On Peace
Scott Worden on Afghan Elections and the Peace Process

Scott Worden on Afghan Elections and the Peace Process

February 19, 2020

Amid news of an interim U.S.-Taliban deal, Afghanistan’s election commission announced President Ashraf Ghani has won reelection—a result his opponent has openly rejected. USIP’s Scott Worden warns this kind of political infighting weakens the government’s negotiating position ahead of possible intra-Afghan talks, saying “the Taliban profit from political chaos.”

Payton Knopf on What’s Ahead for the Horn of Africa in 2020

Payton Knopf on What’s Ahead for the Horn of Africa in 2020

February 13, 2020

As Arab Gulf states and Turkey ramp up their competition for influence in the Horn of Africa, USIP’s Payton Knopf says the increased attention “has tended to exacerbate some of the internal tensions and political insecurities” in Ethiopia and Sudan—two states undergoing democratic transitions vital for regional stability.

Dr. Elie Abouaoun on the Situation in Syria

Dr. Elie Abouaoun on the Situation in Syria

February 6, 2020

After direct military confrontations between the Assad regime and Turkey in Syria’s Idlib province, USIP’s Dr. Elie Abouaoun explains how the Turkish and Russian governments are trying to contain the fallout, saying “I do not think any party has an interest right now in provoking a full-blown escalation.”

Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen on the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Plan

Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen on the Israeli-Palestinian Peace Plan

January 29, 2020

Discussing the Trump administration’s long-awaited peace plan, USIP’s Lucy Kurtzer-Ellenbogen says that although the proposal nods toward a two-state solution, the details leave one “hard pressed to see how it serves as a formula or basis for bringing both parties back to the table.”

Thomas Hill on Libya Peace Talks in Berlin

Thomas Hill on Libya Peace Talks in Berlin

January 22, 2020

At the Berlin Conference last weekend, participants reached a “gentlemen’s agreement” to halt the influx of arms from international actors into Libya’s conflict. USIP’s Thomas Hill says that while “there’s probably something for both pessimists and optimists,” the lack of any formal agreement means the results are “tenuous at best.”

Nancy Lindborg on the Iran Crisis and its Impact on Iraq and Afghanistan

Nancy Lindborg on the Iran Crisis and its Impact on Iraq and Afghanistan

January 16, 2020

USIP President and CEO Nancy Lindborg explains how U.S.-Iran tensions could exacerbate state fragility and hamper longstanding peacebuilding efforts in Iraq and Afghanistan, saying, “All of this can be put at risk with the current tensions as both countries really fear becoming collateral damage.”

Sarhang Hamasaeed on U.S.-Iran Tensions

Sarhang Hamasaeed on U.S.-Iran Tensions

January 9, 2020

Iran has stated that—barring a U.S. response—the missile attacks on U.S. bases in Iraq will be the only immediate retaliation for the killing of Soleimani. USIP’s Sarhang Hamasaeed says this latest development offers an exit from further escalation, but “this doesn’t mean the broader tensions and the slower, more simmering tensions … will end.”

Dr. Elie Abouaoun on Iraq and U.S.-Iran Tensions

Dr. Elie Abouaoun on Iraq and U.S.-Iran Tensions

January 2, 2020

Following the attempted siege of the American Embassy in Iraq, USIP’s Elie Abouaoun says the U.S. must increase its presence in Iraq because it “doesn’t have the choice but to increase its investment … so that the expansion of Iranian influence is basically contained.”

Maria Stephan on What We Get Wrong About Protest Movements

Maria Stephan on What We Get Wrong About Protest Movements

December 19, 2019

This year has seen an extraordinary rise in people power. Despite significant coverage of these movements, many misconceptions about how they work persist. USIP’s Maria J. Stephan addresses those myths and says, “The most defining variable of successful nonviolent movements is large, diverse and sustained participation.”

Frank Aum on the Year in North Korea Diplomacy

Frank Aum on the Year in North Korea Diplomacy

December 12, 2019

With North Korea’s self-imposed, year-end deadline for a nuclear deal looming, USIP’s Frank Aum says that while complete denuclearization isn’t likely in the near term, “all of the components of a good-enough interim nuclear deal are there, but both sides need to be flexible on some of the harder issues.”