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Appendix G

Guidelines to Successfully Reach an Agreement

This appendix discusses mediation from the perspective of mediating between former belligerents in a postconflict environment. The following guidelines are not all-inclusive or exclusive. Since mediation is the preferred method for conducting bilateral or multilateral talks, these guidelines were written mainly to facilitate mediation. However, the principles contained below should also apply in those cases where the CA soldier is serving as a negotiator or arbitrator.

The mediation process, like the interview process, consists of three distinct phases: the preparatory phase, the meeting phase, and the postmeeting phase. Unlike the interview process, which is normally a one-time event, the three phases are repeated before each mediation event.




G-1.   This phase includes determining where the mediation should take place, as well as doing research to understand what factors are involved so that a successful outcome of the mediation process will result. The following paragraphs discuss these actions.


G-2.   When setting the environment, the mediator considers both the physical meeting place and the individual or group requirements of the parties present at the mediation. Preferences among the representatives for a specific time or location should be considered, but a safe, quick route equidistant for as many of the involved parties as possible should be the priority. All parties must feel secure and comfortable while at the mediation site. Shelter, water, food, light, telephone and communications assets, restrooms, paper and pens, chairs and tables, along with any other requisite supplies should be readily available.


G-3.   Preparation, as in any military operation, is the key to a successful mediation. The mediator must know the factual situation as well as the nuances that the local representatives will apply to the facts. The condition of local factories, level of education, age of the populace, amount of farming versus manufacturing, lines of communications (roads, telephones, water, and so on) are but a part of the overall situation. Political inclination before and after the conflict, economic ties outside the country, and the ideologies of internal and external pressure groups seeking cooperation or disharmony are also critical.

G-4.   The mediator must be fully aware of the resources that can be exploited to reach an agreement. He must know about all possible resources, not only from the organization that he represents but also from other international, nongovernmental, or private groups operating in the theater.

G-5.   The mediator should also know which requirements of the local populace could be leveraged to increase pressure on the local representatives to comply with efforts to enhance stability and peace. For example, there may exist in the AO factories that are missing an easily procured part or farmland that could productively grow an alternate crop. While this knowledge does not directly lead to an agreement, an effort by the mediator to obtain the missing part or an alternate crop source can be used to nudge a party toward cooperation.

G-6.   The local slant on the facts will vary by person, village, county, and nation. Mediators must know what each party can and will concede and ensure that a balance is achieved.

G-7.   The mediator must know as much as possible about the parties that are directly and indirectly involved in the mediation. There will be personalities and pressures from behind the scenes that can affect the willingness of the local representative to support an agreement. Mediators must know the ability of the people present at the table to effectively comply with any agreement that they sign. Frustration and distrust are hard to overcome when an unseen person derails an agreement made in good faith.

G-8.   The mediator must also know if the local representative can sign an agreement and expect the support of the populace. If popular support is not forthcoming, any momentum towards stability will be lost. Finally, the mediator must know which international parties have an influence on, as well as an interest in, the topics of the mediation and ensure that the goals of the mediation are not at odds with those of a member of the international community (IC).

G-9.   When using translators, the mediator must also be mindful of the translator's personal bias filter. Translators should be vetted and routinely checked to ensure their integrity and accuracy. Before key meetings, the mediator should brief the translators to ensure that new or difficult ideas are clearly understood and uncommon words and their definitions are explained.

G-10.   When hiring translators, many factors must be considered. Local translators tend to be the most fluent and have a better command of dialects but will be more likely to have more pronounced biases, depending upon their personal experiences and loyalties to particular ethnic or religious groups. American translators have a lower tendency to have personal biases, either for or against a party, but their command of local dialects may not equal that of a native speaker. If possible, mediators should use translators in tandem to ensure both accuracy and reliability and to reduce the effects of personal bias.

G-11.   One of the most difficult challenges facing a mediator is ensuring that all parties are represented. In some cases, portions of the populace will be either underrepresented or not represented at all. The mediator must know the demographics of the region to integrate all potential interested parties into the process. Failure to do so will lessen overall support for stability and may actually lay the foundation for future controversy where the United States is cited as a biased entity.




G-12.   Effective communication is essential to maintain successful negotiations. This will often take place within meetings. Meetings may be informal and spontaneous or may be routine, but all must be well thought out and carefully planned, if possible.


G-13.   Before any meeting, the CA soldier conducting the meeting should accomplish the following:

  • Identify the reason for members meeting face to face.
  • Ensure members have been invited well in advance.
  • Establish the objectives for the meeting.
  • Ensure all participants understand the objectives.
  • Circulate reports and other documentation pertinent to the discussion before the meeting so information can be read and digested.
  • Prepare the physical environment beforehand (check for warmth, fresh air, light, seating arrangements, security, communications support, accessibility of the meeting location, and solitude). The CA soldier should also-
    • Ensure appropriate visual aids (whiteboards, markers, sheets of paper, recording equipment, and overhead projectors) are in place.
    • Arrange members so they can face each other, if possible; for larger groups, try U-shaped rows. A leader has better control when he is centrally located.
    • Choose a location suitable to group size. Small rooms with too many people get stuffy and create tension. A larger room is more comfortable and encourages individual expression.
    • Vary meeting places, if possible, to accommodate different members.
  • Collect any other resources needed for the meeting.
  • Assemble static displays, if used.
  • Establish and publish an agenda.
  • Identify and prepare a facilitator.
  • Identify and prepare a recorder.

