The large majority of Dutch policing tasks are divided over the ‘civilian’ Netherlands Police (NP), on the one hand, and the gendarmerie force with military status, the Royal Marechaussee (KMar) on the other. Both organisations have general policing responsibilities, but the scope of their tasks is different. The Netherlands Police, currently employing about 60,000 personnel, are responsible for the primary policing tasks: crime prevention, the investigation of crime, the maintenance of legal and public order and assistance to citizens in need of help. The KMar, employing about 6,000 personnel, are responsible for specific policing tasks that are described in the Police Law 2012, concentrated on three clusters of activities: Border policing, Guarding & Securing, and International and Military Policing.
Both organisations are tasked to deploy staff in international police missions. Other than for the NP, for the organisation of the KMar this is one of the force’s three spearheads. After summarising the two organisations’ tasks and responsibilities, this chapter outlines their policy objectives in contributing to police missions and the capabilities that both organisations can deliver. In conclusion, these capabilities are linked to the results of the demand assessment (chapter 2) and a basic set of criteria is proposed that can be taken into consideration when assessing the relative competence of the KMar and NP for deployment in individual police missions.
Officially introduced in the Netherlands in 1814 as the ‘Corps de Marechaussee’, a mounted police corps with a military structure, currently the KMar are one of four operational commands of the Armed Forces. The force employs just over 6,000 personnel, with the vast majority being military staff. The management and control responsibility for KMar, as is the case for the other operational commands, falls on the Ministry of Defence. However, management and control of are divided from authority over the KMar; proper authority for the employment of the KMar may rest – depending on the specific national task - with the Ministry of Security & Justice, the Ministry of the Interior & Kingdom Relations, or the Ministry of Defence. The authority for the employment of KMar personnel and assets for crisis management operations (outside the Kingdom of the Netherlands) falls on the Ministry of Defence, the responsibility for the actual execution of missions lies with the Commander of the Armed Forces.
In the past five years there have been many developments that have a direct effect on the role and tasks of the KMar. Next to the international security situation as described earlier in this study, there are also several national evolutions in the fields of security & terrorism, international security, and immigration. The KMar are involved with and active in the fields of the National Counter-terrorism Strategy, the National Cyber Security Strategy, border-crossing forms of crime and immigration policy including the Identity Management and Immigration programme. Many of these national policies and programmes are strongly entwined with bilateral and/or multilateral partner countries and organisations. Parallel with these developments, all resulting in an intensification of tasks for the KMar, there have been several successive budget cuts for the Armed Forces also affecting the KMar, leading to large pressure on the organisation.
In order to balance these two diverging (sets of) developments, the KMar have sought to restructure their activities, implementing focus, broadening and/or deepening cooperation with security partners within and outside of the Ministry of Defence, and in general strengthening professionalism. These measures aim to result in a highly efficient employment of the available capabilities, while ensuring effectiveness in the performance of all tasks.
The leading principle in focussing their efforts is the KMar’s responsibility to contribute to ‘the security of the State’. From that focal point, three spearheading task clusters have been defined and further implemented: Border policing tasks, Guarding & Securing tasks, and International and Military Policing tasks.
For border policing tasks the KMar work from a nodal orientation, countering illegal immigration, border-crossing criminality, and border-crossing terrorism. Primarily concentrating on physical land, water, and air borders, the KMar adopt highly efficient methods for national execution, in order to be able to employ capabilities at the outer borders of the Schengen zone or even Europe in close cooperation with international partners. Next to this physical context, the KMar are also involved in countering illegal cross-border financial streams, and as prime specialists in preventing/countering Identity and Document Fraud. In policing the national borders, the KMar are responsible for all outer borders, except for the Port of Rotterdam, which is assigned to the NP.
