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The Elusive “Just Enough”: Re-inventing Explosive Hazard Clearance Management in Iraq

The Elusive “Just Enough”: Re-inventing Explosive Hazard Clearance Management in Iraq


 

This article is brought to you by the Center for International Stabilization and Recovery (CISR) from issue 25.1 of The Journal of Conventional Weapons Destruction


By Mark Wilkinson, Ph.D. [ United Nations Mine Action Service ]

The Government of Iraq viewed rehabilitation of infrastructure contaminated with explosives during the conflict with the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant (ISIL) as a prereqisite to socioeconomic recovery and political stability, which, in turn, established a need for the mine action community to deploy qualified, certified clearance teams as quickly as possible. While these teams could deploy quickly, their reliance on international staff and their associated costs attributable to security and other factors introduced a high overhead business model that became an accepted standard during a first clearance phase from 2015 to 2019, despite the understanding that this model could not be sustained indefinitely. A shift in donor priorities and reduced budgets effectively introduced a second clearance phase beginning in 2020. The challenge to the mine action community became the development of a more cost-effective, time-senstive approach to clearance so as to reduce costs and spending levels that were acceptable to donors, without compromising clearance standards.

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Published: Wednesday, September 15, 2021

Last Updated: Tuesday, October 5, 2021

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