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

From Nazis to ISIS: Women’s Roles in Violence

From Nazis to ISIS: Women’s Roles in Violence

Thursday, March 2, 2017

By: Fred Strasser

From the Nazi regime of the 1940s through the Islamic State of today’s Middle East, an obscured element of history runs though the phenomenon of violent extremism: the participation of women. Contrary to the classic image of women as victims or, at least more recently, peacemakers, new research shows how women can stoke, support and sometimes directly join in violent action, scholars said in a discussion at the U.S. Institute of Peace.

Gender; Violent Extremism

U.S. Afghanistan Veterans Recall the Costs of War

U.S. Afghanistan Veterans Recall the Costs of War

Wednesday, March 1, 2017

By: USIP Staff

When we estimate the costs of wars, our guesses can render figures too vast and numbing to really grasp. Brown University’s Costs of War project estimates that wars since 2001 involving U.S. forces have cost $4.8 trillion, 370,000 people killed in direct violence and nearly 1.2 million dead when indirect causes are counted. At the U.S. Institute of Peace on Feb. 22, a prominent journalist and U.S. combat veterans focused on a tiny but dramatic subset of costs—the price paid by these former soldiers when they were sent a decade ago to a perilous corner of Afghanistan.

Civilian-Military Relations

The Afghan Refugee Crisis in 2016

The Afghan Refugee Crisis in 2016

Monday, February 27, 2017

By: Belquis Ahmadi; Sadaf Lakhani

Hundreds of thousands of documented and undocumented refugees returned to Afghanistan in 2016, joining more than one million internally displaced within the country. International agencies warn of a humanitarian crisis that would affect hundreds of thousands of people as returnees struggle to meet basic needs. This Peace Brief provides an overview of the situation at the end of 2016, focusing on those returning from Pakistan, the humanitarian situation, and the security implications of the influx.

Fragility and Resilience; Violent Extremism; Human Rights

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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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