Join a Discussion on Stabilization and Conflict Prevention

Posted by DipNote Bloggers
February 22, 2011
Live: Conversations With America: Stabilization and Conflict Prevention

On Friday, February 25, 2011, Ambassador Robert Loftis, Acting Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization, will hold a conversation with Mark Quarterman, Senior Advisor and Director of the Program on Crisis, Conflict, and Cooperation at the Center for Strategic and International Studies on the State Department's innovative approach to leading through civilian power. They will discuss U.S. response to fragile states, which pose some of the greatest national security challenges of our time. The discussion will be moderated by Cheryl Benton, Deputy Assistant Secretary of State, Bureau of Public Affairs.

The event will be streamed live on and DipNote, the Department of State's official blog, at 10:30 a.m. EST. Members of the general public are invited to participate by submitting questions, some of which will be selected for response during the live broadcast. Please submit your questions in the comment section below.

This is the twelfth in the Conversations With America video series coordinated by the Bureau of Public Affairs, in which the State Department's senior leadership hosts conversations live, online, with leaders of prominent non-governmental organizations. Discussion topics include foreign policy and global issues and provide a candid view of how leaders from civil society engage the Department on pressing foreign policy issues.



jitendra s.
February 23, 2011

Jitendra S. in India writes:

Respected sirs I wish to state that the hooch tragedy which has killed more than 150 people in Gujarat recently, I want to draw your attention about the another aspect of that accident, I want to remind you that as we all know very well that our state Gujarat is already on the hit list of terrorists and because of the liquor prohibition policy of our state govt. daily thousands of bottles in trucks of English liquor illegally made in our neighboring states and are supplied to our state. and whole of this network is operated by liquor bootleggers and mafias who can fall in to the hands of terrorists at any time and terrorists can supply a lot of poisonous liquor and can kill a largest number of innocent people any time and this will be comparatively easy and effective way for them.

So I want to request you to establish the responsibility that who will be sole responsible for the accident if it takes place. Because directly govt is only responsible to first implement the liquor prohi. policy then to allow mafias to smuggle liquor in to the state, the smuggling of liquor is not possible without the cooperation of corrupt politicians and bureaucrats therefore I request you to accept my this request as a PRL and give the right directives to govt. so any major accident can be avoided.

Respected sirs I am giving you some more aspects of this policy so please consider my that letter also a request to you which is as follows:-

Respected sirs ,please consider the following points in the aspect of relevancy of liquor prohibition policy of Gujarat and direct the govt. to rethink over it.

[1] Though the liquor prohibition policy is there in force in Gujarat but three times more liquor is being sold here compare to any other state of India.

[2]Local gujarat govt. justifies this policy by saying that because this is the Gandhi’s Gujarat therefore we implemented this policy here, on moral grounds. But today we have to think that who they are to say that Gujarat’s Gandhi or Gandhi’s Gujarat. Gandhi is the father of nation and whole nation is Gandhi’s. Gandhi struggled for whole India and he never said that he is for Gujarat or Gujarat is for him so today we have to think that Don’t we put question mark on his thinking by saying Gandhi’s Gujarat.? And after all finally we have to think that Gandhi never taught us the lesson to move on morality by crushing humanity.

[3] Still there are so many people here in society who don’t drink so they like and support this policy. So the time has come to explain them that due to this policy the crime and corruption and diseases our society gets, they also can be victim of these things because this policy does not give any thing except crime and corruption to the general public of the society.

[4] The transaction of millions of rupees has been criminalized which money moves within the liquor mafia and corrupted officers and politicians only. If this policy is demolished the same money will come in the market to the businessmen and even youths will get a new field to earn and get employment.

[5] on the name of country

Mark F.
February 23, 2011

Mark F. in Japan writes:


Good day and thank you for your personal dedication to peace and stability operations.

I am a US Army veteran currently serving as a 2011-12 Rotary International World Peace Fellow at the International Christian University (ICU) in Tokyo, Japan.

Ambassador Loftis, I've attended really great S/CRS training in the past, and was just wondering if your present budget would indicate being able to hire more permanent employees in the future (i.e., not contractors or those seconded from other USG Depts and Agencies)?

I'd love to explore the possibility of working for you once I obtain my Rotary International MA in Peace Studies and return to the US.


Mark F.
Tokyo, Japan

Subhagya C.
February 23, 2011

Subhagya C. in Bangladesh writes:

In south Asia especially in Bangladesh, the over all scenario of human security, peace and conflict situation and condition is going down to a worst level. The minorities especially the indigenous communities are facing in violation of human rights, insecurity, uprooting from own land, systematic denial process etc. Though a Peace Accord was signed in 1997 between the Jumma (Hill) people political party (PCJSS) and Bangladesh Government to resolve the 2.5 decades long arm fighting and insurgency against the hill indigenous communities. But still communal conflict and attack (by the illegal Bengali settlers), military ruling, rape & sexual harrasment against the hill indigenous girls and women, indigenous people's land grabbing, dual and conflicting administrative law enforcement processes are continuing in Chittagong Hill Tracts.

