Tuesday, April 16, 2019
The simple fact that Afghans participated in the recent parliamentary elections is no small sign of their commitment to democratic values and determination to have a say in the future of their country. Despite a recent, significant increase in attacks by violent extremist groups, a deteriorating...
Let's be honest, “peace” is a word that sometimes gets a bad rap. People attach skeptical connotations to it. It can sound idealistic, even utopian when compared to the violence we see in the news every day. But peace is also something very practical. It is urgent, and something we can all choose to work toward.
On October 20, Afghanistan held its third parliamentary election since the fall of the Taliban, after a three-year delay. Several USIP Afghan staff members observed the process at polling centers in Kabul after casting their own votes. Their observations provide a snapshot of the process.
On October 20, 2018, Afghanistan held parliamentary elections amid very challenging circumstances. Despite significant voter turnout in several provinces, local officials and police were unable to realize a fully credible and peaceful election. The increased engagement of women in the election process presents one of the few bright spots.
The U.S. State Department Bureau of Counterterrorism recently released its annual report on terrorism. The report concludes that despite the success of efforts to dismantle ISIS, “the terrorist landscape grew more complex.” Extremist groups such as ISIS, al-Qaida, and their affiliates are proving resilient and adjusting to heightened counterterrorism pressure with new attempts to destabilize, seize, and govern territory in fragile states.
As President Trump weighs options for a second meeting between himself and North Korean leader Kim Jong Un, public discussion increasingly has taken up this question: Should the United States declare a formal end to the Korean War as a new catalyst for diplomatic efforts to reduce risks of a nuclear confrontation? Two USIP analysts of U.S.-Korea relations say such a declaration would offer advantages if U.S.-South Korean defense cooperation is not compromised.
Ukraine is in a long, busy election season. Six months before presidential elections in March, posters of Yulia Tymoshenko already dominate the streets of Kyiv, indicating that campaigning is well underway. Parliamentary elections will follow next October. International analysts and Ukrainian media have widely reported on the fear of Russian interference—whether through cyber attacks, other forms of meddling or even military movements in the Donbas.
Over the summer, police in Niamey, Niger agreed to participate in a live radio call-in show to discuss security concerns, including complaints about police behavior. The police previously had declined to participate in similar activities but had come to see the value of direct communication with the community. In Niger and throughout Africa’s Sahel region, small steps like this toward communication and accountability, and larger changes in policy, are needed to encourage communities to work with security services.
Darine Abdulkarim is Generation Change fellow and a medical doctor from Sudan who works on the physical and psychological rehabilitation of internally displaced women and their reintegration into society. She is one of 25 young civil society leaders from a dozen nations facing violent conflict whom USIP gathered in 2017 for training and mentorship with the Nobel peace laureate and spiritual leader, the Dalai Lama.
Seventeen years ago today, we experienced the gravest attack on our nation since World War II. Everything we thought we knew about protecting the safety of American citizens and security of our shores changed overnight. Americans came face-to-face with an unfamiliar enemy: violent extremists.