Kila presentation Special Session

AIA San Antonio
on Military Cultural Property Protection
IMCURWG International Military Cultural Resources
Working Group
Joris Kila
Chair IMCURWG, University of Amsterdam, NLD MoD
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Key questions and subjects
Why is it relevant for military organisations to Protect Cultural
Property during operations?
What are the restraints and challenges to have this implemented?
The relationship between Cultural resources and Natural resources
Legal Drivers
Distinction, Identity and manipulation
Training the military
Ethical considerations and disputes
What deliverables and incentives does CPP generates for the
How to embed CPP capabilities in the military organization?
Are CIMIC and CA suitable for CPP capabilities?
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Cultural Relics not easy to recognize
status of cultural heritage can shift in time and
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Cultural Awareness CA
= Mandatory under international treaties including Hague Convention,
NATO STANAG 7141 EP, purple , force multiplier, asset to win hearts &
minds, fits in the comprehensive approach, economical asset (tourism) , intel
(illicit traffic of artifacts) can generate positive or negative PR, cultural
= Relates to CPP, useful but no juridical obligation
Tool to reach the “end state” of a mission sooner
Can generate negative PR , confusion concerning CPP and
Ethical and Moral issues
e.g. The discussion on Human Terrain System Teams
© Joris Kila
Why is CP relevant for the
Cultural Property can be compared to explosives, if not handled with care
and by experts damage can be caused as well as problems such as conflicts.
It is known to be smuggled and illegally traded profits can be made with it
and it is disputed. All characteristics that cultural heritage also possesses.
Manipulation of Cultural Property Entartete
Kunst (Nazi Germany)
Intangible Heritage can be a
threat too
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Cultural Property Protection (CPP) and Cultural Awareness are different
matters. Sometimes Cultural Awareness is used as an excuse not to deal
with CPP. In worst cases Cultural Awareness depts. Take over CPP and
compromise the subject.
CPP and training on CPP are mandatory under International Law and as a
part of EP (environmental planning) during (NATO led) Military activities
including Planning (see STANAG 7141EP and US CENTCOM R 200-2).
CPP should be implemented in all services of the Armed forces (Purple)
This is not only the most effective manner but also mandatory under IHL.
CPP is not only in support of a Commander’s mission (e.g. CIMIC)
but continuously (according to the Hague Convention of 1954).
Proper training on CPP has to be ensured on all levels
At this moment the Military in most EU countries are not doing enough
Same goes for NATO.
Challenges for implementing Military CPP
Cultural differences, conflicts of interest, oppositions between
Basic problem with CPP: the blind have to lead the
- Culture is to a group what personality is to an individual, a
disposition that leads people to respond differently to the same
stimuli (Wilson 1989)
- Distinction, Identity , Status also within the military
- Tasks that are not part of the culture will not be attended to
with the same energy and resources as tasks that are part of a
certain culture (Wilson).
There is not enough international cooperation on
training & research and implementation of CPP!
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Cultural Resources or Cultural Heritage?
Cultural and Natural resources
Natural resources are taken care of by the Military under environmental concerns
and issues. NATO STANAG 7141 EP: “Joint NATO Doctrine for
Environmental Protection during NATO-led MilitaryActivities”states under
b. Identify the characteristics of the environment that may be impacted by or
have an impact on NATO led military activities, i.e.: (5) natural and
cultural resources
c. Identify potential (environmental) impacts caused by military activities,
including the impacts of alternatives and contingencies, e.g.:
7) Endangerment of Natural and Cultural Resources. Impacts on natural and
cultural (historic and archaeological) resources should be prevented where
c. Implementation. The commander should ensure all personnel are trained and
aware of environmental issues.
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The connection with environmental issues and institutions is
instrumental in order to get CPP embedded within MoD’s
Examples of Environmental Aspects related to Cultural Property:
Soil pollution: Handling of petrol/oil etc.
leakage can contaminate archeological
Vibrations caused by e.g. helicopter
Detonation programs
Hesco’s and digging of trenches can
disturb stratification thus archaeological
Lessons Learned the use of HESCO’s
An example of (unintended) violation the Hague Convention and how to
prevent this:
The example described here is a violation to the Hague Convention: Article 3.
Safeguarding of cultural property Article 4. Respect for cultural property Article 5.2
Occupation Article 7. Military measures and the Geneva Convention IV articles 33 and 53
The problem is the use of Hesco’s, which are large bags that are filled with sand/ rubble
to serve as barriers. for military camps and fortifications.
