The Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center held a discussion about “Afghanistan in Transition: Power Dynamics” with Nick Dowling and Mariam Atash Nawabi on May 16.

South Asia Center director Shuja Nawaz moderated the discussion.

“Afghanistan in Transition” focused on the importance of incorporating regional players, strengthening civil society, and increasing economic development to ensure a stable Afghanistan. Speakers discussed progress and challenges for US engagement in Afghanistan and the dynamics of US-Afghan relations for the next ten years.

Nick Dowling is a former National Security Council official under the Clinton Administration and the current president of IDS International (, a “smart power” national security firm that trains US Army and Marines on complex operations. He leads an IDS team with a wide range of stability operations, interagency, reconstruction and regional expertise. Mr. Dowling is a lifetime member of the Council on Foreign Relations and a member of the Army Education Advisory Council.

Mariam Atash Nawabi
is an attorney and adjunct professor of Law at the University of La Verne College of Law and president of AMDi International. She has been a television anchor and host of Pul, a show produced by American Abroad Media broadcast in Afghanistan. Prior to these roles, she was senior advisor to the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce and Commercial Counsel to the Embassy of Afghanistan in Washington, DC where she worked on policy issues, private sector development, women’s entrepreneurship, commercial law reform, and training and capacity building programs. 

Related Experts: Shuja Nawaz