Error message

USIP experts convened on June 16 to discuss that question, offer updates from a just-concluded visit to Afghanistan, and explore how to help Afghans seize what may be missed opportunities to stabilize their country.

Read the event coverage, To Help Afghanistan Survive, Narrow the Focus

Pictured from left to right, Andrew Wilder, Ali Jalali, Scott Smith

The United States’ current policy in Afghanistan mandates a “responsible withdrawal” of U.S. forces by January 2017, when President Obama leaves office. With 18 months to go, a sense of crisis is mounting in Afghanistan as the economy sags, Taliban attacks increase, and the eight-month-old unity government remains deadlocked. Afghanistan’s instability has led policy specialists, commentators and other public voices to question whether enough progress can be made to let Afghanistan succeed if the U.S. withdrawal is conducted as planned.

Neither the international community nor Afghanistan’s divided political elites want to see the Afghan government fail. And the government has made some promising—if unfulfilled—initiatives, such as stronger anti-corruption efforts and an attempt to work with Pakistan against insurgents in both countries.

USIP’s experts on the region discussed both the perils of the situation and opportunities for improving it that have not been fully grasped.


USIP’s Dr. Andrew Wilder, moderated the discussion, having just returned from Afghanistan and Pakistan. Former Afghan Minister of the Interior Ali Jalali addressed security issues. Dr. William Byrd, former Afghanistan Country Director at the World Bank, spoke on the economic and fiscal issues. Scott Smith analyzed the function and dysfunction of the national unity government, and Moeed Yusuf discussed at the prospects of President Ghani’s outreach to Pakistan and his attempt to reach a peace deal with the Taliban. Continue the conversation on Twitter with #AfgStabilization.

  • Dr. William Byrd
    Senior Expert in Residence, USIP
  • Ali Jalali
    Former Minister of the Interior of Afghanistan 
    Senior Expert in Residence, USIP
    Distinguished Professor, NESA, NDU
  • Scott Smith
    Director, Afghanistan and Central Asia Programs, USIP
  • Dr. Moeed Yusuf
    Director, South Asia Programs, USIP
  • Dr. Andrew Wilder, Moderator
    Vice President, Center for South and Central Asia, USIP

Related Publications

Finding a Regional Solution for Afghanistan

Finding a Regional Solution for Afghanistan

Monday, April 16, 2012

On April 6, USIP's South Asia Adviser Moeed Yusuf; Abubakar Siddique, senior news correspondent for Radio Free Europe/Radio Liberty; Shahrbanou Tadjbakhsh, associate researcher at the Peace Research Institute Oslo and professor MPA at Sciences Po in Paris; and Alireza Nader, senior international policy analyst at the RAND Corporation discussed the various problems and potential solutions to improving cooperation and collaboration from Afghanistan's neighbors with the ultimate objective of pro...

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Economics & Environment; Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

G-8 Summit Focuses on Food Security

G-8 Summit Focuses on Food Security

Thursday, May 17, 2012

By: Ibrahim Shaqir

As leaders at the G-8 summit highlight the importance of food security for global stability, Ibrahim Shaqir, an interagency professional in residence at USIP, in an interview examines this issue in the contexts of Afghanistan and Pakistan and how agricultural systems might contribute to peacebuilding.  

Economics & Environment

View All Publications