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.

June 22, 2016
The traditional Muslim call to prayer echoed across USIP’s atrium yesterday evening as the institute ushered in its third annual Iftar, marking the breaking of the daily fast during the holy month of Ramadan. But it wasn’t just one imam’s voice. Instead, five Muslim clerics and a poetry reader from...
June 17, 2016
Those of us who work in peacebuilding are constantly reminded that the challenges we confront are big and the resources we command are small. So there is both a practical and an ethical obligation to use those resources wisely and be certain of their value. Toward that end, a little over four years...
June 14, 2016
Across the United States, Muslims swiftly denounced the June 12 attack on a popular gay nightclub in Orlando, which killed more than four dozen people and injured 53. "This is a hate crime plain and simple," said Nihad Awad, Executive Director of the Council on American-Islamic Relations. "We...
June 10, 2016
The tragedy of the “disappeared” in Colombia’s more than half-century of internal war cuts across the entire society. Among those who were forcibly seized and then vanished without further information are labor leaders and journalists, peasant organizers and politicians, urban and rural citizens....
June 2, 2016
A common strategy for state-building and development aid to transitional nations—getting basic services to the population—will fail to establish a government’s legitimacy unless citizens are included in the process, a leading researcher on conflict management said at the U.S. Institute of Peace.
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...