WHAT WE DO
Preventing Violent Conflict and Sustaining Peace

  • USIP works to prevent, reduce, and resolve violent conflict around the world. The Institute applies practical solutions directly in conflict zones and provides analysis, education, and resources to those working for peace.
  • USIP’s specialized teams—facilitators, mediators, trainers, and others—work in some of the world’s most dangerous places, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, and Syria.
  • USIP’s initiatives are cost-effective and equip countries and their people to manage and resolve conflict and reduce the need for U.S. engagement abroad.

HOW WE DO IT
Cost-Effective Contributions to National Security

  • While ISIS seized much of Iraq in 2014, one region, Mahmoudiya, rebuffed ISIS. Why? The local tribes are committed to a decade-old agreement signed with USIP mediation. In hotspots like Tikrit, Yathrib, Hawija, Tal Afar, and the Nineveh Plains, USIP is supporting stabilization of ISIS-cleared areas through reconciliation dialogues that produced six agreements, with the Nineveh processes still ongoing.
  • In Tunisia, USIP and its partner network brokered a peace agreement between Islamist and secular student unions at the University of Manouba to end violent clashes. In flashpoint cities, the USIP-supported dialogue led by Alliance of Tunisian Facilitators reduced tensions between police and street vendors, activists, and journalists.
  • In February 2019, USIP’s congressionally commissioned Task Force on Extremism in Fragile States, co-chaired by Gov. Tom Kean and Rep. Lee Hamilton, released its report to Congress on preventing the underlying causes of extremism in fragile states.
  • With training, research, and other programs in the U.S. and abroad, USIP builds the capacity of the U.S. military, diplomatic, and development communities to combat extremism and stabilize war-torn countries. To date, the Institute has trained more than 65,000 professionals in the U.S. and abroad.

OUR STORY
Three Decades of Impact

  • President Ronald Reagan signed legislation creating the Institute in 1984.
  • The Institute was created by leaders in Congress who had lived through the devastation of war and hoped to prevent it in the future.
  • Congress appropriates the Institute’s funding—$38.6 million in 2019—to ensure that it remains nonpartisan and independent of outside influence.
  • The Institute has a bipartisan board of directors that by statute includes the secretary of defense, the secretary of state, and the president of the National Defense University.

USIP has been in Iraq since 2003, … training local people who could negotiate peace among the tribes and bring violence down... In 2007, in Mahmoudiya…, the ‘Triangle of Death,’ USIP negotiated an arrangement among the tribes … Violence went down dramatically. The U.S. military presence was able to reduce by 80 percent. It saved a lot of lives, it saved a lot of dollars, and that basic peace agreement among the tribes has held up for 10 years.

Chair, USIP Board of Directors

Latest Publications

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

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

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

By: Nat Kretchun

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.

Global Policy

Exposure to Violence and Voting in Karachi, Pakistan

Exposure to Violence and Voting in Karachi, Pakistan

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

By: Mashail Malik ; Niloufer Siddiqui

Pakistan’s 2018 elections marked just the second time in history that power transferred peacefully from one civilian government to another after a full term in office. Although the initial months of campaigning were relatively free of violence, the two weeks before polling were dangerous for campaigners and voters alike, and the elections provided a platform for some parties to incite violence, particularly against Pakistan’s minority sects. This report provides a deep examination of how exposure to political violence in Pakistan’s largest city affects political behavior, including willingness to vote and faith in the democratic process.

Electoral Violence

Amid a Spike in Violence, Have Afghan Peace Talks Lost Momentum?

Amid a Spike in Violence, Have Afghan Peace Talks Lost Momentum?

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

By: Johnny Walsh

After rapid progress in early 2019, the Afghan peace process has seemingly slowed. The U.S. chief negotiator, Ambassador Zalmay Khalilzad, said in May that his negotiations with the Taliban were making slow but steady progress, but there has been little headway in starting talks among the various Afghan parties. Meanwhile, violence has ratcheted up, as typically occurs in the spring and summer in Afghanistan. The country’s overdue presidential polls are scheduled for late September, further complicating efforts to achieve peace. Can talks succeed amid the violence and political discord? Will the elections drain momentum from the peace process? USIP’s Johnny Walsh looks at the Afghan peace process ahead of the next round of talks in late June.

Peace Processes

Vikram Singh on Hong Kong and India-Pakistan

Vikram Singh on Hong Kong and India-Pakistan

Thursday, June 13, 2019

By: Vikram J. Singh

Massive unrest has hit Hong Kong, as citizens protest an extradition law they believe is favorable to China. Vikram Singh says protesters’ fear that Beijing is working to undermine Hong Kong’s longstanding judicial independence. Looking at India and Pakistan, Singh says that the chances for meaningful dialogue right now are small, as both countries focus on their own issues.

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

In Ethiopia, Former U.S. Diplomats See Promise in Reform

In Ethiopia, Former U.S. Diplomats See Promise in Reform

Thursday, June 13, 2019

By: Fred Strasser

In Ethiopia, political prisoners are free and the security services revamped. Women now comprise half the cabinet, and serve as ceremonial head of state, chief justice, and chair of the electoral commission. Significant steps have been taken toward resolving a 20-year conflict with neighboring Eritrea and reforms to unleash the economy—already one of Africa’s fastest growing—are ostensibly on the way. Elections are slated for next year. Under Abiy Ahmed, the nation’s popular new prime minister, Ethiopia is changing in ways long desired by American policymakers, agreed four former U.S. ambassadors to the country. Yet the most the U.S. is likely to do is offer encouragement and a bit of support, they said.

Democracy & Governance

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