On January 9, the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center hosts a discussion with The Hon. James Dobbins, former US ambassador to the European Union; Ambassador Riaz Mohammad Khan, former Pakistan ambassador to China; and Ambassador Said Jawad, former Afghan ambassador to the United States. Atlantic Council Distinguished Fellow and Board Director Franklin D. Kramer will moderate the discussion.


Afghanistan, slated to take full control of its security in 2014, is already witnessing a significant drawdown in US and coalition forces. This difficult transition is further complicated by an uncertain transition in Afghanistan’s own leadership, as President Hamid Karzai concludes his tenure as president. After over ten years of military commitment, attention needs to focus on the danger of Afghanistan falling back into civil war and the steps that should be taken to avoid a repeat of Afghan history as witnessed in the 1990s.  How best can the United States and its coalition partners continue their economic engagement with Afghanistan in the next two years and beyond?  What role and stake do regional players, particularly Iran, Pakistan, India, and China, have in a stable Afghanistan? This discussion will examine the regional dynamics of the withdrawal, and its impact on the future stability of Afghanistan and the US-Afghan relationship.

A discussion with

The Hon. James Dobbins
Former US Ambassador to Afghanistan

Ambassador Riaz Mohammad Khan
Former Foreign Secretary of Pakistan 

Ambassador Said Jawad
Former Afghan Ambassador to the United States 

Moderated by

The Hon. Franklin D. Kramer
Distinguished Fellow
Atlantic Council

Ambassador James Dobbins is the director of the RAND International Security and Defense Policy Center. Dobbins has held State Department and White House posts including assistant secretary of state for Europe, special assistant to the president, special adviser to the president and secretary of state for the Balkans, and ambassador to the European Union. Dobbins has had numerous crisis management and diplomatic troubleshooting assignments as the Clinton and G.W. Bush administrations’ special envoy for Afghanistan, Kosovo, Bosnia, Haiti, and Somalia. Diplomatic assignments include the withdrawal of American forces from Somalia, the American-led multilateral intervention in Haiti, the stabilization and reconstruction of Bosnia, and the NATO intervention in Kosovo. In the wake of the September 11, 2001 terror attacks, he was named as the Bush administration’s representative to the Afghan opposition with the task of putting together and installing a broadly based successor to the Taliban regime. He represented the United States at the Bonn Conference that established the new Afghan government, and, on December 16, 2001, he raised the flag over the newly reopened US Embassy.

Ambassador Riaz Mohammad Khan served as foreign secretary of Pakistan from February 2005 to April 2008 and as Pakistan’s ambassador to China from 2002 to 2005. He has also represented Pakistan as the ambassador to the European Union, Belgium, and Luxembourg (1995-98) and to Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan (1992-95). Ambassador Khan was also additional foreign secretary of Pakistan, responsible for issues such as international organizations, arms control, and disarmament, from 1998 to 2002 and director general, responsible for Afghanistan and Soviet affairs from 1986 to 1992 at the Pakistan Foreign Office. His publications include Afghanistan and Pakistan: Conflict, Extremism and Resistance to Modernity, published by Woodrow Wilson Center Press and John Hopkins University Press last year (2011); Untying the Afghan Knot: Negotiating Soviet Withdrawal, published by Duke University Press in 1990; coauthored Yellow Sand Hills: a study of Chinese Communes, published in Dhaka in 1975; and compiled a coffee table book on Pakistan published in 2008 and republished in 2012 as Pakistan: Glimpses of Vistas, History and Culture. Ambassador Khan also was a member of Pakistan delegation to Pakistan-Afghanistan Proximity Talks in Geneva from 1982-88, and negotiated a number of important bilateral and multilateral agreements on behalf of Pakistan, including the Third Generation Agreement with European Union.

Ambassador Said Tayeb Jawad, former ambassador of Afghanistan to the United States, is the chairman of the Foundation for Afghanistan, a nonprofit organization that focuses on increasing human capacity and intercultural dialogue in Afghanistan, and CEO of Capitalize LLC, a strategic consulting firm that specializes in the investments, security, and the political environment in Afghanistan and the greater Gulf region. Ambassador Jawad also recently joined the Future of Diplomacy Project at the Harvard Kennedy School of Government as the inaugural Fisher Family fellow and was just named diplomat in residence at the School of Advanced International Studies (SAIS) at John Hopkins University. He served as Ambassador to Brazil, Mexico, Colombia and Argentina; as well as the Chief of Staff and Press Secretary of the President of Afghanistan.

The Honorable Franklin Kramer is a national security and international affairs expert, and has multiple appointments, including as a member of the Atlantic Council Board of Directors and also a member of its Strategic Advisors Group. Mr. Kramer has been a senior political appointee in two administrations, including as Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs for President Clinton, Secretary Perry and Secretary Cohen; and, previously, as Principal Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for International Security Affairs. Among his current activities, Mr. Kramer is the principal editor and has written several chapters for the book “Cyberpower and National Security,” led the study on and is the principal author of “Civil Power in Irregular Conflict,” and is the co-author and was co-project director of “Transatlantic Cooperation for Sustainable Energy Security.”  At George Washington University, he teaches a course on “The Department of Defense and Winning Modern War.”  He has written numerous articles on international affairs, including “Recasting the Euro-Atlantic Partnership.”