The Value of Building Peace
This past year has offered fresh proof that the world we live in is ever dynamic. Fundamental change can come from something as extraordinary as a fruit vendor’s act of defiance in Tunisia to popular revolts by reform movements across the Middle East. At the same time, a decade of war and the weak U.S. economy dictates that there must be new ways to think about the role the U.S. will play in the world in the coming years.
We asked USIP leaders, from board members to senior staff and experts, to explain the effect that events around the world and here at home will have on the U.S., and the contributions the Institute can and does make during a time of tremendous challenge – and opportunity. But there is also turmoil at home, as Congress grapples with a budget crisis and the American public grows weary of foreign intervention.
USIP Chief Financial Officer Michael Graham describes the effect the federal budget crisis is having on the nation’s civilian agencies as very challenging. But Graham believes that peacebuilding, by its very nature, saves money – and lives. The scramble to maintain the country’s ability to provide critical peacebuilding capabilities under persistent fiscal uncertainty wreaks havoc on peace and stability operations around the world, he says. “USIP and the peacebuilding community have had to make hard, painful decisions, because you cannot sustain what you cannot afford,” he says.