Peacekeeping and Conflict Transitions: Background and Congressional Action on Civilian Capabilities [Updated April 11, 2007]   [open pdf - 198KB]

" The State Department's Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS) was established 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 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, as is fielding the appropriate civilian personnel. President Bush referred to the latter in his January 23, 2007 State of the Union address, calling for Congress to work with the Administration "to design and establish a volunteer Civilian Reserve Corps." Established in July 2004, S/CRS has worked to establish the basic concepts, mechanisms, and capabilities necessary to carry out such operations. Working with a staff of about 73 individuals from the State Department, other executive branch agencies, and on contract as of early January 2007, S/CRS has taken steps to monitor and plan for potential conflicts, to develop the first phase of a rapid-response crisis management capability, to improve interagency and international coordination, to develop interagency training exercises, and to help State Department regional bureaus develop concepts and proposals for preventive action."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL32862
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