Guarding and Securing tasks encompass the activities that contribute to the unhampered functioning of vital objects and functionaries of the State. The KMar are responsible for the security of members of the Royal Household and the palaces, politicians, ministries, diplomats, and embassies. The organisation protects civil aviation against terrorism, and escorts high-value transports of the central bank. In fulfilling these tasks, the KMar strive to cooperate with national and international public and private partners, looking for complementarity in a necessary integral approach to Guarding & Securing. Key themes in the concept used are: information for proactive action, net-centric cooperation and multi-level steering, flexibility and scalability of performance, employment of state of the art techniques, customer focus, and the professionalism & purpose of personnel. Guarding and Security is a responsibility which the KMar share with the NP, the risk level of operations being an important criterion for assigning tasks to either the KMar (higher risk) or NP (lower risk) on a case to case basis.
International policing tasks are considered to be the KMar’s contribution to the execution of the national Foreign and Security Policies. Being part of the Armed Forces of the Netherlands, these tasks are part of the very core of the responsibilities for the organisation. The KMar are able to perform international policing tasks as a stand-alone entity, in cooperation with (one or more of ) the other Operational Commands or with other partners, such as the Police, the Military Police, or other Gendarmerie Forces. The aim is to contribute to the further development of a sustainable rule of law and stability in third countries.
Military Policing tasks are part of the legally prescribed roles for the KMar. These tasks vis-à-vis the Armed Forces are executed in order to safeguard the high standard of integrity which is necessary for the Armed Forces. In performing these tasks, the KMar contribute to the employability of this instrument of power of the national government, thus having specific added value for the security of the State.
‘The sustainment and furthering of the international rule of law’ is one of the three main tasks for the Armed Forces, as prescribed by Article 97 of the Constitution of the Netherlands. Being one of four operational commands of the Armed Forces, the KMar are co-responsible for the execution of any activities serving this task. In addition to that, the International Security Strategy (ISS) of the Netherlands describes three strategic interests, the second of these being an ‘effective international legal order’. The policy letter re-estimating the ISS as a result of international developments on both the Eastern and Southern flanks of NATO and EU territory, again emphasised the importance of a properly functioning international rule of law.
For the KMar the rendered main constitutional task, and the organisation’s contribution to the safeguarding of the mentioned strategic interest, is translated into:‘The employment in civil and military crisis management operations outside of the borders of the Kingdom of the Netherlands in order to support the sustainment and furthering of the international rule of law.’ 
From the defined 3 spearheads the third, ‘International and Military Police tasks’  (specifically the ‘International Tasks’ part), comprise the possible expeditionary use of KMar units, elements and individuals. The actual contribution of the KMar will principally be one of three types: Employment as policing capability, employment as Military Policing capability for the deployed (national) forces, and employment as generic military capability.
As shown in appendix E, since the beginning of this millennium the KMar have gained ample experience in multilateral missions, having employed police capabilities in about 30 operations. In a third of these operations, the KMar’s involvement is at the time of writing still ongoing. Looking at the number of operations, KMar involvement has been quite equally distributed over the EU (11 operations), UN (10) and NATO (7). The contingents of staff deployed by KMar to the UN have been considerably larger. Presently, the largest deployments of KMar staff are in Mali and South Sudan, where in the recent past KMar have relatively heavily participated in missions to Afghanistan, Iraq, Kosovo and Bosnia and Hercegovina. Next to this, KMar officers have been deployed to Frontex: in 2014 the Netherlands deployed a total of 95 officers to this organisation, of which the majority came from the KMar.
From earlier mission deployments to multilateral missions KMar respondents who played key roles in an number of missions interviewed for this study learned that the organisation has a high degree of operational readiness. KMar personnel have a basic training level that partly overlaps with basic military training on the individual level. This individual military preparation, although not comparable to a full military training on group, platoon, company or battalion level, contributes to the employability of KMar personnel in more volatile operational environments. This level of operational readiness facilitates rapid deployability in case of need.
Although the majority of the organisation are tied to a large number of essential national tasks, the KMar can indeed rapidly deploy individuals and/or elements, as has been demonstrated, for instance, in the immediate wake of the MH17 disaster. Also, the Netherlands’ Royal Marechaussee have a 60-person detachment stand-by unit for deployment in the framework of the European Gendarmerie Force (Eurogendfor), a force than can deploy up to 800 police officers within 30 days.
