A penetrating study of U.S. policy on peace operations, Where Is the Lone Ranger When We Need Him? examines the challenges of establishing sustainable security in postconflict environments in places like the Balkans, Afghanistan, and Iraq.

Robert Perito chronicles the history of American conceptions and misconceptions regarding peacekeeping forces. Though the United States has played the primary role in organizing and leading postconflict stability operations, Perito’s extensive research and interviews with Washington policy-makers, European diplomats, and civilian police and soldiers in the field raise serious questions about how well prepared the United States is for these nonmilitary tasks.

In the book’s concluding chapters, Perito calls for the creation of a civilian U.S. Stability Force composed of constabulary, police, and judicial teams of lawyers, judges, and corrections officers. Such a force, he argues, could provide an effective postconflict partner for U.S. military forces. It could also ensure the likely success of political reconciliation and economic reconstruction by establishing the rule of law quickly and effectively.

About the Author

Robert M. Perito is a senior program officer in the Center for Post-Conflict Peace and Stability Operations. He is also the coordinator of the Peacekeeping Lessons Learned Project and the Haiti Working Group. He joined USIP in 2001 and has worked for the Professional Training program and the Rule of Law program. He was also a senior fellow in the Jennings Randolph Fellowship program.

Before joining USIP, he served as deputy director of the International Criminal Investigative Training Assistance Program at the U.S. Department of Justice. In that role, he was responsible for providing policy guidance and program direction for peacekeeping operations in Haiti, Bosnia, East Timor, and Kosovo and in postconflict environments in Albania, Croatia, and Macedonia.

Perito previously was a career Foreign Service officer with the U.S. Department of State, retiring with the rank of minister counselor. His assignments included service as deputy executive secretary of the National Security Council (1988–89). He received a Presidential Meritorious Service Award in 1990 for his leadership of the U.S. delegation to the Angola peace talks.

Before joining the Foreign Service, Perito served as a rural development officer with the Peace Corps in Nigeria. Perito has taught at Princeton, American, and George Mason Universities and holds a master’s in peace operations policy from George Mason University.

 

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