The Central African Republic had not been a priority for U.S. foreign policy. As violence increased in late 2013, however, faith leaders and U.S. groups such as FCNL became concerned. The conflict in CAR has put to the test U.S. policies and structures to help prevent violent conflict, which FCNL has been instrumental in helping to institutionalize and fund.
Since 9/11, the U.S. has dramatically expanded its
so-called security assistance programs, which provide
training, support and weapons to armies and
police forces around the world. Our country now
provides military and police aid to more than 130
nations in an effort to combat violent extremism.
The Friends Committee on National Legislation has been working for constructive U.S. policy in order to respond to grievances and prevent future violence in Burundi. Elections scheduled for this summer have proven to be flashpoint for violent conflict.
U.S. security assistance, as it is currently conceived, does not work and is doing more harm than good. But often when confronted with the terrible reality of violent extremism, the desire of our political leaders to do “something” means that security assistance is the tool they reach for.
Every April thousands of people across the country participate in Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month. Throughout the month, events are held to honor victims of past atrocities, educate the public about current atrocities, and advocate for the prevention of future atrocities.
The Pentagon is preparing for a world remade by climate change. The agency’s “2014 Climate Change Adaptation Roadmap” clearly lays out the connection between climate and national security. It argues that climate change adds to the burdens of already fragile and weak states, creating an environment ripe for political dissent and instability.
Last year was rife with deadly conflict. Rebellions, violent extremism, and state violence killed many and displaced more. However, there are numerous opportunities for peace in 2015. The Obama administration has shown it is willing to pursue diplomacy in some cases and peace-builders are proving that there are alternatives to war.
Below are five examples where civil society and governments are working for a more secure and peaceful future.