The Olive Branch

This blog offers timely analysis, views from the field and an exchange of ideas about how to build peace and prevent or end conflict. USIP invites you to browse the posts and then offer your own ideas, comments or reflections. Each blog post and comment on the Olive Branch represents the views of the author and not necessarily that of USIP, a non-partisan, congressionally-funded organization that does not take policy positions.

May 25, 2016
The first-ever World Humanitarian Summit, held this week in Istanbul, should spur political leaders around the globe to recognize that “the world is on fire,” USIP President Nancy Lindborg said. The international community is failing to muster the political will to end the violent conflicts that...
May 24, 2016
As the United States and the international community grapple with interlocking crises in the Middle East and nearby parts of Africa and Asia, we must reserve a special priority for helping Tunisia achieve a strategic victory. Its success could model for the region how to build stability and...
May 20, 2016
Colombia’s government and the country’s FARC-EP guerrillas are pressing ahead with peace talks at a pace that could yield a final agreement by the end of June. Having missed a self-imposed deadline of March 23, the two sides are working quickly through the remaining parts of an agenda set nearly...
May 17, 2016
The Syrian crisis has dramatically increased the urgency to reconsider fundamental approaches to humanitarian assistance, and American leadership and support is vital to developing smarter, more effective and more efficient policies, U.S. Institute of Peace President Nancy Lindborg said in...
May 12, 2016
In the violent conflict tearing across the Middle East and North Africa, fully half of the pieces needed to complete the security puzzle may be missing almost entirely: women. As extremist groups and military forces parry with the weapons of war and politics, the pivotal role that women could play...
May 5, 2016
Violent conflict, often shaped by religious extremism, is concentrated in many of the world’s youngest populations, underscoring that a more peaceful world cannot be built without youth helping to lead. Five months after the United Nations formally urged governments to act on that idea, 28 young...
May 4, 2016
In Pakistan, a series of vibrant murals has gone viral, inciting discussion, online and in city streets, about gender-based violence and discrimination. Young women artists changed the landscape of the country’s largest cities as they worked with communities to turn local people’s stories into art...
April 28, 2016
The linchpin for better understanding China’s foreign policy may lie less in watching its external moves than in analyzing its domestic dynamics. While President Xi Jinping has taken a more assertive approach to foreign policy than his predecessors, he continues to spend most of his time on...
April 21, 2016
Four years after the formation of a federal government in Somalia, the country has built nascent institutions, but it will need years of financial and security support to make the new state effective, President Hassan Sheikh Mohamud said April 20 at USIP. The country’s next critical step will be to...
March 29, 2016
My sympathy goes out to the survivors and families of those who died in the terrible attacks in a string of bombings over this last week -- from Brussels to Baghdad to Lahore. I was in Brussels on a business trip and was preparing to leave my hotel to catch a flight back to Washington when we got...