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In recent days, there has been a flurry of high-level U.S. diplomatic activity in Afghanistan. Defense Secretary Mark Esper traveled to Kabul, and while he was there he was joined by a senior bipartisan congressional delegation.

Meanwhile, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has met with leaders in Europe and in Pakistan about peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

What is behind all these activities, and why is it happening now, less than two months after President Trump called off talks with the Taliban?

The latest episode of The AfPak File addresses these questions and more. The panelists are Johnny Walsh, senior Afghanistan expert at the U.S. Institute of Peace; Malalai Bashir, a journalist with RFE/FL’s Afghan service, Radio Azadi; Muslim Shirzad, an Afghan political activist; and Michael Kugelman, Asia Program deputy director and senior associate for South Asia at the Wilson Center. Muhammad Tahir of RFE/RL serves as a moderator.

This podcast originally appeared on RFE/RL.

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Muhammad Tahir

Media Manager, Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty

Asia Program

The Asia Program promotes policy debate and intellectual discussions on U.S. interests in the Asia-Pacific as well as political, economic, security, and social issues relating to the world’s most populous and economically dynamic region.   Read more