Even as Myanmar’s resistance forces gain ground on the battlefield, much of the international community continues to view the country’s anti-coup movement as fragmented and lacking cohesion. That perception has led some to throw up their hands and disengage from the conflict, while others are considering accepting the junta’s sham elections as a path to restoring stability. Both the premise and conclusion are wrong.
The eastern provinces of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC) have been the site of decades of conflict between the Congolese army and nonstate armed groups. The region’s conflict dynamics are profoundly affected by the combatants’ exploitation of and illegal trade in natural resources. Drawing lessons from eastern DRC, this report argues that the environmental peacebuilding field needs to do more to understand how armed actors shape resource governance and resource-related conflict, which in turn can lead to better-designed peacebuilding programs and interventions.
The joint leaders’ statement at the G20 Summit, while largely symbolic, showed that “Russia [is] a lot more isolated than perhaps we’d been led to suspect,” says USIP’s Mary Glantz, adding that Russia’s anti-imperialist justification for the war in Ukraine is “not getting the traction we thought it was.”
Misinformation and conspiracy theories have become staples of mainstream politics in numerous countries around the world—democracies and autocracies alike. Pakistan is no exception. This report examines the causes of pervasive belief in misinformation in Pakistan—particularly nationalistic misinformation—and the consequences for the country’s relations with its neighbors, the risk of international or domestic conflict, and attitudes toward Pakistan’s many ethnic minority groups. The report also discusses steps that policymakers can take to counteract misinformation.
Since Russia began its assault on Ukraine last February, India and China have straddled the fence by hinting at their concerns regarding the war’s global fallout while avoiding direct public criticism of Moscow. Despite rhetorical consternation and calls for a peaceful resolution, neither has shown a willingness to meaningfully push back against Putin’s escalations in Ukraine. Instead, the two Asian nuclear powers are approaching the situation with caution and calculated diplomacy to preserve their own strategic interests — both in Russia and the West.
When the People’s Defense Forces (PDFs) first coalesced in Myanmar in 2021, many viewed them as hastily organized groups of young vigilantes who would be quickly overrun by the junta’s military force, known as the Sit-Tat. Instead, the PDFs have grown in size, organization and capability over the last year and half, and now pose a major threat to the junta’s viability. Though they lack heavy equipment, an advanced command structure and international support, the proliferating PDFs have demonstrated remarkable tactical ingenuity and resilience. If they improve their command structure and weaponry, they could help expand territory under resistance control and hasten the junta’s demise.
This paper describes a virtual workshop on envisioning peace on the Korean Peninsula for youth from the United States, North Korea, and South Korea that was conducted over three days in January 2021. The workshop was designed, organized, and facilitated by the United States Institute of Peace, and participants were selected in partnership with Liberty in North Korea and the International Student Conferences' Korea-America Student Conference.
With Ukraine making massive gains on the ground, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s escalating threats "show that [he] is getting a little bit desperate," says USIP's Mary Glantz. "He's been feeling a lot of pressure to show some victories," which has left the world "holding their breath to see what might happen."
Serious combat has resumed in Myanmar’s Rakhine State, despite a continuing de facto cease-fire declared by the military just before its coup last year. Unlike previous rounds of fighting in Rakhine that could be viewed as a localized internal conflict, the renewed violence is taking place in the context of a nationwide civil war triggered by the coup, and its consequences are spreading far beyond the state’s borders. The resumption of war in Rakhine State, in short, could be a hinge on which the future of the resistance’s self-described “Spring Revolution” will turn. Its progression bears close watching.
Conflict-related sexual violence is not only an indicator of rising atrocity risk — it can also constitute an atrocity crime itself. And while the U.S. government has implemented conflict-related sexual violence response efforts, concurrent international efforts on the issue offer a solid foundation for the United States to go beyond responding to these crimes and toward prevention.