There are cases known that these bags were filled with deposits from archaeological
Sites containing pottery sherds, bones etc. The soil in an archaeological site represents
all kinds of important data that are only useful when extracted by experts from their
original context. For instance earth layers
can give information through stratigraphical
data e.g. pottery fragments can serve as an
important dating tool when found in the
original context of the soil. When such
deposits are used to fill Hesco’s
the context of the site is disturbed
and it is very difficult or even
impossible to be used for
archeological research. Even worse
were cases where after a complaint
was made about the use of
archaeological deposits these deposits
were replaced and dumped on another
archaeological site thus causing a
second disturbing of the context.
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Intentional Destruction of
Cultural Property
CP is available for manipulation
CP is often disputed
CP has a link with the glorified & idealized past and identity
This past is always (re)produced in the present (Bourdieu 2000)
Damaging or destruction of CP is attacking the identity of the
opponent (Iconoclasm)
Looting of artefacts for financial reasons (illicit traffic)
There are also economic consequenses e.g. Tourism
What kind of identity?
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Memory, identity
Berlin bombed in
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The past is always produced in the present (Bourdieu 2000)
The present presented as the past
(vd Laarse 2008)
Sites of Memory, trauma scapes, cultural landscapes
Most sites of memory are in fact carefully designed. While landscapes and monuments seem
to have a strong tendency to persist, their meanings are constantly shifting, and altered
meanings result in changing appearances. Instead of the presence of the past, heritage might
therefore better be understood as the present presented as the past.
Over the past sixty years, in particular concentration camps have been fundamentally altered
by processes of musealisation, adaptation and destinization*. In addition to wipe out the
traces, the Nazis have destroyed many camps at the end of the war. Even Auschwitz, Europe’s
most ‘sacred’ memory site, has been subjected to intensive policies of preservation,
restoration and display. Although still to be found in the original locations, present-day
memorial camps have hardly anything in common with the former death camps. What visitors
experience are non-places, or heritage in absence. In the Netherlands as well as in Germany,
Poland and elsewhere in Europe, war memorials have become highly disputed spaces.
This raises fundamental questions about authenticity and identity such as the recent Dutch
debate on the ‘Anne Frank tree’. Although authenticity is of crucial importance to verifying
the past, many of these trauma scapes have undergone radical alterations as a result of
epistemic shifts in the way the holocaust is in the case of war heritage, it will make sites
vulnerable to holocaust criticism.
Source: Rob van der Laarse University of Amsterdam
*Destinization: to force events of destiny to come into terms with your visual reality.
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What if there is only
virtual heritage left?
Pyramid and Sphinx Las Vegas
Pyramid of Khafra and Sphinx Giza Plateau Egypt
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The role of CIMIC/Civil Affairs
There are basic differences between CIMIC and CA
CPP (Cultural Affairs in CIMIC) and the NATO
directive that activities have to be in support of a
COM’s mission. Is IHL prevailing or military law?
CIMIC not purple embedded
Different approaches towards CIMIC cultural affairs
Example Poland
The link with COIN and the legal and ethical
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The need for military deliverables or incentives, some
examples from the European context:
- CPP can contribute to the Dutch constitutional rule of supporting the development
of the international rule of law.
- CPP is positive for the imago of the Netherlands both nationally as well as
internationally. An active policy shows that the Netherlands tends to meet
obligations deriving from treaties and legislation.
- CPP strengthens so called hearts-and-minds campaigns within the context of the
Comprehensive Approach/DDD because it demonstrates to the local population that
the Netherlands respects its CP.
- CPP can stimulate and speed up a transition to stabilization since the local
population experiences that the foreign military respect their heritage and culture
following this the end-state of a mission can be reached quicker.
- CPP can strengthen the support within the Dutch society for military (foreign)
- CPP contributes to Force Acceptance en Force Protection. When a local
population supports CPP initiatives it serves as a Force Multiplier. A capability
that, when added to and employed by a combat force, significantly increases the
combat potential of that force and thus enhances the probability of successful
mission accomplishment
- CPP can disturb the illicit antiquities market , as a consequence a possible source
of funding from the OMF will be reduced.
- Education on and operational implementation of CPP can be an important
contribution to mission related training programs.
