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This monograph is the second of two volumes that examine how countries confronting insurgencies transition from a high level of violence to a more stable situation. It examines six case studies of insurgencies from around the world to identify the key factors necessary for a successful transition. In some of the cases, such as Iraq's Anbar province and Afghanistan, the United States was (or still is) directly involved in combat operations; in the Philippines and Colombia, it played a supporting role; in others, there was little U.S. involvement of any consequence. The authors review the causes of each insurgency and the key players involved and examine what the government did right — or wrong — to bring the insurgency to an end and to transition to stability. They note that in each case, there was a need to understand the participants in the insurgency and the grievances and needs of the local population; to balance security needs with reforms in other areas; and to plan for the disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration of militias and government and insurgent forces.

Table of Contents

  • Chapter One


  • Chapter Two

    The Philippines

  • Chapter Three

    Counterinsurgency Transition Case Study: Colombia

  • Chapter Four

    Counterinsurgency Transition Case Study: El Salvador

  • Chapter Five

    The Tuareg Insurgency in Mali, 2006-2009

  • Chapter Six

    The Transition in Al-Anbar, Iraq

  • Chapter Seven


  • Chapter Eight


  • Appendix A

    Indicators of Transition

The research described in this report was prepared for the Office of the Secretary of Defense (OSD). The research was conducted within the RAND National Defense Research Institute, a federally funded research and development center sponsored by OSD, the Joint Staff, the Unified Combatant Commands, the Navy, the Marine Corps, the defense agencies, and the defense Intelligence Community.

This report is part of the RAND Corporation Monograph series. RAND monographs present major research findings that address the challenges facing the public and private sectors. All RAND monographs undergo rigorous peer review to ensure high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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