Peacekeeping and Conflict Transitions: Background and Congressional Action on Civilian Capabilities [Updated September 18, 2006] [open pdf - 124KB]
"The State Department's new Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS) is intended to address longstanding concerns, both within Congress and the broader foreign policy community, over the perceived lack of the appropriate capabilities and processes to deal with transitions from conflict to sustainable stability. These capabilities and procedures include adequate planning mechanisms for stabilization and reconstruction operations, efficient interagency coordination structures and procedures in carrying out such tasks, and appropriate civilian personnel for many of the non-military tasks required. Effectively distributing resources among the various executive branch actors, maintaining clear lines of authority and jurisdiction, and balancing short- and long-term objectives are major challenges for designing, planning, and conducting post-conflict operations. Recently, the Bush Administration has made new civilian entities a prominent feature in two new initiatives: the National Security Presidential Directive 44 (NSPD-44) of December 2005 on the management of interagency reconstruction and stabilization operations and the 'transformational diplomacy' reorganization of State Department personnel and practices. These initiatives are intended to enhance the United States' ability to function effectively on the world scene in the post-9/11 environment. The 109th Congress faces a number of issues regarding the strengthening of civilian capabilities for peacekeeping and post-conflict operations. This report will provide background on these issues and track Congressional proposals and action related to them."
CRS Report for Congress, RL32862