Thursday, September 11, 2008

The United States Institute of Peace

Did you know that there is an organization called The United States Institute of Peace? I’ve never heard of them. I think they need a new press agent. I also think they need to work much harder.

From The United States Institute of Peace home page:

The United States Institute of Peace is an independent, nonpartisan institution established and funded by Congress. Its goals are to help prevent and resolve violent international conflicts, promote post-conflict stability and development, and increase conflict management capacity, tools, and intellectual capital worldwide.

The Institute does this by empowering others with knowledge, skills, and resources, as well as by directly engaging in peacebuilding efforts around the globe.
Here is a little historical background:
In 1976, the first cornerstone for the campaign that led to the creation of the U.S. Institute of Peace was laid when Senator Vance Hartke of Indiana and Senator Mark Hatfield of Oregon introduced a bill to create the George Washington Peace Academy. After hearings in the Senate on the Hartke-Hatfield bill, it was decided that further study was needed. In 1979, a provision was successfully added to the Elementary and Secondary Education Appropriation Bill for the establishment of the Commission on Proposals for the National Academy of Peace and Conflict Resolution.
From their FAQ page:
How is USIP funded?

Funding for USIP operations, activities, and programs comes from the USIP's annual appropriation from Congress. USIP may, however, receive gifts and contributions from private agencies, organizations, corporations, or other legal entities for use in program hospitality and for the purchase, construction, furnishing, and maintenance of its permanent headquarters building, now being constructed.
So essentially our tax dollars fund both war (The Pentagon, etc.) and peace (The United States Institute of Peace.) How very Kafkaesque.

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