Congressional Working Series on Future U.S. Afghanistan Policy

OCT Series – As the last days of campaign season heated up outside the Beltway, PSA and USIP convened influential Capitol Hill foreign policy/national security staffers – Republicans, Democrats, House, Senate – over three weeks to dig deep on the future of U.S. policy in Afghanistan. This bipartisan group collaborated across party lines to explore what the goals and involvement of the U.S. should be in Afghanistan moving forward, how we can move towards those aspirations, and what the role of Congress should be. The series brought together congressional staffers and Afghanistan experts to seek common ground approaches to these critical questions. This effort resulted in a not-for-attribution internal group report to help guide future congressional deliberation on this important topic.

Featured Afghanistan Experts:

Belquis Ahmadi, Senior Program Officer, USIP William Byrd, Senior Expert – Afghanistan, USIP

Palwasha L. Kakar, Senior Program Officer – Religion and Peacebuilding Center, USIP

Shahmahmood Miakhel, Afghanistan Country Director, USIP

Clare Lockhart, Director and Founder, Institute for State Effectiveness

David S. Sedney, former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs

Scott Smith, Director – Afghanistan and Central Asia, USIP

Andrew Wilder, Vice President – South and Central Asia, USIP


This series included the 15th, 16th, and 17th events in the USIP/PSA Congressional Briefing Series – Topics on International Conflict Resolution and Prevention, an educational program designed to provide congressional staff with opportunities to engage leading experts and fellow Capitol Hill staffers in bipartisan forums. The program aims to build cross-party relationships, encourage bipartisan dialogue, and equip staff with new perspectives on critical issues in the international conflict resolution and prevention field.

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