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.

  • Workers repair the damage in front of Aleppo's historic citadel, as posters depicting Syria's President Bashar al-Assad are erected in the Old City of Aleppo, Syria, January 31, 2017

    Report

    Exchange Reconstruction Assistance for Bottom-Up Reform in Syria

    Nov 30, 2017

    Syrian peace talks are not working. What leverage the United States and its allies have derives largely from their ability to offer or withhold reconstruction aid. Offering reconstruction on a community-by-community basis could provide a way forward in Syria.

  • An Iraqi flag is seen amid destroyed buildings in the Old City of Mosul, Iraq, July 23, 2017

    Report

    How to Achieve Stability in Iraq After ISIS

    Jul 24, 2017

    After major combat operations against ISIS in Mosul, recovery and stability will require redoubled efforts by Iraqis and the international community. How well humanitarian, security, and other needs are addressed will affect the immediate stabilization of Iraq, including whether civilians can return home.

Explore Peacekeeping and Stability Operations

  • A man waves a Libyan flag during celebrations commemorating the second anniversary of the February 17 revolution in Tripoli February 17, 2013

    Commentary

    Anxious Whispers in Tripoli

    The clock is ticking for Libya's future, writes Christopher Chivvis. Libya's government is dysfunctional, armed militias control much of the country, and the population is increasingly frustrated with the pace of postwar progress.

    Feb 18, 2013

  • streets in Tripoli decorated for the second anniversary of the revolution against Qaddafi's regime

    Commentary

    NATO, US Must Shore Up Libya

    A smaller-scale training mission to help the Libyan government build reliable forces that will answer to the country's elected leadership would do much to help the Libyan state get control over its own territory, writes Christopher Chivvis.

    Feb 15, 2013

  • Cambodian garment factory workers travel home from work in Kampong Chhnang province, north of Phnom Penh

    Report

    The Benefits of Nation-Building Interventions Have Exceeded the Costs

    Most interventions in the past 25 years have been followed by improved security, some degree of democratization, and significant economic growth—with only a modest commitment of international military and civilian manpower and economic assistance.

    Feb 4, 2013

  • Journal Article

    Overcoming Obstacles to Peace

    The memory of a few spectacular failures has created the impression that nation-building seldom succeeds. Yet most such operations over the past 20 years have produced positive results.

    Feb 1, 2013

  • Report

    What Works Best When Building Partner Capacity and Under What Circumstances?

    The United States has a long history of helping other nations develop and improve their military and other security forces. An analysis of 29 case studies helps identify how the U.S. Department of Defense can increase the effectiveness of these initiatives as it faces budget cuts that will affect the funding available for them.

    Jan 28, 2013

  • Afghan President Hamid Karzai and Gen. Abdul Rahim Wardak, Minister of Defense, participate in the Afghanistan Independence Day celebration held at the Ministry of National Defense in Kabul.

    Commentary

    Moving Beyond Afghanistan's Soviet Legacy

    In 2014, Afghanistan will hold its third presidential election since the fall of the Taliban. If the country can hold reasonably free and fair elections, and defeated candidates can agree to step aside, Afghanistan has a chance of moving beyond its Soviet legacy, writes Seth G. Jones.

    Jan 10, 2013

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    Journal Article

    The Future of Insurgency

    What do key historical trends suggest about the future of insurgency? Based on an examination of quantitative and qualitative data surrounding causes of insurgency, outside support, strategies, and tactics, this report makes several arguments about the future.

    Jan 1, 2013

  • The Philippine flag

    Commentary

    High Hopes for Philippine Peace Plan

    The government has successfully used a combination of counterinsurgency strategies against the Moro Islamic Liberation Front in recent years, raising expectations that the new peace deal will also succeed—and in a manner that favors the government's interests, writes Molly Dunigan.

    Dec 6, 2012

  • Libyans in Zawiya celebrating one-year anniversary of anti-Qadhafi uprising

    Commentary

    The Challenges of Libya's Post-Qadhafi Transition

    Libya should remain in charge of its own post-conflict path, but it needs the help of external actors to succeed with its transition, writes Christopher Chivvis.

    Oct 26, 2012

  • Research Brief

    Can NATO Meet Defense Challenges in an Era of Austerity?

    This study analyzes the impact of planned defense budget cuts on the capabilities of seven key European members of NATO and suggests ways in which the Alliance can adapt to meet emerging security challenges.

    Oct 22, 2012

  • Report

    NATO Faces Growing Fiscal Austerity and Declining Defense Budgets

    Seven NATO countries are reducing the size of their armies, navies, and air forces. The capacity of these major European powers to project military power will be highly constrained.

    Oct 22, 2012

  • Police training in northern Afghanistan

    Commentary

    What the Soviets Can Teach Us About Leaving Afghanistan

    Afghanistan will fail if it does not have a central government with enough strength, support, and willpower to maintain control of the bulk of its forces, writes Olga Oliker.

    Oct 18, 2012

  • Taliban insurgents turning themselves in to Afghan National Security Forces

    Commentary

    Bringing the Taliban to the Table: Long-Term Prospects for the Afghan Peace Talks

    The Afghan government and the Taliban have signaled that the United States would be the most suitable third-party interlocutor and most effective at holding the parties to their word in any agreement. Yet the U.S. must accept that the timeline must be organically determined by the Afghans and not manufactured to meet a predetermined schedule, writes Jason Campbell.

    Oct 11, 2012

  • khost,air-assault,Operation Champion Sword,Afghanistan

    Research Brief

    The Value and Limitations of Minimalist Stabilization Efforts

    Minimalist stabilizations — small-scale interventions designed to stabilize a partner government engaged in violent conflict — have both utility and limitations. This report proposes policy recommendations to improve the outcomes of such operations.

    Oct 1, 2012

  • Philippines,SMEE,MARSOC,Marine,JSOTF-P,Basilan,Navy,Unclassified

    Report

    The Uses and Limits of Small-Scale Military Interventions

    Minimalist stabilizations — small-scale interventions designed to stabilize a partner government engaged in violent conflict — have both utility and limitations. This report proposes policy recommendations to improve the outcomes of such operations.

    Sep 27, 2012

  • Report

    Historical Lessons for Creating Local Defense Forces for Afghanistan and Beyond

    Lessons learned from past cases of local defense forces used in the context of counterinsurgency—in Indochina, Algeria, South Vietnam, Oman, El Salvador, Southern Lebanon, Afghanistan, and Iraq—can be applied to the current development of the Afghan Local Police.

    Sep 18, 2012

  • Secretary of the Army John McHugh meets with members of the Afghan Local Police in the village of Tabin

    Commentary

    Afghan Training Violence: Repairing the Vetting Process Is Key

    While Taliban infiltration poses an obvious threat to the Afghan Local Police program and NATO forces, the greater threat may be in exacerbating political tension between the United States and Afghanistan, writes Seth Jones.

    Sep 6, 2012

  • Women voting at the 2012 Libyan elections

    Commentary

    A Year After the Fall of Tripoli, Libya Still Fragile

    The countries that helped topple Moammar Gadhafi a year ago have a special obligation to ensure the new Libyan government gets all the help it needs to respond to these new threats effectively, writes Christopher Chivvis.

    Aug 23, 2012

  • Report

    Understanding Country Planning: A Guide for Air Force Component Planners

    In the absence of official guidance on planning for security cooperation with foreign militaries, this report presents best practices for U.S. Air Force planners on how to develop, resource, execute, and assess country plans.

    Aug 1, 2012

  • Journal Article

    Taking Syria Seriously

    The United States is rapidly approaching a critical juncture in its policy towards Syria.

    Aug 1, 2012