News | Oct. 18, 2017

Module 2: Peace Matters: The Impact of Peace Agreements and Political Accords on Illicit Power – Why is this an operational problem?


By comparing case studies from Afghanistan and Sierra Leone, and including a prospective look at Colombia, this module highlights one of the enduring insights from Impunity – that peace agreements and political settlements directly impact our ability to contain the rise of illicit power in a post-conflict environment.  A critical learning objective is to create a bridge between policy and implementation.  Discussions should center around the impact of peace agreements on every level of operations, how such strategic accords fit in the analysis of the operational environment, and how implementers can identify the ways in which agreements and settlements themselves create risk.  

During beta testing of the model syllabus, this module proved to be the most popular among JPME students as it was the least well-understood prior to instruction.

Recommended Readings: 

  • Impunity: Confronting Illicit Power in War and Transition, Edited by Michelle A. Hughes and Michael Miklaucic. Washington, DC: Government Printing Office (2016). 
    • Chapter 1, “Criminal Patronage Networks in Afghanistan” by Carl Forsberg and Tim Sullivan 
    • Chapter 5, “Traffickers and Truckers: Illicit Afghan and Pakistani Power Structures with a Shadowy but Influential Role” by Gretchen Peters 
    • Chapter 8, “Sierra Leone: The Revolutionary United Front” by Ismail Rashid 
    • Optional Recommended Reading: Chapter 6, “Colombia and the FARC: From Military Victory to Ambivalent Political Reintegration?” by Carlos Ospina 
  • Peace Agreement between the Government of Sierra Leone and the RUF (Lomé Peace Agreement), 
  • Agreement on Provisional Arrangements in Afghanistan Pending the Re-establishment of Permanent Government Institutions (Bonn Agreement), 
  • Optional Recommended Viewing: BBC “Our World” Documentary: “Liberia and Sierra Leone – Dancing with the Devil” (Can be accessed on several sites via internet) 


  • Webcast: “‘Sacred Documents’ and the Enemies of Peace: Why Agreements Matter” featuring Michelle Hughes 

Lecture Notes and Facilitator’s Guides: 

  • Facilitator’s Guide: “Criminal Patronage Networks and the Struggle to Rebuild the Afghan State” 
  • Facilitator’s Guide: “Traffickers and Truckers: Illicit Afghan and Pakistani Power Structures with a Shadowy but Influential Role” 
  • Facilitator’s Guide: “Sierra Leone: The Revolutionary United Front” 

Slide Pack: 

“Illicit Power Structures and Peace Agreements”