Today, the U.S. Department of State established a new Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) to focus on conflict prevention, crisis response, and stabilization activities. The bureau will subsume the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS).
CSO advances U.S. national security by driving integrated, civilian-led efforts to prevent, respond to, and stabilize crises in priority states, setting conditions for long-term peace. The bureau emphasizes sustainable solutions guided by local dynamics and actors. CSO promotes unity of effort, the strategic use of scarce resources, and burden-sharing with international partners. The bureau’s comprehensive approach will help the State Department anticipate and adapt to the security challenges of the 21st century, while supporting America’s leadership in emerging crises.
CSO will seek to:
1. Get ahead of change. While the scale and types of future crises cannot be predicted, the complex nature and cascading effects of 21st century challenges require a more forward-looking State Department. CSO will support the State Department’s ability to anticipate major security challenges by providing timely, operational solutions.
2. Drive an integrated response. CSO will build integrated approaches to conflict prevention and stabilization by linking analysis, planning, resources, operational solutions, and active learning and training. The bureau will call on its civilian responders to deploy in a timely manner to areas of instability in order to bring the right mix of expertise to each unique situation.
3. Leverage partnerships. CSO will work with a range of non-governmental and international partners to prevent conflict, address sources of violence, build on existing resiliencies, and promote burden-sharing. In particular, CSO will encourage greater involvement of local civil society – including women, youth, and the media – to prevent and respond to conflict.
For more information, please visit www.state.gov/j/cso.