The search for peace has become a central focus of Afghanistan policy in Washington and for Kabul. Afghan President Ashraf Ghani offered the Taliban constitutional reform and status as a legitimate political party in late February on the condition that the group makes peace. In recent months, the Taliban have also publicly offered talks with the United States and prominent Afghan powerbrokers, and high-profile peace demonstrations in conflict-torn Helmand province have spread across much of the country.

The U.S. Institute of Peace, in conjunction with Rise to Peace, hosted a panel of distinguished experts explore the prospects for peace and Afghanistan’s larger trajectory. Review the conversation on Twitter with #AfghanPeace.

Speakers

Ambassador Timothy Carney
Former U.S. Ambassador to Sudan and Haiti

John Wood
Associate Professor, National Defense University and former U.S. National Security Council Senior Director for Afghanistan

Johnny Walsh
Senior Expert, Afghanistan, U.S. Institute of Peace and former U.S. Department of State lead for Afghan reconciliation

Courtney Cooper
International Affairs Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations and former U.S. National Security Council Director for Afghanistan

Ahmad Mohibi
Founder and President, Rise to Peace

Michael Sherwin, Moderator
Assistant United States Attorney, U.S. Department of Justice and former U.S. Navy Intelligence Officer

Related Publications

U.S. to Move Afghanistan’s Frozen Central Bank Reserves to New Swiss Fund

U.S. to Move Afghanistan’s Frozen Central Bank Reserves to New Swiss Fund

Wednesday, September 28, 2022

By: William Byrd, Ph.D.

For almost seven months, Afghan central bank reserves frozen by the United States and set aside to somehow help the Afghan people, have sat, immobilized. Now those funds — $3.5 billion — are at long last on the move. On September 14, the U.S. and Swiss governments unveiled the “Fund for the Afghan People” as a Geneva-based foundation with its account at the Bank for International Settlements. The Fund will preserve, protect and selectively disburse this money. With this major policy step accomplished, new questions arise: What do these developments mean, what are realistic expectations for the reserves, and what needs to happen next?

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Why Was a Negotiated Peace Always Out of Reach in Afghanistan?

Why Was a Negotiated Peace Always Out of Reach in Afghanistan?

Tuesday, August 30, 2022

By: Steve Brooking

August 30, 2022, marks the one-year anniversary of the last US troops leaving Afghanistan. During America’s 20-year military intervention, there were several opportunities to negotiate peace among the Taliban, the Government of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan, and the United States—but these opportunities were missed, went unrecognized, or were deliberately spurned by one or more of the parties. In this important history, Steve Brooking, the first British official sent into Afghanistan after 9/11, examines why the three parties were unable or unwilling to reach a negotiated settlement.

Type: Peaceworks

Peace Processes

View All Publications