Extremist movements — such as ISIS, Boko Haram, the Taliban and al-Shabab — fuel, and often stem from, instability and violent conflict and present a complex challenge. The U.S. Institute of Peace works to understand the underlying causes of violent extremism and helps develop localized and viable solutions by providing research, training and expertise to practitioners and policymakers. From examining the critical role of women in combating violent extremism in Afghanistan to exploring the dynamics of radicalization in Kosovo, USIP seeks to reduce this ever-shifting threat.

 Learn more in our fact sheet on USIP’s Work on Violent Extremism.

Featured   Publications

The United States Weighs Its Options in the Face of Iran’s Provocations

The United States Weighs Its Options in the Face of Iran’s Provocations

Tuesday, January 30, 2024

By: Sarhang Hamasaeed;  Mona Yacoubian

Three U.S. troops were killed and at least 34 injured in a drone strike on a U.S. base in northeast Jordan on January 28. The attack comes against a backdrop of rising regional tensions since the outbreak of conflict in Gaza following the October 7 Hamas terrorist attack on Israel.

Type: Analysis

Conflict Analysis & PreventionGlobal PolicyViolent Extremism

Making Sense of Iran-Pakistan Cross-Border Strikes

Making Sense of Iran-Pakistan Cross-Border Strikes

Friday, January 19, 2024

By: Asfandyar Mir, Ph.D.

In a surprising turn on January 16, Iran launched missile strikes into Pakistan’s Baluchistan province, claiming it had hit two strongholds of anti-Iran insurgent group Jaish al-Adl (Army of Justice). Iran announced the attack in Pakistan concurrent to its strikes in Iraq and Syria. Less than two days later, Pakistan hit back with not only missiles but also fighter jets in Iran’s Sistan-Baluchistan province — claiming to target hideouts of anti-Pakistan ethno-nationalist insurgents operating from Iranian soil.

Type: Analysis

Conflict Analysis & PreventionGlobal PolicyViolent Extremism

Senior Study Group for the Sahel: Final Report and Recommendations

Senior Study Group for the Sahel: Final Report and Recommendations

Thursday, January 18, 2024

By: Bipartisan Senior Study Group for the Sahel

The United States has not traditionally viewed the Sahel as a region of vital interest, whether in terms of security or from an economic or business perspective. This has led to a pattern of reactive involvement shaped by the circumstances of specific events rather than proactive commitments. This pattern reveals the lack of a comprehensive strategy for the volatile Western Sahel region, which includes Burkina Faso, Chad, Mali, Mauritania, and Niger. In April 2022, President Joe Biden announced that the US government would advance the “U.S. Strategy to Prevent Conflict and Promote Stability” in coastal West Africa by prioritizing a partnership with Benin, Côte d’Ivoire, Ghana, Guinea, and Togo.

Type: Report

Civilian-Military RelationsDemocracy & GovernancePeace ProcessesViolent Extremism

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Current  Projects

Bipartisan Senior Study Group for the Sahel

Bipartisan Senior Study Group for the Sahel

In May 2021, USIP created the Bipartisan Senior Study Group for the Sahel comprised of 12 current and former high-level U.S. officials, renowned academics and prominent Africa experts. The senior study group aims to generate new insights into the complex challenges facing the Sahel region, including food security, human rights, security assistance, private sector development and job creation — as well as great power competition. The senior study group will provide original recommendations to the U.S. government and governments in the Sahel region to improve foreign assistance, resolve conflict and support lasting peace.

Civilian-Military RelationsDemocracy & GovernancePeace ProcessesViolent Extremism

The USIP Learning Agenda

The USIP Learning Agenda

In support of the Evidence Act and as part of the U.S. national security architecture, USIP is carrying out its own learning agenda. Peacebuilding has long been viewed as too messy and complex for evidence-based approaches — but USIP’s mix of research and practice belies that assumption.

Conflict Analysis & PreventionGenderJustice, Security & Rule of LawMediation, Negotiation & DialogueNonviolent ActionPeace ProcessesReconciliationReligionViolent ExtremismYouth

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