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Rebuilding Security Forces after Civil War

PI: Louis-Alexandre Berg

This study examines the effects of foreign assistance to military and police forces in the aftermath of civil war.   It addresses why international intervention in some post-conflict countries have resulted in more professional security services that are more responsive to the population, while in other countries security forces remain abusive, corrupt or predatory despite assistance by external actors.  Through a detailed examination of efforts to restructure police and military forces in several countries, it explores the conditions within conflict-affected countries that make reforms to the security forces more or less likely to be adopted and implemented, and the processes through which external actors influence these decisions, and the effects on long-term peace and security. The study is based on field work in Liberia, Sierra Leone, Bosnia and Herzegovina and Timor Leste, a cross-national comparison of all countries that have experienced a civil war since 1945, and examination of recent post-conflict security sector reform efforts in the Middle East.  The project has received funding from the U.S. Institute of Peace and the Smith-Richardson Foundation.