Peacekeeping and Stability Operations

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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.

  • Article

    How Climate Change Will Affect Conflict and U.S. Military Operations

    Climate stress will become more intense and frequent throughout CENTCOM's area of operations. CENTCOM may be called upon less to fight wars and more to airdrop humanitarian supplies or evacuate people from disaster zones. It should also plan to contribute to stability operations in the region.

    Mar 15, 2024

  • Commentary

    Trucks, Piers, and Parachutes Will Not Solve Gaza's Crisis

    If the international community wants to solve the humanitarian problem in Gaza, it will need to go beyond thinking strictly in terms of trucks, roads, and floating piers. It will instead need to choose between a series of bad options. None are particularly appealing outcomes, but in the Middle East, nothing is ever simple.

    Mar 25, 2024

Explore Peacekeeping and Stability Operations

  • Another Year Without Daesh: Walking Down The Streets , Photo by Staff Sgt. Ray Boyington/U.S. Department of Defense

    Journal Article

    Implementing Safe Areas: Lessons from History

    While safe areas are intuitively attractive, their effectiveness depends on the resources and resolve of the implementing forces, rules of engagement, and geography.

    Feb 26, 2024

  • Israeli Prime Minster Benjamin Netanyahu welcomes U.S. President Joe Biden as he arrives in Tel Aviv, October 18, 2023, photo Evelyn Hockstein/Reuters

    Commentary

    Netanyahu Is Far From Alone in Resisting a Two-State Solution

    Opposition to a Palestinian state stretches well beyond the office of Israel's Benjamin Netanyahu. Can American pressure change this?

    Jan 22, 2024

  • U.S. military personnel assigned to United States Central Command deliver supplies in support of a USAID-led humanitarian mission at Pakistan Air Base Nur Khan, Pakistan.

    Report

    Defense Planning Implications of Climate Change for U.S. Central Command

    This report examines how U.S. Central Command (CENTCOM) planners could use operations, activities, and investments in the coming decades to address security threats related to stressors from climate change in the CENTCOM area of responsibility.

    Nov 29, 2023

  • An Israeli soldier looks out from a tank as an artillery unit gathers near Israel's border with the Gaza Strip, in southern Israel, October 12, 2023, photo by Ronen Zvulun/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Inevitable, Ongoing Failure of Israel's Gaza Strategy

    The Hamas attack represented a spectacular failure of Israel's “mowing the grass” strategy in the Gaza Strip. If there's to be any hope of preventing the next war and the one after that, Israel will need to rebuild Gaza into something better than it was.

    Oct 19, 2023

  • USA map composed of stick figures in red and blue, image by bamlou/Getty Images

    Commentary

    Toward a New Paradigm in U.S. Foreign Policy: Harnessing the Power of American Society in Pursuit of U.S. National Security Objectives

    In this Perspective, the authors call for a new “whole of America” paradigm for U.S. foreign policy that leverages the nation’s governments, businesses, civil society, and academic institutions to defend core U.S. principles of democracy and freedom.

    Aug 17, 2023

  • Journal Article

    Journal Article

    Competitive Alliances and Civil War Recurrence

    Why do internal wars start anew after they apparently end? This essay examines competition between allied rebel groups in civil wars as a contributor to civil war renewal.

    Jun 8, 2023

  • Russian Sukhoi Su-25 Frogfoot ground-attack planes release smoke in the colours of the Russian flag during a rehearsal for the Victory Day parade in Moscow, Russia June 20, 2020, photo by Evgenia Novozhenina/Reuters

    Report

    Future U.S. Peacetime Policy Toward Russia: Exploring the Benefits and Costs of a Less-Hardline Approach

    Using four historical case studies, the authors found that limited less-hardline approaches can lead to durable but narrow gains. However, issues left unaddressed by these approaches may still undermine the relationship over the long term.

    May 17, 2023

  • Brezhnev and Nixon talk during Brezhnev's June 1973 visit to Washington during the beginning of detente between the United States and the Soviet Union, photo by World History Archive/Alamy

    Research Brief

    What Should Future U.S. Policy Toward Russia Be in Peacetime?

    Russia's invasion of Ukraine has made a constructive U.S.-Russia relationship implausible for the foreseeable future. But once the fighting stops, the United States will continue to face long-term incentives to improve the stability and predictability of its relations with Moscow.

