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 six 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 February 2019, USIP’s congressionally commissioned Task Force on Extremism in Fragile States, co-chaired by Gov. Tom Kean and Rep. Lee Hamilton, released its report to Congress on preventing the underlying causes of extremism in fragile states.
  • 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—$38.6 million in 2019—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.

USIP has been in Iraq since 2003, … training local people who could negotiate peace among the tribes and bring violence down... In 2007, in Mahmoudiya…, the ‘Triangle of Death,’ USIP negotiated an arrangement among the tribes … Violence went down dramatically. The U.S. military presence was able to reduce by 80 percent. It saved a lot of lives, it saved a lot of dollars, and that basic peace agreement among the tribes has held up for 10 years.

Chair, USIP Board of Directors

Latest Publications

What are the Prospects for Power-Sharing in the Afghan Peace Process?

What are the Prospects for Power-Sharing in the Afghan Peace Process?

Monday, September 16, 2019

By: Alex Thier

While the negotiations between the U.S. and the Taliban were recently thrown-off course, a peace agreement among Afghans remains an urgent priority. The U.S.-led negotiations over a phased drawdown of U.S. troops in exchange for a Taliban commitment to eschew terrorism and engage in intra-Afghan negotiations took nearly a year. Yet these talks excluded the Afghan government and other political elites and didn’t address the fundamental question of what it will take for Afghans to put a sustainable end to four decades of war: how will power be shared?

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

A Rift Over Afghan Aid Imperils Prospects for Peace

A Rift Over Afghan Aid Imperils Prospects for Peace

Monday, September 16, 2019

By: William Byrd

As the United States has pursued peace talks with the Taliban, international discussions continue on the economic aid that will be vital to stabilizing Afghanistan under any peace deal. Yet the Afghan government has been mostly absent from this dialogue, an exclusion exemplified this week by a meeting of the country’s main donors to strategize on aid—with Afghan officials left out. The government’s marginalization, in large part self-inflicted, is a danger to the stabilization and development of Afghanistan. In the interests of Afghans, stability in the region and U.S. hopes for a sustainable peace, this rift in the dialogue on aid needs to be repaired.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Economics & Environment

Negotiations, Continued: Ensuring the Positive Performance of Power-Sharing Arrangements

Negotiations, Continued: Ensuring the Positive Performance of Power-Sharing Arrangements

Thursday, September 12, 2019

By: David Lanz; Laurie Nathan; Alexandre Raffoul

Most negotiated peace settlements since the 1990s have featured some aspect of power sharing, including those in Northern Ireland, Burundi, Bosnia, and Nepal. However, by freezing a sometimes unstable status quo, power sharing can create challenges to maintaining peace over the longer term as issues arise that rekindle enmity or create new suspicions among the parties. This report argues that power-sharing arrangements can be made more durable by providing robust forums, either permanent or ad hoc, that allow parties to resolve differences as they arise and to reaffirm their commitment to peace.

Type: Special Report

Democracy & Governance; Peace Processes

Afghan peace talks are damaged, but not yet broken.

Afghan peace talks are damaged, but not yet broken.

Tuesday, September 10, 2019

By: USIP Staff; Andrew Wilder

President Trump’s weekend announcement of a halt to U.S. peace talks with Afghanistan’s Taliban—including a previously unannounced U.S. plan for a Camp David meeting to conclude that process—leaves the future of the Afghanistan peace process unclear. USIP’s Andrew Wilder, a longtime Afghanistan analyst, argues that, rather than declaring an end to the peace process, U.S. negotiators could use the setback as a moment to clarify the strategy, and then urgently get the peace process back on track before too much momentum is lost.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

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