The Middle East: Divided, Dysfunctional

The Middle East: Divided, Dysfunctional

Wednesday, December 13, 2017

By: Garrett Nada

Even before President Donald Trump upended a core U.S. policy recognizing Jerusalem as Israel’s capital, late 2017 has been tumultuous in the Middle East. The Islamic State (ISIS) “caliphate” collapsed. Syria’s Assad regime all but won the six-year civil war, consolidating Iranian and Russian influence. Saudi Arabia purged...

Violent Extremism; Global Policy; Democracy & Governance; Fragility and Resilience

Iraq’s Impasse with Kurds Puts Post-ISIS Stabilization at Risk

Iraq’s Impasse with Kurds Puts Post-ISIS Stabilization at Risk

Thursday, January 11, 2018

By: Andrew Snow

The impasse between Iraq’s central government and its Kurdistan Region is building into an economic problem, and both sides need to quickly find a way to negotiate a solution. While political conflict between the authorities in Baghdad and the regional capital of Erbil has been quieter since Iraqi troops ousted Kurdish forces from disputed territories in October, the Kurdish region’s economy is unraveling, with risks for both sides.

Economics & Environment; Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Democracy & Governance

Violent Conflict and Vital Interests: Keeping Focus

Violent Conflict and Vital Interests: Keeping Focus

Thursday, February 16, 2017

By: Fred Strasser

Over the next decade, the United States can expect to face complex foreign challenges from terrorism, insurgencies and internal conflicts fanned by external sponsorship, but the threat of conventional state-on-state wars, including direct assaults on the American homeland, have significantly diminished, according to retired Lt. General Douglas Lute, the former ambassador to the North Atlantic Treaty Organization.

Global Policy; Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Civilian-Military Relations

The Jihadi Threat 5: Drivers of Extremism

The Jihadi Threat 5: Drivers of Extremism

Monday, December 12, 2016

Jihadism has always been produced by a confluence of factors. Some individuals are motivated to join jihadist movements by ideology, the desire for meaning and belonging, anger at the West, even wanderlust. Other conditions enable jihadism to flourish. They include the volatile mix of shifting demographics, notably a surge of youth, higher literacy, and greater social aspirations intersecting with economic woes, growing unemployment, and deepening political malaise or disillusionment. The mix...

The Jihadi Threat 6: Policy Considerations

The Jihadi Threat 6: Policy Considerations

Monday, December 12, 2016

The Muslim world is in a deep state of flux. A confluence of trends—ideological, geostrategic, sectarian, demographic, economic, and social—will shape the future of jihadism. In crafting policies to deal with jihadi movements, the United States and its allies face complex challenges. They cannot fight terrorism by simply “fighting” terrorism. Military means can disrupt, but they can’t permanently dismantle or reverse a trend initially spawned by deep political discontent.

From ISIS to Al-Qaida: The Changing Extremist Threat

From ISIS to Al-Qaida: The Changing Extremist Threat

Thursday, December 15, 2016

By: Fred Strasser

The Islamic State may be crumbling across Iraq, but the future prospects of violent extremist groups are far from fading. While ISIS rampaged across Iraq and Syria in 2014, setting up a terror-based regime to impose its will, a revitalized al-Qaida was taking a different, more sustainable approach by grafting itself onto local extremist groups, experts said in a forum at the U.S. Institute of Peace that also examined community approaches to preventing and countering violent extremism. Al-Qaid...

Violent Extremism; Fragility and Resilience; Democracy & Governance

Halting Yemen’s War: U.S. Must Lead, Nobel Peace Laureate Says

Halting Yemen’s War: U.S. Must Lead, Nobel Peace Laureate Says

Monday, September 14, 2015

By: Fred Strasser

Tawakkol Karman, the Yemeni human rights activist who won the Nobel Peace Prize in 2011, called on the United States to assume a bigger role in trying to revive a political process that might end the war now tearing her country apart. She urged the U.S. government to lead in pressing for a cease-fire and the transformation of Yemen’s militias into political parties.

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Gender; Religion; Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

The Iran Nuclear Deal: Pitfalls and Promises

The Iran Nuclear Deal: Pitfalls and Promises

Friday, July 24, 2015

By: Cameron Glenn

The debate swirling around the historic nuclear deal reached by Iran and the world’s six major powers this month played out among two nuclear experts, a sanctions specialist and an Iran scholar during an event co-hosted by USIP at the Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars yesterday. The discussion outlined many of the issues that will top agendas in Washington and Tehran as lawmakers in both countries consider the agreement in the coming months.

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Global Policy; Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

Q&A: Nuclear Deal Will Boost President Rouhani

Q&A: Nuclear Deal Will Boost President Rouhani

Friday, April 3, 2015

By: USIP Staff

Yesterday’s announced framework for a deal on Iran’s nuclear program will limit Iran’s nuclear activities in exchange for an end to international economic sanctions against the country. Many experts, including USIP’s Daniel Brumberg, have offered analysis of the agreement’s details, including its chances of preventing Iran from reaching a nuclear-weapons capability. Less attention has focused on the meaning of the accord for Iran and its place in the world. USIP expert and author Robin Wright...

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Global Policy

Q&A: In Principle, a Nuclear Agreement with Iran?

Q&A: In Principle, a Nuclear Agreement with Iran?

Friday, April 3, 2015

By: USIP Staff

Iran has agreed with six major powers—the five permanent members of the U.N. Security Council plus Germany—to limit its nuclear activities for at least a decade in exchange for an end to international economic sanctions. This agreement on principles, announced yesterday, is incomplete. More talks will be needed to decide numerous technical details, including the pace at which sanctions will be lifted. As USIP’s Robin Wright explores the ramifications of the agreement for Iran’s place in the w...

Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Global Policy