In addition to the operational readiness, personnel to be deployed needs to achieve mission readiness status. For each mission a specific mission readiness plan ought to be designed and executed. Several interviewees pointed to the lesson learned from the first KMar deployment to Kunduz. KMar personnel were employed as basic instructors to Afghan Police officers in training. All too soon it appeared that the ability to instruct an audience of trainees was at a much lower level than estimated. Below the rank of Sergeant Major of the KMar, only those who served as instructors at the KMar education & training centre, or at a joint Defence educational facility, had specific expertise in instruction. The identification of this shortfall led to an adaptation in the mission preparation, rapidly including a block on instruction, in order to better prepare personnel for their actual in-theatre task. This adaptation is commendable, although it would have been unnecessary had a proper analysis of the actual in-theatre tasks been performed up front, resulting in a Mission Essential Task List (METL). This METL will enable the identification of the shortfalls between the operational readiness and the necessary specific mission readiness,
The KMar’s international orientation may be considered another asset contributing to the organisation’s aptness for international deployments. KMar personnel are used to working in international environments: for training & education, for specific events, obviously for international posts, and even for many of the national posts there is an international setting. Seeking employment in international environments is strongly encouraged, even throughout the ranks. Respondents indicated that they had indeed benefited from this international orientation in their respective missions, roles, and tasks.
Higher-level KMar officers (Major and above) are well suited for providing high level advice and assistance and for individual mentoring and consulting set-ups, since they are used to exactly that role as staff members within the KMar and/or within the Joint Defence Staff environment. For such key positions, longer mission timeframes are necessary in order to reach optimal operational results. For Defence, a normal mission timeframe is 4-6 months for units, 6 months for individuals up to and including Lieutenant Colonels, and for Colonel and higher a year is the basis. The KMar already work with the rule of exception that 10% of deployed officers (below the rank of Colonel) may be sent abroad for a period longer than 6 months, provided that the individual in question does not object to this. However, that exception rule gives rather little function security in the context as described by the interviewees.
Next to this need for longer timeframes, according to this study’s KMar respondents, operational results can be optimised by ensuring better profile matching between a mission’s needs and the organisation’s strengths. Since these subjects correspond with challenges encountered by the NP, they are discussed more elaborately in section 3.3.
Internationally, there are 5 recognized categories of capabilities which a military police force and/or a gendarmerie force should possess:
With regard to these capabilities, the Commander of the Royal Marechaussee, supported by his management advisory team ‘de Marechaussee Raad’, has indicated a mission employment direction, entailing that:
the KMar will obviously always be available for capability 1 for Dutch mission elements, but
capabilities 1 to 3 do not have mission priority, so international requests for those will be considered on a case by case basis, and
from these 5, the KMar will focus on international mission deployment requests for capabilities 4 and 5.
The policing of military forces is a capability the KMar apply as part of their regular functioning and is therefore well developed. Also it corresponds to the KMar’s third spearhead. However, since all regular military police forces can theoretically deliver this capability, it is not where the KMar can contribute most added value on the international level. Employment should therefore be limited to the MP duties to the national Armed Forces of the Netherlands – as prescribed by Article 4 of the Police Law. The detention of prisoners and mobility support are both not included in KMar’s spearheading task clusters, although the KMar strive to maintain essential knowledge on these capabilities, thus safeguarding some organisational expertise.
Guarding and securing essential personnel and infrastructure is an internationally sought after capability that matches the spearhead task cluster 2 of the KMar, see earlier in this section for the KMar’s different activities in this area. The KMar’s extensive expertise in border policing, also described under ‘role and tasks’, can be applied for both the national borders as well as for the outer Schengen, EU or European borders, and, as seen in chapter 2, is subject to increasing demand. Furthermore, the KMar can contribute to public order, having a crowd and riot control capability that is tailored for more unruly and volatile circumstances.
The fifth capability, stability policing as defined by NATO, is comparable to the community policing concepts of the EU and UN, as far as it comes down to two possible main tasks:
Supporting the local police in a crisis area with their police tasks;
Replacing the local police in a crisis area, by executing their police tasks.
