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Paul B. Stares

General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action

Expertise

U.S. national security policy; early warning issues; contingency planning; conflict prevention strategies; transnational threats; weak/fragile states; Northeast Asia security

Programs

Center for Preventive Action

Featured Publications

Other Report

Preventive Priorities Survey: 2014

The Center for Preventive Action's annual Preventive Priorities Survey (PPS) evaluates ongoing and potential conflicts based on their likelihood of occurring in the coming year and their impact on U.S. interests. The PPS aims to help the U.S. policymaking community prioritize competing conflict prevention and mitigation demands.

View the accompanying online interactive: CPA's Global Conflict Tracker

See more in Global; Peace, Conflict, and Human Rights

All Publications

Expert Roundup

Obama's NSS: Promise and Pitfalls

Authors: Stephen D. Biddle, Laurie Garrett, James M. Lindsay, Stewart M. Patrick, Adam Segal, Steven Simon, and Paul B. Stares

President Obama's first National Security Strategy departs from Bush administration doctrine by redefining the war against terror groups and embracing multilateralism, and may expect too much from global partners, say CFR experts in an analytical roundup.

See more in United States; Grand Strategy; Homeland Security

Council Special Report No. 48

Enhancing U.S. Preventive Action

Authors: Paul B. Stares and Micah Zenko

The United States can ill afford the burden of additional foreign policy challenges, making it imperative that the U.S. government find ways to identify, delay, and avert international crises that could harm U.S. interests or even lead to military engagement. In this report, the authors provide an actionable road map for how the U.S. government should revamp its existing U.S. prevention architecture to make it more effective in dealing with potential crises abroad.

See more in United States; Conflict Prevention

Op-Ed

Think Twice on Bashir

Authors: Paul B. Stares and Alexander Noyes
Newsweek

Paul B. Stares and Alexander Noyes argue that "A conditional suspension of the ICC's warrant for Bashir is the best way to prevent a collapse of the CPA, protect those still in need, and force Khartoum to act toward ending the conflict in Darfur."

See more in Human Rights; Courts and Tribunals; Sudan

Council Special Report No. 42

Preparing for Sudden Change in North Korea

Authors: Paul B. Stares and Joel S. Wit

North Korea has long been a serious concern to Washington. Now, with President Kim Jong-Il reportedly in bad health and possibly naming a successor, the United States must consider possible outcomes should the situation deteriorate and the current North Korean government collapse. This report examines the challenges that these scenarios would pose--ranging from securing Pyongyang's nuclear arsenal to providing humanitarian assistance--in the context of the interests of the United States and others in its valuable recommendations.

See more in North Korea; Conflict Prevention

Current Projects

Center for Preventive Action Contingency Roundtable Series

Director: Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action
March 2009—Present

This monthly meeting series seeks to organize focused discussions on plausible short to medium term contingencies that could seriously threaten U.S. interests. Contingency meeting topics will range from specific states or regions of concern to more thematic issues and will draw on the expertise of government and nongovernment experts. The goal of the meeting series is not only to raise awareness of U.S. government officials and the expert community to potential crises but also to generate practical policy options to lessen the likelihood of the contingency and to reduce the negative consequences should it occur. A summary memo of the resulting recommendations will be distributed to participants and important policymakers.

This series is made possible by the generous support of the Rockefeller Brothers Fund.

 

Potential Conflict Roundtable Series

Director: Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action
November 2007—Present

This series consists of quarterly events sponsored by the Center for Preventive Action, convenes experts from government, private sector, nongovernmental, and civil society to analyze weak or fragile regions and states at risk of conflict in the next two to five years and to devise approaches to work with practitioners to build early policy responses to address those situations.

Past Projects

Center for Preventive Action Symposium on Preventive Priorities for a New Era

Staff: Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action
Director: Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action
December 9, 2008—New York, NY

This symposium was made possible by the generosity of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Symposium Summary Report (PDF, 84K)

Center for Preventive Action Workshop on States at Risk: Lessons for Preventive Action

Director: Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action
June 18, 2008—Washington, DC

On June 18, 2008, the Center for Preventive Action convened an expert workshop in Washington, DC, to take stock of the existing research and practical experience relating to the challenges of preventing conflict in weak and failing states. The event was made possible by the generosity of the Carnegie Corporation of New York.

Session One: Recognizing the Risk

Session Two: Mitigating the Risk

Keynote Address: Lessons for Preventive Action

Session Three: Assessing Future Risk

Summary document (PDF)

Center for Preventive Action Symposium on the Future of Conflict Prevention

Staff: Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action
Director: Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action
December 10, 2007—Special One-Day Symposium

Timed with the tenth anniversary of the release of the final report of the widely regarded Carnegie Commission on Preventing Deadly Conflict, the symposium, titled "The Future of Conflict Prevention," assessed what we -- the United States, UN, and international community -- have and have not accomplished in terms of conflict prevention (theory and practice) over the last decade, and looked forward to new challenges and requirements for successful preventive action.

Summary Report

CFR Events

Roundtable Meeting

Spillover from Syria: Managing the Threat

Speakers:

Douglas A. Ollivant, Mantid International, LLC, Robert Satloff, The Washington Institute for Near East Policy, Mona Yacoubian, Stimson Center

Presider:

Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action, Council on Foreign Relations
May 30, 2013

This meeting is on the record.

Watch

Roundtable Meeting

Countering Criminal Violence in Central America

Speakers:

Michael Shifter, Inter-American Dialogue, Jose W. Fernandez, U.S. Department of State

Presider:

Paul B. Stares, Council on Foreign Relations
May 2, 2012

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

National Program Meeting

National Program Conference Call: After Kim Jong Il: The Future of North Korea

Speaker:

Scott A. Snyder, Senior Fellow for Korea Studies and Director of the Program on U.S.-Korea Policy, Council on Foreign Relations

Presider:

Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action, Council on Foreign Relations
December 20, 2011 3:00-3:45 p.m. - (ET)

This meeting is not for attribution.

Listen

Conference Call

NY Meetings Conference Call: After Kim Jong Il: The Future of North Korea

Speaker:

Scott A. Snyder, Senior Fellow for Korea Studies and Director of the Program on U.S.-Korea Policy, Council on Foreign Relations

Presider:

Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action, Council on Foreign Relations
December 20, 2011 3:00-3:45 p.m. - Conference Call

This meeting is on the record.

Listen

Conference Call

DC Meetings Conference Call: After Kim Jong Il: The Future of North Korea

Presider:

Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action, Council on Foreign Relations

Speaker:

Scott A. Snyder, Senior Fellow for Korea Studies and Director of the Program on U.S.-Korea Policy, Council on Foreign Relations
December 20, 2011 3:00-3:45 p.m.

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

Academic Conference Call

Enhancing Preventive Action

Speaker:

Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action, Council on Foreign Relations

Presider:

Irina A. Faskianos, Vice President, National Program & Outreach, Council on Foreign Relations
November 19, 2009

This meeting is not for attribution.

Listen

Conference Panel Session

Center for Preventive Action Symposium on Preventive Priorities for a New Era, Session One: Preventive Priorities for the Next Administration

Introductory Speaker:

Paul B. Stares, General John W. Vessey Senior Fellow for Conflict Prevention and Director of the Center for Preventive Action, Council on Foreign Relations

Speaker:

Madeleine K. Albright, Principal, The Albright Group

Presider:

Richard N. Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations
December 9, 2008

This meeting is not for attribution.

ListenWatch

Symposium ⁄ New York

Center for Preventive Action Symposium: The Future of Conflict Prevention - Session I

Speaker:

Terje Rød-Larsen, President, International Peace Academy

Introductory Speaker:

Paul B. Stares, Director, Center for Preventive Action, Council on Foreign Relations

Presider:

Richard N. Haass, President, Council on Foreign Relations
December 10, 2007

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

Symposium ⁄ New York

Center for Preventive Action Symposium: The Future of Conflict Prevention - Session III

Speakers:

Nancy E. Soderberg, Senior Advisor, International Crisis Group, Donald K. Steinberg, Vice President for Multilateral Affairs, International Crisis Group, Stewart M. Patrick, Research Fellow, Center for Global Development, Paul B. Stares, Director, Center for Preventive Action, Council on Foreign Relations
December 10, 2007

This meeting is on the record.

ListenWatch

Bio

Paul B. Stares is the General John W. Vessey senior fellow for conflict prevention and director of the Center for Preventive Action at the Council on Foreign Relations (CFR). Besides overseeing the center's series of Contingency Planning Memoranda and Council Special Reports on potential sources of instability and conflict, he is currently writing a book on how the United States can make preventive action the centerpiece of a new security strategy for the 21st century.

Prior to joining CFR, Dr. Stares was the vice president and director of the Center for Conflict Analysis and Prevention at the United States Institute of Peace. He worked as an associate director and senior research scholar at Stanford University's Center for International Security and Cooperation from 2000 to 2002 and was a senior research fellow at the Japan Institute of International Affairs and then director of studies at the Japan Center for International Exchange from 1996 to 2000. From 1984 to 1996, he was a research associate and later a senior fellow in the foreign policy studies program at the Brookings Institution. He has also been a NATO fellow and a scholar-in-residence at the MacArthur Foundation's Moscow office.

Dr. Stares has participated in various high-level studies, including leading the expert working group on preventive diplomacy for the Genocide Prevention Task Force co-chaired by Madeleine Albright and William Cohen as well as the expert working group on the strategic environment for the Iraq Study Group co-chaired by James Baker and Lee Hamilton. He is the author or editor of numerous books, articles, and reports, including most recently the CFR publications Partners in Preventive Action (Council Special Report No. 62), Managing Instability on China's Periphery (Asia Security Memoranda), Enhancing U.S. Crisis Preparedness (Policy Innovation Memorandum No. 4), Military Escalation in Korea (Contingency Planning Memorandum No. 10), Enhancing U.S. Preventive Action (Council Special Report No. 48), and Preparing for Sudden Change in North Korea (Council Special Report No. 42).

In addition to his work for the Council, Dr. Stares is an Adjunct Professor in the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service at Georgetown University and a Guest Lecturer at the London School of Economics. He has a BA from North Staffordshire Polytechnic and received both his MA and PhD from Lancaster University.