The United States promotes the cause of peace on many fronts, through diplomacy, foreign aid and military assistance. The breaking ground to build a permanent new headquarters for an independent organization that furthers these goals is another sign of the nation’s commitment to preventing and resolving conflicts, as well as promoting postwar stability operations.
Since 1984, the U.S. Institute of Peace in Washington has worked on issues and approaches that don’t fit into standard diplomatic channels.
A non-partisan, government-funded think tank, it conducts or sponsors research on violent conflict, what causes it and ways to resolve it. It was first envisioned in the wake of the Vietnam War and operates on the notion that "peace-making" can be studied and taught in much the same way as is military science and strategy. In fitting counterpoint, its new headquarters will be on the National Mall near U.S. memorials for the Korean and Vietnam wars.
Over the years the USIP has played a role in resolving conflicts in South Africa, Rwanda, Kosovo and Sudan. It’s currently working on ways to further peace in Afghanistan, Iraq, Liberia, Nigeria and Lebanon.
"Free societies are peaceful societies," President George Bush said at the groundbreaking ceremony. "People who live in liberty are less likely to turn to ideologies of hatred and fear, and that is why the United States is leading and must continue to lead the cause of freedom for the sake of peace."