Afghanistan is entering a new phase with unprecedented opportunities for peace and stability. How can the United States and international allies ensure that a political settlement with the Taliban will lead to a durable peace? What will it take to ensure long-term security while slowly tapering down development and security assistance? What does the unfolding COVID-19 pandemic mean for sustaining human security and the consolidation of Afghanistan’s democratic institutions?

Join the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center and the United States Institute of Peace on June 11, 10:00am – 11:00am (DC) / 6:30pm – 7:30pm (Kabul) for a conversation with H.E. President Mohammad Ashraf Ghani on Afghanistan’s vision for peace and how to sustain progress towards stability and prosperity.

Please note that this is an online event. Instructions for access will be emailed to you upon registration. Take part in the conversation on Twitter with #ACFrontPage.

Keynote speaker

H.E. Mohammad Ashraf Ghani
President
Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Featuring

Frederick Kempe
President and CEO
Atlantic Council

Stephen Heintz
President and CEO
Rockefeller Brothers Fund

Stephen J. Hadley (moderating)
Chair, Board of Directors
United States Institute of Peace

Nancy Lindborg
President and CEO
United States Institute of Peace

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Four Lessons for Security Sector Reform in Afghanistan

Wednesday, October 21, 2020

By: Jason Criss Howk; Andrew Hyde; Annie Pforzheimer

As Afghan peace talks in Doha move forward, a vital component to the success of any peace deal will be how Afghanistan’s security sector can reform to sustain peace after more than 40 years of violence, and how the international community can best assist. This effort would benefit from recalling the lessons of another time when there was need for a comprehensive reconsideration of Afghanistan’s security sector: the two years immediately following the 2001 overthrow of the Taliban regime. Despite the many important changes, the Afghan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF) have undergone and a dramatically different context, key lessons from 2002-03 remain relevant to guide thinking ahead of and after a peace agreement.

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What do Afghans think about peace? Just ask their artists.

What do Afghans think about peace? Just ask their artists.

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Historic peace talks between the Taliban and Afghan government began in early September, opening a window for peace after four decades of conflict. Afghans, overwhelmingly weary of war and craving an end to violence, are watching closely. This urge for peace is the most important force motivating the talks, and Afghanistan’s burgeoning community of artists articulate it especially powerfully.

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When Afghan officials and international donors meet next month to consider future aid commitments to Afghanistan, they will face a changed situation from their last gathering four years ago. Then, the focus was on tying financial assistance to government reform in the midst of ongoing war with the Taliban; peace was barely on the agenda. Now, peace talks between the Taliban and the government have begun, and a new Afghan administration is still taking shape with an agreement that resolved the disputed 2019 presidential election. Meanwhile, fighting and casualties remain at unsustainable levels and the country is reckoning with the COVID-19 pandemic and its consequences.

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Whither Islam in Afghanistan’s Political System After the Taliban Talks?

Whither Islam in Afghanistan’s Political System After the Taliban Talks?

Wednesday, October 7, 2020

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The question of how and where Islam should fit into future legal and political frameworks has emerged as a major sticking point in the talks between the Taliban and the Afghan government in Qatar. How this question is resolved will be closely watched by Afghans, who want to ensure their hard-won rights are not sacrificed for the sake of a deal with the Taliban—Afghan women in particular have much at stake. The international community will similarly scrutinize the outcome, and their engagement with Afghanistan after the talks is expected to be conditioned on the contours of any political settlement.

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