Small Wars Journal

Institute Dedicated to Forging Peace is Targeted for Extinction

Institute Dedicated to Forging Peace is Targeted for Extinction by Carol Morello, Washington Post

The U.S. Institute of Peace has dispatched staffers from its ultramodern building near the Mall in Washington to some of the world’s most dangerous places, but now the federally funded organization is facing its own demise at the hands of the Trump administration.

The USIP, created by Congress and signed into law by President Ronald Reagan to engage in conflict resolution around the world, is among more than a dozen independent agencies slated for elimination under the budget blueprint unveiled Thursday. Axing the USIP would save taxpayers $35.3 million.

But the deep spending cuts proposed for foreign aid prompted an immediate backlash across the spectrum in Congress and among humanitarian organizations and religious groups. Rep. Eliot L. Engel (N.Y.), the senior Democrat on the House Foreign Affairs Committee, called the cuts a “catastrophic mistake,” while Rep. Edward R. Royce (R-Calif.), the committee chairman, expressed concern that cuts in diplomacy will hurt efforts to combat terrorism. Mercy Corps called the foreign aid cuts “reckless, dangerous and irresponsible.”

Like other agencies on the chopping block, the USIP has supporters in Congress and the military who can be expected to fight for it, and its death is not a sure thing. But the institute, with its mission of peace building, underscores the budget trade-offs the administration is making as it shifts resources from civilian programs to a military buildup…

Read on.