Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization

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The Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization was a result of a decision made by the National Security Council in April of 2004. (1) In July 2004, Congress authorized the reprogramming of funds to create the State Department's Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization. In August Colin Powell announced the creation of the office. [1]

Ambassador Carlos Pascual was named the first coordinator, and the staff consists of inviduals from various US agencies.John E. Herbst was appointed the new head on May 26, 2006.

Background

Presidential Directives

On December 7th, 2005, President Bush replaced the Defense Department with the State Department as the lead agency coordinating reconstruction in Iraq, Afghanistan and all other at-risk nations in the world.

In his National Security Presidential Directive-44, President Bush called for strengthening US security "through improved coordination, planning and implementation for reconstruction and stabilization assistance for foreign states and regions at risk of, in, or in transition from conflict or civil strife."

In this Directive, Bush orders the Secretary of State to be responsible for and may direct the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization to assist in the steps to achieve this goal.

As well, the Directive calls for integration of State and Defense department contingency plans when necessary and appropriate. Along with the Defense Department and other agencies in the US government, the Directive orders Sate to:

A December 14, 2005 issued Fact Sheet stated:

"These improved capabilities should enable the US to help governments abroad excercise sovereignty over there own terroritories and to prevent those terrotories from being used ass a base of operations or safe haven for extremist, terrorists, organized crime groups, or others who pose a threat to US foreign policy, security, or economic interests."

"Coordinate reconstruction and stabilization activities and preventative strategies with foreign countries, international and regional organizations, nongovernmental organizations, and private sector entities with capabilities that can contribute to such efforts provided that the Secretary of the Treasury shall lead coordination with the international financial institutions and multilateral financing bodies and shall facilitate the Secretary of State's stabilization and reconstruction work with respect to these institutions and bodies;"

[2]

Motivation

The S/CRS was established "[t]o lead, coordinate and institutionalize U.S. Government civilian capacity to prevent or prepare for post-conflict situations, and to help stabilize and reconstruct societies in transition from conflict or civil strife, so they can reach a sustainable path toward peace, democracy and a market economy." 

As well, the Office is another step in combatting the war on terrorism, "Struggling states can provide breeding grounds for terrorism, crime, trafficking, and humanitarian catastrophes, and can destabilize an entire region. Experience shows that managing conflict, particularly internal conflict, is not a passing phenomenon. It has become a mainstream part of our foreign policy." [3]

Core Objectives

  • Monitor and Plan: Develop clear policy options concerning states and regions of greatest risk and importance, and lead U.S. planning focused on these priorities to avert crises, when possible, to prepare for them as necessary.
  • Mobilize and Deploy: Coordinate the deployment of U.S. resources and implementation of programs in cooperation with international and local partners to accelerate transitions from conflict to peace.
  • Prepare Skills and Resources: Establish and manage an interagency capability to deploy personnel and resources in an immediate surge response and the capacity to sustain assistance until traditional support mechanisms can operate effectively.
  • Learn From Experience: Incorporate best practices and lessons learned into functional changes in training, planning, exercises, and operational capabilities that support improved performance.
  • Coordinate With International Partners: Work with international and multilateral organizations, individual states, and NGOs to plan, accelerate deployment, and increase interoperability of personnel and equipment in multilateral operations.

[4]

Funding

In September 2004 $1 million was allocated by the Senate Committee on Appropriations for the establishment and creation of the Office. [5] In April of 2005 $7.7 million was allocated. (2) For 2006 the White House called for $100 million to support the new office. [6] The Defense Authorization Act for 2006, SEC 1207(b) allocates up to $100 million to be transferred per year for 2006/2007 from the Defense Department to the State Department "for purposes facilitating the provision by the Secretary of State of reconstruction, security, or stabilization assistance to a foreign country."

Offices

  • The Early Warning Branch [7]
  • The Planning Office [8]
  • The Best Practices and Sectoral Coordination Office [9]
  • The Response Strategy and Resource Management Office [10]

Participating Agencies

Front Office

Legislation

Passed

  • US Senate Appropriations Bill (108th Congress) FY 2005 (S. 2809 PCS)
  • Defense Authorization Act of 2006 (HR 1815)

Pending

  • International Security Enhancement Act of 2005 (HR 1361)
  • Stabilization and Reconstruction Civilian Management Act of 2005 (S. 209)
  • Foreign Affairs Authorization Act, FY 2006 & 2007 (S. 600 PCS)
  • Foreign Relations Authorization Act, FY 2006 & 2007 (HR 2601)

Private Sector Contracts

  • S/CRS has contracted with BearingPoint to "conduct a detailed study on the requirements for establishing and managing a Civilian Reserve."

NGO Endorsements

Areas of Activity

  • Sudan (Conflict transformation/post-conflict R&S effort)
  • Haiti (Conflict transformation/post-conflict R&S effort)
  • Cuba (Scenario based planning)

Contact

Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization
U.S. Department of State
2201 C Street NW
Washington, DC  20520
Phone:  202-663-0323
Fax: 202-663-0327

Links

Footnotes

  • (1) Pascual, on the record briefing 12/14/05, pg 3
  • (2) Pascual, on the record briefing 12/14/05, pg 5