Preventing Catastrophe in Afghanistan
Please join us for a wide-ranging conversation with CSIS experts to discuss directions and options for Afghanistan going forward and how to avoid continued catastrophe in the region. On April 14th, President Biden announced a complete U.S. troop withdrawal by September 11, 2021, with a peace conference between the government of Afghanistan and the Taliban initially set for April 24th in Istanbul, Turkey. However, the peace conference has been postponed indefinitely due to the Taliban reneging. As of April 2021, civilian casualties in Afghanistan have increased by 29 percent as compared to April 2020, with significant increases in woman and child casualties.
As the U.S. withdrawal develops, the economic, political, and human rights future of Afghanistan remains uncertain. These issues in Afghanistan also play into United States interests in the surrounding region, including in human rights, development, and political and economic stability. One school of thought argues that ending U.S. military presence accelerates a real dialogue amongst the parties in Afghanistan. Another posits that a U.S. withdrawal will result in the collapse of development, human rights, and economic progress, specifically gains in social, political and women’s rights issues made in the last 20 years. A current and future challenge will be in determining what role the United States can and should play in Afghanistan following a military withdrawal and what pathways remain for a resolution of the regional conflict.
This event is made possible through general support to CSIS.