South Sudan’s civil war is one of the most brutal and destructive conflicts of the 21st century. Could the war have been prevented? Could some of the atrocities and misery caused by the war have been avoided? On July 19 the U.S. Institute of Peace and the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum's Simon-Skjodt Center for the Prevention of Genocide hosted a discussion on what lessons should be learned from U.S. policy toward South Sudan in the years leading up to and during the civil war.
On July 18th, the U.S. Institute of Peace held a panel discussion to examine the state of Pakistan’s youth and their potential impact on upcoming elections and democracy.
Despite holding the country’s first peaceful, democratic elections in 2015-2016, the Central African Republic continues to suffer from violent conflict. Tensions escalated back to crisis levels in the capital on April 8, with the situation remaining tenuous as armed actors, the CAR government, and international organizations weigh their options and consider the ramifications for the larger peace process.
From Grand Ayatollah Ali al-Sistani’s influence in the Iraqi elections to the involvement of religious actors in South Sudan’s peace process, the role of religion in conflict zones continues to dominate headlines. Please join field researchers and U.S. Institute of Peace experts on June 26, as they present an approach for mapping the role of religious actors and institutions to better understand their legitimacy and influence in contributing to peace and conflict, exploring findings from three recent mappings from Libya, South Sudan, and Iraq based on work from the field.
Following President Ashraf Ghani’s late February peace offer to the Taliban, a series of major international conferences that consolidated support for a peace deal, and a wave of pro-peace demonstrations across Afghanistan crucial questions remain: What it will take to get the Taliban to join peace talks in earnest? What will a prospective peace agreement look like? How does the peace process affect the Afghan and international military campaign?
This year marks the centennial of Georgia’s independence and the establishment of the First Republic in 1918 and the 10th year since the Russian invasion of Georgia in 2008. Please join the U.S. Institute of Peace, Embassy of Georgia and the Heritage Foundation in welcoming The Honorable Giorgi Kvirikashvili, Prime Minister of Georgia, for the Second Annual U.S.-Georgia Strategic Partnership Conference. Renowned experts will explore the current state of regional affairs, focusing on the geopolitical interests of the United States and Georgia.
Two Members of Congress and military veterans, Representative Ted Lieu (D-CA) and Representative Steve Russell (R-OK), will examine the importance of ongoing diplomatic efforts, possible outcomes of negotiations, and the role they hope Congress plays in the coming months at USIP’s third Bipartisan Congressional Dialogue on May 22.
On May 12, Iraqis went to the polls to elect a new national parliament. In a surprise turn, a coalition led by controversial cleric Moqtada al-Sadr—a staunch opponent of both U.S. and Iranian influence in Iraq—won the most seats, as incumbent Prime Minister Haider al-Abadi’s coalition came in third. While the election campaign saw Iraqis turn toward a focus on issues and away from sectarianism, low turnout figures demonstrate that many are disenchanted with the political system.
A forthcoming report by the National Committee on American Foreign Policy and the EastWest Institute highlights the need for immediate, decisive action by the U.S. and the European Union to head off instability and possible violent strife. Please join the U.S. Institute of Peace to hear from the authors of the report—all veterans of U.S. diplomacy in the Balkans and Europe—as they present a strategy for the United States and Europe, working in a revitalized partnership, to forestall a downward spiral in the Western Balkans, which could potentially lead to fractured states and widespread instability on Europe’s borders.
The search for peace has become a central focus of Afghanistan policy in Washington and for Kabul. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani offered the Taliban constitutional reform and status as a legitimate political party in late February on the condition that the group makes peace. In recent months, the Taliban have also publicly offered talks with the U.S. and prominent Afghan powerbrokers, and high-profile peace demonstrations in conflict-torn Helmand province have spread across much of the country.