Finding effective means of anticipating, preventing and responding to violent conflict remains one of the great challenges facing policymakers. Enduring wars, such as those in Sudan and the Democratic Republic of Congo, have cost millions of lives and destabilized entire regions. Troubling developments in countries like Iran and Pakistan test the international community’s ability to avert the threat of weapons of mass destruction in the hands of dangerous or unstable regimes. What have we learned from past experience that can help us prevent emerging threats from evolving into worst case scenarios? How can the U.S. government and international actors better anticipate conflicts and respond more effectively to those that persist in order to save lives and mitigate the grave economic, political and security costs of civil and inter-state wars?
To examine best practices and lessons learned in conflict prevention and mitigation, Brookings hosted an in-depth discussion among two first-rate panelists. Gareth Evans, President and CEO of the International Crisis Group, will share the vast knowledge and experience Crisis Group has gained in conflict prevention, regional security issues and policy analysis. Established in 1995, Crisis Group is one of the world’s leading non-governmental sources of information, analysis and policy advice on preventing and resolving conflict. Carlos Pascual, Vice President and Director of the Foreign Policy Studies Program and, until recently, the State Department’s Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization (S/CRS), shared his first-hand experience as a career diplomat and leader of U.S. government efforts to prevent and resolve conflicts. Created in 2004, S/CRS is designed to enhance U.S. institutional capacity to meet the challenges of fragile, failing, and post-conflict states as well as complex emergencies. Senior Fellow Susan E. Rice, a former U.S. Assistant Secretary of State for African Affairs, moderated the discussion.