USIP has been conducting innovative research on the ground in Afghanistan and Pakistan about the challenges and opportunities in a peace process for Afghanistan. On June 13, 2011, USIP hosted a discussion about what the key research findings suggest about how to move toward a durable peace.


Momentum is growing among international and Afghan actors to support a peace process in Afghanistan. However, ambiguities remain in the US political and military strategies, the ability of the Afghan government to successfully lead a peace process, insurgent interest in such a process, and in the interest and ability of regional actors to support a peaceful resolution to the conflict.

On June 13, USIP hosted a lively two-part discussion on how to achieve a durable peace in Afghanistan within the context of existing uncertainties and variables.

The first panel drew in part from the findings of an ongoing USIP research project in Pakistan compiling the views of Pakistani opinion-makers on the endgame in Afghanistan to discuss the role regional actors may play both publicly and behind the scenes in a peace process.

The second panel introduced and discussed the key findings from a series of 120-plus interviews with a cross-cutting segment of Afghan leaders and opinion-makers about the inherent challenges to a peace process. This unique and inclusive set of interviews was conducted in the context of an ongoing project by USIP, Peace Research Institute Oslo (PRIO), and the Chr. Michelsen Institute (CMI) to identify issues and options to help Afghanistan move toward sustainable peace.

The findings, including views on the future of US presence in the country and on reforming Afghanistan's political structures, are also reviewed in a USIP Peace Brief and a joint USIP-PRIO-CMI working paper.


  • Andrew Exum, panelist
    Center for a New American Security
  • Kristian Harpviken, remarks
    Peace Research Institute Oslo
  • Ali Jalali, panelist
    Distinguished Professor, National Defense University; and
    former Minister of the Interior, Government of Afghanistan
  • Hamish Nixon, panelist
    Project Coordinator
    United States Institute of Peace / Peace Research Institute Oslo
  • Hasina Safi, panelist
    Executive Director
    Afghan Women's Education Center
  • Michael Semple, panelist
    Carr Center for Human Rights Policy
  • Vikram Singh, remarks
    Deputy Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan
    Department of State
  • Fatema Sumar, remarks
    Professional Staff Member
    U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee
  • William B. Taylor, moderator
    Senior Vice President, Center for Conflict Management
    United States Institute of Peace
  • Ashley Tellis, panelist
    Senior Associate, South Asia Program
    Carnegie Endowment for International Peace
  • Andrew Wilder, remarks and moderator
    Director, Afghanistan and Pakistan Programs
    United States Institute of Peace
  • Moeed Yusuf, panelist
    South Asia Adviser
    United States Institute of Peace



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