Peacekeeping/Stabilization and Conflict Transitions: Background and Congressional Action on the Civilian Response/Reserve Corps and Other Civilian Stabilization and Reconstruction Capabilities [January 12, 2012]   [open pdf - 405KB]

"In November 2011, the Obama Administration announced the creation of a new State Department Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations [CSO] to provide the institutional focus for policy and 'operational solutions' to prevent, respond to, and stabilize crises in priority states. This bureau integrates the former Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS). In December 2011, the Administration nominated Frederick D. Barton to two posts: the Assistant Secretary for Conflict and Stabilization Operations and the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization. The second session of the 112th Congress may wish to follow the progress of the CSO Bureau in furthering the work of S/CRS as part of appropriations and oversight functions. [...] The Obama Administration proceeded with plans and funding requests to develop S/CRS and its operational arm, the CRC. The 111th Congress provided funding to expand the active and standby units, but not the civilian reserve. The 111th Congress also established a new USAID [United States Agency for International Development] Complex Crises Fund (CCF) to support programs and activities responding to emerging or unforeseen complex crises abroad. The first session of the 112th Congress provided considerably less funding for Civilian Stabilization Operations (funds for S/CRS, the CRC [Civilian Response Corps], and related USAID activities) and USAID's CCF than the Administration requested. For FY2012, the Obama Administration requested $92.2 million for Conflict Stabilization Operations and $75 million for the CCF. The Consolidated Appropriations Act, 2012 (P.L. 112-74), provided $8.5 million for Conflict Stabilization Operations and did not fund the USAID CCF. The extent to which this reduction will affect the operations of the new CSO bureau is unclear, however, as the bureau conceivably could draw on funds from other State Department accounts."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL32862
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