Conflict Prevention and Post-Crisis Stabilization: An Integrated Approach

Posted by Kristina Aronson
May 28, 2010
Ambassador Herbst at 1207 Coordinators Workshop

About the Author: Kristina Aronson serves in the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction & Stabilization.

This week, more than 50 U.S. government officials convened in Washington for the “1207 Coordinators' Workshop on Conflict Prevention and Post-Crisis Stabilization: An Integrated Approach,” hosted by the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS).

The workshop focused on issues of conflict prevention and post-crisis stabilization that S/CRS helps the U.S. government address via a whole-of-government, interagency approach using “Section 1207” funds that the Department of Defense transfers to the State Department under the Fiscal Year 2006 National Defense Authorization Act, as amended. These funds are primarily used to supplement U.S. conflict prevention and stabilization, security, and reconstruction response efforts in regions where violence, state failure, or regional instability could affect U.S. national security interests.

To date, $350 million of 1207 funds have been directed toward 25 projects in 23 at-risk or post-conflict countries, such as Georgia, Lebanon, and Bangladesh, among others. Today, conflict and instability watch lists identify over 40 countries at risk of conflict within the next two years and report that nearly half of recovering countries fall back into conflict within a few years. The scope of the instability problem underlines the pressing need for the U.S. to engage in conflict prevention activities around the world in order to establish long term stability and security.

In addition to the 25 workshop participants who flew in from overseas U.S. embassies that carry out stability projects using 1207 funding, all three “Ds” -- diplomacy, development and defense -- were represented at the conference by officials from the Department of State, USAID, and the Department of Defense.

Opening remarks for the first day of the workshop were given by Ambassador John Herbst, Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization at the Department of State; Neil Levine, Director of USAID's Office of Conflict Management and Mitigation; and Michael Coulter, Principal Deputy Director for Joint Staff Strategic Plans and Policy at the Department of Defense. Ensuing panels over the two day conference discussed Congressional perspectives on conflict prevention, implementing the whole-of-government approach in Washington and in the field, and lessons learned over the past several years of developing and implementing 1207 projects. Additionally, members of the Civilian Response Corps presented their expertise and equipment and provided key insight into why the Corps is an important aspect of the U.S. government's civilian response in at-risk and post-conflict environments.

The event closed with a dialogue about the upcoming Complex Crisis Fund (CCF) and Quadrennial Diplomacy and Development Review (QDDR), and a review of how the scope and range of the 1207 projects have expanded over the last couple of years to help meet the complex challenges of at-risk and post-conflict countries.

Comments

Comments

OysterCracker
|
United States
May 29, 2010

O.C. in U.S.A. writes:

Regarding domestic security, the idea of having a volunteer civilian corps in exchange for Congress platinium health insurance would create an entire civilian army at the ready in the event of the next major emergency crisis. If Louisiana had 20-30,000 civilian corps with an additional 20-30,000 from Mississsippi, Tennessee or Texas laying boom, building sand berm, throwing down hay bales, the outcome to our current crisis might have been better. Homeland Security does not have enough personnel or even the command structure to be helpful in these catastrophes. Using qualified civilian professionals who are pre-trained at a moment's notice makes sense and increases the numbers to support military led functions in a disaster such as medical triage, supply distribution, water systems, childcare etc. The governments biggest asset is the American people. Why aren't they being organized into helpful units who can get the job done? Many Americans would willingly spend a weekend in training serving their country for a few perks like healthcare, home loans, subsidised student loans.

Najoua H.
|
Louisiana, USA
May 31, 2010

Najoua H. in Louisiana writes:

Still trying to educate Louisiana communities on the importance of taking part in our great country's effort to embark on the path of global citizenship. Opening one's heart and mind to other cultures and reaching out to others for understanding and respect are the main pillars for peace and for a better future for all of us. All I can say at this time is that I will not give up or get discouraged. My mission is to enroll as many people as possible in Exchanges connect to experience the joy of global citizenship.

