Both the eastern and western shores of the Red Sea increasingly function as a common political and security arena in which the U.S. has significant interests, including the free flow of $700 billion in commerce and competition for influence from external powers like China and Iran. To address the region’s interlinked challenges requires a comprehensive U.S. strategy, says Payton Knopf.
As the Assad regime consolidates power across Syria, Mona Yacoubian says that regime change is increasingly unlikely seven years into the civil war. But, the conflict remains complex, as the U.S. and coalition forces continue to work to eradicate remnants of ISIS and Israel becomes increasingly concerned over Iran’s military presence in neighboring Syria.
Following last week’s Ministerial to Advance Religious Freedom at the U.S. Department of State, Rev. Susan Hayward discusses the worldwide uptick in religious discrimination in recent years—which particularly impacts minority communities—and how religion shapes conflict and peace around the world.
On Pakistan’s Election Day, Moeed Yusuf analyzes the significance of the country holding its third democratic election in a row amid a persistent power imbalance between the military and civilian spheres. Concerning U.S. interests, Yusuf says American engagement with Pakistan must go beyond Afghanistan issues, which Islamabad does not view as a top priority.
Following a recent trip to Libya, USIP President Nancy Lindborg discusses how Libya has become the epicenter for refugees from the Middle East, Africa and South Asia migrating to Europe. “Even though the overall rates of migration into Europe have decreased,” says Lindborg, “they will continue as long as smuggling in Libya remains such a big business.”
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.
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.
Can South Sudan—the world’s youngest country—find peace? USIP’s Susan Stigant discusses the country’s political crisis and how its exacerbated by the outgrowth of opposition groups, millions of displaced citizens, and other complex challenges to restoring stability. Nevertheless, Stigant explains that peace is possible with U.S. leadership.
Following a peaceful run-off election in Colombia, Steve Hege shares his analysis on the victory of right-wing candidate Ivan Duque over leftist Gustavo Petro. At the top of Duque’s agenda, according to Hege, will be amending the peace accord with the FARC, resuming more aggressive drug eradication programs, increasing security, and strengthening the U.S.-Colombia relationship.
A temporary cease-fire between the Afghan government and the Taliban to mark the end of Ramadan may offer an opportunity to pursue a more ambitious political solution to end the conflict in Afghanistan, says USIP’s Scott Worden. While there is a chance that the cease-fire—the first since the war began in 2001—will be fleeting, as cease-fires are fragile by nature, it is an important trust-building measure. Combined with Afghanistan’s neighbors recently expressing their desire for an end to the stalemate, the cease-fire could be the first step to a more enduring peace.