Reflecting on the 40th anniversary of the Egypt-Israel peace treaty, Kurtzer-Ellenbogen says, “One of the big factors with the Egypt-Israel agreement was … bold, courageous leadership that was willing to make unprecedented moves … That’s of course eventually what’s going to need to happen to come to an agreement between the Israelis and Palestinians.”
Iraq is beginning to stabilize after its military victory against ISIS, but international assistance—without political meddling—remains badly needed to rebuild its economy and social fabric, the speaker of Iraq’s parliament, Mohamed al-Halbousi, said.
A year ago today, 42-year old reformist politician Abiy Ahmed became prime minister of Ethiopia. Abiy came to power during a deep political crisis with widespread grievances across this country of over 105 million people, and quickly began to enact political reforms. USIP’s Aly Verjee and Payton Knopf discuss Abiy’s year as prime minister and identify the challenges that lie ahead for eastern Africa’s most populous country.
Pakistan continues to face multiple sources of internal and external conflict. While incidences of domestic terrorism have reduced, in part due to measures taken by the Pakistani state, extremism and intolerance of diversity has grown.
USIP recently partnered with New America to convene roundtable discussions with government, civil society, and humanitarian, development, and peacebuilding organizations to learn from the past decade of women’s programming in fragile states such as Iraq and Afghanistan. Based on these discussions, this report provides guidance for improving future programming to not only integrate the needs of women but also recognize the role women play in transforming violent conflict and sustaining a durable peace.
Iraq has been ravaged in recent years by cycles of warfare, an internally displaced persons (IDPs) crisis, crippling sectarianism and, most destructively, a three-year campaign to drive ISIS from the third of the country it controlled. Even after the military defeat of ISIS, Iraq continues to face severe challenges including resolving the political, sectarian, and tribal conflicts that fueled the spread of extremism and its entanglement in regional rivalries.
In recent months there has been a flurry of movement in the Afghan peace process, leading to talk of a “peace dividend” that would boost the country’s economy and incentivize and sustain peace. For example, the November 2018 Geneva international conference on Afghanistan called for donors and development and regional partners to develop a post-settlement economic action plan. But what would a peace dividend look like in war-torn Afghanistan? In the short run, could it help incentivize the insurgency and state actors to agree and adhere to a peace agreement? And in the longer term, could it help sustain peace and lead to a more prosperous and stable Afghanistan?
USIP’s Sarhang Hamasaeed says, “Iraq is at its best state in the last five years. The country is recovering from an existential fight with ISIS … and the Kurds are now back in Iraq’s politics and more involved.” Yet, many Iraqis remain disenchanted with the country’s political leaders and are skeptical of the government’s ability to deliver services, security, and jobs.
Over 35 million Ukrainians are eligible to choose their next president on March 31. However, several million voters in Russia-annexed Crimea and rebel-held parts of east Ukraine will not be able to vote, demonstrating how the conflict with Moscow looms large over these elections.
The September 2016 peace accord between the Afghan government and the Hezb-e Islami militant group has been regarded as a first major step toward restoring Afghanistan to a state of peace. This Special Report provides a firsthand account of the protracted negotiations that led to the agreement—and offers important insights for how similar talks might proceed with the Taliban.