Sunday, April 19, 2015

Day in the Life of a RoL Advisor

One of the hardest jobs in Afghanistan is that of a Rule of Law advisor. I have known and worked with several RoL advisors and trainers and they had a frustrating job. On one hand there were the Afghans that had no clue what RoL was (and if they did, had no desire to observe it) and on the other hand were American military officers that brushed the whole concept aside - at least in the early and mid years of the Afghan conflict. Even in a later period of the war (just a few years back) I can recall RoL advisors at the national level working at ISAF being reassigned to other jobs because there was not much progress being made in RoL within the Afghan government, military, and police. It wasn't all gloom and doom for the RoL advisor - there were some success stories and some progress; just not enough.

With President Ghani now running the government and the appointment of new ministers to the cabinet perhaps the Rule of Law advisors working in Resolute Support Essential Function 3 will see the doors open a little wider and be able to assist the Afghans with some measurable and meaningful progress.

Jade Wu, a former Rule of Law advisor in Afghanistan, provides us her perspective on the Rule of Law advisor assignment in "A Day in the Life of a Rule of Law Advisor", International Policy Digest, April 17, 2015. Jade is a foreign policy analyst, author, and lawyer. She has worked on humanitarian assignments in Iraq, Kosovo, Philippines, Germany, and Malawi. She is currently writing a book with the working title "Moments that Flashed". You can follow her on Twitter at @jadejournal.

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