Community policing is not a day-to-day KMar task on the national level, apart from activities in the Caribbean part of the Netherlands, and employing ‘community policing’ officers in military barracks. However, the ability to work under volatile circumstances, combined with the KMar’s day-to-day employment in specific fields of expertise as described above, make it in many cases a suitable deliverer of this capability. For stability policing deployment in NATO operations, the KMar’s ability to work under military command makes the KMar an excellent fit. For community policing tasks in EU or UN frameworks, the advantage of having basic military training and an international orientation should be weighed against the specific competencies needed to be deployed. Depending on the mission circumstances and policing mandate, this internationally demanded capability can be a good fit with the KMar’s spearhead task cluster 3 ‘International and Military Policing tasks’, especially when competencies that are based in spearheads 1 and 2 are needed. In quantitative terms, the KMar have a yearly capacity to deploy 153 officers in missions. Sixty persons are available for quick deployment as part of the European Gendarmerie Force (Eurogendfor), see the next section. Next to this, if needed, a platoon for crowd and riot control, a close protection unit and a criminal investigation unit can be deployed as a whole.
One of the modes of KMar deployment in missions is through contributions to the European Gendarmerie Force (Eurogendfor). Founded in 2006 by five European nations, the Eurogendfor is a European intervention force, aiming to enhance international crisis management capabilities in all phases of conflict. It is conceived as being fully operational, pre-organised, robust and rapidly deployable: up to 800 police officers can be deployed within 30 days. Currently the Eurogendfor consists of seven police forces with a military status, all from EU member states.
The High Level Interdepartmental Committee (CIMIN) is the primary decision-making body for the Eurogendfor and is composed of representatives of the appropriate Ministries of each member state. The Eurogendfor’s permanent operational HQ in Vicenza, Italy, deals with the operational planning of its crisis management operations. As a result of many exercises and several deployments, the Eurogendfor and especially its permanent operational HQ have gathered extensive expertise on the training for, and the planning, preparation, and execution of police missions. The Eurogendfor can act autonomously and deploy its own headquarters or can be made available for missions led by international organisations such as the EU, UN, NATO or OSCE. It can act under both civilian authority and within a military chain of command, and is able to perform two core functions in a non-permissive environment in crisis management operations: the substitution of local police or MMTA tasks.
The KMar have a 60-person detachment stand-by unit for Eurogendfor deployment. This unit may be employed for crowd riot control duties, as a territorial police unit or as a mobile police unit; in both of those last options it can perform basic police duties and/or for instance border police tasks. Further contribution to a Eurogendfor mission is possible, and will be determined according to the standard process, relying on the standard mission capacities of the Commander of the Armed Forces.
One of the main reasons for the Netherlands to join the Eurogendfor was the recognition of the need to address the so-called security gap. The security gap arises in a less permissive environment when the military are deployed but are unable to perform police tasks, either because of the intensity of the prioritised military tasks, or because of lacking suitable forces. At the same time, an international civilian police force is less suitable to perform police tasks due to the destabilised environment. The ability to rapidly deploy alongside the military, and to perform both substituting and strengthening police tasks in a fragile security environment, makes the Eurogendfor well suited to act as a bridging force in this security gap. Furthermore, as the KMar is a relatively small police organisation, joining the Eurogendfor offers the Netherlands the opportunity to deploy its military police expertise in an effective and (cost-)efficient way. Moreover, incorporation in an extensive specialised network enables the sharing of best practices, which will in turn enhance KMar performance in (non- Eurogendfor) missions and in carrying out their national tasks.
However, some challenges remain in the Eurogendfor’s operational effectiveness. Decisions on deployment are made unanimously by the member states and therefore depend on the political will of their respective capitals. Fostering political will can be an arduous process as the Eurogendfor is a relatively unknown instrument. This is even more problematic when the Eurogendfor is deployed as part of an international organisation such as the EU or NATO. In that case, all IO member states are involved in the decision-making process, but not all member states are familiar with the Eurogendfor. And, finally, Eurogendfor deployment in operations being run by other IOs can be hampered by mismatching administrative procedures or financial terms.
