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Guiding Principles for Stabilization and Reconstruction

1 January 2009

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Guiding Principles for Stabilization and Reconstruction

Civilians have increasingly become the victims of violence fostered by terrorists, transnational organized crime syndicates, local warring factions, warlords, and petty thieves. While some progress has been, the U.S. capability and those of its partners to leverage and coordinate adequate civilian and military assets for this journey still lags behind the current adaptive abilities of the enemies of peace. To address the capacity challenge in the US, two Presidential Decision Directives to provide for whole-of-government planning and execution were introduced, deploying thousands of U.S. government personnel from more than a dozen civilian agencies to more than a dozen stabilization and reconstruction missions during the past two decades. However, civilian agencies of the U.S. government still lack any comprehensive strategic guidance. This document is an attempt to fill this gap by providing general “rules of the road” or “principles” that have emerged from decades of experience in these missions. With no government approuval stamp, this document offers as a strategic tool and intends to replace any single agency’s “doctrine,” strategic guidance, or mission statements, incorporating major principles embedded in them.


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