The Olive Branch

Welcome to USIP's Olive Branch blog, a place for timely analysis, views from the field and an exchange of ideas about how to build peace and end or prevent conflict. Through its work in Asia, Africa, the Middle East and beyond, the Institute blends its expert analysis with its field work, a dynamic in which each must always inform the other on parallel tracks. We hope that this blog will reflect that spirit of combining thought with action. And we invite you to browse our posts and then send us your own ideas, comments or reflections.

Each blog post and comment posted 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 advocate for policy positions.

June 23, 2015
Indian children’s rights campaigner Kailash Satyarthi is using his Nobel Peace Prize to build a global campaign to end child labor and enslavement. He outlined his plan at the U.S. Institute of Peace last week in his first visit to the U.S. since receiving the award.
June 16, 2015
A new set of development goals that will be adopted by the world’s heads of state at the United Nations in September highlights the crucial problem of “fragile states” and the need to strengthen their governance, according to experts including current and former top diplomats and USIP President...
June 11, 2015
The alarming state of the overtaxed United Nations peacekeeping system endangers human rights, genocide prevention, development and the prospects for sustainable peace, USIP board Vice Chairman George Moose told an audience June 5 at the annual membership meeting of the United Nations Association...
June 5, 2015
Burundi is back at the brink. Less than a decade after the end of its civil war, a political conflict over the president’s attempt to stay in office for a disputed third term risks escalating into wider violence, policy specialists say. Police are fighting protesters who say that President Pierre...
June 4, 2015
Four countries of the Middle East and North Africa have seen their state structures crumble. Another is clawing its way through a transition and appealing for support. And thousands of young fighters from near and far are flooding the region to take up arms. Experts probed the intricacies of these...
May 28, 2015
As Nigeria prepares to swear in President-elect Muhammadu Buhari this week, former Cabinet Minister Obiageli Ezekwesili says the new leader will need to “stop being a candidate…and reconcile the entire country.” Nigerian citizens will no longer idly wait for their government to take action, but...
May 28, 2015
The Afghan government is responding to an intense Taliban summer offensive in part by providing increasing support to armed militia groups, according to news reports over the past week. But USIP research, including a recent report that examines shifting efforts to disarm and rearm militias, shows...
May 27, 2015
It is a mistake to view the desperate boat migration currently unfolding in Southeast Asia’s Andaman Sea and the Bay of Bengal as simply a manifestation of the sad plight of the Rohingya Muslim minority in Myanmar, and thereby to conclude that the solution lies only in Myanmar. In fact, it is a...
May 14, 2015
The attempted coup in the tiny African country of Burundi, after weeks of unrest that has killed more than 20 people, provided immediate examples of quandaries for peacebuilding during a discussion at USIP this week: how U.S. diplomacy can emphasize prevention to counter threats, and how best to...
May 12, 2015
Security naturally takes top priority for Libyan citizens these days amid renewed violent conflict, but nationwide political rifts also are causing local civic institutions to break down, said Libyan activists, journalists and analysts during a May 4 online discussion organized by USIP.