WHAT WE DO
Preventing Violent Conflict and Sustaining Peace

  • USIP works to prevent, reduce, and resolve violent 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—facilitators, mediators, trainers, and others—work in some of the world's most dangerous places, including Afghanistan, Iraq, Nigeria, and Syria.
  • USIP's initiatives are cost-effective and equip countries and their people to manage and resolve conflict and reduce the need for U.S. engagement abroad.

HOW WE DO IT
Cost-Effective Contributions to National Security

  • While ISIS seized much of Iraq in 2014, one region, Mahmoudiya, rebuffed ISIS. Why? The local tribes are committed to a decade-old agreement signed with USIP mediation. In hotspots like Tikrit, Yathrib, Hawija, Tal Afar, and the Nineveh Plains, USIP is supporting stabilization of ISIS-cleared areas through reconciliation dialogues that produced four agreements, with the Nineveh processes still ongoing.
  • In Tunisia, USIP and its partner network brokered a peace agreement between Islamist and secular student unions at the University of Manouba to end violent clashes. In flashpoint cities, the USIP-supported dialogue led by Alliance of Tunisian Facilitators reduced tensions between police and street vendors, activists, and journalists.
  • In May 2018, USIP launched the congressionally commissioned Task Force on Extremism in Fragile States. Chaired by Gov. Tom Kean and Rep. Lee Hamilton, it will evaluate the underlying causes of extremism in fragile states and provide actionable recommendations. 
  • 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. To date, the Institute has trained more than 65,000 professionals in the U.S. and abroad.

OUR STORY
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 in 2018—to ensure that it remains nonpartisan and independent of outside influence. Accordingly, USIP's programs are only funded through congressional appropriation.
  • 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.

Latest Publications

Pope Francis in the Cradle of Islam: What Might It Bring?

Pope Francis in the Cradle of Islam: What Might It Bring?

Tuesday, February 19, 2019

By: Palwasha L. Kakar; Melissa Nozell

Pope Francis’ recent sojourn in the Arabian Peninsula was a powerful symbolic advance for interfaith dialogue: the first visit by a Roman Catholic pontiff to the original homeland of the Islamic faith. Francis joined eminent Muslim, Jewish and other Christian clerics in an appeal for the communal coexistence so desperately needed by a world suffering violence and persecution across humanity’s religious divides. The visit’s moving imagery included Christians and Muslims together attending the first papal mass on the peninsula. Yet this powerful symbolism will have real impact only if it inspires us all to take concrete steps—notably by governments, educational institutions and faith-based organizations.

Religion

What’s at Stake in Nigeria’s 2019 Elections?

What’s at Stake in Nigeria’s 2019 Elections?

Saturday, February 16, 2019

By: Oge Onubogu ; Chris Kwaja; Aly Verjee

On Saturday, over 84 million eligible Nigerian voters are set to go to the polls to elect their next president and members of the National Assembly, with state-level elections to be held on March 2. Among the 73 presidential candidates, incumbent Muhammadu Buhari and former Vice President Atiku Abubakar are the top two contenders. As Africa’s most populous country with its biggest economy and democracy, Nigeria is a bellwether for the continent and these elections will be widely watched by the region and international community. USIP’s Oge Onubogu, Chris Kwaja and Aly Verjee look at why these elections matter, security challenges surrounding the polls, and how the U.S. can support Nigeria beyond the elections.

Democracy & Governance; Electoral Violence

Oge Onubogu on Nigeria’s Elections

Oge Onubogu on Nigeria’s Elections

Thursday, February 14, 2019

By: Oge Onubogu

As Africa’s most populous country with its biggest economy, Nigeria is a bellwether for the continent. On Saturday, Nigerians will go to the polls to elect their next president and members of the National Assembly. This critical election will be a test of the resilience of Nigeria’s democratic institutions and widely watched by the international community, says USIP’s Oge Onubogu.

Democracy & Governance

Can Technology Help Afghanistan Avoid the Resource Curse?

Can Technology Help Afghanistan Avoid the Resource Curse?

Wednesday, February 13, 2019

By: William Byrd; Richard Brittan

Afghanistan’s mineral wealth, roughly estimated at upwards of $1 trillion, is sometimes seen as the country’s potential savior—with prospects to generate large government revenues, exports, and some jobs. On the other hand, international and Afghan experience amply demonstrates the downside risks associated with mineral exploitation—macroeconomic and fiscal distortions; waste, corruption, and poor governance; environmental degradation; and the risk of financing or fomenting violent conflict, thereby undermining peacebuilding. The so-called “resource curse” is not destiny, however, and some countries have managed to avoid it, though Afghanistan faces much greater challenges than most when it comes to beneficially developing its mining sector.

Economics & Environment

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