The wealthiest countries in the world are forming an army of police to act as international peacekeepers. In June of 2004, the G8 (the eight countries with the largest economies) adopted an "Action Plan for Expanding Global Capability for Peace Support Operations", agreeing to train approximately 75,000 police and security personnel as peacekeepers by the end of 2010. One element of this plan was the establishment of a "Center of Excellence for Stability Police Units" (CoESPU), with the mission of training approximately 3,000 senior and middle level police officials and non-commissioned officers to serve as the trainers and leaders of the several national contingents from which the 75,000 peacekeepers will be drawn.
CoESPU was established at the "General Chinotto" Carabinieri Barracks in Vicenza, Italy, under the direction of Carabinieri General Pietro Pistolese, a veteran of several peacekeeping operations. In November, the first class, an experimental group of 29 senior police officials from Jordan, India, Kenya, Morocco, and Senegal, successfully completed the initial four week course, a combination of a mini-staff college and "school of best practices."
In January, a new senior officers' course will begin at CoESPU, as well as a six-week course for junior officers and another course for non-commissioned officers. While the bulk of the students are expected to come from Africa, where the need for peacekeepers has been particularly serious, personnel from other countries will be welcome as well.
As part of the agreement establishing the program, the expenses for transporting, housing, and training the students at CoESPU will be borne by contributions from the G8, while their respective governments will be responsible for salaries, insurance, and medical coverage.
In addition to "training the trainers," CoESPU is tasked by the G8 with:
· Evaluation and development of "doctrine" for peacekeeping operations, as well as for a broad range of other constabulary missions
· Formulate interoperable procedures to facilitate the work of national peacekeeping forces, international military contingents, world organizations, and NGOs involved in peace operations
· Develop a system to verify the capabilities and suitability of particular forces for peacekeeping operations.
· Study lessons learned to refine tactics, techniques, and procedures.
· Evaluate technology and equipment requirements for peace operations
· Establish liaison with international and regional organizations involved in peacekeeping, including the UN, NATO, OSCE, the EU, the AU, and so forth.
· Coordinate research and analysis of peace operations with international agencies and institutions such as the UN Staff College, the George Marshall Center, the EU Police Unit, the U.S. Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute, and so forth