Afghanistan is on the front line of the international community’s struggle against terrorism while it also fights the Taliban insurgency. At the Kabul Process conference in Kabul this month, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani announced a peace offer to the Taliban that emphasized the role that the Taliban can play in a peaceful Afghanistan. At the end of this month, the Afghan government will participate in a regional peace conference in Tashkent, Uzbekistan to discuss how neighboring states can play a role in supporting stability in Afghanistan. These two events signal a new direction in efforts toward a peace process in Afghanistan.

In exploring this new direction, USIP hosted an invite-only discussion with Afghan National Security Adviser Mohammad Hanif Atmar which was webcasted live on Thursday, March 22nd from 10:30am to 11:30am. Please tune-in online as NSA Atmar discussed the security challenges in Afghanistan and the path to peace. Review the conversation on Twitter with #AfghanPeace.

Keynote Speaker

H.E. Mohammad Hanif Atmar
National Security Adviser of Afghanistan

Stephen J. HadleyModerator
Chair, U.S. Institute of Peace Board of Directors

Nancy Lindborg, Opening Remarks
President, U.S. Institute of Peace

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Will a Prisoner Swap with the Taliban Push the Afghan Peace Process Forward?

Will a Prisoner Swap with the Taliban Push the Afghan Peace Process Forward?

Thursday, November 21, 2019

By: Scott Worden

It’s been over two months since President Trump announced a halt to U.S.-Taliban peace talks. In a move that could revive the moribund peace process, the Afghan government and Taliban completed a prisoner exchange that had been announced last week but then delayed. An American and Australian professor held by the Taliban were freed in return for three senior Taliban figures. Meanwhile, Afghanistan’s September 28 presidential election remains undecided, further complicating peace efforts. USIP’s Scott Worden looks at what impact the prisoner exchange could have on the peace process, how regional actors have sought to fill the vacuum in the absence of the U.S.-led talks and the connection between negotiations and the election.

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Insurgent Bureaucracy: How the Taliban Makes Policy

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Tuesday, November 19, 2019

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The system of shadow Taliban governance and the experiences of civilians subject to it are well documented. The policies that guide this governance and the factors that contribute to them, however, are not. This report examines how the Taliban make and implement policy. Based on more than a hundred interviews and previously unreleased Taliban documents, this report offers rare insight into Taliban decision-making processes and the factors that influence them.

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