G-14.   The facilitator will-

  • Make sure the meeting starts on time.
  • Be knowledgeable on appropriate social customs and requirements.
  • Be aware that people of different cultures may follow different time scales; if there are latecomers, welcome them, give them a moment to settle, then tell them what the group is doing.
  • Welcome members and organizations and conduct introductions.
  • Articulate ground rules that have been developed by the members:
    • Respect for other people: There will be no interrupting, no long monologues, no personal abuse, and time is allowed for everybody to express their views.
    • Confidentiality: Agreement needs to be reached on whether meeting content shall be discussed outside the meeting.
    • Responsibility: Everybody agrees to take responsibility for timekeeping, keeping to the agenda, and voicing their opinions in the meeting rather than afterwards.
    • Physical comfort: Agreement needs to be reached on whether smoking is permissible or whether breaks can be negotiated.
    • Decision making: Agreement needs to be reached on how decisions are to be made: by consensus or voting. If consensus cannot be achieved, at what point will alternative decision-making methods be used and who will decide?
  • Read and call for apologies.
  • Establish the time frame for the meeting.
  • Keep the group focused on the agenda.
  • Thank everyone for attending the meeting and set the time and place, if appropriate, for the next meeting.
  • Conduct a documents security check of the room or area after the meeting.

G-15.   Problems are discussed during the meeting with officers so improvements can be made. The facilitator will-

  • Follow up on delegation decisions; see that all members understand and carry out their responsibilities.
  • Give recognition and appreciation to excellent and timely progress.
  • Put unfinished business on the agenda for the next meeting.
  • Conduct a periodic evaluation of the meetings. Weak areas can be analyzed and improved for meetings that are more productive.
  • Ensure-
    • Action plans and follow-ups are confirmed.
    • Minutes are checked by the facilitator and the recorder.
    • The time frame for publication and distribution of minutes, reports, and the next agenda is arranged, as required.

G-16.   The methods and operational aspects of an operation may be classified, but there is nothing classified about the goals of U.S. policy. Upon meeting the parties to the mediation, the mediator must be forthright and direct with what is expected between parties as it pertains to the establishment of stability and lasting peace. The U.S. goals should be presented to all parties to the mediation in written form and in the local language. After the local representatives have read the goals, the mediator should ask questions of them to ensure that the goals are understood and that there is no mistaken conception that the mediator is trying to further the particular interests of either the United States or a local entity.

G-17.   Neither the goal of stability nor of peace should have negative connotations. When applicable, the mediation effort should be placed in the context of a larger framework of international or regional agreements, or a treaty that a higher level of the local government has signed and with which it is complying.

Establishment of a Professional Interpersonal Relationship With the Parties

G-18.   It is a challenge to balance the interpersonal relationship between the mediator and the local parties. Mediators must be accessible and open without appearing to favor one side over another. Any social meeting should be brief and based upon the professional relationship. Any appearance of being overly cordial with a party to the negotiation will erode trust. Mediators should treat all meetings as if they were in a business environment to preclude the taint of impropriety.

Fairness and Impartiality

G-19.   In conjunction with interpersonal relationships, mediators must show fairness and impartiality. When a mediator suggests a program or offers to assist in providing funding or support for a cooperative project that adheres to U.S. policy goals, he must equitably divide the resources to ensure that neither side profits at the expense of the other.

G-20.   Similarly, the mediator must know when to mete out rewards and punishments. If one party consistently cooperates while another party constantly resists or refuses to cooperate, the mediator must simultaneously reward and punish the respective participants. In this situation, an effective way to influence behavior is to seek an increase in funding or support for programs that benefit those who cooperate, and decrease funding or support for programs that aid the uncooperative.

G-21.   Mediators should exercise discretion as to how previously noncooperative parties are treated once they begin to cooperate. The mediator may recommend either restoring lost funding or support or simply recommend that funding or support be permanently lost.

Perception Equals Reality

G-22.   An essential tenet in all mediation efforts in a postconflict environment is that perception is the same as reality. The basis for reality is how a person perceives recent events and not how actual facts prove the perception right or wrong. Therefore, if a party to mediation perceives he was wronged, then he was wronged. Alternatively, if the United States were perceived as taking a side, the United States has, de facto, taken a side.

G-23.   It is not the impartial mediator's place to correct false perception. In any event, he will be unable to do so in the limited amount of time he has to affect the situation. The mediator must be aware of local misperceptions and find a way to circumvent them. In a postconflict environment, an effective way to correct misperceptions is by long-term revisions made with small steps.

