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The United States Institute of Peace was created by Congress as a non-partisan, federal institution that, in its view, works to prevent or end violent conflict around the world. President Ronald Reagan signed the United States Institute of Peace Act that established the Institute in 1984.
According to its Web site, USIP employees study conflicts, then find ways to end or prevent violence through analysis and on-the-ground training. The group is prohibited by law from receiving private funding. The use of federal funds buffers it from special interests.
The group works to prevent, manage and resolve violent international conflict by “promoting post-conflict stability and development,” according to its Web site. USIP seeks to bridge its analysis with action, incorporating training on the ground to prevent violent conflict or identify ways to end conflict by convening warring groups or tribes.
USIP works in more than 30 countries, including Sudan, Afghanistan, Pakistan and Iraq.
The Association of Professional Schools of International Affairs (APSIA) called USIP “an applied research facility” that “sponsors research and puts it to practice, training the next generation of professionals in the process.”[1] USIP’s Web site says its motto is to “think, act, teach and train.”
USIP convened the bipartisan Iraq Study Group in 2006. [2]
Because it is nonpartisan and federally funded, USIP builds its reputation as being a neutral government actor. The group has been called on to conduct so-called Track II diplomacy, in which USIP experts can engage in unofficial dialogue with diplomatic entities in a way that the official U.S. government can’t.
Richard Solomon, a former senior State Department official and ambassador to the Philippines, is the president of USIP. He has held that position since 1993.
On February 17, 2011, the House of Representatives for the 112th U.S. Congress voted to eliminate all funding to USIP in FY 2011 as part of a broader effort to cut federal spending.[3][4]
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