostilities against civilians. Achieving sustainable peace, however, still remains a major challenge.

In this volatile security landscape, the Colombian National Army must comply with a triple effort: 1) to be one of the main guarantors of the implementation of the agreements signed between the Government and the FARC; 2) to prevent and control new threats emerging from the activities of new violence-generating groups; and 3) to increase participation in cooperation missions at an international level, in the management of disaster risks and the contribution to the country’s development. 

This project, carried out in partnership with the CAEEF (the Centre for Strategic Analysis of the Colombian Transformation Command), involves:

  •  Academic research based on fieldwork, the review of policy documents and the secondary literature
  • Critical policy-oriented analysis of the process of Army Transformation
  • Three educational courses for senior military personnel of the Colombian Army

Project Director: Dr Annette Idler

Advisory Board: Sir David Capewell, Richard Currie, Justin Holt

Team Members: Andres Gómez, Paul McPherson

CAEEF Coordinator: Rocío Pachón