Something Tangible to Offer

G-24.   While remaining impartial, the mediator must have something tangible to offer the parties for cooperation and, therefore, something tangible to take away for failing to cooperate. Otherwise, the mediator is only an observer and cannot lead the mediation effort toward cooperation, stability, and peace. There are instances, however, where a mediator has nothing traditionally tangible to offer. Funding may be slow in coming or nonexistent. In those cases, the mediator will have to improvise and seek either nontraditional support or methods that allow military resources to assist. The mediator can always leverage the prestige of cooperating with the United States. There are few local politicians who do not want to appear as being able to hold their own in a U.S.-led arena.

Money Equals Influence

G-25.   Along with having something tangible to offer is the fact that money equals immediate influence. While this is true, it can be a problem if not monitored. Mediators must not appear to be using funding for projects to force local officials into cooperating in agreements that run counter to the interests of the local populace.

G-26.   The United States funds foreign aid projects expressly to influence the decisions of local officials, but the perception that an official is a puppet of the United States will both lessen his effectiveness in the community and quell popular support for U.S. policy.

Refocus of the Mediation Effort

G-27.   There are situations when the mediator may have to totally refocus the mediation effort. If the participants are actively opposing U.S. policy and the mediator's concerted efforts fail to alter that behavior, the mediator should redirect his effort. This is a very delicate and complex task. If the uncooperative representatives are able to quickly or easily replace, by domestic or international means, the same support or funding withdrawn by the U.S. representative, then the prestige and influence of the United States is adversely affected. The mediator should display his determination to seek stability and leverage his ability to curtail support for the uncooperative officials. Coordination with the various members of the international organizations operating in the area is critical.

G-28.   If the mediator must redirect the mediation, he should consider different communication methods. The mediator can alter the meeting location, change which entities participate, reassess what subjects will be addressed, find a different international organization to host, allow for surrogates, or lower the level of representatives from the local communities. To succeed, the mediator must be flexible.

G-29.   The mediator must consistently demonstrate that U.S. determination to achieve stability and peace is greater than the local dedication to continued conflict. He must constantly reiterate the goal of cooperation over the protests of the locals to confirm that U.S. staying power will overcome any attempt to stall progress toward peace.

Mediator Control

G-30.   Mediators must always be in control of themselves and the members of their team and not become personally involved. This is very difficult when the mediator has knowledge of a particular participant's inhumane acts or when a party to the mediation exhibits an aggressive attitude. No matter the circumstances, the mediator and his subordinates must maintain their composure.

G-31.   Mediators must also control the outbursts of the participants. Belligerent acts or threats cannot be tolerated. When unacceptable behavior occurs, the mediator must stop the talks immediately to prevent escalation. The mediator should then schedule separate and private meetings with each participant to reiterate what is expected of each party.

G-32.   The mediator, however, should not be emotionless. There are times when the mediator should show his disapproval, both verbally and through body language. Although the mediator should not yell or aggressively approach any participant, he should schedule a private meeting to clarify the reason for his disapproval.

Option to Retreat

G-33.   Parties to mediation should always have an option to retreat. The goal of mediation is not to defeat a party but to instill cooperation toward stability and peace. There may be times when a participant cannot support a position and the mediator should tactfully allow the party a face-saving route of escape. Should an agreement be made with a party that felt trapped, it is very unlikely that that party will honor the agreement. It is more effective to reschedule and meet when actual progress can be made than to reach an agreement that will be discarded. All parties should be able to retreat honorably or with some form of victory.

Private Meetings

G-34.   Private meetings have an important role in mediation efforts. They allow the mediator and each participant to know one another on a personal level, and both the mediator and the individual party can explain their particular goals. In addition, issues a party would not discuss in front of an adversary can be discussed while details and differences of opinion can be ironed out.

G-35.   The mediator should be aware that too many private meetings with one party or another may give the appearance of favoritism. Private meetings should be focused on the main issues of the mediation.

G-36.   On the other hand, mediation that is conducted in seclusion and without outside witnesses can be an effective use of the private meeting format. Because the parties do not have the opportunity or feel the pressure to bluster or outmaneuver their adversary for the benefit of the public, these meetings can be very constructive. Once cooperation and trust are established, private meetings can quickly lead to progress.

Public Meetings

G-37.   Public meetings are the most effective vehicle for widely demonstrating progress and support for increased trust, cooperation, stability, and peace between former warring parties. Public meetings also help establish the air of permanence and, thereby, add to the legitimacy of the effort.

G-38.   While public meetings are preferable to private meetings, the costs and inherent inefficiencies may outweigh the benefits. Coordinating public meetings can be extremely difficult. As local and international spectators attend the mediation, the physical requirements increase drastically. Security and safety issues also become more acute. The mediator must weigh concerns for security against the public display for stability and peace. Mediators must also ensure that the desire to cooperate and pursue stability and peace is genuine, and that a public meeting will not be intentionally used to disrupt cooperation or U.S. policy.




G-39.   The postmeeting phase is the implementation and follow-through required for a successful mediation. The following paragraphs discuss the necessary actions that mediators must take.


