Save the United States Institute of Peace - House Voted to Cut All Funding (Please Take Action and Share the News)

Save the United States Institute of Peace - House Voted to Cut All Funding!

Please also call your representatives/senators next week, to find your congressperson go
Targeting: The President of the United States, The U.S. Senate, and The U.S. House of Representatives
Started by: The Peace Alliance

Recently, the new US House voted to cut all of the United States Institute of Peace’s funding. All of it! 

To put it mildly, this is a stunning development that could prove to be a serious setback for the work of peacebuilding around the world and a blow to the growing movement we've been seeing for peacebuilding investment in our government.  

The United States Institute of Peace Act, passed by the Congress and signed into law in 1984, established the Institute as a publicly funded national institution. Congressional leaders spearheading the charge to eliminate USIP wrote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed that USIP is a “waste of taxpayer money.” 

The funding in question, $42 million, is change by Federal Government standards. $42 million Is one tenth of one percent of the State Department budget, not even enough funds to support 40 troops in Afghanistan for a year, nor to pay for three hours of the Afghanistan War. Yet this small investment in USIP is one of the smartest investments the US government can make. As one of the only institutions in Federal government working to support peacebuilding, the Institute desperately needs our support.

Iraq would have further spiraled out of control had USIP not existed.

When the situation on the ground in Iraq seemed it could not get any worse, our country turned to USIP for answers.  USIP President Richard Solomon writes:  “When Congress needed a forward-looking bipartisan commission to evaluate U.S. options in Iraq, they turned to USIP. Under the co-chairmanship of former Secretary of State James A. Baker and Rep. Lee Hamilton, we gathered input from many organizations to produce what became a widely recognized guide to dealing with Iraq: The Iraq Study Group.”

USIP has also played a critical role in Afghanistan.  According to General David Patreus:  “USIP’s work on the informal justice system has been invaluable as we work toward improving rule of law at the provincial level.  Their plans for reconciliation efforts at the community level on the Afghanistan/Pakistan border are likewise a potential key to success in the enormous challenges we face.”

USIP has a proven track-record as the pioneering US institute advancing peacebuilding on our behalf, a bright light emanating from our nation throughout some of the darkest corners on the planet.  USIP’s budget ought not to be cut.  It ought to increased!

Prevention and nonviolent intervention pay off. There is a temptation, and it far too often turns out to be the reality, that we cut prevention and intervention programs first when budgets get tight. That's true from the community level all the way up to national - and it's exactly the opposite of what we should do, both from a fiscal and moral perspective.  This is an issue we must stand behind.  We cannot allow the USIP to slip away.  Please work with us.  Take action today!


To see other key news on USIP visit

Tags: Advocacy, Congress, Funding, Take Action, United States Institute of Peace

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Replies to This Discussion

It is true that war against terrorism which US is fighting in Afghanistan made a hole in US economy plus it has  not achieved desired result. 

We can not deny the efforts of US a  to establish peace and  in disturbed country like Iraq , Afghanistan, Pakistan,lot of money and energy has invested to bring peace in this region but so far not achieved as US and world desire.

There is a great need to make a joint efforts by following the  path of nonviolence,and positive approach to the core problems, religious tolerance is greatly needed to solve all the problems .We have to understand that no religion is above then brotherhood of all we human being . No religion has created us we human being but we created religion for what? for wellbeing of human being there is a need to understand our consciousness and act according to time need .

Being a conscious human being our responsibility is to look after the wellbeing of all living life ,and stop loss of this huge money on weapons and fighting with each other.       

