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.



Fri, Nov 20, 2020

Kroenig and Ashford discuss US policy toward Afghanistan and Iran

On November 20, Foreign Policy published a biweekly column featuring Scowcroft Center deputy director Matthew Kroenig and New American Engagement Initiative senior fellow Emma Ashford discussing the latest news in international affairs. In this column, they discuss President Trump’s desire to pull US troops out of Afghanistan, as well as a potential strike on Iran’s nuclear programs in […]

In the News by Atlantic Council

Afghanistan Iran

Wed, Nov 18, 2020

Warrick in Houston Chronicle on the dangers of Trump’s planned troop withdrawals

On November 18, Forward Defense and Hariri Center non-resident senior fellow Thomas Warrick wrote an op-ed for the Houston Chronicle titled “Trump gambles with national security by removing troops.”

In the News by Atlantic Council

Afghanistan Defense Policy

Wed, Nov 18, 2020

Wechsler quoted in AFP on Trump’s announcement to pull troops from Afghanistan

In the News

Afghanistan Elections

Tue, Nov 17, 2020

FAST THINKING: Trump’s plan to bring US troops home by Inauguration Day

First he shook up the leadership at the Pentagon. Now, as his new acting defense secretary announced on Tuesday, Donald Trump is planning to withdraw significant numbers of US troops from Afghanistan and Iraq. How should we weigh the noble cause of ending wars against the president’s rush to do so as his term comes to an end? And how will these moves affect the Biden administration’s options when it takes office in January?

Fast Thinking by Atlantic Council

Afghanistan Defense Industry

Tue, Nov 17, 2020

How ‘artivism’ can change society—in Afghanistan and beyond

Art can be used as an outlet for self-expression, but also as a tool to advocate for human rights. Through art, we can share the untold stories of the civil society, win back the hearts and minds of our fellow citizens, and send a clear message that activism in South Asia is vigorous and flourishing, and—in a region that continues to face many challenges—demonstrate that change is possible.

Photo Essay by Kabir Mokamel and Omaid Sharifi

Afghanistan Civil Society

Fri, Nov 13, 2020

Rushing for the exits in Afghanistan would leave a lasting stain on America

Withdrawing quickly would end any hope for a decent and responsible peace agreement in Afghanistan, and would also put to rest any prospect that Trump’s legacy might include taking credit for the Afghan peace process that he and his Afghanistan team took the lead in creating.

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

Afghanistan Conflict

Thu, Nov 12, 2020

How President-elect Biden can reshape US relations in Greater South Asia

With the Taliban feeling increasingly emboldened, President-elect Biden must adopt a new and more practicable strategy for the region that is not based solely on military and security compulsions but includes future-oriented economic and political plans, working with international organizations and partners to achieve common goals.

New Atlanticist by Shuja Nawaz

Afghanistan Conflict

Thu, Nov 12, 2020

VETERANS DAY 2020 film featured in multiple outlets

The Atlantic Council's premiere of "Veterans Day 2020," written by Nonresident Senior Fellow Michelle Kholos Brooks and produced by Senior Fellow Steven Grundman, was featured in a variety of news outlets, theater sites, and veterans service organizations.

In the News by Atlantic Council

Afghanistan Conflict

Sat, Nov 7, 2020

Biberman quoted in RadioFreeEurope on possible divisions within the Taliban

In the News by Atlantic Council

Afghanistan Security & Defense

Fri, Nov 6, 2020

Brooks featured in BroadwayWorld for the premiere of her short film ‘Veterans Day 2020’

On November 6, Atlantic Council Nonresident Senior Fellow Michelle Kholos Brooks was featured in BroadwayWorld for the premiere of her short film Veterans Day 2020.

In the News by Atlantic Council

Afghanistan Civil Society