    May 17, 2023

  • Report

    Report

    U.S. Major Combat Operations in the Indo-Pacific: Partner and Ally Views

    This report, one of two, focuses on whether partners and allies have the willingness to support U.S. operations in a major Indo-Pacific conflict. The companion report focuses on technical and operational issues.

    May 16, 2023

  • Smoke rises from buildings during clashes between the paramilitary Rapid Support Forces and the army in Khartoum North, Sudan. April 22, 2023, photo by Mohamed Nureldin Abdallah/Reuters

    Commentary

    The Fight for Sudan Was Inevitable

    When conflict in Sudan did not end after the 2005 peace agreement, the international community fell into a familiar pattern of never-ending negotiations. But conflict resolution focused on agreements that split power between armed groups rarely leads to sustainable peace. The effects of such misbegotten efforts are plain to see.

    Apr 27, 2023

  • The round table at the NATO summit in Madrid, Spain, June 30, 2022, photo by Yves Herman/Reuters

    Commentary

    A New Era? NATO's Prioritisation of Human Security in an Insecure World

    Human security and NATO's role and responsibility to protect civilians during conflict saw new prioritization in the alliance's 2022 Strategic Concept. While much progress has been made, more could be done to ensure the alliance can deliver on these commitments.

    Aug 10, 2022

  • Report

    Report

    Human Security and the 2022 NATO Strategic Concept: Knowledge, Insights and Lessons Learned

    These conference proceedings document the perspectives of human security experts brought together to provide recommendations on the importance of human security within the new Strategic Concept and the future of NATO.

    Jun 15, 2022

  • A Ukrainian service member walks in a trench near the front line in the Donetsk Region, Ukraine, May 29, 2022, photo by Serhii Nuzhnenko/Reuters

    Commentary

    Ukraine's Best Chance for Peace

    In late March, Ukrainian diplomats introduced an innovative framework for a deal that could provide a pathway out of the war. There are powerful obstacles to achieving an agreement based on the framework, but so far it is the most plausible pathway identified to a sustainable peace for Ukraine.

    Jun 1, 2022

  • Ukrainian service members walk on the front line near Kyiv as Russia's invasion of Ukraine continues, Ukraine, March 30, 2022, photo by Gleb Garanich/Reuters

    Commentary

    Time for a U.N. Peace Enforcement Operation in Northern Ukraine?

    Now that the Russian military in Ukraine has retreated north, a de facto cease-fire is in place in Kyiv and central Ukraine. This could present an opportunity for the United Nations to call for a formal cease-fire in reclaimed territory and issue a recommendation to willing states to move into Ukraine with a peacekeeping force.

    Apr 27, 2022

  • Private security company owner Wang Haichun takes part in a training session with his employees in Hangzhou, China, March 6, 2018, photo by Tu meifei/Reuters

    Commentary

    China's Security Contractors Have Avoided the Fate of Russia's Military Contractors, So Far

    China's approach to private security contractors is much more limited in scope and effects than Russia's use of private military contractors. But indicators suggest that Chinese planners see benefits in expanding and maturing China's use of private contractors, which creates the potential for dangerous results for China and the rest of the world.

    Mar 11, 2022

  • Jacqueline Burns, bottom right, with Ambassador Donald Booth, at an Internally Displaced Person camp in Darfur, Sudan, in 2016, over a map of Sudan, photo courtesy of Jacqueline Burns; images by oxygen and JeanUrsula/Getty Images; design by Chara Williams/RAND Corporation

    Q&A

    Helping People Affected by Conflict: Q&A with Jacqueline Burns

    From the Air Force to Africa to RAND, Jacqueline Burns resolved to help people whose lives have been torn apart by conflict or disaster. As a senior policy analyst she wants to be a part of finding better solutions to the complex questions of peace and security.

    Dec 22, 2021

  • Members of the Iowa National Guard load vehicles during railhead operations at Camp Shelby, Miss., photo by Sean Taylor/U.S. Army

    Report

    Weighing the Trade-Offs of U.S. Military Interventions

    Military interventions can be effective at advancing U.S. interests in some contexts and situations. But they can have the opposite effect in other cases, creating long-term entanglements and increasing economic and strategic costs without realizing U.S. objectives.

    Dec 13, 2021

  • Report

    Report

    Building Military Coalitions: Lessons from U.S. Experience

    This report describes factors that seem to be associated with U.S. decisions to use coalitions for military interventions, factors that drive partner states to join such coalitions, and factors that shape the success of military coalitions.

    Nov 30, 2021