April 20, 2010

Security for Peace: Setting the Conditions for a Palestinian State

As the Obama Administration continues its efforts to broker a peace agreement between Israel and the Palestinians, this report looks beyond the issues of the day and focuses on what an international peacekeeping force to defend a two-state solution might look like. Though no individual case study can replicate the challenges of the Middle East, the authors extract lessons learned from other peacekeeping operations - including military and political lessons - that could be applicable.

Editor and contributing author Andrew Exum writes, “There should be no doubt that peacekeeping in a future Palestinian state would be fraught with difficulties, not simply because of the unique history and circumstances of the region but also because the international record of such operations is mixed. As this project makes clear, policymakers should tread cautiously when considering such an option. Any initiative to broker peace in the Middle East carries risk, but the more risks policymakers and leaders understand beforehand, the better prepared they will be to mitigate and manage them.”

Security for Peace takes an “end-around” approach to the problems of the Levant, imagining the goal – the establishment of a future Palestinian state – and asking what kind of security arrangement would be necessary to serve as a facilitator for such a state. Chapters in the edited volume include:

• Case studies on Southern Lebanon by CNAS Fellow Andrew Exum and Research Assistant Kyle Flynn, East Timor by Scott Brady, and Kosovo by CNAS Non-Resident Senior Fellow Dr. Richard Weitz;

Military Lessons, by CNAS Non-Resident Senior Fellow Colonel Robert Killebrew, USA (Ret.), who draws on experience planning peacekeeping missions in Rwanda and Haiti, to illuminate key lessons learned in the field of peace operations since 1945;

Political Lessons, by Ambassador James Dobbins, who draws on personal experience overseeing U.S. post conflict reconstruction operations in Somalia, Haiti, Bosnia, Kosovo and Afghanistan and research on peacekeeping since the Second World War; and

• An examination of four scenarios, by CNAS Non-Resident Senior Fellow Marc Lynch, that could precede a possible peacekeeping force.


  • Andrew M. Exum

  • Marc Lynch

  • USA (Ret.)

  • Robert Killebrew