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.

September 19, 2016
With elections coming up next year in Liberia and Kenya, the time for early and sustained efforts to prevent clashes is now. Forthcoming USIP research shows that domestic institutions hold the key: election commissions, the police and, above all, political leaders. Any international support to...
September 9, 2016
Colombian rebel troops are heading to decommissioning centers and minors are set to leave guerrilla ranks on Sept. 10, as the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP) begin implementing their peace accord ahead of an Oct. 2 plebiscite on the deal. 
September 7, 2016
A peace plan for South Sudan that was intended to end three years of fighting in the world’s newest nation has failed largely because it “depends on the cooperation of the very antagonists who brought about the current civil war,” former U.S. Special Envoy to Sudan and South Sudan Princeton Lyman...
September 6, 2016
Military preparations are accelerating to recapture Iraq’s second-largest city, Mosul, from ISIS. The Iraqi government and its international supporters also are planning for the aftermath—restoring electricity and water, rebuilding schools and health clinics, clearing the area of mines—so that...
September 2, 2016
Myanmar’s new leader, Daw Aung Sang Suu Kyi, has made the country’s peace process one of her top policy priorities—and China is taking steps to support her efforts. The Chinese government has positioned itself to become a prominent player in the peace talks in Myanmar, and this week’s session...
September 1, 2016
Afghanistan’s impressive revenue turnaround in 2015—when total government revenue exceeded expectations with an increase of 22 percent—has been followed by further rapid revenue growth in the first half of 2016. This represents an important achievement in the challenging context of Afghanistan,...
August 31, 2016
From the Panama Papers to an op-ed by Secretary of State John Kerry to a hearing in the U.S. Senate, signs are growing that the U.S. is beginning to understand the threat that widespread corruption poses to U.S. national security and international stability, and that a solution will require global...
August 16, 2016
From Orlando to Brussels to Baghdad to Jakarta, few regions of the world have been spared the violence generated by those who see value, meaning and opportunity in joining and supporting groups like ISIS. There is growing international resolve to develop joint and sustainable ways to address the...
August 12, 2016
It was a startling discovery five years ago that prompted then 21-year-old Shubey Nantege of Uganda to found Go Girl Africa. The organization has provided financial literacy skills to 2,500 girls and young women, helping them make positive changes in their lives. Leaders like Shubey illustrate how...
August 11, 2016
As negotiators for the Colombian government and the FARC rebel group iron out the final details of a potential peace accord, USIP is working with a network of 30 women mediators from a dozen regions of Colombia who are preparing to serve as catalysts for reconciliation in the aftermath of an...