United States Institute of Peace Forges Ahead with Congressional Mission to Prevent and Manage International Conflict

February 17, 2011

Allison Sturma

The House vote on February 17 proposes elimination of the Institute’s funding for the remainder of the fiscal year, and reflects the concern of all Americans, which we share, to bring the federal budget under control.

The United States Institute of Peace, like all the federal government’s national security and foreign affairs institutions, knows that America’s spending must come under control. And we are doing our part to contribute to bringing down the deficit.

But we also know that no price can be put on peace. National security can never be compromised. America is at war. There are organizations like ours that save lives and save money to prevent, manage, and resolve international conflicts without violence. We will continue to carry out our Congressional mandate to help train civilians and military personnel and to help international organizations in the transition from war to peace.

The United States Institute of Peace was buoyed this week by expressions of support (PDF/864 KB) from the senior most leaders of our country—both on the civilian and defense side, and from members of Congress.

The Institute of Peace was set up by Congress as a non-partisan effort, during the presidency of Ronald Reagan. Its origins began earlier -- through a legislated commission chaired by Sen. Spark Matsunaga (D-Hawaii), a World War II veteran of the Army’s famed 442nd Regimental Combat Team, who believed passionately in the importance of the U.S. as international peacemaker. On our 20th anniversary, Congress passed a bipartisan resolution applauding the Institute's work. We are determined to live up to that reputation—and sustain the course in support of our congressional mission.

Richard Solomon is president of the United States Institute of Peace

(Thanks to Deborah Laufer's listserv)

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