The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) has had long-standing engagement in South and Central Asia and the Asia-Pacific. USIP’s Asia Center, established in 2015, currently maintains country offices in Afghanistan, Burma and Pakistan, where staff work with local and international partners to encourage greater inclusivity, promote political and social participation, advance justice, support mechanisms for conflict resolution and reconciliation, counter violent extremism, and pilot, test, and learn from innovative approaches to address violent conflict. The Washington, D.C.-based China program is focused on China’s impact on peace and conflict dynamics globally, with a particular interest in the countries and conflict zones where USIP works. Through research, a range of publications, public and private events, and briefings to national and international policy makers, the Asia Center deepens understanding of peace and conflict dynamics and helps inform policies and strategies on how best to manage violent conflict.

Regional and Non-Priority Country Initiatives

The Asia Center also applies its research, analysis, and convening strengths toward better understanding of regional, bilateral, or cross-border drivers of conflict relevant to its four priority country programs. The Center has previously supported research and dialogue on various aspects of the India-Pakistan and Afghanistan-Pakistan relationships, the Korean peninsula, regional economic initiatives, issues related to natural resources, and common trends in extremism in Southeast Asia, among others.

Where needs, opportunities and resources permit, the Asia Center also seeks to help prevent, mitigate or resolve violent conflict through on-ground initiatives beyond the Center’s priority programs. For example, the Center currently has active projects in Sri Lanka and Kyrgyzstan. 

Current Projects

Afghanistan Study Group

Afghanistan Study Group

The congressionally mandated Afghanistan Peace Process Study Group (ASG) has been charged with identifying policy recommendations that “consider the implications of a peace settlement, or the failure to reach a settlement, on U.S. policy, resources, and commitments in Afghanistan.” The ASG will submit a document containing forward-looking recommendations to Congress, the administration, and the public in early 2021.

Global Policy; Peace Processes; Violent Extremism

China Senior Study Group

China Senior Study Group

Over the last decade, China has become more engaged internationally, including in conflict zones and fragile states of strategic interest to the United States. From civil wars in neighboring countries, such as Afghanistan and Myanmar, to more distant conflicts in Africa, China is becoming an increasingly important player in regional and international efforts to mitigate conflict. In countries where China exerts a strong influence, its engagement can have a substantial impact on local and international efforts to curb violence and extremism.

Peace Education in Afghanistan

Peace Education in Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s next generation of leaders have an opportunity to break out of the cycles of violence that have caused civil wars, insurgencies, and widespread human rights abuses and domestic violence over the past decades.  To do this, government officials and community leaders need to have practical skills to identify sources of conflict and know how to de-escalate tensions and negotiate peaceful solutions.

Youth; Democracy & Governance; Gender; Violent Extremism

USIP Local Funding for Peace in Pakistan

USIP Local Funding for Peace in Pakistan

The U.S. Institute of Peace supports programs and research that contribute to the mission of promoting enduring peace in South Asia. The institute provides analysis, capacity development and resources to individuals and institutions working to prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflict. In Pakistan, USIP awards funding in three categories, ranging from projects that test new, experimental ideas to supporting local and international organizations on policy relevant research.

Economics & Environment; Education & Training; Gender; Religion; Youth

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Featured Publications

The Dangers of Myanmar’s Ungoverned Casino Cities

The Dangers of Myanmar’s Ungoverned Casino Cities

Thursday, August 6, 2020

By: Jason Tower; Priscilla A. Clapp

As a struggling, incomplete democracy, Myanmar and its elected leaders face challenges that would confound any country. The best-known involve the military’s uneven loosening of a 50-year dictatorship; ethnic tensions and armed conflicts; the lack of a common national identity; entrenched poverty; and the complications of borders with five nations, including China. Less well known is an emerging threat that touches each of these vital concerns. Over the past three years, transnational networks with links to organized crime have partnered with local armed groups, carving out autonomous enclaves and building so-called “smart cities” to tap into the huge, but illegal, Chinese online gambling market. Myanmar’s leaders at every level and in every sector should pay serious attention to the alarming national implications of these developments.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Economics & Environment; Democracy & Governance

Toward a Kashmir Endgame? How India and Pakistan Could Negotiate a Lasting Solution

Toward a Kashmir Endgame? How India and Pakistan Could Negotiate a Lasting Solution

Wednesday, August 5, 2020

By: Happymon Jacob

Kashmir has once again emerged as a major flashpoint between South Asia’s nuclear-armed rivals, India and Pakistan. The Indian government’s August 2019 withdrawal of statehood status for the Muslim-majority Jammu and Kashmir region intensified disaffection among separatists and the Kashmiri public. This report explores the strategies India and Pakistan have adopted toward Kashmir in the year since August 2019, and examines a potential road map for resolving the Kashmir conflict.

Type: Special Report

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

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