As the Islamic State’s self-declared caliphate crumbles in Iraq, tribal leaders are taking unprecedented steps to avert a new cycle of violence that could follow the extremist group’s defeat. In a pact reached earlier this month, more than 100 sheikhs of tribes in and around the city of Hawija made a path-breaking pledge to forego traditional justice in dealing with ISIS fighters and supporters. Instead, they agreed to embrace Iraq’s formal legal system.
The question for international assistance efforts in fragile and conflict-affected countries is the extent to which aid programs are associated with changes in key metrics, including security, popular support for the government, community cohesion and resilience, population health, economic well-being, and internal violence. With an eye to lessons learned for the future, this report examines USAID stabilization programming in Afghanistan, focusing on whether it reduced violence, increased support for the government, and promoted other desirable political and economic outcomes.
In the context of UN Security Council Resolution 2250 on Youth, Peace, and Security, this report examines collaborations between youth and religious leaders in conflict-affected states. Using case studies, surveys, and interviews, it highlights the gaps, challenges, and opportunities for how religious actors and youth can and do partner effectively in the face of violent conflict.
In Nigeria, a radio call-in show with local Islamic scholars provided an alternative to extremist propaganda. In Somalia, training youth in nonviolent advocacy for better governance produced a sharp drop in support for political violence. In the Lake Chad region, coordinating U.S. defense, development and diplomatic efforts helped push back Boko Haram and strengthened surrounding states. Such cases illustrate ways to close off the openings for extremism in fragile states, experts said in a discussion at the U.S. Institute of Peace.
Larger political issues between India and Pakistan—from border conflicts to mutual government mistrust to long-standing rivalry—have been the main driver for the limited trade and economic cooperation between the two countries. This report, however, makes the case that working within existing protocols to enhance existing trade and cooperation, rather than addressing the more obvious and chronic political issues, is necessary to peacebuilding in the region.
The U.S. military, through its stabilizing mission, has a role to play in countering and eliminating the drivers of violent extremism (VE). Though the military has effective counterterrorism (CT) capability, there is a gap in its counter-VE (CVE) strategies that can be closed by linking reactive CT operations to preventative efforts to remove the drivers of VE. ...
The dozen senior officials seated around the room were veterans of high-level strategy and planning. They work in ministries. They serve as analysts and advisors on security, counterterrorism, human rights. They had helped craft their national policy to prevent violent extremism. Now they were embarking on a specific plan for handling the next stage of the problem.
Establishing enduring peace in fragile and conflict-affected states requires a coordinated approach, one in which civilian and military agencies consciously collaborate. However, many groups aren’t aware of other organizations’ initiatives, don’t understand their purposes, and fail to synchronize resources—resulting in duplicative, piecemeal efforts, inefficient use of limited resources, and other negative consequences.
A seaside suburb of Dakar, Senegal’s capital, Guédiawaye boasts a new coastal highway, large stadiums for wrestling and soccer, and new urban parks that even have marshes to manage periodic flooding. By all appearances, it is a growing, productive community. Yet underneath, the city struggles with high crime rates, environmental degradation, extreme poverty, unemployment and a disturbing growth in the number of suspected extremists.
Afghanistan has been plagued by large-scale, open looting of mineral resources, involving significant mining operations, bulk transport of minerals along main roads, and crossing the border at just a few, government-controlled points. This mineral looting, amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars per year, involves widespread corruption, entrenches warlords and their networks, and fuels both local conflicts and the wider insurgency in Afghanistan. The government needs to begin to get a better handle on resource exploitation and to collect more substantial royalties and taxes from ongoing mining activities.