The United States Institute of Peace works to prevent, mitigate, and resolve violent conflict around the world. USIP does this by engaging directly in conflict zones and by providing analysis, education, and resources to those working for peace. Created by Congress in 1984 as an independent, nonpartisan, federally funded organization, USIP’s more than 300 staff work at the Institute’s D.C. headquarters, and on the ground in the world’s most dangerous regions.

USIP brings together experts and practitioners in peacebuilding to

  • Improve global efforts to counter violent extremism and promote religious tolerance.
  • Strengthen the rule of law in chaotic, post-conflict settings.
  • Rigorously test approaches to conflict prevention and peacebuilding to ensure the United States is using the most constructive and cost-effective tools to protect U.S. interests
  • Use traditional and social media and emerging technologies to improve the tracking, prevention and resolution of violent conflict.

USIP works to advance peace and U.S. national security:

  • In Iraq, USIP and its partners facilitated peace agreements in Mahmoudiyah (2007) and Tikrit (2015) that reduced communal warfare in those regions and the need for U.S. or Iraqi troops. Hundreds of thousands of displaced residents returned home and reduced the need for U.S. or foreign troops. USIP is expanding its Iraqi partners’ capacity for such peacemaking and recently supported a pact that aims to avert violence at Hawija following its recapture from ISIS..
  • In Afghanistan, USIP supports grassroots movements to oppose corruption, counter extremist messages, and promote peaceful elections. The Institute helps universities develop courses in conflict resolution, including in areas where the Taliban and ISIS are active. USIP assists the government in improving legal mechanisms to resolve land disputes
  • In Pakistan, USIP has helped develop a national strategy for community policing against violent extremism, and better responses by police and courts to terrorism cases. USIP supports local partners who use film, public art, and peace education in schools to oppose the growing intolerance of diversity.
  • In Colombia, USIP expanded the role of women and minorities in the negotiations that ended 50 years of civil war in 2016. The Institute trains and supports local organizations to devise peaceful solutions for the inevitable conflicts that arise with implementation.
  • In Nigeria, USIP is convening government officials—notably the country’s influential state governors—with civic leaders and scholars to build a national consensus on strategies to reduce the causes of violent conflicts in the north, such as the Boko Haram insurgency.
  • Across Africa and the Middle East, USIP’s Generation Change program builds the skills of emerging youth leaders working for peace in communities across a dozen countries, from Nigeria to South Sudan to Yemen. USIP recently expanded the program to Colombia to build young Colombians’ ability to support the difficult implementation of the peace accord.

Founded in 1984, USIP is funded by Congress and governed by a bipartisan Board of Directors. USIP staff work abroad or at the Institute’s headquarters in Washington, which faces the Lincoln Memorial and the Vietnam Veterans Memorial, and symbolizes our nation’s commitment to peace.

Latest Publications

Johnny Walsh on Election Season in Afghanistan

Johnny Walsh on Election Season in Afghanistan

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

By: Johnny Walsh

As Afghans wait for official results from the parliamentary polls, Johnny Walsh says that the country is already entering “high political season” in preparation for the critical April 2019 presidential election. Although the Taliban continues to carry out high-profile attacks across the country, Walsh says that many Afghans are focused on the presidential polls and its implications for the peace process.

Democracy & Governance

Providing for the Common Defense

Providing for the Common Defense

Tuesday, November 13, 2018

By: National Defense Strategy Commission

The final report of the National Defense Strategy Commission is a compilation of the assessments of the National Defense Strategy and recommendations based on its analysis related not just to defense strategy, but also to the larger geopolitical environment in which that strategy must be executed. They consulted with civilian and military leaders in the Department of Defense, representatives of other U.S. government departments and agencies, allied diplomats and military officials, and independent experts.

Global Policy

Thomas Hill on Libya

Thomas Hill on Libya

Friday, November 9, 2018

By: Thomas M. Hill

Since the fall of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, successive U.S. administrations have watched Libya’s continuing collapse, mistakenly believing that the country’s unraveling threatens only Europe, says Thomas Hill. Ahead of the Palermo conference, which aims to find a solution to the crisis in Libya, Hill says that United States’ should play a more direct role in stabilizing the country.

Democracy & Governance; Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Libya’s Migrant Crisis Isn’t Just a European Problem

Libya’s Migrant Crisis Isn’t Just a European Problem

Friday, November 9, 2018

By: Thomas M. Hill; Emily Estelle

Next week, Italy will host an international conference intended to finally bring Libya’s bloody seven-year conflict toward resolution. Since the ouster of Muammar Qaddafi in 2011, successive U.S. administrations have watched Libya’s continuing collapse, believing that the country’s unraveling threatens only Europe. This is a mistake.

Fragility & Resilience

Nigeria’s Worst Violence Is Not Boko Haram

Nigeria’s Worst Violence Is Not Boko Haram

Wednesday, November 7, 2018

By: Ena Dion; Isioma Kemakolam

As Nigeria works to stabilize from years of warfare in its north, the deadliest threat is not the Boko Haram extremist movement, but escalating battles between farming and herding communities over scarce land and water. Bloodshed has increased since January, as armed groups have attacked and...

Justice, Security & Rule of Law

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