In 2013 25 regional police forces and 1 national force merged into the Netherlands Police (NP). The reorganisation and centralisation of the tasks of the NP are at the time of writing still ongoing. The Minister of Security and Justice is accountable for the whole of the police organisation, but he shares authority over police work with the Public Prosecution’s Office and with local authorities. Since 2013, the NP have been headed by a national police commissioner, who is responsible for ten regional police units, a national unit and a central support unit. A repositioning of the still independent Police Academy, bringing the Academy’s manpower and resources under the umbrella of the NP, is expected to be implemented within the next four years.
The NP’s national duties include basically all primary police tasks: crime prevention, the investigation of crime, the maintenance of legal and public order and assistance to citizens in need of help. Border policing is limited to the Port of Rotterdam, all other outer and airport borders are tasked to the KMar. The primary police tasks comprise of a large range of duties and activities, varying from patrolling the streets and directing traffic, to conducting basic or complicated criminal investigations. Both the regional units of the NP and its National Crime Squad conduct criminal investigations concerning transnational issues like the smuggling of illicit drugs, human trafficking, war crimes committed abroad, high-tech cybercrime and ideologically motivated crime forms, such as terrorism. In countering organised crime, but also in other areas, the NP actively promote – and often direct - a multi-agency programmatic approach to security issues, engaging other public actors, the public and with private partners.
With the establishment of a national police force, international police activities have become more harmonised. The international agenda of the NP is structured in strategic country programmes that are based on analyses of the intensity of ‘criminal relations’ between the Netherlands and other countries. The centralisation also offers an improved organisational fundament for the recruitment of staff for deployment in missions, and for a better alignment of mission deployment with other operational activities.
Dutch civil police contributions to international peacekeeping missions find their legal basis in Article 90 of the Constitution of the Netherlands, formulating the general provision that ‘The Government shall promote the development of the international legal order’. In a first policy agreement between the Dutch government and the chiefs of the regional police forces in 2001, police contributions to peacekeeping missions were maximised at 40 police officers per year. This included the capacity needed for selecting and training these officers. An important difference with the KMar is that deployment of NP officers to international missions is on a voluntary basis.
In 2008 the Dutch Minister of Internal Affairs, then responsible for the police, was aware of the increasing demand for police deployment coming from the UN, OSCE and EU and sent Parliament a proposal to extend the maximum of officers to be deployed to a 100 officers per year. Also, the Minister stipulated that the civil police could from then on perform executive police tasks and be deployed in more challenging settings. The Minister formulated her reasoning as follows:
“In the current situation the Dutch Police in peacekeeping missions carry out non-executive tasks that are for the most part of an observing and advising nature. In order to be more flexible and to effectively contribute to the above mentioned policy goals and in order to optimally link the deployment of police officers to the operational interests of the police, I am planning to broaden deployment possibilities by permitting the performance of executive tasks. Also, I want to deploy police staff in higher-risk areas. The planned participation of the Dutch Police in the EUPOL mission in Afghanistan is a good example of this.’
In her letter, the Minister formulated as policy goals for international deployment:
Promoting the international rule of law,
Enforcing regional stability,
Contributing to national security,
Promoting intensive international police cooperation and the
Development of an international police network.
The first two policy goals correspond with the ISS and so does the Minister’s ambition to maximise the effectiveness of mission deployment. Next to these objectives, however, the quote shows that this policy vision adds the desire to align police deployment in missions with other security policy instruments. This objective materialises in the perceived function of the international deployment of the police in peacekeeping missions as a way of contributing to national security, promoting intensive international police cooperation and developing an international police network. These internal security goals have been confirmed by respondents interviewed for this study from both the Ministry of Security and Justice and the NP. The Ministry of S&J, that took over accountability for the NP from the Ministry of Internal Affairs in 2010, takes part in the Steering Group Missions and Operations (SMO), the highest advisory organ that prepares governmental decisions on police deployment in missions. Hence, these internal security criteria are factors of relevance when the Netherlands decides to contribute police capabilities to missions.
