Afghanistan | Wilson Center

Afghanistan

The Implications of Soleimani’s Killing for South Asia

In the days since an American drone strike killed Qassem Soleimani, the powerful leader of Iran’s Quds Force, much ink has understandably been spilled over the ramifications of the strike for Iran and the broader Middle East.

What to Look for in 2020: The Year Ahead in Asia

Alliances in Crisis

Eighteen Years and $132 Billion: Taking Stock of U.S. Reconstruction Efforts in Afghanistan

This event will provide an assessment of the latest challenges facing the $132 billion U.S. reconstruction effort in Afghanistan. John F. Sopko, the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR), recently returned from a visit to Kabul and will share his thoughts on what a potential peace settlement may mean for the future of the reconstruction mission. He will also discuss ongoing efforts to combat corruption in Afghanistan, and he will speak about SIGAR’S new assessment of Afghanistan’s anti-corruption activities.

AfPak File: US Leaders Travel To Afghanistan Amid Uncertainty Over Troop Deployments Overseas

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?

Afghanistan’s Silent Tragedy

Last week, the U.S.-led war in Afghanistan marked its 18-year anniversary. U.S. forces have now been fighting there for nearly two decades.

Afghans, however, have experienced conflict for twice as long. Before U.S. troops arrived in October 2001, there was a period of Taliban rule, and that was preceded by civil war. And before that, in the 1980s, there was the Soviet occupation.

Elections, Peace Talks, and U.S. Policy: What’s Next for Afghanistan?

Eighteen years after U.S. forces entered Afghanistan, the country is not only still at war—it is also in a state of flux. Its political future is uncertain, with the final results of a September 28 presidential election not expected until November. The fate of a fledgling peace and reconciliation process has been unclear since U.S. President Donald Trump called off talks with the Taliban. The direction of U.S. policy, and particularly the future American military presence, is also a major question.

AfPak File: Previewing Afghanistan’s Upcoming Presidential Election

On September 28, Afghans will go to the polls for a presidential election amid serious security risks and concerns about election technology, among other issues.

What can we expect from this election? What do Afghans think about it, and what playout in terms of turnout? What is the risk of a contested result and a post-election political crisis, as was the case after the last presidential election in September 2014?

The latest episode of the AfPak File, the joint podcast series of the Wilson Center and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, explores these questions and more.

America Has a New Strategy in Afghanistan, But It Isn’t Actually Very New

On September 7, U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly called off his government’s talks with the Taliban—even though the two sides were on the cusp of a U.S. troop withdrawal deal.

With talks off (for now), the Trump administration has vowed to intensify its fight against the Taliban, with the hope that increasing battlefield pressure will compel the insurgents to come back to the negotiating table and make concessions—leading to a new deal with better terms for the United States.

AfPak File: With Taliban Talks Scuttled, What's Next for Afghanistan?

On September 7, U.S. President Donald Trump abruptly announced that he was calling off talks with the Taliban—at the very moment when U.S. and Taliban negotiators were on the verge of a deal.

What can be made of Trump’s sudden decision; what might it mean for future peace prospects and a negotiated settlement for the Afghan conflict?

The latest edition of The AfPak File, the joint podcast series of the Wilson Center and Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty, discusses these questions and more.

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