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

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Thursday, June 11, 2020

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Wednesday, June 10, 2020

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Amid the coronavirus pandemic many countries around the world have reported an alarming increase in domestic violence. Indeed, U.N. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres has called for measures to address the “horrifying surge in domestic violence” linked to COVID-related lockdowns. In Afghanistan—one of the worst countries in the world for women by almost any metric—the lockdown exacerbates the dire situation many Afghan women already face. As the Afghan peace process inches forward amid a global pandemic, Afghan women’s inclusion and input are critical to combatting COVID and building peace.

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Bourgeois Jihad: Why Young, Middle-Class Afghans Join the Islamic State

Bourgeois Jihad: Why Young, Middle-Class Afghans Join the Islamic State

Monday, June 1, 2020

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Ever since the Islamic State in Khorasan Province emerged in Afghanistan in 2015, policymakers and security forces have regarded it as an “imported” group that can be defeated militarily. This approach, however, fails to take into account the long-standing and complex historical and sociological factors that make the group’s ideology appealing to young, urban Afghan men and women. Based on interviews with current and former members of ISKP, this report documents the push and pull factors prompting a steady stream of young Afghans to join and support ISKP.

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