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Insights concerning CPP
in relation to Military operations
CPP expertise developed by The Allies during the Second World War has been allowed to
CPP has been forced back onto political and military agendas because of the (still
continuing) catastrophic theft and looting of CP in Iraq since 2003, but that there had been
numerous examples of such activity since the Second World War (e.g., former Yugoslavia,
Iraq in 1999);
CPP is a military ‘force multiplier’* and should never be regarded as an unnecessary
burden, legally imposed, but militarily problematic and useless;
Military success can no longer be defined in terms of battlefield victory but had to take
into account the post-conflict political, social, and economic stability of countries involved
(the ‘Comprehensive Approach’);
CPP is linked to the issue of general ‘cultural awareness’ but it is actually a separate issue
with particular concerns that requires specialised skills different to those for general
cultural awareness;
CPP is critical to the Comprehensive Approach and to the post-conflict long-term political,
social, and economic (through tourism) stability of many countries
*A capability that, when added to and employed by a combat force, significantly increases the combat potential of that force
and thus enhances the probability of successful mission accomplishment
Thanks for contributions from Peter Stone (UK)
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Training in Situ CCHAG & IMCURWG
Training for planners, higher officers, DEFATS, policymakers etc.
Training near an actual monument or archaeological site.
Plans for training in Jordan (Petra and Uhm Quais) Egypt (Djoser
Step Pyramid) Stone Henge, Former Yugoslave Rep. Of Macedonia.
The principle of Military necessity
“We are bound to respect monuments as far as war allows. If
we have to choose between destroying a famous building and
sacrificing our men,
then our men’s lives count infinitely more and the buildings
must go. But the choice is not always so clear cut as that. In
many cases the monuments
can be spared without detriment to operational needs. Nothing
can stand against the argument of military necessity but the
phrase is sometimes used where it would be more truthful to
speak of military- or even personal convenience”.
General Eisenhower, December 29th 1943
Hague Convention 1954
International Military Cultural Resources Working Group (IMCURWG)
IMCURWG comprises cultural heritage professionals working in the military
context in order to:
-Enhance military capacity to implement cultural property protection across the full
range of operations
-Provide a forum for international co-operation and networking for those working
within the military context
-Identify areas of common interest
-Share best practice and lessons learnt
-Raise awareness and publicise military commitment to the protection of cultural
property and cultural heritage both tangible and intangible
-IMCURWG will work within the context of the Hague Convention.
-Develop a web-site that will explain the role of IMCURWG and provide a vehicle
for hosting training materials and other information as it is developed
-Develop and test on-site training modules and programmes for senior leadership in
the Middle East (Egypt, Jordan in co-op with CCHAG).
-Develop GIS data-bases of immovable cultural heritage
-Produce publications (e.g. Archaelogy CP and the Military Rush)
-Develop and test appropriate training modules, programmes, and curricula for
different levels of the military regarding cultural property protection
-Establish a network of ‘reach-back’ expertise to support deployed forces
-Develop capacity to provide expert assessment of sites to be developed by
deployed forces in-theatre
-Collect and share data for the GIS data-bases of immovable cultural heritage for
the purpose of supporting military environmental planning
-Support efforts to establish an international military and civilian rapid reaction
team for CPP
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Legal driver STANAG 7141 EP
This doctrine mentions cultural resources within the Environmental Planning for
NATO led operations. There is a connection between natural and cultural resources.
These resources can be impacted by military operations.
Impact can be diminished or avoided trough planning, assessments and training.
* Teaching CPP at the NATO School in Oberammergau Germany at the Environmental
Planning Course 1st time October 2009.
Level of participants: planners, subject matter experts both civilian personell as wel as
higher officers from different NATO member states. This year courses in May and
* Presentation at NATO HQ Brussels about CPP during the official meeting of the
NATO Environmental Working Group
Aims: more training on officer levels general courses
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Playing Cards CPP
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CPP is a military ‘force multiplier’ and generates Force Acceptance
CPP touches upon the issue of general ‘cultural awareness’ but is actually a separate
issue with particular concerns that required specialized, preferably art historical and
archaeological skills. Human Terrains and counterinsurgency (tribal advisors) are
separate issues.
The military should be ordered by the political level to implement CPP
CPP is not an area for gold diggers and bureaucratic, risk avoiding personnel
Pro-active and visionary strategies are necessary in this phase accompanied by
scientific research.
Research is multidisciplinary but implementation should be limited to archaeologists,
art historians and legal experts
International Cooperation is conditional
CPP officers should be embedded in the MoD’s, DoD’s
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