Derived primarily from the author’s field research and experience, this report focuses on community-based programs and interventions in rural Afghanistan. Fundamental assumptions that underlie these interventions, however, are flawed. With an eye to worldwide relevance, the report analyzes these assumptions and suggests ways to better understand the realities of rural Afghan society so that the government in Kabul can more effectively implement programs in rural areas, engage rural participation, deliver needed services to that population, and administer the country more generally.
Looking at the maneuvers by Iran and the Saudi-led coalition in Yemen from afar, the battlefield looks a lot like a black-and-white contest for regional power. But as the U.S. considers escalating its role in the conflict—and Secretary of Defense Jim Mattis visits Riyadh this week—it is essential to understand how local realities can get lost in a proxy war.
The U.S. Institute of Peace has operated on the ground in Iraq since 2003 and in Afghanistan since 2002, as well as in Libya, Nigeria, Syria, Tunisia, and Yemen. As a small, agile institution, USIP works with local leaders and the U.S. government, including the military, to stabilize areas devastated by ISIS, end cycles of revenge, and address the root causes of radicalization, including corrupt and abusive governance.
This report offers a comprehensive look at the capital city of Kabul and its unique role in Afghanistan’s transition away from more than a decade of foreign occupation and violence. Social tensions are simmering just under the surface in the capital, even more so than in other Afghan cities, and have the potential to foment serious unrest.
The United States launched its first air strikes against forces backing Syrian President Bashar al-Assad since the country’s civil war began six years ago, in retaliation for a chemical-weapons attack that killed more than 80 civilian men, women and children. Elie Abouaoun, who is director of Middle East and North Africa programs at the U.S. Institute of Peace and is based in the region, examines the strategic implications, and USIP President Nancy Lindborg, who has worked for nearly 30 years on humanitarian crises and areas affected by conflict, comments on the factors that prompted the U.S. attack.
This report reviews the evidence for, and politics around, water-related conflict at local, provincial, and interprovincial scales in Pakistan.
When students at Afghanistan’s Nangarhar University organized a blood drive last fall to protest their country’s civil war, so many donors lined up that the blood bags ran out. “Stop Bloodshed and Donate Blood to Save Lives,” the event declared. On a campus where some students have demonstrated in support of the Taliban and the Islamic State (ISIS), the rally against violence became a story on local radio and television, and on social media.
Nigeria’s Roman Catholic cardinal urges his flock to embrace diversity. The spiritual leader of the country’s Muslims leads efforts to prevent radicalization and condemns Boko Haram. A former United Nations envoy advocates for professionalism among civil servants. A retired army chief of staff presses for the government to reach out more to alienated groups. These leaders and seven other prominent figures form a new high-level advisory group helping northern Nigeria’s powerful state governors address the social, religious and political forces that fuel extremist violence.
Stephen D. Krasner, USIP board member, testified before the House Committee on Foreign Affairs on foreign assistance for American national security.
While the budget process moves forward, the U.S. Institute of Peace continues to fulfill the mission given to it by Congress and the American people – to strengthen U.S. security by reducing violent conflict.