Prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflict by applying USIP expertise, resources, and approaches in specific conflict zones.
USIP works directly in countries and regions affected by violent conflict, or at high risk of a future outbreak, by applying analysis, practical tools, and strategies to prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflict. Based on our experience and research, USIP emphasizes an approach that works from the top down—engaging with government leaders and other elites—and from the bottom up—engaging with individuals and community, grassroots, and faith-based groups, and an emphasis on women and youth—to build a more sustainable peace. Increasingly, conflict resolution also requires working from the outside in, as neighboring states and major powers play larger roles in internal conflicts.
To address the continued challenge of state fragility, the regional spillover of violent conflict and the increased competition from regional and global actors, USIP directly applies our tools in three ways:
1. Sustained In-Country Presence
In select countries of significant national security interest, the Institute invests in sustaining a longterm presence. Because our in-country teams are supported by experts at headquarters, USIP provides in-depth analysis of complex conflicts for policymakers and practitioners, supports a broad network of local partners, and directly applies our tools and strategies to reduce violence and lay the groundwork for sustainable peace.
USIP maintains a long-term focus in these conflicts, enabling our teams to foster in-country relationships based on trust and to move more freely “outside the wire” than U.S. government counterparts. Moving from fragility to resilience is a generational undertaking, making such sustained efforts a critical element for long-term success.
Based on their importance to U.S. national security and implications for regional and international peace and security, our current country priorities within this category are: Afghanistan, Burma, Iraq, Nigeria, Pakistan, and Tunisia.
2. Regions of Focus
USIP deploys teams and contributes analysis, tools, and strategies across a large swath of fragile regions that include Asia, Eastern Europe, the Middle East, the Sahel and Horn of Africa and select areas of Latin America. In many of these regions, state fragility has resulted in flows of migrants, refugees, arms, violent extremists, and ethnic and tribal violence that cross boundaries and even regions. These states are far more vulnerable to transborder conflicts resulting from environmental shocks and to the competition of outside stakeholders. Working at the grassroots, national, and regional levels, USIP empowers its partners to prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflicts more effectively. Using research, working groups, and convening to promote new ideas and strategies, the Institute strives to provide partners with knowledge and tools as they work for greater peace and resilience in these regions from the top down, bottom up, and outside in.
3. Global and Regional Interstate Competition
In today’s global context, rising interstate competition is influencing how conflict manifests and persists in fragile states, as well as threatening regional and global peace and stability. Since 2016, USIP has focused on the rise of China and will continue to do so as Beijing further projects its influence globally.
We will strive to identify areas in which the United States and other major powers can benefit from cooperation on matters of mutual concern and facilitate those efforts where appropriate. We are increasing our focus on convening experts, producing analysis, and identifying policy options to better respond to the challenges to peace posed by competition. Priority areas include:
- The Red Sea, where Gulf states and other regional powers are projecting conflict and competition into the fragile Horn of Africa;
- China, with an emphasis on analysis and programs to increase understanding and options for addressing its continued push for investment and influence on conflict contexts across the globe; and
- North Korea with a focus on high-level dialogue, analysis, and development of strategic options for resolving this decades-old conflict.
In addition, we will develop a new portfolio to expand analysis and policy recommendations for addressing a more assertive Russia as it attempts to expand its influence in the post-Soviet sphere, the Middle East, Africa, and Latin America, with a special emphasis on Ukraine.
- Conduct conflict analysis in the field
- Organize and support dialogues
- Partner locally
- Develop and sustain country expertise
- Develop and share policy recommendations
- Develop and deliver strengthened training and education
- Convene diverse audiences
- Strengthen monitoring and evaluation
- Learn and adapt
- Promote inclusion
- Strengthen community security
- Advance justice
- Bridge divides
- Inform and improve policy in conflict-affected countries