In March 2021, the U.S. Institute of Peace organized the Myanmar Study Group in response to the evolving crisis in Myanmar following the military coup a month prior. To support U.S. policy towards Myanmar, USIP convened a group of 9 prominent experts for a series of discussions about the dynamic context within the country and U.S. government policy options. The study group commissioned research and held consultations with external experts and affected communities to inform its discussions, which focused on topics such as the Burmese army, Myanmar’s economy, ethnic armed organizations, end state scenarios, humanitarian assistance, international actors and U.S. government policy alternatives — among many others.

On February 1, 2021, Myanmar’s military leadership organized a coup to remove the democratically elected civilian government — detaining civilian government leaders and reversing the previous decade’s progress on democratic governance, economic development, social welfare, civil rights and fundamental freedoms.

Immediately after the coup, communities across the country responded with nonviolent protests — and a nationwide movement of civil disobedience emerged. But in the face of the military’s violent crackdown on peaceful protests, the anti-coup movement also began to employ violence through open armed conflict and asymmetric warfare. Today’s crisis in Myanmar poses a major challenge to U.S. foreign policy in a region of geopolitical significance. The Myanmar Study Group report provides an assessment of the conflict and lays out recommendations for the U.S. response.

Myanmar Study Group Final Report

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Panel Discussion

The Shocking Rise in Coups - Myanmar, a USIP event examining the dynamics driving four of the seven coups and coup attempts that we’ve seen over the past two years.

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