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

Payton Knopf on the Stakes in Sudan

Payton Knopf on the Stakes in Sudan

Thursday, May 23, 2019

By: Payton Knopf

What’s at stake in Sudan as tense negotiations between the Transitional Military Council and protesters continue? “We need to see a swift transition to civilian-led rule,” says Payton Knopf. “Otherwise I’m afraid what will result is increased instability … or potentially a catastrophic failure of the state.”

Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Syria’s Ghalia Rahal: Surviving War, Building Peace

Syria’s Ghalia Rahal: Surviving War, Building Peace

Thursday, May 23, 2019

By: Palwasha L. Kakar; James Rupert

Amid the traumas of Syria’s war, women like Ghalia Rahal are building an unprecedented role in peace talks over their country’s future. Rahal—the founder of a network of women’s centers in northwest Syria—has helped energize a Syrian women’s movement despite threats from extremists, attacks on her workplaces, and the assassination of her son, a journalist. Now, Rahal and her women’s network in Syria’s Idlib Province face an extreme threat—the Syrian government military offensive against the province that has killed hundreds and displaced nearly 200,000 people.

Gender

Belquis Ahmadi on the Afghan Peace Process

Belquis Ahmadi on the Afghan Peace Process

Thursday, May 16, 2019

By: Belquis Ahmadi

Reflecting on recent conversations in Doha and Kabul, USIP’s Belquis Ahmadi says that Afghans told her they want peace, but are not willing to sacrifice the hard-won gains of the last 18 years to get there. As U.S.-Taliban talks move forward, the extent of the Taliban’s evolution on issues like women’s rights remains in question. “I’ll believe it when I see it,” says Ahmadi.

Gender; Peace Processes

Amid Rising Sahel Violence, Burkina Faso Builds a Response

Amid Rising Sahel Violence, Burkina Faso Builds a Response

Thursday, May 16, 2019

By: James Rupert

A perfect storm of violence is breaking upon Africa’s Sahel. Since late 2018, communal conflicts—many over access to food, water or productive land—have produced thousands of deadly attacks. Across the region, nearly 4,800 people died in conflicts from November to March, according to the violence-monitoring group ACLED. The greatest surge in bloodshed is in Burkina Faso, where communal militias or religious extremists killed 500 people over five months. But amid the dire headlines, governments and civic groups in Burkina Faso and other Sahel countries cite progress in stabilizing communities with a basic step that simply has seldom been undertaken: broad, local dialogues among community groups, police forces and officials. Community leaders and government officials say they are now expanding those dialogues to improve national security policies to help counter the tide of violence.

Fragility & Resilience; Justice, Security & Rule of Law

View All Publications