G-40.   Once a local representative commits to and signs an agreement, he must be held accountable to the terms of the agreement. Support and funding for projects that benefit the signatories' communities should always be directly linked to continued adherence to any and all agreements.

G-41.   The mediator must establish a system that ensures every party will adhere to all agreements. Should a signatory begin to veer away from the intent or the letter of an agreement, the mediator must be prepared to apportion punishment and clearly and directly explain why the punishment is being meted out.

G-42.   The mediator should use all forms of local, national, and international press, as well as international organizations that monitor the area, as watchdogs. As often as possible, agreements should be publicized to make them a matter of public record, which will compel the parties to comply.

Accurate Information Delivery to all Interested Parties

G-43.   The press can be both a tremendous asset and a tremendous burden for mediators. There are particular guidelines for interacting with the media, and the PAO within each command is tasked with announcing official press releases. The PAO is also the primary source for information on contacting members of the press.

G-44.   Certain parameters must be observed when the media is integrated. An analysis of the target audience and the method of information delivery have to be conducted. The significance of the event must be balanced with the amount of press coverage. The size and the literacy rate of the audience are also factors. In addition, the geographic area (local, regional, national, or international audiences) has a significant impact on which media will be effective.

G-45.   The CA civil information officer and local PSYOP assets should also be integrated into the delivery of information. Close coordination for timing and dissemination is critical for success. Accurately informing the public about successful agreements will broaden popular support for stability and peace while reducing the negative impact of local perceptions about the behavior of their former adversaries.

G-46.   Wording and translation of information releases are critical. As one who is fully knowledgeable of the subject matter, the mediator should be closely involved in drafting all documents describing key points about the agreement. When writing information releases, the mediator should use short, direct sentences that read well if quoted. Speeches should be available in written form. Ratified agreements should be presented in as many applicable languages as possible. The mediator should ensure the accuracy of all translations. For the television and radio media, information should be edited into short but understandable pieces that are usable as "sound bites." As with everything that is to be disseminated after having been translated, the mediator should ensure that appropriate personnel have vetted the translations.

G-47.   Timing is critical to effectively announcing a successful mediation. When the decision is made to integrate the media, the mediator should be aware of any events that may disrupt or detract from the mediator's announcement. The mediator should release information when it will not be diluted or edited to the point where it is ineffective. If possible, the mediator should avoid dates that involve major holidays, elections, religious holy days, historical events, or dates when a critical announcement is scheduled. The mediator should also coordinate with the other members of the IC to eliminate the possibility of conflicting announcements.

Written Records and Agreements

G-48.   Written records of all meetings must be kept to ensure that all participants to the mediation understand important terms, conditions, and definitions within an agreement. Without written records, it is impossible to establish the veracity of an agreement. The parties to the mediation should see that notes and records are being kept, which serves two purposes. First, it reinforces the understanding that the participants will be held to the terms of the agreement and, therefore, should not make statements without intending to honor them. Second, a written record can be forwarded to the participants for their records and the professional manner in which the mediation is conducted will enhance the legitimacy of the mediation effort.

G-49.   All agreements must be written and translated. A handshake to symbolize the final acceptance of an agreement is excellent for a closing but does not substitute for a written and signed agreement. If necessary, the mediator can gather signatures on a working version of the agreement to establish documentation of an agreement. From this working version, the mediator can formalize the agreement with an official signing ceremony. The mediator should use all of these protocols to reinforce, among the local population as well as their representatives, the seriousness of the agreement and that all agreements will be monitored for compliance.

G-50.   English is commonly accepted as the international language of agreements. During mediation, therefore, the English version of an agreement is the official version. If the intent or terms of an agreement are challenged, the English version must be the benchmark for all clarifications.

Mediation and Transition to the International Community

G-51.   The mediator should establish a routine by scheduling mediation meetings at set intervals. As the mediation progresses, he should invite key members from the IC to observe and participate. After the members of the IC become more active, the mediator may defer to them on decisions or integrate their expertise. The members of the IC should be integrated into the process as mediators and hosts to maximize exposure and establish cooperation. If possible, a name should be established for the group of participating entities to encourage a sense of ownership and membership in an exclusive organization.

G-52.   The mediator should transition the mediation effort, once firmly established, to the IC. The mediator can use the role of mediation leader, as well as the trust and prestige established over the term of the mediation effort, to prepare the participants for transition to the IC. Doing so will allow the international and nongovernmental organizations and institutions chartered to assist in these arenas to accomplish their mandates.

G-53.   Effectively transitioning the IC into the lead role in the mediation effort will assist them in accomplishing their respective missions and may lead to future IC support of U.S. military-led mediation efforts. As U.S. military representatives establish a reputation as effective mediators, the IC should in turn become more accepting of the U.S. military's mediation efforts and, therefore, more enthusiastically supportive. Quicker support from the IC for U.S. military mediation efforts will then reduce the long-term requirement for U.S. force structure needed to conduct postconflict operations.

