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The Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) addresses the security issues that source instability: the breakdown of state security institutions and proliferation of non-state armed groups (NSAGs).  This effort enables the minimal security conditions for longer-term security sector reform.  It includes assessing and mapping NSAGs, promoting defections and reintegrating terrorist fighters, and re-incorporates war veterans and other conflict-affected persons into society.

Assessing Non-State Armed Groups

CSO identifies, maps, and assesses NSAGs, and devises strategies to mitigate their destabilizing impact. In Iraq and Venezuela, CSO’s advanced NSAG network analysis helped improve U.S. and partner-nation strategies to address armed actor financing and activities.

Promoting Defections and Reintegrating Fighters

CSO weakens armed groups by identifying opportunities for armed actor defections, even as conflict persists.   Following an August 2019 peace accord in Mozambique, CSO deployed a senior military advisor to Maputo to support the Mozambican government’s efforts to disarm, demobilize, and reintegrate Renamo opposition fighters. In just four months, 350 combatants gave up their weapons and 24 were integrated into the National Police and the Mozambican Armed Forces.  In Niger, CSO helped remove over 240 former fighters from the battlefields and reduced the capacity of Boko Haram and ISIS-WA to threaten U.S. persons and interests.

Reintegrating War Veterans into Society

To stabilize communities as conflict wanes, CSO helps reintegrate war veterans and other conflict-affected persons into society.  In Ukraine, CSO is building government capacity to reintegrate and support its most vulnerable war veterans and at-risk Ukrainians through local partnerships, conflict resolution training, and small grant activities.

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U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future