Tuesday, January 31, 2023
In this edition of "The Latest @ USIP,” Ricardo Zúniga, the principal deputy assistant secretary and special envoy for the Northern Triangle in the Bureau of Western Hemisphere Affairs at the State Department, discusses why Central America is such a high priority for the Biden administration; the key strategies to prevent, mitigate and resolve violent conflict; and how U.S. engagement, particularly in Guatemala, can help address conflict in the region.
I want to share a personal story from our “Imagine: Reflections on Peace exhibit” that is not explained with the photos. It describes three pictures from the Lebanon exhibit and the transformation that is possible between generations.
A fifth grader at an elementary school in Aravan, Kyrgyzstan — a rural farming community in the lush Ferghana Valley on the border with Uzbekistan — could only count to 20 when this school year began. “It was like he dropped out of the sky,” his teacher said about his unfamiliarity with numbers, letters or the entire concept of school.
While the world focuses on Russia's invasion of Ukraine, there's another hotspot — China, India and Pakistan — where three nuclear-armed states share contested borders. In this video, USIP’s Tamanna Salikuddin and Vikram J. Singh discuss how to enhance stability in the region, the Biden administration's Indo-Pacific strategy, the prospects of nuclear talks in Southern Asia, and the impacts of the Russia-Ukraine war.
The increasing violence and insecurity in Afghanistan could force over half a million more people to migrate from the country by the end of 2022, adding to the population of almost 2.6 million Afghan refugees worldwide. And for these millions of migrants, the plight of serious mental health challenges is a concern that we cannot afford to overlook.
Recent years of declining democracy and rising authoritarianism and violent conflict form what President Biden and others call the “defining challenge of our time.” Biden, like millions of people, see nonviolent struggles for freedom, such as those led by the Mahatma Gandhi and Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., as humanity’s best way to meet this challenge. Last week, though few may have realized it, the world lost a man who, over the last fifty years, helped us to understand and act on that insight: Dr. Peter Ackerman.
Nearly 50 years after the end of the Vietnam War, families from all sides of the conflict are still searching for remains of loved ones through both official and personal channels. In 2021-22, as part of the Vietnam War Legacies and Reconciliation Initiative, USIP interviewed American and Vietnamese families who have recently received or identified wartime remains.
In early February, five Central African friends and I hopped in a weathered Toyota pickup and retraced most of Route Nationale 3 (RN3), which runs through the Central African Republic’s (CAR) northwest from Baoro to the capital Bangui. Connecting Cameroon’s Douala and Bangui, the RN3 corridor accounts for 80 percent of internationally traded goods in CAR.
On December 26, the world lost a “moral compass,” Archbishop Desmond Tutu of South Africa, aged 90. Grounded in his Christian faith, his legacy as a peacebuilder through his anti-Apartheid activism and promotion of peace and justice is unparalleled. Tutu’s great influence on the field of peacebuilding, and his mark on peace and reconciliation efforts have rippled worldwide. Here are four attributes that Archbishop Tutu exemplified as a religious peacebuilder, radically inspiring people across the globe to fight injustice and advocate for peace.
Months after U.S. troops invaded Iraq in 2003, Army Colonel Paul Hughes quietly slipped out of the fortified U.S. headquarters in Baghdad’s “Green Zone” on a personal mission—to meet Iraqis and analyze the rising danger signs of disasters to come. American forces lacked a viable plan to stabilize this violent, trauma-scarred land, and Hughes’ nighttime conversations with Iraqis—scholars, business owners and former military officers—confirmed to him that the U.S. effort was dangerously isolated from Iraqi realities that would soon ignite an insurgency and eventually breed the Islamic State (ISIS) and a new war.