Closely related to these policy goals is the ambition of the NP to fulfil high-level functions in missions, as a way of maximising positive effects on national security and on their own organisation. The ambition to deploy a substantial number of police staff, that can at least justify the overhead costs of recruitment, selection and training, can also be seen as a method of enhancing both internal and external effectiveness. Some interviewees stated that, from an efficiency point of view, the maximum number of 100 trained and prepared personnel on reserve and 100 in a mission at any moment in time should be considered the proper minimum numbers to strive for.
The NP acknowledges the reverse capacity-building effect of sending police staff abroad in international missions. This means that NP staff, having worked abroad under sometimes difficult circumstances in an international working environment, return with new knowledge, competencies and experience that can be utilised internally, in the police organisation. Mission deployment has been adopted as one of the options of gaining work experience on an international strategic level and forms part of the NP’s international management development programme.
Since the beginning of this millennium, Dutch regional and national civil police forces have increasingly deployed staff in international operations. The 2011 police mission to Kunduz, Afghanistan, has in the Netherlands to some extent delineated the public image of police missions. In fact the ‘Kunduz mission’ refers to the Dutch Integrated Police Mission (IPM) that was a 2011 intensification of a Dutch police contribution to the EU’s EUPOL mission in Afghanistan that had already started in 2007. As shown in an overview of civil police deployments starting or ongoing since 2000 (appendix G), there have been 17 missions to which the Dutch civil police have contributed with mostly a small number of officers: the largest deployment of Dutch civil police officers was indeed to EUPOL, with at its maximum 50 staff. Other contributions consisted of a maximum of 10 police officers.
In recent years, the number of Dutch police officers deployed per year fluctuates between 30 and 40, meaning that the goal of 100 is not reached. At the time of writing, the NP contribute to seven missions, four of which are under the UN flag, two EU and recently a cohort has left to be deployed in the OSCE’s Special Monitoring Mission in Ukraine. In all cases, NP staff have been tasked with training, monitoring and advice activities. However, in Sudan and Mali, once in theatre, police staff have also been employed in an executive role.
Since the NP has to rely on voluntary applicants for mission deployments, it has been rather difficult to form a diverse pool of police officers that matches both the IO’s demand and the NP’s own ambition to fulfil high-level functions. Already in 2008, in the policy letter on mission deployment, the ambition was to form a more diverse pool of police officers for deployment – diverse with regard to the function level, specialisation and gender. If compared to the KMar, on the one hand human resources management is hampered by the voluntary basis of mission deployments. On the other side, since not all of the organisation’s staff are meant to be deployed, selection criteria can be better aligned with the actual (policy) needs. In 2011 the International Management Development Programme was launched as a special training curriculum aimed at preparing high-ranking police officers and high potentials for international police functions.
Another flaw of the NP regarding mission deployment are difficulties that deployed police officers encounter after their return. In a 2014 study focusing on internationally deployed police officers’ need for (psychological) support after return, Van der Ark signals that ¾ of all deployed police officers encounter problems. One of these problems is finding suitable re-employment. For their functional reintegration in the NP, police officers are to a large extent dependent on their former management. Sometimes, as Van der Ark has shown, this even serves as a push factor for volunteering for new mission deployments. Van der Ark has recommended that more attention should be paid to the mental resilience of deployed staff and their families.
To a certain degree these shortcomings are addressed by the ongoing integration of the former 25 police forces that, to some extent, all knew their own practice in recruitment procedures and re-employment. However, the long and complicated process of personnel reorganisation of the NP has led to a locked and inflexible HR situation, making it even more difficult to find suitable re-employment after return from a mission. Also, a 2015 policy review of the reorganisation of the NP has increased the power of mayors to allocate budget and staff. This might negatively affect the efforts to harmonise the NP’s policy in recruiting a diverse pool of staff for police missions.
