Please join the U.S. Institute of Peace on Thursday, June 7 for a multi-panel discussion on practical steps for the search for peace in Afghanistan. This effort has moved to center stage in recent months following President Ashraf Ghani’s late February peace offer to the Taliban, a series of major international conferences that consolidated support for a peace deal, and a wave of pro-peace demonstrations across Afghanistan. Crucial questions nonetheless remain: What it will take to get the Taliban to join peace talks in earnest? What will a prospective peace agreement look like? How does the peace process affect the Afghan and international military campaign?

The event will examine the issue from two crucial perspectives: the top-down effort to reach a political settlement involving the Taliban, and the bottom-up effort to forge peace in local communities. We will feature a distinguished and diverse range of American, Afghan, and other experts who have directly worked on this issue in government, the United Nations, academia, and civil society. They will provide a comprehensive look at an effort that is vital to Afghanistan’s future, but often poorly understood outside a small community of experts. Join the conversation on Twitter with #AfghanPeace.

Agenda

1:30pm - 1:35pm - Introductory Remarks: Andrew Wilder, Vice President, Asia Center, U.S. Institute of Peace

1:35pm - 1:45pm - Opening Remarks: Lisa Curtis, Deputy Assistant to the President and Senior Director for South and Central Asia, National Security Council

1:45pm - 3:10pm - Panel 1: Top-Down Peace: Negotiations, the Taliban, and the Shape of a Deal

  • Steve Brooking, Director of Peace and Reconciliation, United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA)
  • Laurel Miller, Former State Department Acting Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan
  • Barnett Rubin, Senior Fellow and Associate Director of the Center for International Cooperation, New York University
  • Rahmatullah Amiri, Senior Researcher, The Liaison Office (TLO)
  • Moderator: Johnny Walsh, Senior Expert on Afghanistan, U.S. Institute of Peace

3:10pm - 3:25pm - Coffee Break

3:25pm - 4:50pm - Panel 2: Bottom-Up Peace: Militias, Reintegration and Local Accommodations

  • Michael Semple, Visiting Professor, Institute for the Study of Conflict Transformation and Social Justice, Queen's University, Belfast
  • Kate Clark, Director, Afghanistan Analysts Network
  • Erica Gaston, Non-Resident Fellow, Global Public Policy Institute
  • Nilofar Sakhi, Lecturer, George Mason University
  • Moderator: Scott Worden, Director of Afghanistan and Central Asia Programs, U.S. Institute of Peace

4:50pm - 5:00pm - Closing Remarks: Ambassador Hamdullah Mohib, Afghan Ambassador to the United States

Related Publications

Afghan Peace Talks: Could a Third-Party Mediator Help?

Afghan Peace Talks: Could a Third-Party Mediator Help?

Thursday, February 18, 2021

By: Scott Smith

At present, the Afghan peace negotiations (APN) between the Afghan government and the Taliban do not involve any third-party presence beyond hosting and supporting roles. The parties to the conflict and members of the international community might consider the benefits of a neutral, third-party mediator to help resolve the impasses that have dogged and delayed the negotiations so far. While the presence of a mediator does not guarantee success, there are very few examples of a significant peace agreement that has been reached without some sort of third-party facilitation or mediation.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes; Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue

How to Prevent Fresh Hostilities as Afghan Peace Talks Progress

How to Prevent Fresh Hostilities as Afghan Peace Talks Progress

Tuesday, February 9, 2021

By: Meghan L. O’Sullivan; Vikram J. Singh; Johnny Walsh

Many peace processes experience at least short-term reversions to violence. Even a successful Afghan peace process will be at risk of the same, especially in the likely event that the United States and its allies continue to withdraw troops from Afghanistan. Ideally, such troop reductions would move in parallel with de-escalatory measures by the Taliban and other armed actors on the ground. A healthy dose of realism is in order, however. Though the Taliban and others in Afghanistan are unlikely to ever fully disarm or demobilize, persistent resources and attention from the United States and its allies can help prevent any regression to full-scale violence during the years of any peace agreement’s implementation.

Type: Analysis and Commentary

Peace Processes

Afghanistan Study Group Final Report: A Pathway for Peace in Afghanistan

Afghanistan Study Group Final Report: A Pathway for Peace in Afghanistan

Wednesday, February 3, 2021

By: Afghanistan Study Group

In December 2019, Congress established the Afghanistan Study Group and tasked it with identifying policy recommendations that “consider the implications of a peace settlement, or the failure to reach a settlement, on U.S. policy, resources, and commitments in Afghanistan.” The Study Group’s report, released on February 3, 2021, concluded that there is a real opportunity to align U.S. policies, actions, and messaging behind achieving a durable peace settlement to end four decades of violent conflict in Afghanistan. This new approach would...

Type: Report

Conflict Analysis & Prevention; Mediation, Negotiation & Dialogue; Peace Processes

View All Publications