Wednesday, February 23, 2011

Why is USIP a National Security Necessity?

  • Our country is at warUSIP only deals with conflicts that impact national security. Elimination of USIP would have a strong, adverse impact on America’s security interests.
  • USIP performs important national security activities in support of US government agencies. The US government must have options for resolving international conflict other than military action.  USIP -- created by Congress and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan -- is the only independent US government actor that is dedicated solely to conflict prevention and resolution.
  • USIP is not a think tank: it operates on the ground in dangerous conflict zones. In both Afghanistan and Iraq, USIP has been on the ground since the beginning of these conflicts, actively bringing together parties to the conflict and helping to resolve these conflicts, paving the way for withdrawal of American troops. For example, in Iraq, the US Army’s 10th Mountain Division called in USIP to facilitate a reconciliation in the “Triangle of Death,” quelling the violence that had taken the lives of many American troops. General Petraeus called it “a striking success story.”
  • The Department of Defense counts on USIP to do what it cannot do. As the military presence decreases in Iraq and Afghanistan, USIP is essential to maintaining stability. Some examples of what the Department of Defense has asked USIP to do, just in the past year:
  • A joint program with the US Army Combined Arms Center, Ft. Leavenworth to convene multiple US agencies and extract key lessons from the US military to civilian transition in Iraq to help those confronting another massive hand-off in Afghanistan.
  • Comprehensive training for the US Department of Defense’s Ministry of  Defense Advisors (MODA) going out to serve in Afghanistan under Lt. General William B. Caldwell IV, commander of NATO Training Command Afghanistan.
  • Ongoing development and dissemination of the first whole-of-government doctrine for stabilization, produced in partnership with the U.S. Army.
  • USIP does not duplicate the work of the State Department. USIP coordinates with our federal partners to focus on those areas where USIP brings unique capabilities to bear in conflict zones. USIP programs in Afghanistan, Iraq, and Sudan, for example, fill critical gaps that the State Department wants filled. State often calls upon USIP to build critical rule of law capabilities in conflict-affected countries.
  • Congressional funding of USIP is essential. At USIP’s creation, Congress determined that the Institute must be federally funded. Congress did not want USIP to be dependent on private fundraising for its programs. No party, business interest, lobby, PAC, wealthy individual, or corporation should own or influence this national resource -- all of which would diminish its objectivity and credibility.
  • No other institution can accomplish the mission Congress gave to USIP.

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