Afghanistan and Syria Research Grants

Afghanistan and Syria Research Grants

In December, President Trump announced his intentions to withdraw troops from Syria and draw down America’s military presence in Afghanistan. Given the President’s recent directives—and urgent questions raised about when and how U.S. deployments in either country will end—the Charles Koch Foundation will fund a series of grants to support research projects (e.g. papers, conferences, workshops, media, etc.) that explore viable solutions to accomplish stated U.S. objectives in Afghanistan and Syria.

To that end, we are actively soliciting proposals for projects ranging up to $25,000 to consider these imperatives between now and November of this year. The proposal deadline is December 31, 2019.

We are especially interested in research that:

  • Addresses the unintended consequences of U.S. military actions abroad and explores the costs and impact of the engagements in Afghanistan and Syria.
  • Explores the impact of U.S. military engagement in Afghanistan and Syria upon American society—for instance, the effect of our activities on civil liberties or the health and welfare of veterans.
  • Explores the concept of threat inflation and critically examines theories of credibility and reputation in relation to decisions to reduce commitments and withdraw from foreign conflicts.
  • Analyzes executive–legislative relations as concern these conflicts, including the constitutional division of war powers.
  • Examines the impact of domestic interest groups—businesses, think tanks, and the permanent national security bureaucracy on U.S. foreign policy—as they relate to the wars in Afghanistan and Syria.
  • Scrutinizes Pentagon spending, force structure, and the strategic demands of remaining in Afghanistan and Syria —including structural incentives for military expenditures.
  • Examines civil-military relations, especially in the context of U.S. involvement in the Afghanistan and Syrian wars.

Proposal Criteria

  • A one-to-five-page abstract of the project on behalf of your university, college, think tank, or other 501(c)(3) organization. The abstract should provide sufficient detail for reviewers to assess the nature and feasibility of the idea.*
  • A CV or résumé.*
  • A brief, itemized budget.*
  • Final projects should be original and meet the highest standards of their field and must not have been previously published.

*Items are required in application.

Funding levels are commensurate with the requirements of the research and the potential for the research to advance an understanding of critical issues. Accepted proposals may also receive support to disseminate the research findings. Applications will be accepted on a rolling basis.

For questions or to submit a proposal, please reach out to Will Ruger, Vice President for Research at the Charles Koch Foundation, at

Sign up for our newsletter