Nation-Building

Featured

After conflicts end, allied nations must undertake military, political, humanitarian, and economic activities to enable states to prosper, but these activities do not always succeed. RAND has examined U.S., United Nations, and European Union nation-building efforts since World War II to determine key principles for their success and draw implications for current and future nation-building investment.

  • U.S. Army Soldiers provide security during a mission in Yarmouk, Iraq, July 2007

    Report

    Armies Have a Role to Play in Nation Building

    Oct 24, 2017

    Events in Iraq and Mali have raised questions about the value of Security Force Assistance and U.S. capacity to strengthen client states' militaries in the face of insurgencies or other threats. History shows that SFA programs could be improved if they focused more on ideology and how an army complements a host country's larger nation-building efforts.

  • Syrian refugees cross into Jordanian territory, near the town of Ruwaished, 149 miles east of Amman, December 5, 2013, photo by Muhammad Hamed/Reuters

    Report

    Stabilizing Eastern Syria After ISIS

    Sep 8, 2020

    Eastern Syrian communities are no longer occupied by ISIS but they are in a fraught political environment where the Syrian Democratic Forces and the Syrian government have both expanded their presence and some ISIS fighters remain. What are the region's most urgent needs and is there a viable strategy to build near-term stability?

Explore Nation Building

  • Protesters in Libya burning books

    Commentary

    Libyan Nation Building After Qaddafi

    If Libya is to have a chance of replacing Qaddafi with something better, the United States, its allies, and the rest of the international community will need to pivot very quickly from the rather straightforward requirements of war fighting to taking seriously the complex and demanding tasks of peace building, write James Dobbins and Frederic Wehrey.

    Aug 23, 2011

  • News Release

    Negotiated Peace in Afghanistan Is a Complex, but Feasible Goal

    A sustained focus on Afghanistan at all levels of the U.S. government is needed for the United States to make the most of its limited influence on the complex Afghan peace process.

    Aug 17, 2011

  • Report

    Negotiated Peace in Afghanistan Is a Complex, but Feasible Goal

    A sustained focus on Afghanistan at all levels of the U.S. government is needed for the United States to make the most of its limited influence on the complex Afghan peace process.

    Aug 17, 2011

  • Report

    Managing Arab-Kurd Tensions in Northern Iraq After the Withdrawal of U.S. Troops

    Continuing tensions between Arab and Kurdish communities in Iraq could lead to inadvertent armed conflict unless Iraqi leaders resolve outstanding disputes regarding federalism, the legal and political status of disputed territories, and the management of northern Iraq's oil and gas resources.

    Jul 25, 2011

  • Commentary

    In Obama Speech, Will There Be Aid for Arab Spring Nations?

    Assisting Arab democratic transitions will not eliminate religious extremism. But successful transitions would directly challenge the jihadist brands that promote attacks on America, writes Julie Taylor.

    May 19, 2011

  • Commentary

    Afghanistan's Reasons for Optimism

    Afghans in general are much more optimistic about their future than we Americans are about ours, write James Dobbins and Craig Charney.

    Apr 1, 2011

  • Commentary

    Thinking Twice about Libyan Engagement

    We have learned over the past couple of decades that it is deceptively easy for the world's only superpower to topple objectionable regimes—but a good deal harder to replace them with something better, writes James Dobbins.

    Mar 15, 2011

  • Commentary

    Egypt Faces Rough, Unchartered Road

    The most favorable outcome achievable in Egypt might be what we see in Iraq, but without the violence, writes Harold Brown.

    Feb 22, 2011

  • Commentary

    The US Midterm Elections and US-Turkish Relations

    Some Turkish commentators have written off Obama as a lame duck and advised the Recep Tayyip Erdoğan government to begin reconsidering relations in the post-election period. However, foreign policy played virtually no role in the election, writes F. Stephen Larrabee.

    Nov 23, 2010

  • Congressional Briefing Podcast

    Multimedia

    Rebuilding Haiti

    In this October 2010 Congressional Briefing, RAND experts discuss how the billions of dollars in aid pledged to help Haiti rebuild after the January earthquake can be used to create a resilient state that is capable of responding effectively to natural disasters and providing public services like education and health care.

    Oct 18, 2010

  • Report

    Building a More Resilient Haitian State: French translation of summary

    Ce rapport passe en revue les défis auxquels est confrontée la République d'Haïti, ainsi que les projets de réforme envisagés, afin d'identifier les priorités les plus nécessaires, réalisables et durables dans le domaine de la construction étatique.

    Aug 24, 2010

  • Commentary

    A To-Do List for Shoring Up Haiti

    It is not enough to raise stronger buildings. What Haiti truly needs is a more resilient and effective government, write James Dobbins and Laurel Miller.

    Aug 23, 2010

  • News Release

    Rebuilding Haiti Requires New State-Building Strategy

    Haiti's future prosperity and peace depend on its ability to build a more resilient state, one capable of providing public services like education and health care as well as responding effectively to natural disasters.

    Aug 13, 2010

  • Multimedia

    Keith Crane and Laurel Miller Discuss Building a More Resilient Haitian State

    RAND Senior Economist Keith Crane and RAND Senior Political Scientist Laurel Miller discuss developing a Haitian state-building strategy. They identify the main challenges to more capable governance and suggest ways the influx of aid money can be used for long-term improvements, as well as offer other insights from their latest report, Building a More Resilient Haitian State.

    Aug 13, 2010

  • Research Brief

    Building a More Resilient Haitian State: Key Recommendations and Priorities

    Haiti's future prosperity and peace require building a more effective, resilient state. RAND researchers identified Haiti's main challenges and recommended a set of state-building priorities that are necessary, feasible, and sustainable.

    Aug 12, 2010

  • Aftermath of earthquake in Haiti

    Report

    Rebuilding Haiti Requires New State-Building Strategy

    Haiti's future prosperity and peace depend on its ability to build a more resilient state, one capable of providing public services like education and health care as well as responding effectively to natural disasters.

    Aug 6, 2010

  • Commentary

    A Bottom-Up Peace in Afghanistan

    The Afghan government has embarked on a high-stakes gamble: Try to negotiate with the leaders of the various insurgent networks to end the nine-year-old Afghan war. The notion of the Kabul government cutting a deal with the Taliban is fiercely controversial, write Wali Shaaker and John Parachini.

    Jul 15, 2010

  • Report

    Local Communities in Afghanistan Can Play Crucial Role in Improving Security

    The Afghan government and NATO can improve security in Afghanistan by leveraging traditional policing institutions in rural villages and mobilizing the population against insurgents. However, action needs to happen quickly to take advantage of a growing amount of local resistance against the Taliban across Afghanistan.

    Jul 9, 2010

  • Report

    Living Conditions in Anbar Province in June 2009

    Effective counterinsurgency is dependent on understanding the local population. A survey of those living in Iraq's Anbar Province (once one of the country's most violent areas), reveals both the many improvements that have occurred, as well as the extent to which these Iraqis have suffered from the effects of war.

    Jun 18, 2010

  • Report

    Reconstruction Under Fire: Case Studies and Further Analysis of Civil Requirements

    Building on a framework for integrating civil and military counterinsurgency (COIN), this volume presents an approach to the civil component, illustrated with three case studies from Afghanistan, Iraq, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

    Jun 8, 2010