Please let me know if I can get help and advice on organizing a forum to energize everyone to become engaged in our State Department's outstanding efforts to empower our people with the uniqueness and beauty of many cultures in the world. It is about time the world learns what makes our nation and its people great. Knowledge is power. Hatred, misunderstanding, and prejudice are rooted in ignorance. Those who perpetuate hatred benefit greatly from this ignorance and work hard to prevent the light of truth from shining. It is up to everyone in every community in the US and around the world to join hands and become engaged in making our world a better place. We might be of different color, ethnic origin, religious beliefs. we might have traditions and unique cultural features that are totally different, but we share one uniting feature: We are human beings that can transform the world to be a better place for many generations to come. Governments cannot do it alone. It takes a village. . . It will take all of us to foster change.

Najoua H., PhD
ICLCE, President
iclvce.org

mubeen
|
Pakistan
May 31, 2010

Mubeen in Pakistan writes:

hello,

hopefully we (Pakistani) are friends of US and it will use all sources to know about the where abouts and status of 3 Pakistani TALAT Hussain Nadeem and Raza who were on freedom flotilla in international borders and fully condemn the aggression of Israel.

OysterCracker
|
United States
June 7, 2010

O.C. in U.S.A. writes:

The civilian emergency corps is a good idea but drawing from existing Federal ranks seems limited as these people would be needed to stay in their existing capacity in the event of a major emergency. By using qualified civilian professionals, the government would be able to draw from an even bigger, specially trained pool of candidates. Using a surrounding state "buddy approach" as initial first responders would quicken the pace of "on scene" personnel. Like increasing, circular waves of reponders from the target area until the entire nation, if need be, is responding. Assessment teams, although important, waste critical hours. Disaster relief should occur in highly organized, strategic and succesive waves. For example, through experience we already know that massive teams of response personnel,concrete cutters, heavy equipment, emergency medical supplies, litters and large triage systems are needed as well as comfort care, identification and temporary housing. If specialized units were pre-trained and at the ready a lot of the disruption and running around clueless would be mitigated. Civilian teams could be organized with military precision and thousands of civilians could be stationed and in place within an hour or so of a major disaster because first responders are coming in from local areas to be backed up by ever widening circles of farther areas.

The current systems in place don't seem to adequately address the profound nature of emergencies. For example, the Gulf oil spill, should have had massive numbers of people at the ready, cutting off estuary entrances, building berms, laying down hay bales and filtering estuary water to protect wildlife, patrolling beaches and setting up wildlife emergency stations. Washing one brown pelican at a time isn't much of a rescue operation but having a massive number of pre-trained civilian volunteers with 2,000-5,000 kiddie pool washing stations might limit complete wildlife destruction. Disaster preparedness should mean exactly what the word implies having the resources, capability, supplies in a highly trained and nearly instantly deployable work force. A country like the Grand Ole USA should have had these systems in place. We are usually good at response times to emergencies but lately the catastrophic nature of recent emergencies has not been addressed. The government needs to put in place people who can anticipate needs and prepare for them.

Donald M.
|
Virginia, USA
June 7, 2010

Donald M. in Virginia writes:

I think we all realize that Gaza is like a prison for the Palestine people. Simple solution get them out safe. The only reason why the Arabs will NOT accept them on their terroritory is because the Hamas group does the dirty work for them. They would like to see Isreal destroyed. All the headaches in the world, yet a simple solution to move the Palestine people out safe to a new location. The billions of aid money spent on people that live in a prison. This is ridicious. Countries National Security depends on people living without tensions, without wars, without people living in a prison setting. It's time our State Department makes a bold move to help get those people out safe and sound to a new land, where and when they can use the aid and start a new life for the Palestine People. Had they been moved to Greenland like I said in earlier blog the ships from Turkey could of arrived safe, without the security forces of Isreal. Think about it. Lives count on making the right moves, not the carless moves.

second39
June 8, 2010

S. writes:

do you know Iran is sending two vassels with humanitarian aid along with iranian national guards to protect the vassels?

Now the Videogame is becomin taugher

basic78
June 8, 2010

B. writes:

Ahmadinejad travel agenda:

-Meeting with Erdogan
-Talking with the Russian
-sending humanitarian aid through 2 vassels protected by perisan.

can someone make a statement on this?

.

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