Events at USIP
Afghanistan in 2020: Is Peace Possible?

Afghanistan in 2020: Is Peace Possible?

April 26, 2018

The search for peace has become a central focus of Afghanistan policy in Washington and for Kabul. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani offered the Taliban constitutional reform and status as a legitimate political party in late February on the condition that the group makes peace. In recent months, the Taliban have also publicly offered talks with the United States and prominent Afghan powerbrokers, and high-profile peace demonstrations in conflict-torn Helmand province have spread across much of the country.

Speakers:
Ambassador Timothy Carney
Former U.S. Ambassador to Sudan and Haiti

John Wood
Associate Professor, National Defense University and former U.S. National Security Council Senior Director for Afghanistan

Johnny Walsh
Senior Expert, Afghanistan, U.S. Institute of Peace and former U.S. Department of State lead for Afghan reconciliation

Courtney Cooper
International Affairs Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations and former U.S. National Security Council Director for Afghanistan

Ahmad Mohibi
Founder and President, Rise to Peace

Michael Sherwin, Moderator
Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice and former U.S. Navy Intelligence Officer

 

Aiding Afghanistan’s Economy - Lessons from the U.S. Experience

Aiding Afghanistan’s Economy - Lessons from the U.S. Experience

April 20, 2018

Since 2001, the United States and international donors have supported Afghanistan in its attempt to build a thriving private-sector economy. Despite 17 years of effort, progress has been mixed and much remains to be done. Please join USIP and the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) for a presentation and panel discussion on how the United States can improve its private-sector development and economic growth efforts in Afghanistan and in other states emerging from conflict.

At this report launch event, SIGAR will release its latest lessons learned report, Private Sector Development and Economic Growth: Lessons from the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan. This report examines how the U.S. government supported private sector development in Afghanistan since 2001 through efforts led by USAID, with additional significant roles played by the Departments of State, Defense, Commerce, and Treasury. It discusses the myriad challenges of supporting economic development in Afghanistan and offers key findings, lessons, and recommendations to improve private sector development efforts.

Participants:
John F. Sopko, Keynote Address
Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction

Scott Worden, Moderator
Director, Afghanistan and Central Asia Programs, U.S. Institute of Peace

William Byrd
Senior Expert, Afghanistan, U.S. Institute of Peace

Paul Fishstein
Lead Research Analyst, Lessons Learned Program, Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction

Mary Louise Vitelli, Esq.
President, Vitelli & Associates, and former advisor to Afghan Ministry of Mines and Petroleum

China and North Korea Conference - War and its Aftermath on the Korean Peninsula - What Role Could China Play?

China and North Korea Conference - War and its Aftermath on the Korean Peninsula - What Role Could China Play?

April 18, 2018

This panel will discuss the contours of a potential conflict on the Korean Peninsula, to include U.S. operations, how China may respond, and opportunities for cooperation. Participants will also examine Beijing’s role in shaping the post-war situation on the peninsula.

Panelists:

Jennifer Staats, Moderator
Director, East and Southeast Asia Programs, U.S. Institute of Peace

Abraham Denmark
Director, Asia Program, Woodrow Wilson International Center for Scholars

Lieutenant General Jan-Marc Jouas
USAF (Ret.) Former Deputy Commander, US Forces Korea and United Nations Command Korea

Oriana Skylar Mastro
Assistant Professor of Security Studies, Georgetown University
Jeanne Kirkpatrick Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

China and North Korea Conference - Ambasssador Mark Lippert Keynote Address

China and North Korea Conference - Ambasssador Mark Lippert Keynote Address

April 18, 2018

With international attention focused on a potential U.S.-North Korea summit meeting in May, North Korean leader Kim Jong Un made a surprise trip to Beijing in late March to meet with Chinese President Xi Jinping. The North Korean leader’s visit to Beijing, his first foreign visit since assuming power in late 2011, came amid strained bilateral relations in recent years. Kim and Xi appear to have reinvigorated the historical bonds between the two countries and reaffirmed China’s crucial role in the future of the Korean Peninsula. Ambassador Mark Lippert will offer a keynote address that will explore the dynamics and tensions of the historical relationship between China and North Korea, the potential impact of Korean reunification on China, and China’s role in a limited military conflict and its aftermath.

Speakers:

Ambassador Mark Lippert, Keynote Speaker
Current member of the Board of Trustees at the Asia Foundation and former U.S. Ambassador to South Korea.

Oriana Skylar Mastro, Moderator
Assistant Professor of Security Studies, Georgetown University
Jeanne Kirkpatrick Scholar, American Enterprise Institute

China and North Korea Conference - Would a Reunified Korea under South Korean Leadership be Positive or Negative for China?

China and North Korea Conference - Would a Reunified Korea under South Korean Leadership be Positive or Negative for China?

April 18, 2018

This panel will assess China’s position on the ideal end state for the Korean Peninsula and whether a reunified peninsula under South Korean leadership would be beneficial or detrimental to Chinese economic, political, and security interests given South Korean, Japanese and U.S. likely responses.

Panelists:

Frank Aum, Moderator
Senior Expert on North Korea, U.S. Institute of Peace

Yun Sun
Co-Director, East Asia Program; Director, China Program, Stimson Center

Heung-Kyu Kim
Director and Professor of Political Science, China Policy Institute, Ajou University, South Korea

Michael Green
Chair in Modern and Contemporary Japanese Politics and Foreign Policy and Director of Asian Studies, Georgetown University
Senior Vice President for Asia and Japan Chair, Center for Strategic and International Studies

China and North Korea Conference - China and North Korea Relations

China and North Korea Conference - China and North Korea Relations

April 18, 2018

This panel will examine the historical China-North Korea relationship, changes in political and security relations, and role of past and present economic ties on the future of the bilateral relationship.

