Sixteen million people have died in civil wars in the past 50 years. In view of that, civil wars may be the single most destabilizing force in world politics today. The only greater killer is the suffering that pushes individuals into them. Civil wars create regional and global instability that threatens economic initiatives and political continuity. Preventing civil wars is a challenge that the policy community is ill-equipped to handle. Rwanda is an example-a tragedy that the world did nothing to stop. Iraq and Afghanistan are tragedies the world did much to inflame. This book uses argument, evidence, and intuition born of experience to provide an account of civil wars and the steps we can take to reduce them.