Military and civilian agencies have worked more closely in recent years to prevent or reduce violent conflict, build the capacities of governments and strengthen national security. Still, lessons from the field show that more needs to be done to improve mutual understanding and cooperation among the array of organizations providing assistance. Lack of understanding has led to duplication of effort, inefficient use of limited resources and unintended consequences. The Civ-Mil program of the U.S. Institute of Peace includes education, training, working groups and exercises to advance information-sharing and coordination. These efforts inform professionals on how they can work together to build peace more effectively in complex conflict environments.
Myanmar’s military expected to reclaim control quickly after February’s coup. But USIP’s Priscilla Clapp says that “when the civilian protests persisted beyond a month, the military began to panic … As a result, the country has descended into chaos and widespread indiscriminate violence.”
Political uncertainty has descended on Pakistan as the combined opposition, seeking to dislodge the government of Prime Minister Imran Khan, has gathered under the banner of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM). While the conflict may appear sudden, its roots lie in the 2018 general election, which the opposition claims was rigged by the military to carry the Pakistan Tehrik-e-Insaf (PTI) to power. With the government struggling to manage the economy and govern, and the opposition facing further parliamentary marginalization, the PDM has emerged as the most significant challenge to the PTI government so far. The PDM is also seeking to roll back the influence of the military in politics.
Since 2013, as many as 50,000 Afghans have fought in Syria as part of the Fatemiyoun, a pro-Assad force organized by the Iranian Revolutionary Guards Corps. Based on field interviews with former fighters and their families, this Special Report examines the motivations of members of the Afghan Shia Hazara communities who joined the Fatemiyoun as well as the economic and political challenges of reintegrating them into Afghan society.
USIP believes that peace is impossible without security. Our work offers a peacebuilding approach to security sector governance and reform. Providing citizens with human security is one of the most fundamental obligations of any state. But too often, those intended to provide security, such as military and police forces, instead trigger violence or exacerbate ongoing conflicts.
Established in 2016, the USIP Senior Military Advisory Group consists of retired three-star and four-star generals and admirals from the Army, Navy, Air Force and Marine Corps. The advisory group builds on USIP’s decades-long history of partnership with the Department of Defense, encompassing collaborative thought leadership on national security challenges, improving civilian-military cooperation in responding to complex crises, and conducting peace operations in conflict zones.