Articles and Publications

USIP articles, publications, and tools provide the latest news, analysis, research findings, practitioner guides, and reports from the conflict zones that are at the center of the Institute’s work to prevent and reduce violent conflict.

Latest Articles & Analysis

July 2016
By
Princeton Lyman and Kate Almquist Knopf
South Sudan marked its fifth anniversary as a state this month not with celebrations but with rival armed factions shooting at each other in the streets of the capital. Several hundred people were killed in less than a week, tens of thousands displaced, and even sacrosanct U.N. camps protecting civilians were attacked. South Sudan ceased to perform even the minimal functions and responsibilities of a sovereign state long ago, and today the likelihood of a larger pogrom and escalating civil war is high.
July 2016
Iraqi Foreign Minister Ibrahim al-Jaafari and U.S. envoy Brett McGurk today emphasized the urgency of planning and financing Iraq’s recovery from the ISIS onslaught as areas the extremist group had controlled are recaptured more quickly than expected. The two spoke at the U.S. Institute of Peace in advance of an international conference of donors to Iraq convening in Washington tomorrow and a meeting the following day of the global coalition backing the fight.
July 2016
By
Nancy Lindborg
His Holiness the Dalai Lama made a powerful point during a visit to USIP last month, a day after the Orlando nightclub shooting that killed 49 people and wounded 53. After leading the audience in a moment of silence for the victims and survivors, he noted his own skepticism about the power of prayer alone. “The real effect,” he said, “comes through … serious action.”  
July 2016
By
Maria J. Stephan
The extremist group ISIS exhibits attributes of both an insurgency and a totalitarian regime. Even top U.S. generals acknowledge that military force alone is insufficient to degrade, much less defeat an organization that rules an area larger than the United Kingdom. ISIS will only be weakened through a multifaceted strategy combining diplomatic, economic, political and other means. Organized civilian action that aims to disrupt and deny the group’s key sources of power could be a critical part of that strategy.
July 2016
By
USIP Staff
Today, President Obama announced that he would extend the presence of roughly 8,400 U.S. troops in Afghanistan through the end of his term in January 2017, revising previous plans to cut force levels to around 5,500 soldiers at the end of the year. Afghanistan will be among the top issues for the NATO Summit of leaders in Warsaw, taking place later this week on July 8-9. USIP Vice President for Asia Programs Andrew Wilder, who recently returned from Afghanistan, discusses the issue of troop numbers, how the country’s system of political power-sharing is going between President Ashraf Ghani and Chief Executive Abdullah Abdullah, and what has been the effect of new Taliban leadership since a U.S. drone strike killed the successor to longtime leader Mullah Omar in May.
July 2016
By
USIP Staff
The recent U.S. designation of genocide to describe the ISIS extremist group’s killings and persecution of minorities as well as Shia Muslims in Iraq and Syria highlighted the long history of oppression of religious and ethnic groups and the questions looming about whether religious minorities especially can survive in the region, according to USIP Senior Program Officer Sarhang Hamasaeed.
June 2016
By
Fred Strasser
United Nations Ambassador Samantha Power called on the international community—including the American public—to step up its response to the greatest refugee crisis since World War II, saying that failure to act may destabilize fragile states, strengthen organized crime and bolster the arguments of violent extremists that the West is at war with Islam.
June 2016
By
Fred Strasser
The U.S. State Department, searching for the balance between carrying out its missions overseas and minimizing the risk in high-threat environments, has rolled out an array of programs and policies to help diplomats and aid workers in high-threat environments, Deputy Secretary of State Heather Higginbottom said at the U.S. Institute of Peace. She spoke last week, before today’s release of a congressional report from a probe of the 2012 attacks in Benghazi, Libya, that killed four American civilian personnel, including U.S. Ambassador Christopher Stevens.
June 2016
By
Fred Strasser
More than a half-century of internal warfare in Colombia is on the brink of a peaceful resolution after four years of talks that suggest how other seemingly intractable conflicts in the world also might be brought to an end. With the announcement yesterday of a ceasefire between the government and the Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC-EP), the adversaries in one of the world’s oldest guerilla insurgencies disclosed new agreements on the two major issues that were holding up a final accord — disarmament and demobilization of the rebels’ estimated 8,000 fighters.
June 2016
By
USIP Staff
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 six traditions—Senegalese, Syrian, Pakistani, Iranian, Turkish and Moroccan—represented the theme of the event: The Islamic Mosaic.

Latest Publications and Tools

July 2016
Iraq has been ravaged in recent years by cycles of warfare, a growing refugee crisis, crippling sectarianism, and the violent spread of the self-styled Islamic State extremist movement (also known as ISIS, ISIL or by its Arabic acronym, Daesh).
July 2016
By
Ahsan Butt
History textbooks capture a state’s official narratives regarding particular events, territory, groups, or phenomena. These narratives reflect and constitute a state’s national identity and can generate the potential for conflict because of their divisiveness.
July 2016
By
William A. Byrd
Afghanistan’s “technocratic” reforms have resulted in impressive progress in areas such as public financial management. However, these reforms alone will not solve the country’s pressing security, political, and economic problems.
June 2016
By
Ali Dayan Hasan
Although reports indicate an improvement in its overall security, Balochistan remains the most fragile province in contemporary Pakistan. This brief examines both the efficacy and motivations behind the state’s recent actions to end persistent conflict in the province.  
June 2016
By
Sherine N. El Taraboulsi
Cross-border transactions have been shaping the Libyan civil and political landscape for decades. However, desk research and field interviews in Tunisia reveal that interventions for peacebuilding are not fully accounting for these transactions or other regional activities.
June 2016
By
Ketty Anyeko, Kim Thuy Seelinger & Julie Freccero
Local practitioners who work with survivors of sexual and gender-based violence (SGBV) on a daily basis during peacetime also play a vital role in accountability for conflict-period SGBV.
June 2016
By
Courtney J. Fung
Initially opposed to the Responsibility to Protect (R2P), China has become a consistent advocate of the principle, endorsing its application in multiple countries while urging a constrained, multilateral approach to the use of force.
June 2016
By
Jumaina Siddiqui and Sehar Tariq
In the past few years, there has been an increase in funding for civil society organizations for the goal of countering violent extremism (CVE).
May 2016
By
Scott Smith and Colin Cookman, editors
Since 2001, Afghanistan’s political and social landscape has changed dramatically. However, international state-strengthening interventions have arguably had mixed results.
Type
May 2016
By
Ali A. Jalali
In the past fourteen years, the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) have developed into a collection of professional institutions that are both committed to their mission and highly respected.
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