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.

February 12, 2016
Two Ugandans, Hassan Ndugwa and Nulu Naluyombya, are campaigning to ensure that this month’s elections challenging President Yoweri Museveni’s 30-year rule are peaceful, even as the government has arrested critics and opposition party workers. Drawing on concepts and skills of dialogue,...
February 11, 2016
In Sudan, a country still struggling with violent conflict in Darfur and two other states, almost 700 participants in a national dialogue process are finalizing recommendations after three months of vigorous and genuine discussion. But legacies of tension and division are hard to overcome. Key...
February 5, 2016
The Obama administration’s announcement this week that it plans to quadruple military resources devoted to deterring Russia in Europe highlights how seriously U.S. and NATO leaders view the threat posed by Russia. Ukraine is struggling to save its young democracy and stave off public disaffection...
January 7, 2016
The crosscurrents of conflict lay just beneath the surface when 14 religious, tribal and civic leaders from the al-Qahtaniya area of northeastern Syria first met last summer, brought together by a USIP project to ease communal tensions. By the time they and others reconvened four months later, the...
December 23, 2015
As the world this year saw its highest tide ever of people displaced by war, violence or persecution, the U.S. Institute of Peace has reinforced its work in the field to help reduce violence and its threat to U.S. and global security. “Our mission has never been more urgent,” says USIP President...
December 21, 2015
In the volatile environment of policing in Nigeria, Chief Superintendent Ibrahim Yidi and his officers in the country’s Economic and Financial Crimes Commission are taking a new tack. They’re slowly shedding what he calls their “superiority syndrome” and treating citizens and suspects alike with...
December 11, 2015
In a landmark decision, the United Nations Security Council this week adopted its first resolution to address the critical role that young people play in preventing and resolving conflict. Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace and Security, which passed with the unanimous support of the U.N.’s 193 member...
December 10, 2015
Ten weeks after the Taliban briefly captured Kunduz, Afghanistan’s fifth-largest city, neither the fractured government nor the country’s political class is showing signs of heeding that wake-up call—or the other flashing warnings that the 14-month-old government is close to failure. While the...
December 9, 2015
As Vice President Joe Biden visits Ukraine this week, former U.S. ambassador to Ukraine Bill Taylor underscores that domestic corruption—in the economy and government—remains the key weakness in that country’s efforts to build long-term stability. Taylor, who is USIP’s executive vice president,...
December 9, 2015
As America and its allies confront a widened war in Syria, the refugee exodus to Europe, and terrorist violence in Paris, Beirut and Mali, we must treat the roots, not just symptoms, of these catastrophes. That will require an urgent repair of our world’s main tool for addressing violent conflict—...