Show cover of On Peace

On Peace

U.S. Institute of Peace experts discuss the latest foreign policy issues from around the world in this brief weekly collaboration with SiriusXM‘s POTUS Channel 124. In about 10 minutes, each episode of On Peace distills the most important aspects of a pressing peace and conflict challenge and highlights how the U.S. and international community might respond.


Binalakshmi Nepram on Elevating the Voices of Indigenous Peacebuilders
As part of the first-ever Global Summit on Indigenous Peacebuilding, indigenous leaders have created a worldwide network to share knowledge and advocate for “indigenous people and indigenous processes … [to] be woven into the larger fabric” of the peacebuilding field, says USIP’s Binalakshmi Nepram.
08:13 4/16/24
Vikram Singh on the U.S.-Japan-Philippines Trilateral Summit
The United States, Japan and the Philippines are holding their first-ever trilateral summit this week. China’s “unprecedented” pressure and aggression over maritime claims will top the agenda. “There’s a fairly clear resolve … to not just let China bully its way to changing the status quo in the region,” says USIP’s Vikram Singh.
09:38 4/9/24
Asfandyar Mir on Why ISIS-K Attacked Moscow
ISIS-K’s recent attack on the Russian capital was, in part, intended to assert the organization’s growing capacity to inflict terror beyond its home base of Afghanistan. “By reaching Moscow, ISIS-K is trying to signal it has the geographic reach to hit anywhere in the world,” says USIP’s Asfandyar Mir.
05:28 4/1/24
Angela Stent on the Terror Attack in Moscow
While ISIS has claimed responsibility for the devastating terror attack in Moscow, Putin has baselessly tried to shift the blame to Ukraine, says USIP’s Angela Stent: “[Putin] wants to use this to increase repression at home … and also to pursue a more aggressive path in Ukraine.”
11:13 3/25/24
Keith Mines on the Collapse of Haiti’s Governance
With the governing structure now collapsing, Haitian gangs “have the country in a stranglehold,” says USIP’s Keith Mines, and that the best path to re-establish stability is “to form a new transitional government that would be more inclusive, that would have better connections to the Haitian people.”
09:04 3/18/24
Lauren Baillie on the ICC’s Latest Warrants for Russian War Crimes
For the first time, the International Criminal Court has charged high-level Russian commanders with crimes against humanity — showing that Russia’s assault on civilians and civilian infrastructure in Ukraine is “not sporadic, it’s systematic, it’s purposeful, it’s part of a policy,” says USIP’s Lauren Baillie.
08:43 3/13/24
Sameer Lalwani on INDUS-X and the Importance of Technology Coalitions
Technology partnerships like the U.S.-India INDUS-X “are going to be critical to the U.S. being able to defend and deter rising threats in the future, including the challenge of China,” says USIP’s Sameer Lalwani. “We need the strength of our allies in these coalitions” to maintain a technological advantage.
10:22 3/5/24
Donald Jensen on the War in Ukraine’s Second Anniversary
Two years on, Russia’s full-scale invasion of Ukraine has turned into a grinding and costly territorial battle. And with so many major strategic questions left unanswered, “predicting [the conflict] going one way or the other is extremely difficult,” says USIP’s Donald Jensen. “A lot depends on what happens outside the battlefield.”
09:22 2/28/24
Thomas Sheehy on U.S. Investment in Africa’s Critical Minerals Infrastructure
Everything from the economy to national security depends on critical minerals like cobalt — which has prompted immense U.S. investment in Africa’s mining infrastructure, says USIP’s Thomas Sheehy: “Africa is seen as a continent where we can start to very slowly move away from our overdependence on China for critical minerals.”
08:03 2/22/24
Tamanna Salikuddin on Pakistan’s Elections
Surprisingly, candidates aligned with former Prime Minister Imran Khan won the most seats in Pakistan’s elections. But while voters “have shown their faith in democracy,” the lack of a strong mandate for any specific leader or institution “doesn’t necessarily bode well for [Pakistan’s] stability,” says USIP’s Tamanna Salikuddin.
08:59 2/12/24
Keith Mines on Haiti’s Security and Governance Crises
Haiti’s slow decline has led the country to the brink of collapse. And while the international community has offered to help, “there’s just a lot of pieces … that haven’t come together yet,” says USIP’s Keith Mines, adding: “It probably will take a stronger lead by the United States” to restore security and governance.
10:18 2/5/24
Joseph Sany on Secretary Blinken’s Africa Tour
U.S. Secretary of State Antony Blinken recently made diplomatic stops across West Africa to continue building U.S.-Africa cooperation. However, USIP’s Joseph Sany says, “The U.S. has to ensure that the speeches are followed by deed,” adding that “African countries will also have to play their part.”
11:59 1/29/24
Mary Speck on the Challenges Facing Guatemala’s New President
Despite legal challenges, Bernardo Arévalo has finally assumed Guatemala’s presidency. Attention now shifts to whether his anti-corruption platform can make a difference in a region beleaguered by instability, says USIP’s Mary Speck: “There’s a great deal of hope that Arévalo can show that democracy actually works.”
10:45 1/24/24
Jason Tower on China’s Growing Influence in Myanmar
A string of recent defeats for Myanmar’s junta has “re-energized the resistance across the country,” says USIP’s Jason Tower. But as China takes a more involved approach to the conflict, there are concerns that “growing Chinese influence might pose more of a challenge to a free and open Indo-Pacific in the future.”
08:06 1/18/24
Andrew Scobell on Taiwan’s Elections
The United States and China are watching closely as Taiwan prepares for elections on January 13. But while the stakes are high, USIP’s Andrew Scobell says there is a relative consensus among candidates regarding Taiwan’s foreign policy: “Whoever wins the election, we’re likely to see much more continuity than change.”
