Enhancing Stabilization and Reconstruction Operations
January 22, 2009
A new U.S. administration has come to power just at the moment when the mission in Afghanistan is in danger of becoming bogged down. For that reason, while this report considers stabilization and reconstruction (S&R) operations in principle, so that the conduct of future such operations will improve, the focus must in major part be on Afghanistan, where Americans and Europeans are deployed together in force. Indeed, although the experience gained in the Balkans and Iraq was also considered in the course of this project, they were done so from the perspective of how lessons learned there can be applied in the first instance to Afghanistan.
The report is part of a series in a project, a Global Dialogue between the European Union and the United States, led by Simon Serfaty of the Center for Strategic and International Studies (CSIS) in Washington, D.C., with support from the European Commission. With a determinedly practical approach, a Euro-Atlantic working group was established, composed of a mix of U.S. and European S&R professionals, policymakers, practitioners, and leading academics. The U.S. members of the working group met on May 9, 2008, in Washington, while the European members met in Breda, Netherlands, on June 23, 2008. After each meeting, a detailed report was prepared that formed the basis for the preparation of this report. The draft report was then discussed at a combined session in Brussels on October 20 before the preparation of the final report was completed to coincide with the U.S. transition.