Preventing Violent Conflict and Sustaining the Peace

  • USIP works to prevent, reduce, and resolve armed conflict around the world. The Institute applies practical solutions directly in conflict zones and provides analysis, education, and resources to those working for peace.
  • USIP’s specialized teams—mediators, trainers and others—work in some of the world’s most dangerous places, including Iraq and Afghanistan.
  • USIP’s initiatives are cost-effective. They equip countries to manage and resolve conflict themselves and reduce the need for U.S. military deployments abroad.

Cost-Effective Contributions to National Security

  • In the fight against ISIS, USIP mediates peace accords in local conflicts in Iraqi communities that have been devastated by the extremist group. In 2015, USIP facilitated a local Sunni-Shia accord in Tikrit that averted bloodshed and let 380,000 internally displaced people return home.
  • To inhibit extremist recruitment among a highly vulnerable population, USIP in 2015 and 2016 provided training to Tunisian university students on how to resolve conflicts without violence.
  • In Afghanistan, USIP led a successful campaign that facilitated peaceful elections in 2014 despite Taliban calls for violence.
  • In Burma, USIP trained civic leaders, government officials, and police to help achieve a peaceful 2015 election for a more democratic government during a delicate transition from autocratic rule to democracy.
  • With training, research, and other programs in the U.S. and abroad, USIP builds the capacity of the U.S. military, diplomatic, and development communities to combat extremism and stabilize war-torn countries.

Three Decades of Impact

  • President Ronald Reagan signed legislation creating the Institute in 1984.
  • The Institute was created by leaders in Congress who had lived through the devastation of war and hoped to prevent it in the future.
  • Congress appropriates the Institute’s funding—$37.8 million this year—to ensure that it remains nonpartisan and independent of outside influence.
  • The Institute has a bipartisan board of directors that by statute includes the Secretary of Defense, the Secretary of State, and the President of the National Defense University.

Related Publications

South Sudan’s Pitfalls of Power Sharing

South Sudan’s Pitfalls of Power Sharing

Friday, February 16, 2018

By: USIP Staff; Susan Stigant; Aly Verjee

This week, a new proposal for a power sharing government was tabled at the ongoing Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD) High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF) peace talks for South Sudan. An earlier, 2015 peace deal also contained a formula for power sharing; that arrangement failed and the civil war re-ignited a year later. Power sharing arrangements are appropriate if certain conditions are met, but not enough has been done to ensure the latest proposal will overcome the obstacles present in South Sudan, according to Susan Stigant, USIP’s director for Africa programs and Aly Verjee, a visiting expert at USIP and a former senior advisor to the IGAD mediation, who comment on the proposal and suggest how it could be improved.

Democracy & Governance; Fragility and Resilience; Global Policy

Redefining Masculinity in Afghanistan

Redefining Masculinity in Afghanistan

Thursday, February 15, 2018

By: Belquis Ahmadi; Rafiullah Stanikzai

Following more than three decades of political instability, violent conflicts, and foreign invasions, Afghanistan is home to nearly two generations that have grown up knowing only conflict and war. As a result, violent and aggressive behavior—particularly from young men—has become an accepted norm of...


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