The future of Afghanistan’s constitutionally liberal democratic system is very much at issue. On its survival rests the aspiration of the greatest number of its people, the deep investment of the international community in the country’s stability and wellbeing, and ultimately the security of the region and beyond. Negotiations are beginning in what is certain to be a lengthy process that may in the name of a compromise trade away social and economic gains realized over nearly two decades. Afghanistan has additionally to cope with the disengagement of foreign forces just at a time when their leverage militarily and diplomatically could be critical. In the absence of a verifiable ceasefire, the country confronts a prospect of exploding violence and possible descent into chaos.
Can Afghanistan pull itself together to not only protect its achievements but to overcome past errors? Should Afghans and their international partners think about formulating a Plan B to save the republic while striving for true reconciliation with the insurgency? The Middle East Institute is pleased to host a panel of experts to discuss these questions and more.
Photo by National Security Council of Afghanistan/Handout/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images
Arleigh A. Burke Chair in Strategy, Center for Strategic and International Studies
Distinguished professor, Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, National Defense University
Chairman and CEO, MOBY Group
President, American University of Afghanistan
Former Afghan deputy minister of commerce; member, MOBY Group Media; political activist
Marvin Weinbaum, moderator
Director, Afghanistan and Pakistan Studies, Middle East Institute