The French have made impressive gains on the battlefield in northern Mali, but now comes the hard part. Counter-insurgency and post conflict stabilization are monumentally difficult tasks that Mali, the French and the international community must get right if they are to secure the peace. With me to discuss the challenges ahead is Ambassador James Dobbins of RAND. Ambassador Dobbins has served in various capacities in post-conflict situations, from Afghanistan to the Balkans. I much appreciated his insights on what the international community can do to make sure Mali makes it through this difficult period. Have a listen. Credits: Two books referenced in the podcast: James Dobbins et al., America’s Role in Nation-Building: From Germany to Iraq, RAND Corporation (MR-1753), 2005 James Dobbins et al., The UN’s Role in Nation-Building: From the Congo to Iraq, RAND Corporation (MG-304), 2005 Song: Something Different by the composer Giancarlo Vulcano, from the soundtrack to the film Unfinished Spaces.