Images of “blue helmets” and multilateral peace‐keeping missions are pervasive in today’s world. The goal of intervening parties is often to re‐establish order, one way to accomplish this is to rebuild political institutions. Rehabilitating policing agencies within failed states is an essential component to establishing a peaceful and productive society. Discusses four issues that are important to policing after ethnic conflict – police culture, democratic participation, the political environment the police operate within, and the perceptions of the population about law enforcement. Applies current perspectives on policing in stable states to some of the challenges facing creating law enforcement structures in unstable and often ethnically charged states. Argues that until we understand the impact each of these components play intervening parties will continue to lead failed governments and their policing agencies into the cycle of violence.