Unfortunately there is no attention to the Chittagong Hill Tracts issues from the international communities and other governments' of the world.

Are there any ways to resolve the current worst situation of Chittagong Hill Tracts of Bangladesh?

Judyt M.
District Of Columbia, USA
February 23, 2011

Judyt M. in Washington, DC writes:

What support, if any, from the private sector will the Coordinator be seeking in the coming years?

William 6.
California, USA
February 23, 2011

William in California writes:

The QDDR is a great document! Transitioning US response from military-led to civilian-led can produce massive budgetary savings.

Putting it into practice will be a major challenge for S/CRS, but will give the American people the confidence urge our Congressional leaders to reduce military spending and increase civilian international spending.

Please comment on State and USAID efforts to achieve reform needed to achieve that vision, especially how modern technology and social networking to involve the American public, including diaspora would be helpful in creating new markets and jobs (both at home and abroad).

David S.
District Of Columbia, USA
February 23, 2011

David S. in Washington, DC writes:

The average person in many of the Middle East countries admires America's democratic values, but doesn't agree with America's view of strategic interests. Strategic interests in this case includes propping up long-time dictators (in the name of stability) and providing Israel with $ billions each year (much more than the average Arab gets). How can the US better serve its national security interests?

Nell O.
Connecticut, USA
February 23, 2011

Nell O. in Connecticut writes:

The House recently passed a funding bill for the remainder of 2011 that cuts the Civilian Stabilization Initiative by 74% over the President’s request. How might these cuts affect your ability to prevent conflict in Sudan and other countries? What can be done to restore this funding?

Jibril M.
Ohio, USA
February 24, 2011

Jibril M. in Ohio writes:

Hello Ambassador Loftis. I am Jibril Mohamed of SomaliCAN in Columbus, Ohio. I am a member of Generation Change, a Muslim leadership outreach effort launched by Secretary Clinton and Special Representative Pandith. I am an American citizen of

Mary P.
February 23, 2011

Mary P. in Germany writes:

The international community has attempted to create a global court to try perpetrators of the most terrible crimes through the International Criminal Court. The US has a strong belief in trying alleged criminals in a fair and just court system. Is prosecuting people who have committed crimes against humanity, war crimes, and genocide not a key step in achieving stability and preventing further atrocities? Why is the United States not a member of the ICC?

Robert C.
United States
February 23, 2011

Robert C. in the U.S.A. writes:

As a scholar of emerging and developing market infrastructure it is critical that the emerging economies have access to capital markets that operate - particularly stock markets where capital can be formed through the initial public offering process under exchange regulations determined by the countries regulators. The sharp decline in securities markets in Egypt reflect the tremendous pressures that markets in emerging economies confront.

Dhyana Z.
Florida, USA
February 23, 2011

Dr. Dhyana Z. in Florida writes:

Given the recent developments in the Middle East and the role tthat social media have played in the revolution that is having a domino effect in the Middle East, what role will social media play in the peace process and the evolution of democracy and diplomacy not only in the Middle East but globally?

Raja S.
Virginia, USA
February 24, 2011

Raja S. in Virginia writes:


As a student of US public policy, I am disappointed and depressed by the way things are moving in Washington. Nobody is talking about billions of dollars spent on fighting wars and proping up lost societies and failed states but few hundred millions which will be used to preventing future wars and helping fragile states are under threat. It is hard for me to accept that US government or US Congress cannot see the link between civilian aid and future wars. Is it US military-industrial complex which wants wars to continue? And how do you motivate yourselves in this kind of atmosphere?

California, USA
February 24, 2011

McKenzie in California writes:

Ambassador Loftis,

As a retired civilian advisor to U.S. military commanders in Afghanistan, I had also worked for the U.S. Department of State in Africa. One crucial issue of stabilizing and rebuilding peace is differences in negotiation behavior and conflict resolution between the host country and the United States. For example, the areas that the United States has so much trouble are in Pashtun tribal belts of southern and eastern Afghanistan. Taliban is said to be made up mainly by Pashtun. (But not all Pashtun are Taliban.) Very few Americans speak Pashto; then very, very few of us even understand Pashtunwali, the culture of the Pashtun. We understand neither their language, nor their culture.