G-54.   The mediator should set a timetable in coordination with the IC that will gradually transition the lead role from the CA mediator to a mediator from the IC. The CA mediator should install a member of the IC as a co-mediator, or establish a pattern for alternating the role of lead mediator from one meeting to another. Both the CA representative and the IC representative should be present at all meetings until final transition occurs. All records should be passed over to the IC organization that is providing the person who is taking the position of lead mediator.


G-55.   Mediation in a postconflict operation follows a general pattern. While each operation is on a different timeline and can involve additional or fewer steps, the process remains constant. In some instances, steps in the process may take place simultaneously or they may take place in a different order. The mediator must remain flexible and open to change based on the idiosyncrasies of the local situation. Since CA mediators are often replaced at the six-month mark, the mediator must initiate the process as soon as possible after arrival. In addition, the mediator must have accurate records to ensure continuity when he transitions out.

G-56.   Starting at establishing trust and ending at the first multilateral agreement, the average period for completing a mediation cycle is 4 to 6 months. Since the CA mediator is usually in the area for approximately six months, he must act quickly and decisively to develop a plan for mediation. The following paragraphs describe the general mediation process and the steps the mediator takes during the process.

Establishment of Trust (Closed Door-No Outside Observers, Participants, or Press)

G-57.   The mediator conducts one-to-one meetings to establish a professional relationship between himself and each individual participant and to explain U.S. policy goals, expectations, and the rewards of cooperation, as well as the consequences of noncooperation.

G-58.   The mediator compiles a list of the concerns and grievances of each party. He compares the lists and decides which issues show promise of cooperation. He looks for areas where infrastructure or lines of communication intersect. These areas generate many opportunities where the needs of the parties overlap.

G-59.   Group meetings of increasing size and frequency are held to establish a professional relationship between the participants.

G-60.   Following both one-to-one and group meetings, the mediator attempts to establish the routine of a "social hour" for small talk and to relax the participants in the company of former adversaries.

Bilateral Mediation (Open or Closed Door-May or May Not Allow Outside Observers, Participants, or Press at the Mediator's Discretion)

G-61.   The mediator orchestrates a simple agreement over a small issue that only involves two of the local entities or villages. He concentrates on those areas where concerns or needs overlap, and works with pairs of representatives from the local communities, one representative from each of the opposing sides. The mediator rewards the two participants with funding, support, or by coordinating assistance for their respective communities.

G-62.   Throughout the entire course of the mediation, the mediator actively encourages all parties to meet outside the framework of the mediation. Details about wording or minor aspects about the terms and conditions of cooperation should take place directly between the opposing sides. The mediator should make every attempt to determine what the parties have agreed to, but the more important goal is to establish normalized communications between all local entities without the intervention of the IC or the U.S. military.

G-63.   The mediator meets with the representatives of adjacent entities or villages and discusses the successful cooperative efforts that are occurring in the region and the rewards that ensued.

G-64.   The mediator keeps a comparative balance in the characteristics of the participants. He attempts to pair each entity with an entity from the opposition that has a similar size, infrastructure, farming or business base, and economic condition.

G-65.   The mediator repeats the above steps with issues of increasing importance to establish credibility in ever-expanding realms. He makes cooperation the norm so that it becomes expected and not a surprise.

G-66.   The mediator initiates bilateral talks with as many pairs of the local entities as can be effectively managed. When possible, he works different issues with each pair to establish cooperation in various areas.

G-67.   As bilateral talks advance toward a multilateral setting, the mediator exploits established cooperation between any or all of the pairs of entities. He encourages parties to a successful bilateral mediation to mentor other pairs who are facing similar problems. As the process moves forward into more formalized multilateral mediation, the mediator builds teams from the pairs to establish a personal bond between the participants.

G-68.   All of the above steps lay the groundwork for meetings between multiple entities. Before moving forward in the process, the mediator should ensure that there are enough successful precedents to indicate that multilateral mediation will be fruitful.

Multilateral Mediation (Open or Closed Door-May or May Not Allow Outside Observers, Participants, or Press at the Mediator's Discretion)

G-69.   The mediator meets with the pairs of representatives developed during the bilateral phase to determine their combined concerns and issues. Also, he determines whether they are willing to talk with other pairs of representatives to discuss larger group cooperation and concessions. The mediator explains U.S. policy goals, the rewards of cooperation, and the consequences of noncooperation.

G-70.   The mediator demonstrates the rewards and advantages of cooperation by citing previous cooperative ventures and the proceeds that the cooperative parties received for their communities. He explains the goals of the mediation and what each cooperative party can expect to benefit at the conclusion of an acceptable agreement. (The mediator should ensure that the IC and the military chain-of-command can and will sustain any support or funding that is proffered.)

G-71.   The mediator asks the participants to propose a name for the group that is representative of the entire region. He refers to commonplace names for rivers, mountain ranges, or any major terrain feature that the local populace can readily recognize. The mediator should ensure the name does not have potential negative connotations, such as a major battle or the site of an atrocity.

