United States Institute of Peace

Joshua Landis and Rebecca Cruise explain how Syria’s civil war is expanding into a region-wide conflict, and what affect two suicide bombings in Russia this week could have on the upcoming Winter Olympics. 

Later, a conversation with longtime Afghanistan observer Andrew Wilder about this year’s scheduled U.S. combat troop withdrawal, and April elections to replace the term-limited Hamid Karzai.

U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry greets Afghan President Hamid Karzai before a trilateral meeting with Pakistani Chief of Army Staff General Ashfaq Kayani in Brussels, Belgium on April 24, 2013.
U.S. Department of State / Flickr Creative Commons

In April, voters in Afghanistan head to the polls to elect a successor to the term-limited President Hamid Karzai. The controversial-at-times leader is the only democratically-elected head of state the troubled country has known since the fall of the Taliban regime in 2001.

Andrew Wilder, the Director of Afghanistan and Pakistan Programs at the United States Institute of Peace and a close observer of Afghanistan for nearly 30 years, says it’s very important April’s elections are credible, and produce a legitimate outcome.

World Views: August 16, 2013

Aug 16, 2013

On Thursday President Obama canceled joint military exercises with Egypt. Samer Shehata, a University of Oklahoma professor of Middle East Studies and an expert on Egypt and the Muslim Brotherhood, says while the move was the least President Obama could do, it was still necessary. 

Foreign aid to post-conflict countries usually focuses on rebuilding physical infrastructure. Peter Weinberger says in countries where there are deep divisions between religious, ethnic, or tribal groups, social reconstruction is more important, and can be much more difficult to achieve, than physical reconstruction.

PPCC Antifa / Flickr

Foreign aid to post-conflict countries usually focuses on rebuilding physical infrastructure. Peter Weinberger says in countries where there are deep divisions between religious, ethnic, or tribal groups, social reconstruction is more important, and can be much more difficult to achieve, than physical reconstruction.

Weinberger is a Senior Program Officer at the United States Institute of Peace. He now teaches at USIP’s Academy for International Conflict Management and Peacebuilding after working with various non-governmental organizations in Israel, the Palestinian Territories, Northern Ireland, Bosnia, and the western Balkans. Weinberger says in “divided societies” like these, group identities are salient and cause a lot of conflict between people – even decades after the immediate violence ends.