The Mass Atrocity Response Operations (MARO) Project recently co-hosted a groundbreaking conference with U.S. European Command (EUCOM) and U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) on preventing and stopping genocide and other mass atrocities around the world.

Harvard Kennedy School’s Sarah Sewall, lecturer in public policy, founded the MARO Project in 2007 with the goal of enabling the U.S. and other government to prevent and halt genocide and mass atrocity through the effective use of military assets and force as part of a broader integrated strategy. With the U.S. Army Peacekeeping and Stability Operations Institute (PKSOI), the project published “Mass Atrocity Response Operations: A Military Handbook” in 2010. A “MARO” is a contingency operation to halt the widespread and systematic use of violence by state or non-state armed groups against civilians.

The conference at the NATO School in Oberammergau, Germany Nov. 8-9 brought together senior leaders, planners and other staff from the U.S. military, State Department, Defense Department and the White House to discuss how to improve the U.S.’ capacity to prevent and halt mass atrocity. This conference was particularly timely as it occurred during the final stages of the work being done for Presidential Study Directive 10 on preventing mass atrocities, and included many of the key players involved with the study.