With talks finally underway between the Taliban and Afghan government, USIP’s Scott Worden says initial expectations should be tempered, as the chances for success are “low in the short term, but much higher than if the talks hadn’t begun,” adding, “you can’t end a war without starting a peace process.”
USIP’s Kathleen Kuehnast discusses the inspiring work of Women Building Peace Award recipient Rita Lopidia of South Sudan, as well as the other finalists, praising “the incredible resilience that each of these 10 women has brought to situations of inequality, of extreme violence, and despair.”
After an “obviously crooked election” in Belarus sparked massive protests, USIP’s Don Jensen says Russia is quietly using the situation to assert influence. If Moscow’s military presence in Belarus increases, “I think you’re going to see a much more forward projection of Russian power against NATO,” he said.
While a break from longstanding precedent, USIP’s Robert Barron says that normalization between Israel and the UAE was “perhaps a long time coming … [and] it definitely represents an upcoming generation of leadership in the Gulf.” Meanwhile, questions over Israel’s annexation plans continue to linger.
After months of public protests, a military coup has toppled Mali’s government. USIP’s Susan Stigant looks at the path forward, saying “there’s a real tension in trying to figure out how to restore that constitutional order without necessarily going back to the status quo prior to the coup.”
As Prime Minister Mustafa Al-Kadhimi makes his first official visit to Washington, USIP’s Sarhang Hamasaeed says the trip is a chance to reset relations between the two countries, but “it’s really important to not define the relationship … just in terms of security,” and also focus on Iraq’s economic challenges and recovery from ISIS.
In the wake of the Beirut explosion, USIP’s Osama Gharizi says much of the international aid is being channeled through NGOs and other third-party sources, as “there is a general loss of faith in the Lebanese establishment” after the prime minister and other officials were forced to resign.
With the Israeli-Palestinian peace process at a standstill, USIP’s Ambassador Hesham Youssef talks about a new, diverse quartet of states that can help reinvigorate talks, saying, “joining hands, they can influence both the Arab position and the European position.”
The global rise in religious discrimination and oppression risks creating new cycles of violence. USIP’s Jason Klocek says we must “rethink … some of the conventional wisdom we have about religious freedom and its relationship to peace and development” if we want to reverse this trend and prevent conflict.
As the United States and China focus more on Southeast Asia, USIP’s Brian Harding says the region’s 10 diverse nations have “become a pretty impressive bloc … [they] realize that U.S.-China competition is here to stay and they’re trying to do their best to navigate it and have agency of their own.”