Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations

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Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations
U.S. Department of State official seal.svg
Seal of the United States Department of State
Bureau overview
FormedNovember 22, 2011; 7 years ago (2011-11-22)
HeadquartersWashington, DC
Employees160 (FY 2018)
Annual budget$12 million (FY 2018)
Bureau executive
  • Denise Natali, Assistant Secretary
Parent departmentU.S. Department of State

The Bureau of Conflict and Stabilization Operations (CSO) is a bureau of the United States Department of State.


CSO anticipates, prevents, and responds to conflicts that undermine national security.


CSO is divided into regional and functional teams. Its goal is to apply evidence-based analysis and social science methods to conflict-affected zones or potential hotspots.

CSO staff are frequently detailed to regional bureaus and embassies, or codeployed with military forces. The bureau also works with other U.S. government agencies, foreign partners, and civil society actors.[citation needed]

Core Lines of Effort[edit]

CSO focuses on five core lines of effort:

Atrocity Prevention: CSO is the Secretariat for the National Security Council-led interagency Atrocities Prevention Board and develops related tools and training.

India - Delhi girls chasing doves - 6159.jpg

Countering Violent Extremism: CSO uses evidence-based analysis to understand local conditions and make recommendations to the State Department regarding efforts to prevent radicalization and counter terrorist messaging and ideology.

Defections and Disengaged Fighters: CSO analyzes armed groups' networks and factors contributing to their recruiting potential. The bureau works to assist local leaders get fighters off the battlefield, and, when possible, reintegrate former fighters back into society.

Political and Electoral Violence: CSO provides analysis intended to mitigate destabilizing violence around elections by using forecasting tools and working to develop best practices for addressing destabilizing political transitions.

Peace Processes: Using negotiation models and partnerships with outside organizations, CSO prepares for peace negotiations by connecting diplomats with best practices[citation needed] and expertise.[citation needed]


The Department of State announced the creation of the bureau on November 22, 2011, replacing the Office of the Coordinator for Reconstruction and Stabilization.