Defending the state or protecting the people? SADC security integration at a crossroads

"The Treaty and protocols that constitute the basic policy guidelines of the Southern African Development Community (SADC) paint a picture of a deep and comprehensive project of regional integration between the organisation's 14 (soon to be 13) member states. Not only are SADC states meant to create a free trade area by 2008, a customs union by 2012, and a Common Market by 2015,they have also signed up to a protocol committing them to close political and security integration. Regionalism is not the panacea to every security challenge facing SADC countries, but in certain areas and in certain ways it can be a useful process that can contribute to peace, security and stability in Southern Africa. I will therefore begin by asking what level of security integration SADC can expect to achieve in the medium to long term. This report argues that it is not realistic to expect deep security integration in the SADC region any time soon. The argument is structured as follows: The first part gives an account of the goals set up by SADC Heads of State in the Protocol on Politics, Defence and Security Co-operation and charts the implementation of these goals so far. I then move on to focus on the main obstacles to security integration in the SADC area. These are mutual trust and a common value basis. I ask why these two factors are so important, and continue with a discussion of the degree to which they are present between Southern African states today. The report refers to the efforts of other regions to create, nurture and bolster mutual trust and common values in order to come up with suggestions for what strategy the SADC Organ on Politics, Defence and Security should pursue in the coming years, and concludes by revisiting the question: How salient is the regional level for dealing with the security challenges facing Southern African countries and their populations?"