As part of peacekeeping efforts, stability operations—post-conflict military efforts to bring peace and security to a region or country—represent an ongoing challenge for both military planners and civilian policymakers. RAND research has provided effective strategic recommendations in many such operations, helping those involved in unified stabilization, peacekeeping and security, transition, and reconstruction.
The United States should maintain roughly 8,000–12,000 troops in Afghanistan after 2014 to manage the complex political, security, and economic challenges that will accompany the reduction in forces, say Seth Jones and Keith Crane.
RAND research identified practices and factors associated with success in security cooperation. A related diagnostic tool can help defense planners identify mismatches between funding, priorities, and propensity for success with a given country.
We don't have to settle for a choice between losing and losing expensively, writes Paul Miller. We can choose to sustain our commitment to the Afghans and secure our vital interests in South Asia. There is thus a heavy burden on the president to make a politically risky move against popular opinion.
An event co-hosted by RAND and the Wilson Center will explore how our experience in the military exit and the transition of responsibilities in Iraq might help to inform future U.S. transition planning in Afghanistan.
It took approximately two years to wrap up the long-term, country-wide military presence in Iraq, which at its peak involved more than 170,000 troops, an equal number of contractors and more than 500 military bases and outposts. Policymakers and military commanders should use the lessons derived from Iraq to inform critical decisions and timelines required to successfully end large-scale military operations, including the one in Afghanistan.
An examination of the transition of authority from military hands to civilians in the U.S. and Iraqi governments found lessons that could smooth the departure of U.S. forces from Afghanistan in 2014 and guide similar transitions in the future.
Policymakers and military commanders should use the lessons derived from the final years of U.S. involvement in Iraq to inform critical decisions and timelines required to successfully end large-scale military operations, including the one in Afghanistan. However, there is no “one-size-fits-all” template to follow.
In this October 2013 Congressional Briefing, defense analyst Bruce Bennett discusses the possible consequences of a North Korean government collapse, including civil war in the north; a humanitarian crisis; the potential use and proliferation of the nation's chemical, biological, and nuclear weapons; and conflict with China.
Friends have gone home or on to other wars. Reports of crime are on the rise in a city once safe, save for the occasional bombing. Afghans still call their government a “mafia” but have stopped asking me what the United States is going to do to fix it, writes Rebecca Zimmerman.
If steps are not taken to get control of security, there is little hope for Libya's future. Qaddafi's fateful warning that Libya would become a “Somalia on the Mediterranean” without him could come true. The investment that NATO and its partners made in toppling Qaddafi would then be almost entirely wasted.
Previous RAND research on historical insurgencies found that a conflict's overall balance of good and bad factors and practices perfectly discriminated its outcome. A RAND study applied this scorecard approach to Afghanistan in early 2013.
When a country is threatened by an insurgency, what efforts give its government the best chance of prevailing? A new update to a RAND 2010 study expands the data set of 30 insurgencies to 71, and compares all 71 of them begun and completed worldwide since World War II.
A comparison of all 71 insurgencies begun and completed worldwide since World War II finds the counterinsurgency (COIN) practices or combinations of practices that offer the most promise for a government win against an insurgency.
This companion volume to Paths to Victory: Lessons from Modern Insurgencies offers in-depth case studies of 41 insurgencies since World War II. Each case breaks the conflict into phases and examines the trajectory that led to the outcome.
Examines the question of how the Army can assist in making key civilian agencies more capable partners to the Army in the planning and execution of stability, security, transition, and reconstruction (SSTR) operations.
The international community has once again defined a global standard of “the wicked” against whom sovereign states have a duty to fight, writes Paul D. Miller. Instead of pirates and cannibals, it is war criminals and genocidaires. This appears to be the implicit argument for military action against Syria.
U.S. policy should not be hamstrung by a narrow focus on democratization, writes Seth G. Jones. More than ever, the United States and its allies should think first about protecting their vital strategic interests in Egypt and the region.
RAND Egypt expert Jeffrey Martini discusses the latest developments in Egypt and implications for U.S. policy during this Center for Middle East Public Policy conference call.
For counterinsurgency interventions, the greatest value of local defense forces lies in intelligence, not combat; misuse of such defensive forces can greatly reduce their effectiveness.
The success of interventions to develop a partner nation's security forces depends as much on the partner nation's capabilities and interests as it does on the intervening nation's efforts.