G-72.   The mediator begins the multilateral mediation with a statement of intent to cooperate. He works out the details ahead of time and has the participants sign the document, either as a group or during one-to-one meetings. A group setting is preferred.

G-73.   The mediator has the IC and the military commander write congratulatory letters to the entire group of participants, and ensures that the wording is accurate and noninflammatory. The mediator submits a draft of the letter to the U.S. military commander and the representatives from the IC so that they have a common reference point from which to write their respective congratulatory letters. From this point onward, any communication from the U.S. military or the IC is addressed to the group to reinforce the perception, among the participants, of membership in a larger organization.

G-74.   The mediator develops the statement of intent to cooperate into a declaration to work as a cohesive group for rebuilding infrastructure that affects the entire region. Once again, he procures congratulatory letters from the major IC and military HQ. Each subsequent statement, declaration, or agreement should receive a letter from the appropriate IC and military leadership. The mediator matches the level of the local document with the level of the letter that is delivered from the IC and military community. For example, an agreement from a group whose physical boundaries are within a battalion's AO should receive letters from the battalion commander and the leadership of the major IC organizations that conduct business in the immediate area. As the participants to the mediation outgrow the battalion or brigade AOs, the next-higher level within the command structure, as well as the IC, should write a congratulatory letter.

Mediation by Establishing Protocol and a Schedule

G-75.   The mediator follows the rules of order for a typical board of directors meeting and begins distributing minutes from the previous meetings. He sets an agenda and keeps to it. The mediator encourages direct discussions between the participants of the mediation.

G-76.   The mediator initiates a plan where the participants to the mediation rotate as the president or host for the meeting. Any equitable system of rotating this role is acceptable, be it weekly, biweekly, or monthly, as long as it allows all parties an opportunity to lead the discussion. (The mediator does not relinquish control of the mediation at this time.)

Integration of the International Community into the Mediation (Open or Closed Door-May or May Not Allow Outside Observers, Participants, or Press at the Mediator's Discretion)

G-77.   This period in the cycle of the mediation is critical for establishing long-term stability and peace. The mediator identifies an organization within the IC that is directly involved with the issues of the participants and will be in the theater for an extended time. The IC organization should provide a person to act as a co-mediator or alternate with the military mediator as the head mediator. The U.S. military mediator begins to phase out of the lead role.

Agreement Resolution (Open or Closed Door-at the Mediator's Discretion)

G-78.   This period can be the least predictable in the mediation effort. If the mediator's preparation has been effective, no external events have disrupted the willingness of the participants to cooperate, and funding from both the United States or the IC remains intact, then a written agreement can be rather quickly reached. If anything occurs to disturb the process, the entire procedure may have to be reinitiated.

G-79.   After the basics of the agreement are verbally resolved, the mediator puts them on paper. Butcher-block paper on an easel, or a similar form of displaying the points of the agreement to the entire group, can be used to start the process of putting the ideas of the agreement on paper. The mediator formalizes the process by creating typewritten interim versions of all documents and giving everyone a copy. These documents are used as working drafts; the mediator makes changes and adds details, as required. Once the first part of an agreement is concluded, momentum toward cooperation is created and the mediator assumes the additional burden of keeping up the pressure to reach a finalized document.

Agreement Announcement to the Public (Open Door-Outside Observers, Participants, or Press Are Invited)

G-80.   The mediator develops a program to announce the agreement to both the domestic and the international community. He integrates CA civil information and PSYOP assets to publicize the agreement. In concert with the PAO information is released to the local, national, and international press. The mediator ensures that the cooperating participants are the focus of all announcements. He downplays the role of the U.S. military mediation effort and enhances the role of the IC and the participants to set the stage for eventual transition to the IC.

G-81.   The mediator allows access to signing events for print, radio, and television to publicly document the agreement. If possible, local, national, and international press agencies should be present and given copies of the agreement in the local language and in English.

G-82.   The mediator has the local participants sign the agreement followed by the official witnesses from the IC and the military. A public display of civility, such as a group handshake, is also encouraged. The witnesses should be from the organizations tasked with monitoring the agreement.

Mediation Expansion

G-83.   Efforts in one AO should be integrated into the efforts of adjacent AOs. If there is no current effort underway in an adjacent AO, the mediator coordinates for expansion of the mediation effort across internal boundaries. The mediator educates key leaders in adjacent military and IC organizations on the methods that led to success.

Agreement Monitoring

G-84.   The organizations that mediated the agreement must supervise the agreement for compliance by all parties. The local participants, as well as U.S. and international organizations that pledged support or funding, must be monitored to ensure everyone is meeting the obligations outlined in the agreement.


G-85.   The documents that lead up to a multilateral agreement can range from the simple to the complex. The most successful documents allow for flexibility and are direct and simple. Complex documents, especially when translated, lend themselves to multiple interpretations.

G-86.   All agreements must be written and readily available to establish compliance by the parties. Documents should also be forwarded to all IC and military organizations in the affected area, as well as adjacent areas, to coordinate all efforts to establish cooperation.

