The departure of international combat troops in 2014 left Afghanistan with a struggling economy and a fragile security environment. Today, bad governance, corruption, and insurgent havens in Pakistan fuel a continuing conflict. The U.S. Institute of Peace works with the Afghan government and civil society organizations to address underlying causes of instability by strengthening the rule of law, countering violent extremism, expanding peace education, and promoting better governance and anti-corruption efforts. USIP also supports policy-relevant research on current causes of conflict in Afghanistan. Learn more in USIP’s fact sheet on The Current Situation in Afghanistan.

Featured Publications

Aid and Stabilization in  Afghanistan

Aid and Stabilization in Afghanistan

Monday, June 19, 2017

By: Ethan B. Kapstein

The question for international assistance efforts in fragile and conflict-affected countries is the extent to which aid programs are associated with changes in key metrics, including security, popular support for the government, community cohesion and resilience, population health, economic well-being, and internal violence. With an eye to lessons learned for the future, this report examines USAID stabilization programming in Afghanistan, focusing on whether it reduced violence, increased support for the government, and promoted other desirable political and economic outcomes.

Fragility and Resilience; Democracy & Governance; Justice, Security & Rule of Law; Economics & Environment

Industrial-Scale Looting of Afghanistan’s Mineral Resources

Industrial-Scale Looting of Afghanistan’s Mineral Resources

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

By: William Byrd; Javed Noorani

Afghanistan has been plagued by large-scale, open looting of mineral resources, involving significant mining operations, bulk transport of minerals along main roads, and crossing the border at just a few, government-controlled points. This mineral looting, amounting to hundreds of millions of dollars per year, involves widespread corruption, entrenches warlords and their networks, and fuels both local conflicts and the wider insurgency in Afghanistan. The government needs to begin to get a better handle on resource exploitation and to collect more substantial royalties and taxes from ongoing mining activities.

Economics & Environment

Fighting Serious Crimes

Fighting Serious Crimes

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

By: Colette Rausch; Editor

Fighting Serious Crimes: Strategies and Tactics for Conflict-Affected Societies is an invaluable resource for anyone battling serious crimes in societies seeking to avoid conflict, to escape from violence, or to recover and rebuild. Packed with practical guidance, this volume includes real world examples from more than twenty of today’s conflict zones, including Libya, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Colombia.

Justice, Security & Rule of Law

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Current Projects

Rule of Law in Afghanistan

Rule of Law in Afghanistan

The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) has been working since 2002 to strengthen the rule of law in Afghanistan by identifying peaceful means of dispute resolution, developing partnerships between state and community actors, and improving access to justice. USIP’s work has included learning through research and pilot projects, grant-making, and technical support to the Afghan government, Afghan communities, and international partners. With a Kabul-based field office, USIP has conducted r...

Justice, Security & Rule of Law

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