Given their nationals tasks, the NP as an organisation harbour a broad set of capabilities and expertise. As said, when it comes to mission deployment, the NP aim at strategic management levels and alignment with national strategic programmes. The International Management Development Programme and a central pool of internationally experienced management experts, provides the eligible staff members for the first objective. Operational or intelligence specialists with expertise in assessing or countering transnational organised crime, terrorism, war crimes and cybercrime could be of value for the latter. Since the deployment to missions is based on voluntary applicants, the NP relies on active campaigning measures in the search for individuals with the right sets of competencies. Prior to admission to the pool of possible candidates, the regular management will have agreed to release staff members from their normal duties.
An assessment of the organisation’s special niche expertise can help in determining what competencies can be of added value to international organisations. Earlier mappings of competencies in relation to mission deployment and interviews with police experts and policy makers at the Ministry of Security and Justice have resulted in the following list of relatively well-developed competencies in the NP:
Integral chain approach to crime investigation, including civil, private and other partners
and community policing,
Gender, with a special focus on the development of female police officers
(The development of) Practice-based training focused on intelligence-led policing and community policing
Forensic technical support (crime scene investigation techniques and forensic work in relation to criminal investigations)
Operational skills, such as the preparation of house searches
Special niche expertise in multi-agency approaches to organised crime, high-tech cybercrime, money laundering and trafficking in human beings.
From earlier deployments, NP respondents have learned that the NP are strong providers of training, especially where the focus lies on training mid and high-level management. Also train-the-trainer constructions and developing training modules are considered to be assets that have proven their value.
Interviews held for this study with respondents from the NP, the KMar and the Ministries of Defence and Security and Justice provided some lessons learned that are relevant to both the KMar and the NP:
NP respondents who have been involved in missions or in mission support generally back the recommendation touched upon in chapter 2, that for many functions, especially regarding capacity building and SSR, longer deployment timeframes would be advisable for optimal results. Several respondents have stated that for optimal results in SSR missions, deployment periods of 18 months should be standard. Current government policy stipulates that for the NP the standard duration of mission deployment is six months and this can be extended by another six months. In 2010 these provisions were amended so that from then onwards ‘under special circumstances’ other arrangements could be made in relation to the deployment period. In practice, especially regarding deployment on strategic management level in missions, the extension to one year has already become the standard.
For the KMar, as discussed above, mission timeframes are based on the policy of Defence and generally do not exceed 6 months for mid-level ranks. As an exception to this rule, 10% of deployed KMar officers (below the rank of Colonel) may on a voluntary base be sent abroad for a period longer than that. Several interviewees indicated that for key positions it is of the utmost importance, firstly, to operate with longer than normal mission timeframes and, secondly, to ensure that when rotated, the next functionary will also be KMar. Such an approach would provide continuity of the efforts put into consulting or comparable tasks.
In a study dating from 2002, there is mention of the then sometimes occurring frustration among KMar personnel regarding the deployment policy. The core issue of discontent then was personnel being appointed for a mission, instead of using volunteers. Nowadays, personnel are still being appointed for a mission (only avoidable temporarily and for strong – personal - reasons), and obviously not everyone will be content with such an appointment, however interviews with KMar staff have made clear that it is commonly perceived and accepted as an elementary part of the larger job. What remains, however, is a sense of a lack of proper selection; the feeling is that KMar could do better at profile-matching between a post to be filled and an individual to be sent.
On the individual level, KMar respondents expressed a need for better profile-matching: a competency-based list should direct the selection of personnel. In the current situation, the time that has passed since a person’s last mission deployment and his or her total number of deployments weigh in too heavily in selecting staff for a mission. Also, rank is not always a proper indicator of specific expertise, although under-ranking should be avoided. From a cultural perspective the KMar cannot send relatively low ranking officers to mentor or advise the high(est) levels of officials in the Host Nation.
On the organisational level, respondents of both KMar and the NP recommended choosing missions that are in need of the specific strengths that their organisations can offer. An example of what could have been a better organisational profile match is border security. It was considered to be a specific skill of the KMar, and it was identified that the Afghan Border Police needed training. However, the Netherlands did not opt for having that specific part of the overall security forces’ training as their responsibility.
