A reminder today of a UK Stabilisation Unit report 'Elite Bargains and Political Deals' and a FCO Minister stated:
This research report sets out to answer two of the most difficult questions in foreign policy today: How can we help reduce levels of violent conflict? And how do we deal with the often unsavoury groups and individuals that sustain them?

There are seventeen case studies, nearly all of them have a thread here:
The analysis considers the relationship between elite bargains, political settlements and peace agreements, given the degree to which the interactions between all three shape transitions out of conflict. There is a particular emphasis in the report on the importance of the elites and elite bargains, given the important role they play in generating support for reductions in violence and those more formal peace agreements.
Link to the full report:http://www.sclr.stabilisationunit.go...olitical-deals

Today's reminder is sub-titled:
Study admits that hasty efforts to set up liberal democratic institutions are likely to fail
One of the report's authors, from Kings War Studies, has a surprising perspective:
.....has argued that successful interventions, either diplomatic or military, require a sophisticated understanding of the sources of existing power distribution within a country’s elite.
We need to think harder about these things because we are getting so much wrong. If we keep on doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different result, then we are fools. We need to rethink a lot about our approach.

One big problem today IMHO is do we have a 'sophisticated understanding' of the countries we intervene in? Better still how long does it take to learn what we have and what we do not?