Steve Watts of RAND argues that, as security sector assistance comes with a host of risks, the United States should conduct more rigorous risk assessments of these programs.
Stephen Watts is a senior political scientist and associate director for Defense and Political Science at the nonprofit, nonpartisan RAND Corporation. His research has focused on insurgency and counterinsurgency, stability and peace operations, security sector assistance, and political development in the wake of civil wars. He formerly held fellowships at Harvard University’s Belfer Center and the Brookings Institution and served in the U.S. State Department. This essay is drawn from a lengthier report, "Identifying and Mitigating Risks in Security Sector Assistance for Africa’s Fragile States."
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Stephen Watts and Sean Mann respond to Gary Owen's critique of their piece on the future of Afghanistan, arguing that although things may not be going "great" in Afghanistan, the picture is not quite as bleak as Owen makes it out to be.
Stephen Watts and Sean Mann argue that the United States should continue to invest in Afghanistan's stability following the drawdown of U.S. and NATO forces in order to preserve the modest gains that have been made in Afghanistan and to reduce the chances that the Afghan government will collapse.