Strategic dialogues

The participants of the Atlantic Council / Rockefeller Brothers Fund Strategic Dialogues have been working for the past eight months to develop a long-term strategic outlook to promote stability in Afghanistan consistent with Afghan, US, and European interests and values. This group of distinguished European, American, and Afghan diplomats, military officers, scholars, and analysts brought to our deliberations a deep understanding of the context both on the ground and among the allies. We explored a diplomatic-security framework based on the minimal conditions and variables necessary to realize a long-term vision of a sovereign, unified, democratic, peaceful, and prosperous Afghanistan and generated recommendations to support this vision.

Flagship report

Illicit Networks-Zaranj

In-Depth Research & Reports

Jul 15, 2020

Strategies for reforming Afghanistan’s illicit networks

By Harris Samad and Fatima Salman

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.

Afghanistan Arms Control

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



Nov 17, 2022

Reflections on the 2022 Moscow Format Consultations on Afghanistan and regional security

By Nilofar Sakhi

The countries involved in the 2022 Moscow Format Consultations on Afghanistan have yet to address, let alone resolve, fundamental issues related to regional security and a political settlement for Afghanistan.

Afghanistan Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding


Oct 20, 2022

The lionesses of Kabul & Tehran in Khorasan

By Davood Moradian

Afghan and Iranian women continue to be denied their basic human rights, and this shared struggle is built on an overlapping Iranian-Afghan history and civilizational space known as the Iranian plateau.

Afghanistan Human Rights


Sep 27, 2022

Afghanistan under the Taliban: Regional recalibrations, challenges, and ways forward

By Hameed Hakimi

Despite the spectacular and unprecedented events following the Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan in August 2021, the global spotlight steadily shifted away from the country.

Afghanistan Economy & Business


Sep 26, 2022

To support Afghan women activists, prioritize local knowledge over numbers

By Sophie Mae Berman and Yelena Biberman

Though Afghan women have been included in certain peacebuilding efforts, these experiences were largely tokenist and minimally empowering.

Afghanistan Peacekeeping and Peacebuilding

Issue Brief

Sep 9, 2022

Supporting Afghan refugees: A case for cultural sensitivity and humility in resettlement practices

By Halima Ahmadi-Montecalvo, Amanda Terry, Belquis Ahmadi

In recognition of the one-year anniversary of the Taliban retaking control of Afghanistan, the authors of this publication seek to raise awareness of the whole person needs of settled refugees in the United States by highlighting experiences of a number of newly resettled Afghan refugees.

Afghanistan Politics & Diplomacy


Sep 8, 2022

Dismantlement of the Taliban regime is the only way forward for Afghanistan

By Davood Moradian

Ask ten individuals about the Taliban, and you will receive ten different answers—or as one might phrase it, the “Taliban in the eye of the beholder.”

Afghanistan Politics & Diplomacy


Sep 6, 2022

As Pakistan’s Afghanistan policy fails, the Afghan Taliban moves against Islamabad

By Raza Khan Qazi

Islamabad’s long standing objective—to have a dependent government in Kabul—has finally burned to the ground.

Afghanistan Defense Policy

AC Selects

Aug 26, 2022

AC Selects: Updates on America’s departure from Afghanistan and State of the Space Industrial Base

Events from week of August 26, 2022 The Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security takes a look at America’s departure from Afghanistan, one year later. As Afghanistan faces a grim and uncertain future, catch expert highlights on the consequences of the US withdrawal and what it meant for Afghanistan and the United States. Meanwhile, the […]

Afghanistan Conflict


Aug 24, 2022

Afghanistan’s drug trade is booming under Taliban rule

By Rupert Stone

Though the Taliban vowed to crack down on narcotics after coming to power last August, that promise has been inadequately enforced, and Afghanistan’s drug trade is booming.

Afghanistan Economy & Business

In the News

Aug 22, 2022

Nasr quoted in Global Echo: No one has been held accountable for the catastrophic Afghanistan withdrawal

By Atlantic Council

Afghanistan Conflict