1) We Americans rely so much on interpreters. I have used translators regularly in my 20-year career; I speak two foreign languages fluently and have studies major UN languages. So I can detect when interpreters do not convey exactly what the original message, accompanied by subtle body clues, is. The problem is everyone will not have a 3/3 in that target language to use it proficiently during his or her tour. An extreme example is 19-year old uniformed service members with only high school education and a lot of testosterone who start counting down from Day One of their tours.

2) Lack of understanding and awareness of the target language and its culture makes it harder for us to accomplish our stated goals despite other outstanding strategic blueprints of building peace and bringing in prosperity. Free classes were offered to staff to learn local languages. I can tell you that at a location of 10,000 personnel, there were fewer than ten students in each of these two Dari and Pashto classes. How do you address the problem and offer concrete solutions?

3) From my own observation, I also found that the U.S. military and foreign affairs agencies in the combat zones can do a better job at collaborating and making coherent efforts in interagency programs and activities. How do you put all your ducks in a row?

4) To expand on my 3rd question, I, on two separate occasions, requested a meeting with someone in charge of Afghanistan in S/CRS. I wanted to brief that person on my work and experience in Afghanistan and to exchange ideas. I was told both times that everyone was either in the field or not in the office. This was in 2008 and 2009. It was good to know that everyone was running around taking care of business. I had better luck meeting with reps from U.S. Embassy Kabul. My point is there are missed opportunities, which is not anyone's fault. But how can we improve with time management? Was the S/CRS office that short staffed? Has it been remedied?

4) In conclusion, we as various USG agencies have to work as a single unit. What do you suggest that we overcome our own differences -- military and civilian agencies that have vast dissimilarities in stabilizing and preventing or resolving conflicts?

Thank you, Sir.


February 24, 2011

Diana in Argentina writes:



UN veto?

GREED = Profits.

REALPOLITICS... Invading, deleting HUMAN BEINGS...Usual Strategies, under different masks just to get OIL???

HIROSHIMA, NAGASAKI...what´s next, fellas?

Taking advantage of "dictators" for long periods and then...manipulating "civilian revolts"...BAH...

REMEMBER? Plan Condor in the 70s???

Only in Argentina: 30.000 "disappeared" human beings...just for " a handful" of dollars...and US paying the " external debt" as long as YOU decide...

OF COURSE, our militaries AGREED together with LANDLORDS, always allied with delete the " negritos", THE POOR, those who are LAZY, who do not want to work who are addicts, alcoholics...

HUNGER, is the strategy. WORLWIDE!

Please think about HUMANITY, and the PLANET you are about to delete TOO!

Diana, from Argentina.

Timothy P.
Pennsylvania, USA
February 24, 2011

Timothy P. in Pennsylvania writes:

Why do we have a navy if they can't fight a bunch of pirates?

Sundar K.
Maryland, USA
February 24, 2011

Sundar K. in Maryland writes:

A foreign government has committed grave human rights violations, war crimes and perhaps genocide. It has killed tens of thousands of its own citizens and there are reasons to believe that the security forces executed blind-folded, naked and bound people in cold blood. The videos have been shown on UK TV. Hundreds of thousands of civilians were interned. There is no reconciliation after the war ended. This country does not listen to US views. However the country has not been hauled up before UN Human Rights council or UN security council. Though Amnesty, HRW and ICG keep saying that the internal investigations into war crimes and crimes against humanity will never result in convictions. However USA still believes in internal investigations of war crimes! It this part of a long term strategy? I do not understand this policy!

Ken S.
Kansas, USA
February 25, 2011

Ken S. in Kansas writes:

I would like to hear AMB Loftis thoughts regarding the interagency in general, and S/CRS more specifically, ability to operationalize (that is, to direct, manage, execute) the precepts of the IMS and the Whole of Government Planning and Execution (WOGPEP)... In short, do you feel the US civilian interagency possesses the institutional capability of directing and executing a moderate to high intensity R&S effort? If not, what do we have to do to get there? Thank you!

February 25, 2011

Joshua O.D. in Nigeria writes:

If proper dialogue (that is, with economic incentive where necessary)can not dismantle conflict and allow peaceful atmosphere to exist, do you not think that backing human solution up with serious prayer to the living God in heaven can achieve the desired result for peace.

Conflict Prevention:
Is it not possible and necessary for United States of America from time to time to play an advisory role(with United Nations where necessary) for each nation of the world on providing the right leadership.

By Evangelist Joshua O. D.
February 25,2011

Evangelist D.
February 25, 2011

Joshua D. in Nigeria writes:

If proper dialogue (that is,with economic incentive where necessary) can not end conflict and allow peaceful atmosphere to exist, do you not think that backing human solution up with serious prayer to the living God in heaven can achieve the desired result for peace.

CONFLICT PREVENTION: Is it not possible and necessary for United States of America from time to time to play an advisory role (with United Nations where necessary) for each nation of the world on providing the right leadership.


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