The U.S. Institute of Peace convenes officials and policy experts, influences high-level debates, and works with other institutions, government and civil society groups to discuss and develop better strategies that will prevent, mitigate or resolve violent conflict. Among the institute’s global policy priorities are the problem of fragility—when a state is vulnerable to violent conflict because government is unwilling or unable to address its citizens’ needs—and the need to better connect humanitarian relief, security sector assistance, political action and longer-term development aid.
With the Israeli-Palestinian peace process at a standstill, USIP’s Ambassador Hesham Youssef talks about a new, diverse quartet of states that can help reinvigorate talks, saying, “joining hands, they can influence both the Arab position and the European position.”
Based on what Beijing calls “historic rights,” China claims vast swaths of the South China Sea, including waters and features also claimed by the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Brunei. With no reference to international law, China’s “nine-dash-line” encompasses 80 percent of the South China Sea reaching as far south as more than 1,000 nautical miles from the China’s coast, within 50 nautical miles of Malaysia. Within these waters lie features occupied by China, the Philippines, Vietnam, Malaysia, and Taiwan, including three artificial islands that China built in 2012 and has since developed into military bases.
As part of its bid to expand its influence across the world, China is emerging as an important diplomatic and economic partner for the small and far-flung Pacific Islands countries, but its engagement comes with challenges. As the economies of the Pacific Islands countries reel in the face of the COVID-19 pandemic, Chinese loans and aid are likely to become even more important in the coming months. China’s growing footprint in the region also brings a strategic challenge to the United States’ doorstep at a time when the U.S.-China relationship is under considerable strain.
The Conflict Prevention and Fragility Working Group develops timely, policy-relevant analysis at the intersection of the global response to COVID-19 and conflict prevention, identifying practical policy solutions for embedding a fragility lens into the global pandemic response. Building on the findings of the Task Force on Extremism in Fragile States and the Global Fragility Act (GFA), this group of experts includes thought-leaders with a wide-range of experience and expertise—from advocates to academics to frontline peacebuilders.
The congressionally mandated Afghanistan Peace Process Study Group (ASG) has been charged with identifying policy recommendations that “consider the implications of a peace settlement, or the failure to reach a settlement, on U.S. policy, resources, and commitments in Afghanistan.” The ASG will submit a document containing forward-looking recommendations to Congress, the administration, and the public in early 2021.
The U.S. Institute of Peace’s Office of Strategic Stability and Security was established in 2020 to provide research and analysis on the growing impact of global powers on peace and stability. Housing USIP’s Russia program, and with plans to work closely with the Institute’s China program, the office convenes experts and local actors to develop an understanding of how the reemergence of major power competition is shaping the prospects for peace—with a special focus on Ukraine.