The regional impact of intra-Afghan talks

On September 12, 2020, long awaited intra-Afghan talks began between the Taliban and the elected Afghan government. Pakistan helped facilitate earlier talks between the United States and the Taliban, which it has historically supported to varying degrees. India also maintains a significant footprint in Afghanistan, and both view the other’s Afghanistan policy as hostile. A surge in U.S. troops thawed relations between Iran and its traditional Taliban enemy, but Tehran opposes the re-establishment of a Taliban-led Islamic Emirate. The outcome of Intra-Afghan talks will prove consequential for the region as a whole, especially as the American public increasingly desires the withdrawal of remaining U.S. troops from Afghanistan. How will a drawdown of U.S. troops, combined with potential outcomes to the intra-Afghan talks influence regional actors going forward? Join what promises to be a nuanced discussion between Dr. Barnett Rubin of the Quincy Institute and New York University who served as Senior Adviser to the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan in the U.S. Department of State, Elizabeth Threlkeld of the Stimson Center who previously served as a Foreign Service Officer in Islamabad and Peshawar, and Adam Weinstein of the Quincy Institute who is a veteran of the war in Afghanistan. The discussion will be moderated by Dr. Sahar Khan of the Cato Institute. The panel will take place on Wednesday, October 14 at 12 pm ET.


Elizabeth Threlkeld

Elizabeth Threlkeld is a Senior Fellow and Deputy Director of the South Asia Program at the Stimson Center. She previously served as a Foreign Service Officer with the U.S. Department of State in Islamabad and Peshawar, Pakistan, and Monterrey, Mexico. Threlkeld holds an MPhil in Politics and International Relations from the University of Cambridge, where she received the Hilda Richardson Studentship from Newnham College. She is an expert on security and governance in Pakistan’s border areas. She is the recipient of a Department of State Superior Honor Award, several Meritorious Honor Awards, and the Matilda W. Sinclaire Language Award. She speaks Pashto, Mandarin, and Spanish.

Barnett R. Rubin

Barnett R. Rubin is a non-resident senior fellow at the Quincy Institute and associate director of New York University’s Center on International Cooperation, where he also directs the Afghanistan Regional Project. From April 2009 until October 2013, Dr. Rubin was the senior adviser to the Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the U.S. Department of State. He previously served as special advisor to the UN Special Representative of the Secretary General for Afghanistan, during the negotiations that produced the Bonn Agreement. He subsequently advised the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan on the drafting of the constitution of Afghanistan, the Afghanistan Compact and the Afghanistan National Development Strategy. From 1994 to 2000, Dr. Rubin was director of the Center for Preventive Action and director of Peace and Conflict Studies at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York. He has also taught at Columbia University and Yale University.

Adam Weinstein

Adam Weinstein is a Research Fellow at the Quincy Institute. He previously worked for KPMG’s international trade practice. Adam’s current research focuses on security, trade, and rule of law in Afghanistan and Pakistan. He is a member of the American Pakistan Foundation’s Leadership Council and has presented at various conferences in Pakistan. Prior to consulting, he worked as senior law and policy analyst at the National Iranian American Council where he focused on the securitization of U.S. immigration policy and its effect on immigrant communities. He received a JD from Temple University Beasley School of Law with a concentration in international law and transitional justice. Adam served as a U.S. Marine and deployed to Afghanistan in 2012 as part of a detachment to the 2nd Air Naval Gunfire Liaison Company where he served in Uruzgan Province in support of Australia’s 2nd Commando Regiment.

Sahar Khan (Moderator)

Dr. Sahar Khan is an adjunct scholar in the Cato Institute’s Defense and Foreign Policy Department. Her research interests include militancy, counterterrorism policies, anti‐​terrorism legal regimes, South Asia, Middle East, and U.S. national security. Her doctoral dissertation explored state motivations for sponsoring militant groups, and the role civil institutions play in state‐​sponsorship within Pakistan. She has also served as the associate editor of The Washington Quarterly at the Center for Strategic and International Studies. She holds a PhD in political science from the University of California, Irvine; a MPP from the Harris School of Public Policy, University of Chicago; and, a BA from Ohio Wesleyan University.