Afghanistan: Year of Decision
With elections looming and international forces withdrawing, 2014 is a year rife with uncertainty for Afghanistan. Over the course of 2014, the Asia Program will be providing context, through events, articles, and other products, for the many decisions to be made in Afghanistan this year—ones of great consequence for Afghanistan, its neighbors, and the international community.
With the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan winding down, and responsibility shifting to Afghan security forces, Michael Kugelman provides insight into what to expect for the country and the region. read more
Speakers will discuss the reasons why the regional perspective on Afghanistan and Pakistan is relevant, and particularly so at this point in time. Given the economic, social, and geopolitical challenges that have strong regional dimensions, the role of the five key implicated powers—India, China, Iran, Russia, and Saudi Arabia—is likely to become increasingly relevant as the new future for Afghanistan is shaped.
With the U.S. war effort in Afghanistan winding down, and responsibility shifting to Afghan security forces, Michael Kugelman provides insight into what to expect for the country and the region.
"Even if the war in Afghanistan is ending for U.S. combat forces, it isn't ending for Afghans anytime soon," writes Michael Kugelman.
"Two bitter rivals in a bitterly divided nation will be sharing power under an arrangement that represents not the will of the Afghan people but a solution imposed by the international community," writes Michael Kugelman.
Michael Kugelman gives several reasons why there is still hope for a positive outcome to the current impasse in Afghanistan's election crisis. "No one ever said it will be easy to craft a happy ending to this tale -- but it's still quite possible," he writes.
A spokesman for Abdullah Abdullah says the Afghan presidential candidate will reject the results of the election audit. The move could deepen the crisis and prove catastrophic, said Michael Kugelman in this interview with Deutsche Welle.
This month, Pakistan has experienced its most serious political crisis in years. While the outcome of the protests remains uncertain, this much is clear: The Pakistani military is the big winner. This is bad news for Pakistan's fragile democracy -- but also for fragile Afghanistan.
Islamabad and Kabul need to stop bickering and start cooperating on a coordinated counterterrorism strategy, argues Wilson Center Global Fellow Huma Yusuf in a new commentary written exclusively for the Asia Program website.
Could Afghanistan be the next Iraq? Michael Kugelman provides four reasons to believe that Afghanistan could avert Iraq’s frightening fate.
In recent years -- and especially in recent weeks, amid the alarmingly rapid gains of the militant group known as the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria (ISIS) -- much ink has been spilled about the role that Iran plays in neighboring Iraq. Considerably less has been said about the role Iran plays in Afghanistan.
Asia Program global fellow Huma Yusuf co-authored the chapter "Pakistan, the United States, and the Endgame in Afghanistan" for a new book published by the United States Institute of Peace.
Defying Taliban threats, Afghans headed back to the polls to choose the successor of President Hamid Karzai. Michael Kugelman talks about the formidable challenges that await whoever wins this close-fought election in an interview by DW.
Bowe Bergdahl, the last remaining U.S. POW in Afghanistan, has been released in exchange for five Taliban detainees held at Guantanamo. While this is a remarkable achievement, the sad truth is that peace is likely to remain elusive in Afghanistan, writes Michael Kugelman.
Michael Kugelman speaks to DW English about the upcoming runoff election in Afghanistan.
This article is part of a monthly series for Foreign Policy by Michael Kugelman that highlights possible post-2014 scenarios for Afghanistan.
The Spring 2014 issue of the Wilson Quarterly has been released. Focused on Afghanistan, it features articles by members of the Asia Program.
Senior Scholar Marvin Ott discusses the recent elections in Afghanistan.
After weeks of relentless attacks by the Taliban many feared that the Afghan election would be a very bloody one. Yet, the 7 million people who turned out to vote largely escaped harm. Here's the likely explanation.
On April 5, Afghans head to the polls as the country attempts its first-ever peaceful and democratic transfer of power. Three experts on the ground will discuss the election results —to the extent that they are known—and their implications.
No matter how free, fair, credible, and legitimate the election ultimately is (or is not), Afghanistan has a long way to go before it becomes a more stable state. Here are four reasons why.
A conversation with Carlotta Gall, Former Afghanistan and Pakistan correspondent, New York Times
"Come next year, the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban could formally join forces-a jihadist juggernaut with alarming implications for regional stability," writes Michael Kugelman.
With an upcoming presidential election and the anticipated withdrawal of U.S. troops, 2014 will be a very important year for Afghanistan. Naheed Farid, Afghanistan’s youngest member of Parliament and a woman, talks about the concerns and hopes for women and young people in her country.
With international troops withdrawing from Afghanistan, Afghan efforts to promote security will increasingly be taking center stage. This event examines the extent to which Afghan nongovernment organizations (NGOs) can help achieve stability.
Christina Lamb, one of Britain’s leading foreign correspondents and a Wilson Center Global Fellow, warns that Afghan President Hamid Karzai is “playing straight into the hands” of those who favor the complete withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by the end of 2014. But Washington is also to blame for deplorable ties between Afghanistan and the United States.
"The stabilizing role of a post-2014 force - and its overall utility - would be modest at best," writes Michael Kugelman. "Afghanistan's future will largely be determined by domestic political considerations in South Asia that the U.S. has little ability - or desire - to influence."