Congress founded the U.S. Institute of Peace in 1984 to help our nation “promote international peace and the resolution of conflicts among the nations and peoples of the world without recourse to violence.” In the 35 years since then, the Institute has pursued that mandate, strengthening America’s capacity to build peace through programs in Washington, in our nation’s schools, and in dangerous conflict zones abroad. Here are some of those stories…

U.S. troops return to New York aboard the USS General Harry Taylor from their service in World War II. Veterans of that war later led in the campaign to establish the U.S. Institute of Peace. (National Archives)

Pausing to Pay a Debt to Veterans and Fellow Citizens

November 6, 2019

Like all Americans, USIP owes a debt to those who have fought for the justice that sustains any peace, at home or abroad. On Veterans Day, we honor those who have done so in uniform. USIP owes a special debt to the military veterans, many from World War II, who 35 years ago led Congress in founding this national institution dedicated to reducing warfare abroad. These peacebuilders included Senators Mark Hatfield of Oregon and Spark Matsunaga of Hawaii, who fought and witnessed that war from Europe, Okinawa and Hiroshima. And at America’s grass roots, they included Mike Mapes, a Navy ensign who served at Nagasaki and later led a citizens’ campaign to create what became USIP.

Helping Crisis-responders Work Better Together

October 30, 2019
When violent conflict triggers humanitarian disasters, a wide range of organizations must respond: U.S. government civilian agencies, military forces, nonprofit humanitarian groups and international organizations. USIP works constantly to build coordination among these people and institutions. Each year, the Institute conducts a “tabletop exercise” to help these groups practice better coordination in responding to crises from Africa’s Sahel region to the southern Philippines to the Red Sea and Horn of Africa. (Learn about USIP’s Interorganizational Tabletop Exercise)

Halting Religious Clashes with Nigeria’s ‘Pastor and Imam’

October 23, 2019
Christians and Muslims in Nigeria’s Yelwa-Shendam region fought in the early 2000s—a conflict that killed more than 1,000 people. USIP partnered with Imam Muhammad Ashafa and Pastor James Wuye in mediating a peace agreement that halted the bloodshed. USIP provided seed funding for their work, helping them to build their Interfaith Mediation Center into an institution that trained Nigerians—and people in Kenya, Iraq, Sri Lanka and elsewhere—on ways to help their countries solve their own conflicts without violence. (Read more)

Mediating Peace in Iraq’s ‘Triangle of Death’

October 16, 2019
In 2007, nearly 3,500 U.S. troops struggled to end tribal fighting and al-Qaida violence in Mahmoudiya, a district south of Baghdad. The Army’s 10th Mountain Division called USIP for help. The Institute used its specialized research, training and mediation capacities to work with Iraqi partners in leading a peace process among 31 local tribes. The resulting peace accord forced al-Qaida out of the region, and U.S. combat deaths dropped from more than 50 per year before the accord to one in the year that followed. The Army was able to reduce its force in the region by 80 percent. When ISIS arose years later, Mahmoudiya rebuffed the extremists’ call for an uprising and the peace agreement continues to bolster stability in the area. (Read more)

Latest Publications

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: It’s Time for a Sequel to the Arab Peace Initiative

Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: It’s Time for a Sequel to the Arab Peace Initiative

Tuesday, December 10, 2019

By: Ambassador Hesham Youssef

The Israeli-Palestinian conflict has fallen down the list of political priorities in recent years as regional and global powers have been preoccupied with more pressing issues—including tensions with Iran; wars in Syria, Yemen and Libya; unrest in Lebanon, Iraq and Algeria; the rise of intestate competition, including with Russia and China, in the region; and a host of internal issues affecting the countries of the region. However, recent regional developments may present opportunities to reaffirm the tenets that would someday lead to a comprehensive peace.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

Escape from ISIS: One Family’s Story

Escape from ISIS: One Family’s Story

Tuesday, December 3, 2019

By: Fred Strasser

The horrific story of ISIS’s bid to wipe out Iraq’s Yazidi minority is fairly well known in the United States. At least in broad terms, Americans who pay attention to such things understand that the terrorist group’s fanatical gunmen rolled in on a defenseless people, butchered men and boys by the thousands and hauled away young women into sexual slavery in a genocidal plan.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Human Rights; Violent Extremism

Iraq’s protesters just ousted a prime minister. Now what?

Iraq’s protesters just ousted a prime minister. Now what?

Monday, December 2, 2019

By: Dr. Elie Abouaoun; Sarhang Hamasaeed

Iraq faces a new political crisis and the risk of more violence after its prime minister, Adel Abdul Mahdi, resigned under pressure from two months of mass demonstrations by youthful protesters. More than 400 people have been reported killed amid authorities’ forceful attempts to disperse the youthful protesters, who say a corrupt elite is failing to provide basic government services and share the country’s wealth with citizens. But Abdul Mahdi is stepping down only after Iraq’s most prominent Shia cleric withdrew his support. USIP’s Sarhang Hamasaeed and Elie Abouaoun discussed where the crisis could lead.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Democracy & Governance

Nancy Lindborg on the Role of People Power in Global Security

Nancy Lindborg on the Role of People Power in Global Security

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

By: Nancy Lindborg

Returning from the Halifax International Security Forum, USIP President and CEO Nancy Lindborg explains why the growing number of “people power” movements around the world have left her optimistic, saying “the notion of what constitutes national security continues to evolve…security includes governments that are responsive to the needs of their people.”

Type: Podcast

Nonviolent Action; Global Policy

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