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.

  • A soldier loyal to Syria's President Bashar al-Assad's forces is seen in Quneitra, Syria, July 22, 2018

    Commentary

    The Power and Limits of Threat: The Caesar Syrian Civilian Protection Act at One Year

    Jul 8, 2021

    A powerful new U.S. sanctions law on Syria came into effect one year ago, with great notice and speculation regarding its potential effects. Now, one year later, it is apparent that the act's power lies not in who the United States has sanctioned but in who the United States could sanction.

  • Syrian refugee children in the Ketermaya refugee camp, outside Beirut, Lebanon on June 1, 2014, photo by Dominic Chavez/World Bank

    Report

    New Solutions Are Urgently Needed for Displaced Populations

    Aug 26, 2021

    Among the 80 million people who are displaced globally are 30 million refugees. They are living in limbo without full citizenship rights. And their host countries are experiencing ever-greater political and economic strains. The need to find both durable and interim solutions is critical.

Explore Peacekeeping and Stability Operations

  • Syria's President Bashar al-Assad welcomes Iran's Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif before a meeting in Damascus January 15, 2014

    Research Brief

    The Conflict in Syria: Regional Spillover Effects

    The literature on armed conflict shows that external military support, large numbers of refugees, and the fragility of neighboring states contribute to the spread of violence from civil war and insurgency.

    Aug 27, 2014

  • Iraqi Shiite tribal fighters in Baghdad

    Report

    Spillover from the Conflict in Syria

    External military support, large numbers of refugees, and the fragility of neighboring states are factors that contribute directly to the spread of violence from civil war and insurgency in Syria. How do these factors affect Turkey, Lebanon, Iraq, and Jordan, and how can a spillover of violence be prevented?

    Aug 27, 2014

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    Best Practices for Assessing Locally Focused Stability Operations

    Locally focused stability operations (LFSO) to build security, development, and governance are difficult to assess because of the complexity of operational environments. This brief outlines creation of an assessment plan for a notional LFSO scenario.

    Aug 21, 2014

  • Report

    Report

    Assessing Locally Focused Stability Operations

    This report describes how to best measure and assess the progress and outcomes of locally focused stability operations -- the missions, tasks, and activities that create stability by building security, governance, and development in a community.

    Aug 21, 2014

  • People walk along the street soon after, what locals say, was recent shelling by Ukrainian forces, in Donetsk on August 20, 2014

    Commentary

    Make Russia an Offer on Ukraine It Can't Refuse

    An international initiative that does not appear to emanate from NATO or the EU could help bring Russia to the table, in part by accepting that Moscow, too, has a role. An international peacekeeping force could open the way for a negotiated end to the conflict.

    Aug 20, 2014

  • U.S. President Barack Obama meets with the National Security Council in the Situation Room of the White House in Washington

    Commentary

    Taking It One Crisis at a Time

    The main difference between the immediate post-Cold War decade and the post-9/11 era as regards the variety of international challenges is that during that earlier period these challenges were faced and dealt with seriatim, rather than allowed to accumulate.

    Aug 19, 2014

  • Syrian refugees walk amid damage and the remains of tents that were burnt in the fighting between Lebanese army soldiers and Islamist militants in the Sunni Muslim border town of Arsal, August 9, 2014

    Commentary

    To Fight ISIS, Make Peace with Syria's Assad

    To disrupt al-Baghdadi's advance, the United States and its allies should start by addressing the source of the problem — the conflict in Syria. They can begin by negotiating a truce with President Bashar Assad to stop the fighting in Syria.

    Aug 14, 2014

  • A Free Syrian Army fighter throws a Molotov cocktail in West Aleppo December 2013

    Report

    Getting to Negotiations in Syria

    It appears that there is almost no prospect for a negotiated solution to the civil war in Syria in the near term. This is because the Syrian factions believe — perhaps rightly — that they have more to gain by carrying on the fight than by negotiating toward peace.

    Jul 14, 2014

  • Report

    Report

    Initial Thoughts on the Impact of the Iraq War on U.S. National Security Structures

    This paper surveys the overall impact of the Iraq War on U.S. national security structures by examining the major changes the war wrought in the intellectual and institutional underpinnings of U.S. security and defense policy.

