After a series of disquieting meetings with European and NATO allies last week, President Trump met with Russian leader Vladimir Putin in a bid to restore relations between Washington and Moscow. In the lead up to summit, President Trump sought to temper expectations, but repeatedly affirmed his longstanding belief that improved relations with Russia would be beneficial for U.S. interests. With so many high-stake issues for the two to discuss—ranging from Ukraine to Syria and arms control to Russian meddling in U.S. and European democratic processes—it remains to be seen if the summit will lead to further rapprochement.
After a trip to assess humanitarian crises in some of the world’s most troubled nations, U.S. Senator Jeff Merkley said he concluded that a matrix of conflict, corruption and “climate chaos” is driving one of the biggest periods of displacement in modern history.
After completing an academic year as one of four USIP Peace Teachers, Ezra Shearer discusses his experience engaging, empowering, and challenging students on how to mitigate conflict. Building negotiation and communication skills, says Shearer, a teacher at Sentinel High School in Missoula, Montana, is a critical life skill for students.
Intermittently, images spring from the news to shock us with the suffering of children brutalized by war or their families' desperate flight as refugees. Three years ago, the body of Alan Kurdi, a Syrian boy drowned on a Turkish beach, administered that shock. Central American children uprooted by the violence of Honduras or El Salvador now underscore the same message—that amid the world's people scarred by war and violence, a special danger is children. Among the 65 million people torn from their homes, most by warfare, roughly half are children.
Our mission to prevent violent conflict is a cost effective contribution to U.S. national security that saves lives and protects military, diplomatic and development investments world-wide. USIP’s unique status gives it the flexibility to work in conflict zones with both government and civil society. No national security actor or private non-profit can perform this Congressional-mandated mission.
The deal signed with Hezb-e Islami in September 2016 was the Afghanistan government’s first major success at negotiating a peace agreement with an insurgent group. This new report examines how the deal was negotiated, what progress has been made on its implementation, and what lessons can be applied to prospective peace talks with the Taliban.
Ahead of the highly anticipated Trump-Putin meeting and the NATO summit in Europe later this month, Ambassador Taylor discusses the key issues that will be on the agenda at both, including Russian meddling in U.S. elections and Moscow’s aggressive actions in Europe as well as NATO members’ progress as it relates to U.S. concerns over burden-sharing.
Turkish President Recep Tayyip Erdogan this month takes up new executive powers, making him only more central to U.S. interests in neighboring Syria, Iraq and Iran. Yet Erdogan’s nationalism-tinged re-election last week will complicate relations, according to former U.S. ambassador to Turkey Eric Edelman.
Over the past two weeks, the Syrian government has embarked on a military offensive across Syria’s southwest, focused on retaking the city of Dara’a. Russia has played a critical role, backing the operations with airstrikes. The United Nations estimates that at least 160,000 Syrian civilians have been displaced by the fighting, and the number could increase as the battle intensifies.
With an eye to an eventual end to the Afghan insurgency, this report examines the struggle within Afghanistan’s National Unity Government over the country’s security sector and the related impact on the recruitment of Hezb-e Islami commanders and fighters in the security forces as agreed to under a 2016 peace deal.