Ideas. Action. Impact. The Washington Institute for Near East Policy The Washington Institute: Improving the Quality of U.S. Middle East Policy

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Policy Analysis

Congressional Testimony

Syria Study Group 2019: Final Report and Recommendations

Michael Singh and Dana Stroul

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United States Institute of Peace

September 2019

A comprehensive, bipartisan look at how the U.S. government can still achieve important objectives on various fronts, from countering terrorist groups and Iran to addressing refugee and humanitarian issues.

In this report, the members of the Syria Study Group (co-chaired by Washington Institute fellows Michael Singh and Dana Stroul) make the case for why Syria matters for U.S. security and why the American public should care. While some argue that it is too late for a reinvigorated U.S. approach to Syria, the study group’s members conclude that the United States can still influence the outcome of the war in a manner that protects U.S. interests. They argue that the United States has meaningful tools of leverage to prevent the reemergence of ISIS and counter other terrorist groups, stop Iran from turning Syria into a forward operating base, provide relief to displaced Syrians and hard-pressed neighbors, and advance a political outcome that stops Syrian territory from serving as a net exporter of terrorism and instability. Achieving these outcomes will require a long-term commitment to a sound strategy, the careful balancing of ends and means, and—most important—political support at the highest levels...

To read the full report, download the PDF above or visit the USIP website.