The Anatomy of Ghanaian Domestic Military Operations: Exploring Operations Vanguard and Calm Life

  • Fiifi Edu-Afful Kofi Annan International Peacekeeping Training Centre
Keywords: peacekeeping operations, military, policing, assemblage, Ghana


This article focuses on the under-researched and under-discussed domestic security implications in Ghana of military participation in international peacekeeping operations. While there is appreciable awareness and knowledge of the role of peacekeepers in reducing conflict in host countries, very little attention is given to their actions when they return home. The money, training and combat experience emanating from peacekeeping are likely to have considerable institutional, policy, operational (tactics, techniques and procedures) and political consequences in their home countries. In Ghana, especially, peacekeeping training and combat experience provide tools that can be used for internal security interventions. Increasingly, there has been a change in policy in Ghana where the military is involved in several local security operations. This policy shift has seen the creation of a number of joint internal operations involving the military and the police. Based on fieldwork in Ghana, the article explores two major internal operations: Operation Calm Life (to combat armed robbery) and Operation Vanguard (to combat illegal mining). The study shows how diverse dimensions of experience from peacekeeping have practical implications for shaping domestic security provision.