Afghanistan Study Group Final Report

Afghanistan Study Group Final Report

The United States Institute of Peace (USIP) has published it’s Afghanistan Study Group Final Report: A Pathway for Peace in Afghanistan. This 88-page document is the result of work that began in April 2020 – shortly after the United States and Taliban signed the Doha agreement that set the conditions for the US withdrawal from Afghanistan and the current negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban.

The study group was established by Congress in December 2019 and tasked with identifying policy recommendations for U.S. policy, resources and commitments in Afghanistan. The Co-chairs for the study group were Senator Kelly Ayotte, General Joseph Dunford (Ret.), and Ms. Nancy Lindborg. Other study group members included Ms. Michele Flournoy, Ambassador James Dobbins, and others.


  • Executive Summary
  • Introduction
  • Interests and Key Judgements
  • Analytical Assessments
  • Strategic Logic behind a New Approach
  • Recommendations
  • Alternative Pathways
  • Conclusion

The study group believes that a significant revision of U.S. policy is needed – which includes:

  • extending the current May 2021 withdrawal date
  • make creating conditions for an acceptable peace agreement a key objective of the ongoing U.S. military presence (in addition to CT opns and assisting the ANDSF)
  • continued support for the Afghan govt and security institutions
  • continued support for members of Afghan civil society
  • a reemphasis on diplomacy and negotiation
  • continued support for a post-agreement Afghan state

The report finds that:

“The United States is in a position where effective diplomacy, modest continuing aid levels, and strong coordination across civilian and military lines of efforts against a clear and unified objective can create the conditions for a responsible exit from Afghanistan that does not endanger our national security.”


Afghanistan Study Group Final Report, United States Institute of Peace (USIP), February 2021.
View online or download, PDF, 88 pages.

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