The nation of the Solomon Islands spurs a palette of images. The prospective tourist envisions long stretches of pristine sand lapped by indigo waters. A World War II veteran recalls brutal combat to secure the island of Guadalcanal and build the vital Henderson Field for American aircraft. For members of the ten-nation Regional Assistance Mission to Solomon Islands (RAMSI) arriving in July 2003 it was concerns regarding militia violence and an unknown future as they arrived in the capital of Honiara on that same island. Ironically, Honiara emerged from the settlements established around the wartime marine base and grew further once the Americans departed at the conflict’s end. Unlike the marine’s arrival the century before, RAMSI’s landings at its airport signaled the advent of peace rather than war. Threatening militias had been disarmed and stability had once again settled on the nation a mere three months later. Yet the coalition’s greatest challenges lay ahead; the Solomon Islands’ government was years distant from providing effective governance for its citizens.2