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.
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.
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.
USIP has produced five studies of minorities’ perceptions on reconciliation in the Nineveh province, including, Christian, Eyzidi (Yazidi), Sabean-Mandaean, Shabak and Turkomen communities. These assessments provide insights into conflict drivers and demands of these communities and include key findings, which have been shared with international and national stakeholders including the U.S. Government and the Government of Iraq.
A recent grassroots peace movement in Afghanistan began in late March 2018 as a series of sit-ins and a hunger strike in Helmand province demanding that both the government and Taliban implement a cease-fire. USIP’s Maria Stephan and Johnny Walsh discuss the significance of this nonviolent movement, how its bottom-up approach can strengthen the push for a peace, and what to expect from the movement going forward.
The renewed violence in CAR reflects the need for a consistent engagement by the international community to sustain a peacebuilding process in the country. Governments and international organizations too often have focused on the country sporadically, in short-term reactions to crises that offer only temporary solutions.
Following a meeting between U.S. National Security Advisor John Bolton and President Vladimir Putin this week, the White House announced that President Trump will sit down with his Russian counterpart for their first formal summit on July 16 in Helsinki, Finland. While both presidents Trump and Putin have repeatedly emphasized the need for improved ties, there are a host of contentious issues—such as the invasion of Ukraine and subsequent U.S. sanctions, Russia’s interference in U.S. and European elections, and the Syrian civil war—that could derail the effort to improve the bilateral relationship.
As U.S. officials build on last week’s summit conference with North Korea, two notable military-related outcomes could facilitate future diplomatic negotiations and help reduce tensions on the Korean Peninsula. They are (1) the cancellation of U.S.-South Korea joint military exercises and (2) the commitment to resume the recovery of remains of U.S. service personnel from the Korean War.
For over a decade, Russia’s Vladimir Putin has campaigned to subvert the liberal world order and undermine global norms by invading neighbors and interfering in democratic processes at home and abroad. To explain how Congress can counter Russian aggression, members of the House Foreign Affairs Subcommittee on Europe, Eurasia and Emerging Threats Rep. Francis Rooney (R-FL) and Rep. Bill Keating (D-MA) came together for a bipartisan dialogue at the U.S. Institute of Peace.