The way forward in Afghanistan seems as unclear as it has ever been. An outright military victory against the Taliban and other insurgent groups appears to be unachievable. The prospect of insurgents overrunning the country soon appears similarly unlikely. At the same time, a negotiated peace seems presently improbable. At least on terms outlined by the Kabul government and international community, the Taliban shows little interest in reconciliation. The long-term commitment of the United States and its coalition partners to an indefinite military presence and financial support cannot be taken for granted.

After nearly 17 years of fighting and state building in Afghanistan, we are still asking how conflict ends and what the endgame for Afghanistan looks like.

To discuss possible scenarios, the Middle East Institute (MEI) is pleased to host an expert panel. MEI’s Director of Afghanistan and Pakistan Studies, Marvin G. Weinbaum, will moderate the discussion with Javid Ahmad, a nonresident fellow at the Atlantic Council’s South Asia Center; Courtney Cooper, an international affairs fellow at the Council on Foreign Relations, and Seth Jones, director of the Transnational Threats Project and a senior adviser for the International Security Program at the Center for Strategic International Studies.

An event in the Louis R. Hughes lecture series. A light Afghan lunch will be served.