Upcoming events

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.



New Atlanticist

Jan 20, 2022

Pakistan’s ‘Praetorian’ state is a troubling model for a Taliban-led Afghanistan

By Ben Acheson

If the Taliban emulates Pakistan’s Praetorian model, it will further erode all work done to grow a healthy Afghan civil society and develop civilian institutions.

Afghanistan Democratic Transitions


Jan 12, 2022

The Afghan Taliban aren’t likely to give up the TTP. Here’s why.

By Fahd Humayun

This week, a commander of the anti-Pakistan terrorist outfit Tehreek-i-Taliban Pakistan (TTP) was killed by sniper fire in Afghanistan’s eastern province of Nangarhar. While no group has claimed responsibility for the attack, Afghanistan’s new ruling dispensation under the Afghan Taliban is unlikely to have had a hand in the hit, despite Islamabad’s insistence that the new regime take action against the outlawed terrorist group.

Afghanistan Indo-Pacific

In the News

Dec 25, 2021

Fontenrose quoted in RadioFreeEurope on the rivalry between regional powers to fill the power vacuum in Afganistan

By Atlantic Council

Afghanistan Conflict

In the News

Dec 17, 2021

Kroenig and Ashford reflect on US foreign policy in 2021 and debate the year ahead

By Atlantic Council

On December 17, Foreign Policy published a biweekly column featuring Scowcroft Center deputy director Matthew Kroenig and New American Engagement Initiative senior fellow Emma Ashford assessing the latest news in international affairs. In their last column of 2021, they reflect on major foreign policy events that shaped the year, debate the limits of US power and leadership, […]

Afghanistan Arms Control


Dec 14, 2021

Will Afghanistan become another Somalia, Yugoslavia, or Medellin?

By Javid Ahmad

With no regional consensus on the way forward, the mixed dangers of Afghanistan morphing into another Somalia, or breaking into a loose confederacy of statelets like the former Yugoslavia, or becoming the next drug-replete Medellin is not a distant possibility.  

Afghanistan Economy & Business

New Atlanticist

Dec 13, 2021

Afghanistan is about to collapse. Here’s what the US must do about it.

By John F. Campbell, Ryan Crocker, James Cunningham, James Dobbins, Hugo Llorens, P. Michael McKinley, John Nicholson, Ronald E. Neumann, Richard Olson, David Petraeus, and Earl Anthony Wayne

Eleven former US ambassadors and commanders issue an urgent warning to Washington and its allies.

Afghanistan Civil Society

In the News

Dec 12, 2021

Rothschild quoted in TIME on the state of US alliances amid Biden’s G20 and COP26 participation

On October 28, nonresident senior fellow Amanda Rothschild was quoted in TIME discussing how US withdrawal from Afghanistan affected longstanding US alliances.

Afghanistan Politics & Diplomacy

In the News

Dec 7, 2021

Rothschild on vulnerable Afghans left behind following US withdrawal from Afghanistan

By Atlantic Council

On September 21, Newsweek published an op-ed by Atlantic Council nonresident senior fellow Amanda Rothschild criticizing the Biden administration’s withdrawal from Afghanistan and highlighting the vulnerability of Afghans unable to evacuate.

Afghanistan Conflict

New Atlanticist

Dec 1, 2021

The world must carefully engage with Afghanistan. Here’s how.

By Harris A. Samad

Ignoring Afghanistan would be a catastrophic mistake for the international community—as would be a rush to recognize the Taliban.

Afghanistan Crisis Management

In the News

Dec 1, 2021

Sakhi deliver Biannual McMillan-Stewart Lecture on Afghanistan’s Traditional and Non-Traditional Security Issues and Regional Implications

By Atlantic Council

Afghanistan Conflict