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

  • 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

  • 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

    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

    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

  • Report

    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

  • Research Brief

    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

  • 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

    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