Strategic Patience: Sustainable Engagement with a Changed Afghanistan
A year has passed since the withdrawal of U.S. troops and Taliban takeover of Afghanistan. The United States remains the single largest humanitarian donor to the people of Afghanistan, with over $774 million USD distributed since the Taliban takeover, but the United States maintains no diplomatic presence in the country — nor does it send official diplomatic envoys. Nor have U.S. sanctions altered the Taliban’s calculus on human rights or ties with al-Qaeda. The Taliban has proved intransigent and unrealistic in its relations not only with Washington but also with neighboring countries like Pakistan.
How can the United States retain what little leverage it has over the Taliban without punishing the Afghan people? Are these two goals in conflict? If sanctions are not altering Taliban behavior, then what purpose do they serve? How can aid be effectively delivered to the Afghans going forward? Are there lessons from the past that can inform development and aid provision in a post-Taliban Afghanistan?
Join us for a panel that explores how the United States and its partners can develop an Afghanistan policy that is sustainable in the face of Taliban intransigence, especially regarding counterterrorism and human rights, and ready to capitalize on fleeting moments of Taliban pragmatism. The conversation will feature Graeme Smith, senior consultant for the International Crisis Group, Haroun Rahimi, assistant professor of law at the American University of Afghanistan and visiting professor at Università Bocconi, Tara Moayed who is a social development consultant who worked and lived in Afghanistan from 2014 to 2019 where she helped develop women’s economic empowerment programs and advised the Ministry of Finance, and Jordan Kane is senior analyst in the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR). QI research fellow Adam Weinstein will moderate.