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.
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.
China is the fourth largest foreign investor in Africa—more than three thousand Chinese firms operate there. An important but often overlooked aspect of this investment is the emergence of Beijing’s evolving corporate social responsibility policies and how they are applied, especially in Africa, which is what this Peace Brief explores.
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.
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.
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.
Regional leaders have endorsed the creation of a new peace initiative in South Sudan: the High Level Revitalization Forum (HLRF). The HLRF is intended to revive the stalled 2015 peace agreement in the country. This Peace Brief offers recommendations...
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...
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.
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. ...