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Fri, Mar 27, 2020

US cuts Afghan aid: Will it bring peace closer?

Recent weeks have seen Afghanistan politically paralyzed with both Ghani and Abdullah setting up parallel governments in Kabul, after both claimed victory in the September 2019 presidential elections. Secretary Pompeo attempted to push the Afghan government(s) towards talks with the Taliban and failed.

New Atlanticist by South Asia Center

Afghanistan Conflict

Sat, Feb 29, 2020

Agreement with the Taliban: What next?

The agreement is the best opportunity available for the beginning of discussions among Afghans of Afghanistan’s future, and of peace after decades of conflict. Even if it proves passable, the road to peace will be long and difficult, as indeed the path to today’s opening of the door to negotiations has been. No one should underestimate the difficulty of reaching a peace agreement and thus the need for time, patience, and persistence.

New Atlanticist by James B. Cunningham

Afghanistan Conflict

Fri, Feb 21, 2020

Cunningham joins NPR to discuss the Afghan Peace Process and recent 7-day ceasefire

In the News by Atlantic Council

Afghanistan Conflict

Ambassador James B. Cunningham joined the Atlantic Council in May 2015 as a Senior Fellow in the South Asia Center. He became a Nonresident Senior Fellow in May 2016. He served as ambassador to Afghanistan (August 2012 to December 2014), and as deputy ambassador (2011 – 2012). He was ambassador to Israel (2008 -2011), consul general for Hong Kong and Macau (2005 – 2008), ambassador and deputy permanent representative to the United Nations in New York (1999 – 2004), and acting permanent representative to the United Nations for the first nine months of 2001, including on 9/11.

After early tours in Stockholm, Washington, Rome, and the US Mission to NATO, NATO Secretary General Manfred Woerner selected Ambassador Cunningham as his chief of staff (1988 – 1990). He advised the Secretary General on all NATO issues in the context of nuclear disarmament in Europe, the collapse of the Berlin wall and the reunification of Germany, and the impending dissolution of the Warsaw Pact and the Soviet Union.

Just after Iraq invaded Kuwait in August 1990, Ambassador Cunningham became deputy political counselor at the US Mission to the United Nations. In 1992, he became the deputy director of the State Department Office of European Security and Political Affairs (1992 – 1993) and then director (1993 – 1995). He served as deputy chief of mission at the Embassy in Rome (1996 – 1999). 

Ambassador Cunningham was born in Allentown, Pennsylvania and graduated magna cum laude from Syracuse University with degrees in political science and psychology. He is married to Leslie Genier of Mineville, New York. They have two daughters. Ambassador Cunningham is the recipient of multiple awards from the State Department, the National Performance Review’s Hammer Award for Innovation in Management, the US President’s Meritorious Service Award (twice), and has received awards from the Conference of Presidents of Major Jewish Organizations, the Secretary of Defense, the Afghan government, and Syracuse University. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and The Asia Society. Ambassador Cunningham retired from government service in December 2014 with the rank of career minister.