    Jun 5, 2014

  • Events @ RAND Audio Podcast

    Multimedia

    Russia: What Happened? What's Next?

    In this April 2014 podcast, Olga Oliker discusses what Crimea—and Ukraine—mean for Moscow, for Kiev, and for Vladmir Putin, and the implications of Putin's actions for the U.S. and NATO.

    Apr 9, 2014

  • Philippine and U.S. marine soldiers in a joint military exercise in Ulugan bay, Philippines

    Commentary

    The Foreign Policy Essay: The Limits of Small Footprints

    The history of “small-footprint approaches” should be sobering. It suggests that such approaches are good at preventing allied governments from losing against rebels, but are not very good at actually winning wars.

    Mar 31, 2014

  • COMCAM,Croatian,EUCOM,Hrvatska kopnena vojska,Immediate Response,IR12,mission training exercise,SPC Lorenzo Ware,U.S. Army,U.S. European Command,US Army Europe,USAREUR,USEUCOM

    Report

    Assessing Security Cooperation as a Preventive Tool

    Based on an analysis of security cooperation (SC) data and state fragility scores for 107 countries in 1991-2008, a correlation is described between provision of SC by the United States and a reduction in partner state fragility.

    Mar 20, 2014

  • Syrian refugees wave flags during a protest against Syria's President Bashar al-Assad

    Multimedia

    Navigating Turmoil in the Middle East

    Listen in on this joint RAND-Wilson Center panel discussion on new and ongoing U.S. foreign policy challenges in the Middle East.

    Mar 18, 2014

  • News Release

    News Release

    Libya Needs More International Support

    The international community's limited approach to post-conflict stabilization of Libya has left the nation struggling and on the brink of civil war.

    Mar 17, 2014

  • Libyans protesting against the General National Congress in Benghazi February 28, 2014

    Report

    Libya After Qaddafi: Lessons and Implications for the Future

    This report assesses the challenges facing Libya since the overthrow of the Qaddafi regime and evaluates the impact of the limited international role in efforts to overcome them. It also sketches possible future roles for the international community.

    Mar 17, 2014

  • U.S. troops stand guard at the site of a suicide car bomb attack in Kabul

    Commentary

    Stuck Between a Rock and the 'Zero Option'

    A total drawdown of American forces — the “zero option” — is a real possibility. Recently, Secretary of Defense Chuck Hagel announced the United States would begin planning for this contingency because of Afghan President Hamid Karzai's failure to sign a bilateral security agreement.

    Mar 13, 2014

  • Supporters of Afghan presidential candidate Zalmai Rassoul listen to his speech during the presidential campaign in Kabul March 5, 2014

    Commentary

    The Pernicious Effects of Uncertainty in Afghanistan

    While upcoming elections and sustained Taliban attacks are keeping many Afghans on edge, the greatest long-term threat to Afghanistan right now is the slow, insidious rot of uncertainty that is permeating nearly every facet of Afghan society.

    Mar 12, 2014

  • A Russian serviceman stands on duty near a map of the Crimea region near the city of Kerch March 4, 2014. President Vladimir Putin ordered troops involved in a military exercise in western Russia back to base on Tuesday in an announcement that appeared intended to ease East-West tension over fears of war in Ukraine.

    Commentary

    Ukraine and the Death of Territorial Integrity

    Russia's increasingly brazen violation of Ukraine's territorial integrity threatens to undermine the widely accepted principle that international borders are not subject to further revision, a principle that has contributed to a global decline in interstate war in recent decades.

    Mar 4, 2014

  • Research Brief

    Research Brief

    Lessons for a Negotiated Settlement in Afghanistan — If History Serves as a Guide

    Historical insurgencies that ended in settlement after a stalemate have generally followed a seven-step path. A master narrative distilled from these cases could help guide and assess the progress toward a negotiated settlement in Afghanistan.

    Feb 28, 2014

  • News Release

    News Release

    'Small Footprint' Counterinsurgency Strategies Work Best with Narrow Range of Partners

    Future U.S. efforts should focus on finding areas of agreement with partner nations and possibly convening networks of people in those nations who can implement changes and then providing the necessary resources and technical expertise.

    Feb 26, 2014