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

Megan Chabalowski on USIP’s Peace Teachers Program

Megan Chabalowski on USIP’s Peace Teachers Program

Wednesday, July 17, 2019

By: Megan Chabalowski

Young people are hungry for examples of people working for peace in some of the world’s most violent conflicts, and they are curious about ways they too can make a positive difference. Megan Chabalowski explains how USIP’s Peace Teachers Program provides educators with the in-depth training and resources needed to incorporate peacebuilding into their classrooms and communities.

Education & Training

How Women Are Using Technology to Advance Gender Equality and Peace

How Women Are Using Technology to Advance Gender Equality and Peace

Monday, July 15, 2019

By: Danielle Robertson; Mena Ayazi

From Afghanistan to Sudan, women in conflict areas are increasingly turning to technology to build peace and reduce gender inequality. Just as smart phones and mobile internet facilitate key functions of daily life, they also bring the world women’s voices once confined to the home or marketplace. It is a development with tremendous promise that the international community needs to support by widening access to technology, reducing social barriers to it and providing training that boosts proficiency.

Gender

Scott Smith on the Afghan Peace Process

Scott Smith on the Afghan Peace Process

Thursday, July 11, 2019

By: Scott Smith

Following unprecedented talks between Taliban and Afghan leaders this week, which have provided renewed hope for peace, the Taliban claimed credit for an attack in Ghanzi province. Scott Smith says Afghanistan is now exhibiting “one of the usual paradoxes of this stage of a peace process … where both parties, as they begin to talk more, they begin to fight more.”

A Foot Forward for Peace in Afghanistan?

A Foot Forward for Peace in Afghanistan?

Thursday, July 11, 2019

By: Scott Smith

Taliban and Afghan representatives agreed early this week to a basic, albeit non-binding, roadmap for intra-Afghan negotiations aimed at ending the 18-year war. Since the U.S. resumed direct talks with the Taliban last September, the two sides have focused on the withdrawal of foreign forces and the steps the Taliban will take against terrorists on Afghan soil. Meanwhile, intra-Afghan talks on a political roadmap have yet to get off the ground. After months of seeming stasis, this week’s Doha meeting has injected renewed hope. USIP’s Scott Smith looks at what happened this week, what it means for Afghan women, and the next steps in the peace process.

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Peace Processes

Kathleen Kuehnast on Women in Conflict Zones

Kathleen Kuehnast on Women in Conflict Zones

Tuesday, July 9, 2019

By: Kathleen Kuehnast, Ph.D.

At a recent USIP event, Nobel laureate Nadia Murad discussed her efforts to end sexual violence and human trafficking—two criminal practices that Kathleen Kuehnast says “have been institutionalized and militarized.” To disincentivize these human rights abuses, Kuehnast says we must reinforce that these heinous but often lucrative practices are “not a livelihood—this is criminality.”

Gender; Human Rights

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