Panelists:

Dennis Wilder, Moderator
Managing Director, Initiative for US-China Dialogue on Global Issues; Assistant Professor of Practice, Asian Studies Program, Georgetown University

Stella Xu
Associate Professor of History, Roanoke College

Yafeng Xia
Professor of History, Long Island University Brooklyn

Junsheng Wang
Visiting Senior Fellow, Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security, Atlantic Council
Director and Associate Professor, Department of China’s Regional Strategy, National Institute of International Strategy, Chinese Academy of Social Sciences, China

Countering Illicit Funding of Terrorism - A Bipartisan Congressional Dialogue

Countering Illicit Funding of Terrorism - A Bipartisan Congressional Dialogue

April 17, 2018

Criminal and terrorist networks are exploiting today’s innovative technologies for their own gain, posing a direct threat to U.S. security and global stability. Illicit terrorist financing, including through bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, are now being used to fund terrorist groups and circumvent U.S. sanctions. ISIS and rogue nation-states like North Korea, and regional powers like Iran and Russia, sanctioned for their role in conflicts, may also look to illicit financing in order to exploit the international financial system.

The National Security Strategy for 2018 says the United States will “use sophisticated investigative tools to disrupt the ability of criminals to use online marketplaces, cryptocurrencies, and other tools for illicit activities.” On April 17, Representative Steve Pearce (R-NM) and Representative Jim Himes (D-CT) will discuss the growing threat of illicit exploitation of online terrorist financial networks and steps the U.S. should take to improve security and reduce global conflict. Both members serve on the House Financial Services Subcommittee on Terrorism and Illicit Finance, where Rep. Pearce serves as chairman.

Speakers:

Nancy Lindborg, moderator
President, U.S. Institute of Peace

Rep. Steve Pearce (R-NM)
2nd Congressional District of New Mexico, U.S. House of Representatives

Rep. Jim Himes (D-CT)
4th Congressional District of Connecticut, U.S. House of Representatives

Hidden Wounds - Trauma and Civilians in the Syrian Conflict

Hidden Wounds - Trauma and Civilians in the Syrian Conflict

April 16, 2018

Seven years of conflict in Syria have exacted an enormous human toll and led to widespread physical destruction. The psychological impact of the war, although less visible, has been just as devastating. The levels of trauma and distress impacting Syrian civilians, especially children have been staggering with nearly 500,000 killed, half the population displaced and more than 13 million Syrians in need of humanitarian assistance. The traumatic impact of the Syrian conflict is less often acknowledged, but could significantly impair the ability of Syrian civilians to recover and build a more peaceful future.  Join USIP and specialists from the Syrian American Medical Society, the U.S. State Department and Save the Children for a panel discussion, addressing an aspect of the Syrian conflict that often receives less attention than it deserves.

Speakers:

Nancy Lindborg, opening remarks
President, U.S. Institute of Peace,

Mona Yacoubian, moderator
Senior Advisor, Syria, the Middle East and North Africa, USIP

Catherine Bou-Maroun
Foreign Affairs Officer, Bureau of Near Eastern Affairs, U.S. Department of State

Dr. Mohamed Khaled Hamza
Mental Health Committee, Chair; & Foundation Board Member, Syrian American Medical Society (SAMS), Professor of Clinical Mental Health, Lamar University-Texas State System

Amy Richmond
Director, Child Protection in Emergencies, Save the Children

Colombia Peace Forum - Elections and Peace Processes in Colombia

Colombia Peace Forum - Elections and Peace Processes in Colombia

April 16, 2018

While threats of violence marred recent legislative campaigns in Colombia, the March 11 election was Colombia’s most peaceful in decades. Although the FARC’s new political party underperformed, its comprehensive demobilization was palpable and the National Liberation Army (ELN), the country’s second-largest rebel group, respected a temporary unilateral ceasefire. For the first time in 50 years, ballots were cast freely throughout the country and not a single incident of violence was recorded.

With the composition of Colombia’s next Congress set, jockeying and coalition-building among the main candidates is fully underway ahead of the May 27 presidential polls. The outcome will have important implications for the precarious implementation of the 2016 FARC peace accord, which has yet to tackle key political and agrarian reforms, and the next president will also have to chart a way forward for the dialogues with the ELN as talks in Quito race against the clock to design a new indefinite bilateral ceasefire and cement the parameters for public participation in future negotiations.

Speakers:
Alejandra Barrios
Director, Electoral Observation Mission and former President of the Global Network of Domestic Electoral Monitors

Juanita Goebertus
Colombian Congresswoman, Former Member of the Government Peace Delegation with the FARC

Mark Schneider
Senior Advisor, Center for Strategic and International Studies

Jonas Claes
Senior Program Officer, Preventing Election Violence, U.S. Institute of Peace

Steve Hege, Moderator
Senior Program Officer, Security & Justice, U.S. Institute of Peace

Ending Civil Wars

Ending Civil Wars

April 13, 2018

As a part of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences’ ongoing project on Civil Wars, Violence and International Responses, the second volume of a special issue of the journal Dædalus was released in January 2018 to explore trends in civil wars and solutions moving forward. Join us as experts discuss their findings and recommendations on how the United States can better respond to intrastate conflict and promote both development and stability to create lasting peace.