The war in Afghanistan, the longest in U.S. history, shows little sign of winding down. Despite hundreds of billions of dollars in military aid and state support, Afghanistan still struggles with resilient Taliban and Islamic State insurgencies. Recent brazen terrorist attacks and growing disunity among the country’s political leadership raise new doubts about its future.
Increasingly, questions are being asked as to why the United States maintains a presence in Afghanistan. How is a U.S. presence serving American security interests? The Trump administration has pledged an indefinite commitment to victory in Afghanistan, but what does success look like and what would have to change to achieve it? Does the U.S. have a clear and coherent strategy going forward and what, if any, are the alternatives?
The Middle East Institute (MEI) is pleased to host an expert panel to discuss these and other questions about the US mission in Afghanistan. MEI’s Director of Afghanistan and Pakistan Studies, Marvin G. Weinbaum, will moderate the discussion with Vanda Felbab-Brown, a senior fellow in the Foreign Policy program at Brookings; Christopher Kolenda, adjunct senior fellow at the Center for a New American Security; Ahmad Khalid Majidyar, fellow at the Middle East Institute and director of the IranObserved Project; and Amb. (ret.) Ronald Neumann, President of the American Academy of Diplomacy and former U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan.