Exit Strategies in Peace Support Operations


  • Claes Nilsson
  • Emma Svensson

Publish date: 2009-10-19

Report number: FOI-R--2816--SE

Pages: 56

Written in: English


The aim of the study is to analyse strategies for ending and exiting PSOs and to describe what challenges and possibilities comes with different approaches. The study highlights key concepts and strategies for exit and describes their different strengths and weaknesses. Two main "triggers" for exit are analysed in this report: end states and end dates. They are exemplified through case studies of EUFOR Tchad/RCA and EUFOR Althea. Also, the report describes how the EU, NATO and the UN have dealt with exit in PSOs. Within the EU the end date strategy has been preferred whereas NATO and the UN more often have chosen strategies with end state triggers. While and end date´s time limit might hamper the operations possibility to deal with the root causes of conflicts, it might also put healthy pressure on an operation to achieve its objectives as soon as possible. An end state on the other hand might make the host nation too dependent on international support but could also ensure that the operation focuses on the objective of the mission rather than an artificial deadline.