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CSO’s mission is to anticipate, prevent, and respond to conflict that undermines U.S. national interests. Our three lines of effort (LOEs) support this mission by focusing on different aspects of the conflict cycle: 1) strategic prevention; 2) conflict resolution; and 3) security sector stabilization. We implement our LOEs through three key functions; 1) deploying Stabilization Advisors; 2) harnessing data analytics; and 3) leading, informing, and implementing policy and programs on conflict prevention and stabilization.


  • The U.S Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability:  The U.S. Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability sets forth a framework for U.S. government efforts to prevent conflict, stabilize conflict-affected areas, and address global fragility, in line with the Global Fragility Act of 2019.  America’s prosperity and security depend on peaceful, self-reliant, U.S. economic and security partners. By breaking the costly cycle of conflict and instability, the United States advances its own security.
  • Instability Monitoring and Analysis PlatformCSO launched the Instability Monitoring & Analysis Platform (IMAP) in 2019 to harness data-driven decision-making and implement the Foundations for Evidence Based Policy Making Act of 2018.  IMAP’s innovative use of technology tracks global conflict trends and informs U.S. strategies, policies, and programs on conflict prevention and stabilization.
  • Venezuela Story Map (Updated October 2020) : The illegitimate Maduro regime has driven a once-prosperous nation into economic and social ruin. More than five million Venezuelans have fled the country as of August 2020, making Venezuela’s exodus an unprecedented displacement crisis for the Western Hemisphere. Inside Venezuela, millions continue to demand respect for human rights and fundamental freedoms in spite of violent repression. This resource captures Venezuela’s ongoing political, socioeconomic, and humanitarian crisis; how the situation came to be; and how Venezuela can emerge from this man-made crisis – via the actions of courageous Venezuelans.
  • Ukraine Story Map (Posted February 2019) : In the wake of Ukraine’s 2013-2014 Revolution of Dignity, Russia illegally seized and occupied Crimea and started an armed conflict in eastern Ukraine. Five years on, Russia continues to arm, train, lead, and fight alongside the anti-government forces in eastern Ukraine, while falsely insisting it is not a party to the conflict. The resource provides the chronology of events from the occupation of Crimea and the beginning of the war on the Donbass in 2014 until Russian seizure of Ukrainian ships in the Black Sea in November 2018.
  • Stabilization Assistance Review: In early 2018, Department of State, USAID, and Department of Defense approved the Stabilization Assistance Review (SAR) as a new framework to best leverage our diplomatic engagement, defense, and foreign assistance to stabilize conflict-affected areas.  The SAR captures lessons learned from previous stabilization contexts and details a framework to optimize interagency efforts.
  • Northern Triangle and Mexico Country Conditions [4 MB] and the Highest And Lowest Municipalities [1 MB]: Country conditions drawing on reported data from the governments of Mexico, Guatemala, Honduras, and El Salvador. Northern Triangle and Mexico Interactive Dashboard» 
  • A Pathway to Defections: An Assessment Framework for Processing Defectors and Disengaged Fighters: [787 KB] This report is the culmination of a joint project between the Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations in the U.S. Department of State and the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office’s Stabilisation Unit. Its purpose is to provide planners and practitioners with an analytical and evidence-based framework for building an effective and sustainable defections plan. The report presents optimal conditions for encouraging disengagement but emphasizes that not all elements will be present in a given context and that the defections pathway is not linear or static in any way. Nevertheless, there are good reasons for taking calculated steps to encourage voluntary defections even when conditions are not optimal. Successful defection programs depend on several critical enablers: detailed analysis for understanding fighters’ incentives and motivations, lines of communication and political offers built on the analytical and contextual findings, and a defection ‘pathway’. The report highlights several critical factors in the analysis—key actors, structural capacities and programmatic provisions, as outlined below—and provides guidance to planners and practitioners for implementing the defection plan.

U.S. Department of State

The Lessons of 1989: Freedom and Our Future