At the Berlin Conference last weekend, participants reached a “gentlemen’s agreement” to halt the influx of arms from international actors into Libya’s conflict. USIP’s Thomas Hill says that while “th...
USIP President and CEO Nancy Lindborg explains how U.S.-Iran tensions could exacerbate state fragility and hamper longstanding peacebuilding efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying, “All of this can be put at risk with the current tensions as both countries really fear becoming collateral damage.”
Iran has stated that—barring a U.S. response—the missile attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq will be the only immediate retaliation for the killing of Soleimani. USIP’s Sarhang Hamasaeed says this latest development offers an exit from further escalation, but “this doesn’t mean the broader tensions and the slower, more simmering tensions … will end.”
Following the attempted siege of the American Embassy in Iraq, USIP’s Elie Abouaoun says the U.S. must increase its presence in Iraq because it “doesn’t have the choice but to increase its investment … so that the expansion of Iranian influence is basically contained.”
This year has seen an extraordinary rise in people power. Despite significant coverage of these movements, many misconceptions about how they work persist. USIP’s Maria J. Stephan addresses those myths and says, “The most defining variable of successful nonviolent movements is large, diverse and sustained participation.”
With North Korea’s self-imposed, year-end deadline for a nuclear deal looming, USIP’s Frank Aum says that while complete denuclearization isn’t likely in the near term, “all of the components of a good-enough interim nuclear deal are there, but both sides need to be flexible on some of the harder issues.”
In Colombia, protesters are demanding that President Ivan Duque address concerns over economic inequality, corruption, the Venezuela crisis and implementation of the 2016 FARC peace accord in what USIP’s Steve Hege calls the country’s “largest mass mobilization in four decades.”
Returning from the Halifax International Security Forum, USIP President and CEO Nancy Lindborg explains why the growing number of “people power” movements around the world have left her optimistic, saying “the notion of what constitutes national security continues to evolve…security includes governments that are responsive to the needs of their people.”
As Israel appears headed for another election, the U.S. has reversed its long-standing position on the legality of Israeli settlements. The decision, according to USIP’s Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen, “comes after a long stream of events that’s made the possibility of bringing the parties back to the table extremely hard to imagine.”
The Afghan government and Taliban announced an agreement on a prisoner exchange this week, but it remains unclear what comes next. With the presidential election still undecided, “The question is if this is the beginning of a new peace strategy on the part of President Ghani, will he be the president a few months from now to carry that strategy forward?” asks USIP’s Scott Smith.