USIP is a valuable resource for the academic, political and political communities of this country. It is not replaceable.  I have been impressed over the years by the emphasis on peace processes - and carefulness with regard to advocacy.  Only those completely retrograde ignorance of this organization and its very practical contributions would support cutting USG funds.   The rest of the civilized world it working towards democracy, peace, and future stability.  What are these people thinking?   Pauletta Otis, Ph.D.
As a Liberian in the peacebuilding community of my country, I can say that the USIP has been a very helpful institution in researching many aspects of our conflict and they are doing similar efforts in other parts of the world. On a typical note, during my first visit to the US for a summer workshop on peacebuilding at American University in Washington DC, it occurred to me that a great number of the quoted references pointed to the USIP's research works. Most of the simulations carried out in during the Addressing Protracted Ethnopolitical Conflicts came from this one institution. If this is the same institution that Congressional leaders are trying to eliminate or financially starve out of existence, I can only say with much humility that the USIP is serving a crucial purpose for humanity. In the same way that the Statute of Liberty beckons the world to that Land of Freedom, an institute of this nature must by all means be preserved to continuously flash the light of peace to societies still torn by crises. In this way, the Institute will significantly help such societies to transit from chaos and anarchy to peace and development - thereby adding premium to all the generosity of America to global peace.  Congressional leaders please provide more to strengthen USIP notwithstanding the current difficulties.

USIP represents global peace and there is no gainsaying about this fact. This is evident through the organisation's work whose impact is felt and is being felt in many conflict and post conflict States globally. Any right thinking person can only think of better ways to help support this noble work of USIP in the area of peacebuilding and development, and not to think of killing its very existence and initiative that has brought so much succour to the world. Congress men, think well, act well, think peace, think USIP and support it all the way.....Thats the surest way to demostrate your support for international peace and security.

Monica Emmanuel, Nigeria. 

this is sad news the direction many governments from developed world are taking. I think, the budgets that should be cut should be those that go to directly to government support  where there is huge corruption and not accountability but not humanitarian efforts.
USIP is an institution that cannot be done away with in the manner the house has done. I am sure the house is composed of well-meaning Americans, who love their country. But for them to fail to see the importance of USIP at a time when the world faces its greatest tempest is difficult to fathom! Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, Sudan, even the US itself are areas where peace or even its possibility must be pursued at all cost. The alternative is bizzare, not only for those particular places, but the US itself. The US does not need a reminder about this. USIP has been a counter-balancing force for a government that, in pursuit of the project of empire has (as is always the case) pursued a violent program for long, in far flung parts of the world. USIP has and must continue providing an alternative voice, a sort of smoothing of the negative outcomes of empire through research, and policy advocacy among others. Congress cannot phase out or emasculate an inexpensive way of solving some of the US's and the world's most pressing challenges. Instead, the house should have voted to increase USIP's funding. I urge the US president who is a Nobel Peace Prize winner to prevail upon the house. The US needs to undertake budgets cuts, but there are many other ways od doing this than targeting an institution like USIP. CONGRESS, PLEASE DO NOT TOUCH USIP. DO SO ONLY IF YOU ARE INCREASING ITS FUNDING. SAVE THE WORLD.

A Bad News for the People Workig for Peace


Investment in peace is not a business through which US Government will earn anythnig immediately. I am one of the direct witness of very impressive work of USIP in Nepal. USIP helped Nepal and many war/conflict affected countries by giving hope for peace and better future.


In my recent (2009-10) business trip in Afaghnistan, Pakistan, Nepal, North India, and Sri Lanka , I found that people in this region are not happy with the US investment on 'War on Terror' but they are asking to increase investment for education, health, livelihood, infrastructure. They need resource to  strengthen healthy civil society, good governance and power/energy.


But sadly, US Government is chooping out its valuable institution and fuling courage to the fundamentalists and orthodox leader's belief on 'power comes from the barrel of gun not from peaceful means'. I believe US Citizens are asking to stop financing for war and increase budget for humanity.


I vote for increase funding for USIP and hope that US politicians still have the wisdom to retain this valuable agency in which every citizen can be proud of.

 Raj Kumar Dhungana


Although I am not a citizen of the USA, but I must say emphatically that partial or total cut of funding to USIP by the US House would amount to leaving taps open when trying to mop up the floor. USIP has done much for the world (most especially in the past 10 years) to the stability of the socio-welfare of the world by building and preventing peace, so also sensitizing and educating government, non-government and individual including myself.

As a Nigerian, and a peace advocate, the knowledge and skills I got from their training has contributed (to a large extent) to some regional peace we are experiencing now in Nigeria. Partial cut or total cut of USIP funding will amount to US House denouncing world the peace it needed. Instead, appropriate to them more fund to take their program to places where peace is fundamental.


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