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Approaches to Post-Conflict Peacebuilding: The UK Post-Conflict Reconstruction Unit (PCRU) and US Office for the Coordinator of Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS)

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Master's thesis

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In 2004, two separate but remarkably similar organizations were founded in the United Kingdom and United States the British Post-Conflict Reconstruction Unit PCRU and the American Office for the Coordinator of Reconstruction and Stability SCRS. Both represent national strategic-level endeavors to do the following 1 institutionalize humanitarian-military coordination, and 2 provide preemptive planning capacity for peacebuilding scenarios. This paper first addresses the conditions that motivated the establishment of these organizations, focusing on the separation between warfighting and nation-building doctrines and communities that contributed to failure in post-Cold War peacekeeping. The author suggests that a new security paradigm revealed by terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001, created an imperative for improved post-conflict peacebuilding. The paper then evaluates prospects for success of the PCRU and SCRS based upon their respective cultural and institutional histories, and analyzes the merit of national strategic-level peacebuilding capacity in principle, seeking the ideal locus of planning and coordinating functions. The author concludes that the need to replace the local-level ad hoc coordination that characterized post-conflict reconstruction operations throughout the 1990s with a more institutionalized framework is legitimate. However, what is more important than doing something is doing the right thing, and national strategic-level coordination organizations such as the PCRU and SCRS must re-align to maximize their effect.

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  • Administration and Management
  • Government and Political Science
  • Unconventional Warfare

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