G-87.   Every document produced during mediation should be leveraged to increase the legitimacy and institutionalization of the cooperative group. Each document should be the foundation for subsequent documents until the goal of permanently established stability and peace is accomplished.

G-88.   There is no standard format for any of these documents, and the mediator must tailor each document to the individual situation. However, consistency in format is critical to establishing understanding and legitimacy as the process expands. Some of the common documents that the mediator will either draft or contribute to are-

  • Letters of intent. The most simple of the documents involving mediation, letters of intent are short statements signed by an individual or by two or more local parties declaring that the signatories will come together with the intention of discussing cooperation. The mediator should be the official witness for these documents. Letters of intent incur no other commitment than to enter into talks. There is no commitment from the United States or IC. Letters of intent are the base document the mediator uses to bring parties to the original talks.
  • Statements supporting cooperation. Statements supporting cooperation are the next type of document that the mediator should pursue. These documents include more detail and should incorporate an explicit commitment from the United States or the IC to support or fund projects based upon demonstrated cooperation. These documents should quickly generate an official congratulatory letter from the U.S. military, as well as the applicable IC organizations.
  • Agreement to cooperate in support of stability and peace. A written agreement, signed by all participants, is the pinnacle of the mediation effort. These documents delineate the categories in which the signatories intend to cooperate (for example, refugee return, infrastructure reconstruction, housing, education, agriculture, and so on) and what the signatories expect from the IC and the U.S. military in return for cooperation. (These documents can be politically explosive at the local level and, therefore, methods to limit negative political impact upon the signatories to the agreement should be sought.)

G-89.   The mediator should ensure that the document has enough detail to hold the participants responsible to the terms of the agreement. The document should be concise and not overbearing. References to any local political group should be eliminated to preclude the perception of favoritism or the generation of negative publicity through association. Flexibility in how an agreement is interpreted should be very limited, and each signatory's specific concerns must be addressed in the body of the agreement.

G-90.   The mediator will find that issues will emerge after the agreement is signed that will hamper cooperation. As soon as possible after an issue in contention is identified, the mediator should draft an addendum to the original agreement that eliminates the problem.


G-91.   There will be circumstances when a mediator will have to draft a document to clarify a specific issue relevant to an agreement. These occasions should be minimized to preclude confusion and distraction from the intent of the original document. The mediator's task in this situation is to create a simple addendum that is concise and directly addresses a grievance or clarifies a questionable detail.

Adoption of a Name

G-92.   These documents are very simple and take the form of an official resolution. There is little contention in adopting a name as long as the research has been done to eliminate names with negative connotations.

Adoption of a Schedule

G-93.   When a document is drafted to establish a schedule, the mediator must ensure that the schedule is clear and equitable to all parties. Any agreements pertaining to exceptions to a predetermined schedule should be included to prevent confusion. Examples of common exceptions to a predetermined schedule include religious holy days, elections, state holidays, and contentious historical dates. Establishment of prearranged meeting places and alternate meeting dates or locations can also be incorporated into this document and will add to the legitimacy of the mediation effort.

Establishment of a Revolving Leadership Program

G-94.   Agreements about rotating the internal leadership role within the group of participants should be written to ensure equality and that no individual party benefits exceedingly from a leadership position. The participant who is in the leadership role should be precluded from establishing the group's agenda or the power to veto or disproportionately affect issues brought to the mediation. Other administrative positions can be added such as Secretary, Deputy Leader, and so on.

Recognition of a Transition of Mediators

G-95.   When the time occurs for transition to the IC from the U.S. military, the participants should be encouraged to adopt a resolution recognizing a specific IC organization as the new mediator. An official date of transition should be established, as well as the method for contacting the new mediator. (This document should not be required when the mediator transitions from one U.S. military representative to another since the organization that is leading the mediation has not changed.)

Layout of a Typical Agreement

G-96.   The mediator should establish a standardized format for each type of document based upon the peculiarities of each operation. All subsequent documents in the AO should, to the extent possible, follow the format of documents written to accomplish similar goals. This leads to a formalized and predictable structure to succeeding mediation efforts. Enough copies of the agreement should be produced in the local language so that each signatory can receive an original document with original signatures. In addition, all participants and witnesses should sign an official English version of the agreement. For example, if there are six participants and two official witnesses, nine documents should be produced and each one signed to allow each participant and witness to receive an original document. Each participant and witness receive an original copy with the English version maintained as the official reference document.

G-97.   The general format for an agreement is an introduction, body of the agreement, conclusion, space for signatories, and a space for witnesses.

  • Introduction: The introduction should state the name of the group signing the agreement, the goals of the agreement, location and date of the signing, and administrative information specific to the signing.
  • Body: The body of the agreement should include-
    • The specific areas in which the parties to the agreement will cooperate.
    • Political entities that will adhere to the agreement.
    • Specifics, as required, clarifying the terms of the agreement.
    • What the signatories to the agreement expect from the members of the IC and the USG.
  • Conclusion: The conclusion should state that the agreement is made in an effort to support stability and peace between the communities that are parties to the agreement and reiterate the signatories' willingness to cooperate for the benefit of their communities.
  • Signatories: The signatories should sign immediately below the body of the agreement. The signature blocks should include a typed line long enough to accommodate a signature, the typed name of the signatory (under the line for the signature), with the signatory's title along with the name of his community under his name. If the signatories habitually affix a seal to official documents, the document should facilitate a space where an official seal may be affixed that does not distort the signatures.

