Burma’s Northern Shan State and Prospects for Peace

Burma’s Northern Shan State and Prospects for Peace

Friday, September 29, 2017

By: David Scott Mathieson

This Brief focuses on conflict dynamics to provide an overview of resurgent conflict patterns in northern Shan State over the past two years, outlines the armed groups involved, their competing interests, the human rights effects on the civilians in the area, and how the fighting has affected the nationwide ceasefire.

Peace Processes; Democracy & Governance

Reviving Commercial Development of Afghanistan’s Aynak Copper Resource

Reviving Commercial Development of Afghanistan’s Aynak Copper Resource

Thursday, September 21, 2017

By: William Byrd

While other, smaller mineral resources are being rampantly looted, Afghanistan’s large Aynak copper deposit—worth upward $50 billion—has languished unexploited despite being contracted to a Chinese consortium nearly a decade ago. This Peace Brief seeks to understand what went wrong and explores options for breaking out of the current impasse. Resuscitating the development of Aynak, though challenging, would send a powerful signal of beneficial exploitation of Afghanistan’s mineral resources.

Economics & Environment; Democracy & Governance

China’s Evolving North Korea Strategy

China’s Evolving North Korea Strategy

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

By: Oriana Skylar Mastro

Despite Pyongyang’s recent ballistic missile and nuclear activity and threats, Beijing continues to resist US requests to apply greater economic pressure on North Korea. This measured response aside, nuanced but highly significant changes in China’s thinking on North Korea are clear. China may now be willing to envision both a future in which North Korea is not a sovereign state and a greater role for the Chinese military in any contingency. This Peace Brief reviews this thinking as well as potential Chinese motivations to intervene militarily in a Korea contingency and the implications for US policy.

Justice, Security & Rule of Law; Global Policy; Conflict Analysis & Prevention

Group Cohesion and Peace Processes

Group Cohesion and Peace Processes

Tuesday, September 12, 2017

By: Cale Salih; Stephen Gray

Drawing on a wide range of cases, including Burma, Colombia, Senegal, and Uganda, this Peace Brief discusses the internal cohesion of nonstate armed groups, explains how weak cohesion can undermine a peace process, and offers various strategies that those supporting peace processes can deploy to mitigate such risks.

Peace Processes

Preventing Election Violence in Liberia

Preventing Election Violence in Liberia

Thursday, September 7, 2017

By: Jonas Claes; Inken von Borzyskowski

Liberia will hold presidential and legislative elections on October 10. The run-up to the vote has been primarily peaceful, and the country has engaged in ongoing efforts to prevent election violence. This Peace Brief, based on USIP research, assesses the risk of election violence and the scope of violence prevention efforts, and provides recommendations for ongoing prevention.

Electoral Violence; Democracy & Governance

Reconciliation and Transitional Justice in Nepal: A Slow Path

Reconciliation and Transitional Justice in Nepal: A Slow Path

Wednesday, August 2, 2017

By: Colette Rausch

In 2006, the government of Nepal and Maoist insurgents brokered the end of a ten-year civil war that had killed thousands and displaced hundreds of thousands. The ensuing Comprehensive Peace Agreement laid out a path to peace and ushered in a coalition government. Nepal’s people were eager to see the fighting end. Their political leaders, however...

Reconciliation; Justice, Security & Rule of Law

Illegal Extraction of Minerals as a Driver of Conflict in Afghanistan

Illegal Extraction of Minerals as a Driver of Conflict in Afghanistan

Monday, July 24, 2017

By: Sadaf Lakhani ; Julienne Corboz

Based on qualitative surveys and focus group discussions with communities in four Afghan provinces, this Peace Brief analyzes how nonstate actor control over small-scale mining sites and illegal extraction contributes to conflict, the local political economy, and the incentive structures that support illegal extraction.

Economics & Environment; Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Democracy & Governance

The Military’s Role in Countering Violent Extremism

The Military’s Role in Countering Violent Extremism

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

By: Edward Powers

The U.S. military, through its stabilizing mission, has a role to play in countering and eliminating the drivers of violent extremism (VE). Though the military has effective counterterrorism (CT) capability, there is a gap in its counter-VE (CVE) strategies that can be closed by linking reactive CT operations to preventative efforts to remove the drivers of VE. ...

Violent Extremism; Civilian-Military Relations