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Security Sector Stabilization

The Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) addresses security issues that contribute to instability, such as the breakdown of state security institutions and the proliferation of armed groups.  CSO’s security sector stabilization efforts promote conditions conducive to longer-term security sector reform, including assessing and mapping armed groups, promoting defections and the reintegration of disengaged fighters, and supporting the re-incorporation into society of war veterans and other conflict-affected persons.

Assessing Armed Groups

CSO identifies, maps, and assesses the political, economic, and social dynamics of armed groups.  The bureau devises strategies to mitigate their destabilizing impact and increase their accountability.  In Iraq, Yemen, and Libya, CSO’s armed groups assessments and programming inform diplomatic engagements and strategies for combating corruption and advancing disarmament, demobilization, and reintegration.  In Venezuela, CSO’s advanced network analysis capability strengthened U.S. and partner country strategies to address armed actor financing and activities.

Promoting Defections and Reintegrating Fighters

CSO identifies opportunities and shapes strategies to promote armed actor defections, even as conflict persists.  In Niger, CSO’s efforts helped remove more than 400 former fighters from the battlefield and reduced the capacity of Boko Haram and ISIS-West Africa to threaten the region and U.S. citizens and interests.  In Uganda and the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC), CSO work promoted social cohesion and prepared communities for lasting defections from ISIS-DRC.  This program also facilitated cross-border coordination in promoting defections and accepting defectors back into communities.

Reintegrating War Veterans into Society

To bolster resilience and stability, CSO helps reintegrate veterans and other conflict-affected persons into society through civil society programs and deployed stabilization advisors.  In response to Russia’s war on Ukraine, CSO is reinforcing the Government of Ukraine’s capacity to provide combat veterans and their families with access to psychosocial support, vocational opportunities, and civic education in an inclusive way that fosters the participation of women and other groups in building Ukraine’s future.

U.S. Department of State

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