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In Iraq and elsewhere, the United States finds itself in need of a law enforcement capability for stability operations. How should such a force be created and what specific capabilities should it embody? This report examines the characteristics of such a force and the functional and organizational challenges that must be faced in creating it. The author evaluates five major options, both civilian and military, for creating these forces and assesses each option under nine criteria for effectiveness. He concludes by giving a clear picture of each option’s relative strengths and weaknesses and suggests areas to be examined to complete the picture of how best to create the force.

The research described in this report was sponsored by the United States Army and conducted by the RAND Arroyo Center.

This report is part of the RAND technical report series. RAND technical reports may include research findings on a specific topic that is limited in scope or intended for a narrow audience; present discussions of the methodology employed in research; provide literature reviews, survey instruments, modeling exercises, guidelines for practitioners and research professionals, and supporting documentation; or deliver preliminary findings. All RAND reports undergo rigorous peer review to ensure that they meet high standards for research quality and objectivity.

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