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

  • Report

    Toward a Secure and Stable Mali: Approaches to Engaging Local Actors

    Discusses how lasting security and stability can be established in northern Mali after the 2012 conflict there, with an emphasis on understanding the region's complex dynamics and engaging northerners in security solutions.

    Jul 2, 2013

  • Commentary

    Reframing the Policy Discussion on Intervention

    “Intervention” is not a useful organizing concept for a foreign policy. Foreign policy must encompass a vast range of ideas and issues — from great-power rivalry to international trade, transnational terrorism, environmental treaties, and more — that are not related in any way to intervention.

    Jun 13, 2013

  • Ambassador Munter Attends Pashtun Tribal Jirga in Quetta in 2011

    Commentary

    How to Negotiate Like a Pashtun

    Fortunately, the rules by which Afghans (and particularly Pashtuns) forge durable pacts may be difficult to master, but they are quite comprehensible, writes Jonah Blank.

    Jun 4, 2013

  • Nawaz Sharif billboard on Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) Headquarters

    Commentary

    Preventing a Nuclear 'Great Game'

    America's imminent withdrawal from Afghanistan raises the possibility of renewed tension between Pakistan and India. With this month's election of Nawaz Sharif as Pakistan's next prime minister, Islamabad and New Delhi have a fleeting window of opportunity to improve relations.

    May 30, 2013

  • Libyans poured into the streets of Benghazi to celebrate the revolution

    Commentary

    Libya Needs U.S. Help for Security

    By adopting a laissez-faire policy toward security in Libya after the war, the United States and its allies who helped the Libyan rebels topple Gadhafi share in the responsibility for the country’s current predicament, writes Christopher Chivvis.

    May 13, 2013

  • Tarin Kot, Afghanistan chief of police

    Testimony

    After the Withdrawal: A Way Forward in Afghanistan and Pakistan

    At the time of the U.S. withdrawal, there are several militant groups in Afghanistan and Pakistan that threaten U.S. security and its interests overseas. How can we avoid the inherent risks in the drawdown?

    Mar 19, 2013

  • U.S. Army sergeant throws a smoke grenade to mask his team's movements during a joint operation with the Iraqi police

    Commentary

    Learning Curve

    The post-Vietnam “never again” attitude led to a severe atrophy of the U.S. military's counterinsurgency skills and it is quite possible that the U.S. military will go through a similar phase of unlearning over the next several years, writes James Dobbins.

    Mar 14, 2013

  • U.S. soldier provides pens to Iraqi boy

    Commentary

    Unlearning the Lessons of Iraq

    Trepidation about boots-on-the-ground engagement has unnecessarily forestalled even small-scale efforts to repair Libya's fractured security environment....Meanwhile, in Syria, the over-learned lessons of Iraq are taking an even more serious toll, writes Christopher Chivvis.

    Mar 14, 2013

  • Afghan Border Police and U.S. Army Soldiers hike to an observation point along the Afghanistan-Pakistan border

    Commentary

    What Went Wrong in Afghanistan? Allowing a Sanctuary in Pakistan

    Ten years after the United States helped overthrow the Taliban regime, it is remarkable that successive U.S. administrations have refused to target the Taliban safe haven in Baluchistan, writes Seth Jones.

    Mar 5, 2013

  • French president François Hollande talked about the intervention in Mali during the discussion with MEPs on Feb. 5

    Commentary

    Europe and African Defense

    A successful partnership within Europe, as well as between Europe and the US, to overcome extremism and terrorism in North and North Central Africa could provide allies with a sense of common purpose and a model of unified effort, writes Harold Brown.

    Feb 28, 2013

  • 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