05:46 1/8/24
Susan Stigant on the Recent Crises in the Red Sea
While the U.S. tends to separate its policies on Africa and Middle East, USIP’s Susan Stigant says recent crises in the Red Sea highlight that “this is really an interconnected space” that currently lacks “any infrastructure … that connects together those who are making decisions” along the sea’s eastern and western shores.
09:05 1/2/24
Mark Feierstein on Venezuela’s Recent Push to Claim Part of Guyana
By intensifying Venezuela’s claim to resource-rich territory in neighboring Guyana, the Maduro regime is “trying to link this international dispute with his own domestic politics” in order to “whip up nationalist sentiment” ahead of 2024 Venezuelan elections, says USIP’s Mark Feierstein.
10:29 12/20/23
Kathleen Kuehnast on a Survivor-Centric Path to Ending Sexual Violence in War
Conflict-related sexual violence “not just violates the physical, but the mental and social integrity of societies.” To address this crime, USIP’s Kathleen Kuehnast says we need a survivor-centered approach: “Survivors are experts, they need to be [present] at every part of our understanding and … policy-shaping.”
10:14 12/14/23
Gordon Peake on COP28 and Climate Financing
As COP28 continues, it’s estimated that the world needs to invest $5.9 trillion to stave off climate change. “The big question now is … who’s going to pay for all this,” says USIP’s Gordon Peake, adding that “we also need to tamp down the use of fossil fuels” to prevent the bill for growing even more.
10:30 12/4/23
Andrew Cheatham on the Private Sector’s Role in Conflict Resolution
As the international community discusses new approaches for building peace, the private sector is “increasingly a major part of these geopolitical discussions,” says USIP’s Andrew Cheatham, with more and more “partnerships of states and private sector corporations working together to pursue national interests.”
09:17 11/29/23
Priscilla Clapp on the Recent Success of Myanmar’s Resistance
Increased coordination between various elements of Myanmar’s resistance has sparked massive gains, says USIP’s Priscilla Clapp: “In just a few weeks, the opposition forces have managed to dislodge the military from their bases and encampments” along many parts of the borders with China, Thailand, India and Bangladesh.
07:05 11/20/23
Kathleen Kuehnast on Preventing Conflict-Related Sexual Violence
Last month, the U.N. Security Council echoed past assessments that not enough has been done to address conflict-related sexual violence. But researchers “have established that this particular crime of war is not inevitable,” says USIP’s Kathleen Kuehnast, and there are new strategies for “how best to address the trauma” and prevent it.
10:14 11/15/23
Heather Ashby on How the Israel-Hamas War Affects Russia and Ukraine
The conflict in the Middle East is helping divert attention away from Russia’s war in Ukraine. And despite rumors of peace talks, USIP’s Heather Ashby says neither side seems willing to budge: “I don’t think people should be optimistic that there will be negotiations … even with a third party trying to bring the sides together.”
10:18 11/6/23
Andrew Scobell on China’s Aggression in the South China Sea
In asserting its claims in the South China Sea, Beijing “recognizes that international law is not on its side,” says USIP’s Andrew Scobell. Instead, China has resorted to gray-zone provocations against the Philippines and others that “are deliberate, on China’s part, to keep [the situation] below the threshold of war.”
07:49 10/30/23
Carla Freeman on China’s Belt and Road Initiative at 10
When the ambitious Belt and Road Initiative (BRI) was announced, developing countries were eager to partner with Beijing on infrastructure projects. But a decade later, “a lot of these countries are saddled with immense debt … now that the hype is over, there’s a lot more international scrutiny” of the BRI, says USIP’s Carla Freeman.
08:42 10/23/23
Mary Speck on Guatemala’s Protests
President-elect Bernardo Arevalo’s electoral victory in August “has not sat well with the political establishment” in Guatemala, says USIP’s Mary Speck, and their attempts to undermine the transition have been met by popular protests led by Indigenous leaders advocating “on behalf of democracy.”
06:37 10/16/23
Donna Charles on Ghana’s Democracy Amid West Africa’s Instability
Ghana represents a “bastion of democracy” in a region beset by political instability. With Ghanaian President Nana Akufo-Addo visiting Washington, D.C., this week, the United States can deepen cooperation in a way that “really supports the U.S. message of bringing peace through democracy,” says USIP’s Donna Charles.
08:21 10/10/23
Keith Mines on the New Multinational Security Force for Haiti
The U.N. Security Council approved a multinational security force to address Haiti’s rampant gang violence — but another major challenge will be the volatile political environment. “There’s a lot of work just on government capacity,” says USIP’s Keith Mines. “It would behoove the international community to buckle down and build that capacity.”
09:17 10/5/23
Gordon Peake on the Second U.S.-Pacific Islands Summit
U.S. engagement with the Pacific Islands is “still in the honeymoon phase,” says USIP’s Gordon Peake. But as President Biden hosts the second U.S.-Pacific Islands Summit, there are a number of thorny issues that Pacific Island leaders are “hoping to get practical assistance from the United States” to address.
07:42 9/26/23
Ambassador William Taylor on Zelenskyy’s U.S. Visit
With Ukraine’s counteroffensive making slow, grinding progress, President Zelenskyy will meet with U.S. officials this week in search of long-term assurances “that once he pushes the Russians out of his country, they won’t come back,” says USIP’s Ambassador William Taylor, adding: “The ultimate assurance … is membership in NATO.
13:25 9/18/23

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