Upcoming events & strategic dialogues

Developing a long-term transatlantic framework for peace and security in Afghanistan

Between fall 2020 and summer 2021, the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center will host a set off private, high-level strategic dialogues to develop and advocate for a longer-term strategic outlook for ensuring stability in Afghanistan as well as maintaining US and European counter-terrorism interests. This effort will look beyond the US elections, recognizing that a political consensus is emerging to support a drawdown in US security commitments, but no such consensus exists on the long-term relationship with Afghanistan.

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Flagship report

Illicit Networks-Zaranj

Wed, Jul 15, 2020

Strategies for reforming Afghanistan’s illicit networks

Authored in-house and advised upon by senior fellows Ambassador James B. Cunningham, Ambassador Omar Samad, Marika Theros, Javid Ahmad, and Fatemeh Aman, this report explores illicit networks in Afghanistan in the context of peacebuilding, democratic consolidation, and enhancing state capacity. It concludes by outlining several specific policy recommendations that will be necessary to combat the illicit networks in a manner that supports the durability of the ongoing peace process in Afghanistan and the continued consolidation of its fragile democratic institutions.

In-Depth Research & Reports by Harris Samad and Fatima Salman

Afghanistan Arms Control

The South Asia Center serves as the Atlantic Council’s focal point for work on greater South Asia as well as its relations between these countries, the neighboring regions, Europe, and the United States.



Wed, Oct 28, 2020

Transcript: A conversation with First Lady of Afghanistan Rula Ghani and former First Lady of the United States Laura Bush

The South Asia Center and the George W. Bush Institute host a conversation with First Lady Rula Ghani and former First Lady Laura Bush to discuss strategies for ensuring long-term security without compromising on the rights of women and minorities as well as the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

ACFrontPage by Atlantic Council

Afghanistan Human Rights

Sat, Oct 10, 2020

Don’t abandon peace for Afghanistan

An accelerated US withdrawal will effectively mean abandoning the fruits of two years of determined US diplomacy with the Taliban, Afghan partners in Kabul, our allies, and regional and international partners to get the Afghan parties to the negotiating table.

New Atlanticist by James Cunningham, John Negroponte, Ronald Neuman, Hugo Llorens, Richard Olson, and Earl Anthony Wayne

Afghanistan Conflict

Tue, Oct 6, 2020

Samad joins the Middle East Institute to discuss the Prospects for the intra-Afghan talks in Doha

In the News by Atlantic Council

Afghanistan Conflict

Fri, Sep 25, 2020

Kroenig and Ashford discuss the state of American democracy and institutions

On September 25, Foreign Policy published a biweekly column featuring Scowcroft Center Deputy Director Matthew Kroenig and the Cato Institute’s Emma Ashford discussing the latest news in international affairs. In this column, they discuss public opinion about American involvement in the Middle East; President Trump’s speech at the United Nations General Assembly; and the state of American democracy […]

In the News by Atlantic Council

Afghanistan China

Wed, Sep 16, 2020

The international community must do more to support Afghan and Rohingya refugees amid the COVID-19 pandemic

While the international community remains hyper-focused on addressing the virus and its associated economic slowdown, Afghan and Rohingya refugees continue to be forced into a life of complete uncertainty as they escape violence in their home countries. Concerted action by the international community and host countries towards mitigating the virus’ disproportionate effects on asylum seekers would immensely improve refugee welfare.

New Atlanticist by Rudabeh Shahid and Harris Samad

Afghanistan Bangladesh

Tue, Sep 15, 2020

Women must be meaningfully included in the Afghan peace negotiations

The long-awaited Afghan peace process finally began on September 12, and Afghanistan’s women must have a seat at the table. While crucial issues such as disarmament, power-sharing, the presence of foreign troops, human rights abuses, and territorial disputes will likely take center stage, leaders from around the world have issued a call to uphold the right of Afghan women to be included in the talks.

New Atlanticist by Atlantic Council

Afghanistan Women

Wed, Sep 9, 2020

Event recap: “The Impact of the COVID-19 Pandemic on South Asian Economies” with the US Embassy in Delhi

On September 3, 2020, the US Embassy in Delhi hosted a webinar about the effects of COVID-19 on the regional economies of South Asia, featuring Dr Irfan Nooruddin, director of the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center.

Event Recap by Atlantic Council

Afghanistan Bangladesh

Mon, Aug 31, 2020

How to improve Afghanistan’s devastated maternal healthcare system amid COVID-19 and the peace process

Developing a sustainable maternal healthcare system is an integral step to achieving transformative justice for Afghan women and for the development of Afghanistan’s social institutions amid the ongoing peace process.

New Atlanticist by Shariq Farooqi

Afghanistan Conflict

Sat, Aug 22, 2020

Samad as a panelist with the Jinnah Institute: Negotiating the End Game in Afghanistan

In the News by Atlantic Council

Afghanistan Crisis Management

Tue, Jul 21, 2020

Event recap: “The role of victims in Afghanistan’s peace process”

On July 20, 2020 the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center hosted a panel discussion on the role of victims in Afghanistan’s peace process. Marika Theros, a nonresident senior fellow at the South Asia Center, moderated the discussion which was paneled by Shaharzad Akbar, Chairperson of the Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission; Sergio Jamarillo Caro, Former High Commissioner for Peace for Colombia; and Hadi Marifat, Executive Director of the Afghanistan Human Rights and Democracy Organization.

Event Recap by Atlantic Council

Afghanistan Democratic Transitions


Wed, Nov 11, 2020

Veterans Day 2020

ONLINE EVENT - "Veterans Day 2020" joins the Atlantic Council's creative energy with the nation's celebration of veterans on this day of remembrance. It features keynote remarks by General David Petraeus, introducing a film adaptation of the stage play "War Words," which depicts true stories of the veterans of war in Iraq and Afghanistan.