About the Director
Marvin G. Weinbaum is professor emeritus of political science at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, and served as analyst for Pakistan and Afghanistan in the U.S. Department of State’s Bureau of Intelligence and Research from 1999 to 2003.
The current conflict in Afghanistan, the latest in a series of perpetual wars and episodes of civil strife over the past 40 years, is strategically stalemated. While the Taliban are willing to negotiate with the U.S. about the withdrawal of foreign troops from the country, they continue to reject direct talks with the Afghan government for a political settlement. Even with inclusive peace talks, there is reason to question whether the Taliban’s vision of a future Afghan state and society can be reconciled with a liberal, democratic constitutional order.