[Originally published by Royal Danish Defence College]

On the 14th of November 2014 the political parties behind the Danish engagement in Afghanistan commissioned a compilation of lessons from the Danish Integrated Approach concept in support of operations in Afghanistan.

The result is now published and will be presented today, the 9th of June, on a conference at the Danish Parliament

The Lessons Identified consist of three parts:
AFGHANISTAN LESSONS IDENTIFIED 2001-2014, PART I: International Lessons from Integrated Approaches in Afghanistan, composed by DIIS, Danish Institute for International Studies.

AFGHANISTAN LESSONS IDENTIFIED 2001-2014, PART II: Development Cooperation in Afghanistan, composed by the consulting firm Landell Mills.

AFGHANISTAN LESSONS IDENTIFIED 2001-2014, PART III: Danish Lessons from Stabilisation & CIMIC Projects

Focus on CIMIC and Stabilisation
Part III by the Royal Danish Defence College “Danish Lessons from Stabilisation & CIMIC Projects” is authored by Lieutenant Colonel Steen Bornholdt Andersen, Project Researcher Niels Klingenberg Vistisen and Student Researcher Anna Sofie Schøning. The report is intended to provide a concise, accurate and practical collection of the Danish lessons stemming from the projects that the Danish Armed Forces carried out within the defence budget framework in support of military operations (the so-called CIMIC (i.e. civil-military cooperation) projects), as well as the lessons from stabilisation projects carried out in cooperation between the Danish Armed Forces and the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Afghanistan.

The report concludes a.o. that the security situation undoubtedly was the single most important factor affecting the completion of stabilisation projects and their impact. It was precisely the security situation that caused mundane issues such as transport capacity to have a direct and negative effect on the success and sustainability of the projects.

Though, all in all the authors concludes that the collected information indicates that the integrated projects and the CIMIC effort at least in the short run have contributed to stabilisation at the local level”, as they write in the introduction. However there are also improvements to make, a.o.t. in regard to “the way in which military units were formed, trained and deployed and the procedures employed by the Danish Ministry of Foreign Affairs in recruiting advisers [which] did not always offer the best conditions for establishing good relations prior to arrival in the mission area.