Error message

On April 10, USIP hosted a conversation on “Prospects for Peace in Afghanistan,” moderated by former National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, currently senior adviser for International Affairs at USIP. Key individuals involved in the peace process and independent experts on Afghanistan discussed opportunities and obstacles to peace, what a credible election and an inclusive peace process would look like, and the policy priorities required to increase the prospects for durable peace in Afghanistan.

Read the event coverage, The Afghan Peace Process, Transition and the To-Do List for The U.S.

Prospects for Peace in Afghanistan

As news headlines from Afghanistan go from bad to worse, pessimism mounts about the war effort and prospects for peace. This, in turn, fuels demands by some to speed up the security transition to the Afghan National Security Forces and to withdraw most international forces. Questions of troop numbers and withdrawal timeframes dominate international media coverage and policy debates, which will increase in the lead-up to the NATO Summit in Chicago in May when the 2014 security transition in Afghanistan is the top agenda item.

Too often overlooked is the critically important political transition that must also take place in Afghanistan in 2014. Key components of Afghanistan’s political transition are a credible presidential election in 2014 that transfers power from President Karzai to an elected successor as required by the constitution, and a peace process that includes all major elements of Afghan society, including the Taliban. While many Afghans and international observers are deeply skeptical and concerned about the prospect of negotiating with the Taliban, many others fear that a “rush to the exits” by international forces in the absence of a credible election and an inclusive peace process could plunge the country back into factional fighting and civil war.

On April 10 USIP hosted a conversation on “Prospects for Peace in Afghanistan” moderated by former National Security Adviser Stephen Hadley, currently senior adviser for International Affairs at USIP. Key individuals involved in the peace process and independent experts on Afghanistan discussed opportunities and obstacles to peace, what a credible election and an inclusive peace process would look like, and the policy priorities required to increase the prospects for durable peace in Afghanistan.

This event featured the following speakers:

  • Ambassador Marc Grossman panelist
    Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan
    U.S. Department of State
  • Stephen J. Hadley, moderator
    Senior Adviser for International Affairs
    U.S. Institute of Peace
  • Ahmed Rashid, panelist
    Author, "Pakistan on the Brink: The Future of America, Pakistan, and Afghanistan"; and
    Bestselling Author & Leading Journalist on Pakistan
  • Nilofar Sakhi, panelist
    Founder and Chairperson, Women's Activities and Social Services Association (WASSA); and
    Peacebuilding Analyst on Afghanistan Affairs
  • Ambassador Omar Samad, panelist
    Afghanistan Senior Expert in Residence
    U.S. Institute of Peace

Explore Further

 Related Academy Courses

 

Related Publications

Fighting Serious Crimes

Fighting Serious Crimes

Wednesday, May 24, 2017

By: Colette Rausch; Editor

Fighting Serious Crimes: Strategies and Tactics for Conflict-Affected Societies is an invaluable resource for anyone battling serious crimes in societies seeking to avoid conflict, to escape from violence, or to recover and rebuild. Packed with practical guidance, this volume includes real world examples from more than twenty of today’s conflict zones, including Libya, Yemen, Iraq, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Colombia.

Justice, Security & Rule of Law

Afghan Women Defend Their Rights Against the Taliban

Afghan Women Defend Their Rights Against the Taliban

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

By: James Rupert

Afghanistan’s Taliban, determined to capture a major city in the country, have advanced on Kunduz, in the northeast. The Taliban oppose any public role for women in Afghan society and have targeted women’s organizations in Kunduz. But a local journalist and mother, Sediqa Sherzai, for years has run Radio Roshani, a station that broadcasts programs for women’s rights and democracy.

Violent Extremism; Gender; Religion; Non-Violent Movements

South Asia: Rising Extremism Opens Way for ISIS

South Asia: Rising Extremism Opens Way for ISIS

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

By: Fred Strasser

Across South Asia, complex strains of extremism are opening the way for the Islamic State and destabilizing governments. From elements in the Afghan Taliban to the ascent of Hindu nationalism in India, extremists are drawing the region deeper into volatile internal and external conflicts, according to experts on religion and extremism speaking recently at the U.S. Institute of Peace. There are no quick ways to reverse the trend, they said. But steps that could slow radicalization include bolstering free speech, attacking terrorists’ financial networks and undermining the myth that a long-ago caliphate ruled over a perfect society.

Violent Extremism; Global Policy

Community-Based Development in Rural Afghanistan

Community-Based Development in Rural Afghanistan

Monday, April 24, 2017

By: David J. Katz

Derived primarily from the author’s field research and experience, this report focuses on community-based programs and interventions in rural Afghanistan. Fundamental assumptions that underlie these interventions, however, are flawed. With an eye to worldwide relevance, the report analyzes these assumptions and suggests ways to better understand the realities of rural Afghan society so that the government in Kabul can more effectively implement programs in rural areas, engage rural participation, deliver needed services to that population, and administer the country more generally.

Democracy & Governance

View All Publications