In honor of former Secretary of State Dean Acheson’s service to the United States and the cause of peace and innovation in peacemaking, USIP initiated this lecture series to deal with the important topics of the day. The lecture series helps call attention to topics that further the mission of USIP: preventing and resolving violent international conflicts, promoting post-conflict stability and development, and increasing conflict management capacity, tools, and intellectual capital worldwide.

USIP Board Chair Stephen J. Hadley and former Secretary of State George P. Shultz
USIP Board Chair Stephen J. Hadley and former Secretary of State George P. Shultz

2015: Secretary of State George Shultz 

U.S. Secretary of State George Shultz received the 6th Acheson Award. 

Leon Panetta

2012 Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta

U.S. Secretary of Defense Leon Panetta gave the 5th Acheson Lecture at USIP. In his speech, Panetta outlined a bold plan to build the capacity of other countries and thereby reduce the strains on the U.S. when it comes to solving the world’s security problems. Following his remarks, he was presented with the Acheson Award.

Senator John McCain

2011: Senator John McCain

U.S. Senator John McCain (R-AZ) received the 4th Acheson Award and delivered the Acheson Lecture at USIP. After receiving the award, Senator McCain discussed the status of U.S. interests in the Middle East during a time of revolution and upheaval.

Senator George J. Mitchell

2010: Senator George J. Mitchell

U.S. Senator George J. Mitchell, special envoy for the Middle East, delivered the 2010 the USIP Dean Acheson Lecture, on Monday, May 24 in front of a packed audience.

Senator Mitchell spoke about lessons learned from Northern Ireland and how, despite the vast differences between that conflict and the Israeli-Palestinian conflict, certain truths about international conflict still hold. | Read more

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

2009: Secretary of State Hillary Clinton

In remarks focused on nuclear nonproliferation and timed to coincide with the Institute’s 25th anniversary, Secretary of State Hillary Clinton delivered the 2009 Dean Acheson lecture. In addressing the United States Institute of Peace, U.S. Secretary of State Clinton talked about the important work we are doing in the area of non proliferation, including the recent report issued by the Congressional Commission on the Strategic Posture of the United States, chaired by former Secretary of Defense William J. Perry with James R. Schlesinger as vice chairman. The report examined key issues related to national security, arms control and nuclear technology. | Read more

Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates

2008 Lecture: Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates

On October 15, 2008, U.S. Secretary of Defense Robert M. Gates delivered the keynote speech at the U.S. Institute of Peace’s first Dean Acheson Lecture. In his address, Gates called for the United States to develop national security institutions better able to respond to increasingly complex challenges in international conflict settings. | Read more

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Ceasefire Monitoring in South Sudan 2014–2019: “A Very Ugly Mission”

Ceasefire Monitoring in South Sudan 2014–2019: “A Very Ugly Mission”

Friday, August 30, 2019

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More than five years after South Sudan’s first ceasefire agreement, ceasefire monitors are still on the ground. The hope was that their work would help overcome the mistrust between rival factions, halt ongoing violence, and deter further violations. Drawing on interviews with monitors, combatants, politicians, civil society representatives, diplomats, peacekeepers, and others, this report examines the history of ceasefire monitoring in South Sudan and offers recommendations for donors supporting future monitoring processes in South Sudan and elsewhere.

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As China Projects Power in the Indo-Pacific, How Should the U.S. Respond?

As China Projects Power in the Indo-Pacific, How Should the U.S. Respond?

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There is a growing bipartisan consensus in Washington that China’s ascendance is a major strategic concern for U.S. and international security and stability. This is reflected in the 2017 U.S. National Security Strategy, which recalibrates U.S. foreign policy to address the challenges posed to American power and interests from escalating geopolitical competition with China and Russia. After a recent trip to the Indo-Pacific region, Rep. Ed Case (D-HI) and Rep. John Rutherford (R-FL) said they came away alarmed at how China is tightening its grip on U.S. allies across the region. What can the U.S. do to address China’s power projection and coercion in the Indo-Pacific and beyond?

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The Need for a New U.S. Information Strategy for North Korea

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Through the successive regimes of Kim Il Sung, Kim Jong Il, and Kim Jong Un, North Korea has maintained near-total control over the information that reaches its citizens. Now, as more and more North Koreans use networked devices such as smartphones, the regime is employing modern forms of censorship and surveillance to control information and curtail freedom of expression. This report argues that the United States and its allies need a new information strategy to end the social isolation of the North Korean people and improve their long-term welfare.

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Jacob Stokes on China and Sovereignty

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Under the Trump administration, the U.S. has made protecting sovereignty a core principle of its foreign policy and U.S.-China relations. While Beijing prioritizes protecting sovereignty at home, “its actions abroad raise questions about whether it’s interested in protecting the sovereignty of other countries,” says USIP’s Jacob Stokes.

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