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.



Tue, Jan 19, 2021

The right way to get the region and the world behind Afghan peace

The Afghan negotiations in Doha represent a pivotal moment for war-weary Afghanistan, the region that surrounds it, and the US-led international military alliance that has been engaged in the country for the past two decades. However, without regional and international support and guarantee, any peace agreement between the Afghan government and the Taliban will be in danger of falling apart as soon as it reaches the implementation phase.

SouthAsiaSource by Jawed Ludin and Janan Mosazai

Afghanistan Conflict

Tue, Jan 19, 2021

Veterans, war, and the arts: A celebration of military service

VETERANS DAY 2020 joined the Atlantic Council’s creative energy with the nation’s celebration of veterans on this day of remembrance. Featuring welcome remarks by Adrienne Arsht and keynote remarks by General David Petraeus, this flagship event introduced a film adaptation of the stage play “War Words,” telling the stories of the veterans who served in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Event Recap by Olivia Popp

Afghanistan Conflict

Wed, Jan 13, 2021

The way forward in Afghanistan: How Biden can achieve sustainable peace and US security

Afghanistan may actually now have a chance to achieve some form of political settlement and significantly reduced violence.

New Atlanticist by James B. Cunningham, Hugo Llorens, Ronald E. Neumann, Richard Olson, and Earl Anthony Wayne

Afghanistan Conflict

Sat, Jan 9, 2021

Event recap: “Women’s gains in Afghanistan: Supporting economic opportunities for Afghan women as a driver of peace and security”

On Thursday January 7, 2021, the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center partnered with the U.S.-Afghan Women’s Council (USAWC) and the American Council on Women, Peace and Security (WPS) to host an event on women’s gains in Afghanistan, the critical role of Afghan women in Afghanistan’s peace and security, and the role of US actors in […]

Event Recap by Atlantic Council

Afghanistan Economy & Business

Thu, Jan 7, 2021

South Asia: The road ahead in 2021

The shadow of 2020 is likely to loom large over the coming year for South Asia, which faces unprecedented economic challenges, deterioration of democratic norms and institutions, and the existential threat of climate change.

Feature by South Asia Center

Afghanistan Bangladesh

Tue, Jan 5, 2021

Taliban 2.0. – Have the Taliban really changed and learnt their lesson?

With negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban under way, many in the West and Afghanistan are banking on the fact that the Taliban movement has changed and that, having failed to defeat them militarily, it is time to embrace them. Although the latter is indeed true - that we have failed to defeat the Taliban militarily - the former deserves more scrutiny.

SouthAsiaSource by Tamim Asey

Afghanistan Human Rights

Wed, Dec 16, 2020

To succeed, intra-Afghan talks must defer to the non-ideal

The negotiations between the Afghan government and the Taliban should just as much center on the question of whether we should ground political morality in a vision of a distinct Islamic polity (that of the Taliban or the Afghan government), or a non-ideal mode of Islamic governance reflecting the second-order and third-order preferences of the parties.

New Atlanticist by Muska Dastageer

Afghanistan Conflict

Fri, Dec 11, 2020

Samad joins Figaro to discuss US withdrawal from Afghanistan

In the News by Atlantic Council

Afghanistan Conflict

Wed, Dec 9, 2020

NATO must adapt to Afghanistan’s generation shift or it will lose the peace

While the jihadi generation may be the ones who shape and sign a peace agreement with the Taliban, the youth bulge will have to implement and sustain it. They are the Afghans needed to achieve a common international aim: that nineteen one-year wars are not followed by nineteen one-year peace processes.

New Atlanticist by Ben Acheson

Afghanistan Conflict

Wed, Dec 9, 2020

Preparing for the day after peace in Afghanistan

While a political settlement may end the conflict, sustaining peace will depend on a common definition of what peace will look like and delivering on the promise of a better future for the Afghan people.

New Atlanticist by Khyber Farahi

Afghanistan Conflict
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