Afghanistan | Wilson Center

Afghanistan

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.

AfPak File: Afghanistan's Crucial Month

September is a crucial month for Afghanistan. U.S.-Taliban talks are moving toward an American troop withdrawal deal, while presidential elections scheduled for later in the month are fast approaching.

The latest episode of The AfPak File takes stock of where things stand with peace negotiations and the upcoming elections; considers the challenges ahead for both; and highlights what to look for in the coming weeks.

Afghanistan’s Crucial Month - Catch Up With The AfPak File Podcast

Peace talks between the United States and the Taliban have continued to move forward, fueling hopes that an agreement would help to end the 18 year war in Afghanistan.  There will also be a presidential election in Afghanistan on September 28th.  The AfPak File podcast calls September a crucial month in their newest episode.

The Lingering, and Complicating, Threat of ISIS in Afghanistan

The terror group Islamic State, or ISIS, recently asserted responsibility for a horrific attack on a wedding hall in Kabul. The tragedy in Afghanistan’s capital city took the lives of more than 60 people, and wounded nearly 200 hundred more.

AfPak File: Previewing Afghanistan's Presidential Election

On July 28, campaigning began for Afghanistan's presidential election, which is currently scheduled for September 28.

The campaign will play out against a volatile backdrop of violence, technical challenges, and widespread concerns about government interference.

The election campaign also opens at a moment when the U.S. government and the Taliban are edging closer to an American troop withdrawal deal.

What can we expect from this election? What are the major challenges? Will it indeed take place? And should it take place?

AfPak File: What Next For Afghanistan After The Intra-Afghan Dialogue In Doha?

On July 7 and 8, several dozen Afghan political figures and civil society members met with Taliban representatives for an intra-Afghan dialogue in Doha, Qatar. The dialogue resulted in a joint statement that laid out a roadmap for peace.

What is the significance of this joint statement, what might it mean for U.S.-Taliban talks, and what might it portend for peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan more broadly? And what are the implications for Afghanistan’s volatile political situation, which includes a presidential election scheduled for the end of September?

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