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Governments intervening in post-conflict states find themselves beset with numerous challenges and profound dilemmas: It is often unclear how best to proceed because measures that may improve conditions in one respect may undermine them in another. This volume reviews and integrates the scholarly social-science literature relevant to stabilization and reconstruction (S&R), with the goal of informing strategic planning at the whole-of-government level. The authors assert that S&R success depends on success in each of four component domains — political, social, security, and economic; the authors discuss each domain separately but emphasize their interactions and the idea that the failure of any component can doom S&R as a whole. The authors also focus on a number of dilemmas that intervenors in post-conflict states face — such as between short- and long-term goals and whether to work through or around the state's central government — and suggest how these dilemmas can be confronted depending on context.

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 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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