In order to optimise the results of the mission as a whole, it is recommended to increase attention for matching the actual, mission-specific demand for police capabilities with the deployment ‘package’ offered by the Netherlands. An assessment of the relative competence of KMar and the NP in relation to the specific case to case demand, should weigh more heavily than it has done in some cases.
In order to enhance both the mission’s results and the ‘return of investment’ for the Netherlands, Dutch authorities, next to improving the profile matching between the IO’s demand and supply form the KMar or NP from case to case, the Netherlands can consider to specialise in certain niches on the mid-term. Instead of stressing the broad variety of tasks that can be performed in missions, more specialisation offers the opportunity to adopt certain themes or regions. In choosing these niches, risks and threats to national security that are perceived from the Dutch perspective can be weighed in. More specialisation offers the additional advantage of more clear objectives of the Dutch government regarding police deployment abroad and a sharper profile of both KMAr and the NP as supplier of assets. Also, the quality of the police capabilities to be deployed can be enhanced in a more focused manner and specialisation can increase complementarity between KMar and the NP by more strongly defining their respective roles. Other ways to optimise alignment with national security objectives are discussed in chapter 4.
In order to enhance the effectiveness of contributions to missions the Dutch ‘civil package’ for a certain mission could be more integrated. This can be realised, for example, by an increased share of joint training and preparatory meetings and by the collective setting of goals. A more integrated Dutch (civil) contingent could prevent turf battles, or competency conflicts between the KMar and the NP from negatively affecting the performance of the Netherlands as a whole, once in the theatre.
With both KMar and NP as donor organisations for police deployment, the Netherlands has a broad and well-developed toolkit that in many ways meets, or can adapt to the demand of the four IOs assessed in Chapter 2. Both KMar and NP put effort into maximising their potential deployability in missions by stressing the variety of tasks that can be performed. More specialisation in niches is worth taking in consideration, as a sharpened profile of both organisations and more clarified objectives of the Dutch government regarding police deployment abroad can increase success in selection procedures. The selection of niches, or adopting certain themes or regions, could be based on risks and threats to national security that are perceived from the Dutch perspective. More selection offers the opportunity to enhance the quality of the police capabilities to be deployed and it can increase complementarity by more strongly defining the respective roles of KMar and the NP. On the other hand, there are advantages to having a flexible recruitment system in place in order to match the actual demand by IOs in a timely manner.
As long as the respective roles of KMar and NP in international police deployment are not defined more sharply, the organisations’ relative competency has to be determined on a case to case basis once contributing to a certain mission is on the table. A generic set of criteria that distributes tasks between KMar and NP in all thinkable mission scenarios does not logically follow from the deliverable capabilities of both organisations. Mission needs are variable and the differences in approach, culture and expertise can be subtle and need a case-to-case assessment. Some basic guidelines, however, can be drawn from both organisations’ general features that have been described above and from interviews held with mission experts from both organisations.
Both organisations bring a basic level of policing ability, enhanced by very specific skill sets. In SSR/MMT&A tasks, when a fundamental and generic reform of police is needed, both the KMar and the police are in position to be deployed. When more in-depth expertise in certain policing fields is needed, as might be the case in further stages of police reforms, a decision on deploying the police or KMar should depend on the particular kind of expertise needed. It seems beyond dispute that border management specialists can be found at the KMar and community policing is more natural to the civil police. But even then, depending on the mission’s circumstances, a KMar officer can be just as effective in transferring the basics of community policing as a police officer.
Next to the needed policing competencies, the risk level in theatre should be taken into account when assessing the relative competency of KMar and NP staff to be deployed in particular missions. In unstable areas, KMar-staff are in this respect the better option, although this argument should be considered in concert with others. Falling under the Ministry of Defence, KMar staff are tied to more strict time limits in mission deployment than the police. For the Police the standard duration of deployments abroad is one year, which can be extended under special circumstances. As the chapters on the NATO and OSCE show, some institutional obstacles exist to deploying civil police under military command in NATO missions and also to deploying Dutch military staff in OSCE field operations. However, if needed, existing restrictions can most probably be overcome.