NOTE: The order of the signatures should not show favoritism. An effective technique is to arrange the signatures in the order in which the participants joined the mediation effort. Since the mediator took pains to maintain a balance, the signatories should be in a balanced and unbiased pattern.

  • Witnesses: The witnesses should sign at the bottom of the document and their signature blocks should follow the pattern used for the participants. Again, a space for official stamps or seals should be allowed.
    Maintaining the Agreement

    G-98.   Until the cessation of U.S. participation in an operation, the U.S. military representative who initiates the original mediation effort is responsible for monitoring that the signatories comply with any agreements stemming from mediation. In addition, the U.S. military mediator or representative is responsible for ensuring that the members of the IC, as well as the USG, comply with the obligations they made.

    Checking for Compliance

    G-99.   Either the mediator or a representative of the U.S. military should habitually attend the meetings that the parties to the mediation have scheduled. This attendance exhibits the continued interest of the U.S. military and allows for an insight into how the efforts to support cooperation are progressing. Continuing contact with the representatives that have to comply with any mediated agreement facilitates communications and an open environment. The mediator or his representative should always seek ways to reinforce cooperation.

    G-100.   The mediator or his representative should perform both scheduled and unscheduled inspections into areas where the local parties have agreed to cooperate. Meetings with local leaders, who are not signatories to a mediated agreement, should include questions about support by the populace for cooperation, as well as adherence by the local community to previous agreements.

    G-101.   Mediators should use all available information resources, both military and civilian, to monitor adherence to the terms of the agreement. The mediator should also watch for parties that circumvent the intent of the agreement. Warnings as to possible punishment for noncompliance should be timely and direct. The mediator should have leeway for recommending curtailment of support for intentional breaches of an agreement.

    G-102.   Conversely, mediators should reward cooperation between former adversaries in areas not covered by the terms of a mediated agreement. If possible, additional funding or support for initiatives outside the parameters of a previous agreement should be sought.

    G-103.   The mediator should also advise the members of the IC of an increase or decrease in cooperation to ensure that the IC is apprised of the current situation. Doing so allows the IC to reward or punish the local entities as their behavior dictates.

    Moderating the Size

    G-104.   When the mediator sets out to bring former warring parties together, he is always concerned with the issue of how many communities should be incorporated into the mediation. Each operation will be different since no two nations have political subdivisions of the same size.

    G-105.   The mediator must be careful not to include too many parties in a mediation effort. Too large of a population can overburden the funding and logistical capability of the military assets and the IC than are committed to supporting cooperation. A gradual expansion of the population involved in mediation can generally be planned for and accommodated, but too many people too fast will overwhelm the theater's logistical systems.

    G-106.   Each party will have issues specific to their community and, with a large group, the likelihood of competition for resources escalates. Additionally, the requirement to monitor agreements by a small force over expansive terrain is inefficient. The typical optimum size of a mediation effort is six to eight participants, depending upon the population and geography within each community. Mediation efforts larger than this tend to overcome the ability of the limited number of U.S. military personnel and should remain in the realm of the IC or the U.S. State Department.

    G-107.   Conversely, mediation that only involves a small portion of the local communities will not catch the interest of the IC and will not be an efficient use of limited U.S. military resources. Modest mediation efforts should be incorporated into adjacent efforts or expanded to include more people. Dependent upon community geography and population size, mediation efforts should include no fewer than four parties. An exception may occur if two large entities, with many small communities within their boundaries, were willing to mediate their issues so that the smaller communities could seek redress for their separate issues.

    G-108.   The following web sites provide additional information on mediation:

    • Readings in Dispute Resolution: A Selected Bibliography.
    • Conflict Research Consortium. University of Colorado, USA.
    • OJPCR: The Online Journal of Peace and Conflict Resolution.
    • ACCORD: African Centre for the Constructive Resolution of Disputes.
    • Working Papers on Conflict Resolution. Centre for Conflict Resolution, Department of Peace Studies, University of Bradford, UK.
    • Peace and Conflict Homepage. A wide variety of sources on peace and conflict studies hosted by the University of Colorado, Boulder. Includes the Peace Studies Association, directories of peace studies and related courses, syllabi, publications, and other interesting links.
    • International Conflict Initiatives Clearinghouse. A searchable database of organizations with projects in conflict transformation maintained by the Institute of World Affairs. Contains descriptions of the projects and contact information.
    • International Crisis Group. Variety of current reports on conflicts from International Crisis Group's political analysts and field researchers in Algeria, Bosnia, Cambodia, Central Africa, and the Balkans.
    • WWW Virtual Library: International Affairs Resources. Over 2,000 selected, annotated links in 37 international affairs categories.

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