Asia Program

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.

Shaping the Future? The Role of the Regional Powers in Afghanistan and Pakistan

May 28, 2014
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.

America’s Longest War: What To Expect When U.S. Troops Leave Afghanistan

Oct 16, 2014
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.

After 13 Years, War in Afghanistan Grinds On

Oct 07, 2014
"Even if the war in Afghanistan is ending for U.S. combat forces, it isn't ending for Afghans anytime soon," writes Michael Kugelman.

Four Questions for Afghanistan’s Future

Sep 23, 2014
"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.

It's Not All Fear and Loathing in Kabul

Sep 11, 2014
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.

Abdullah's Withdrawal Deals 'Heavy Blow' to Afghan Election Audit

Aug 29, 2014
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.

Why Afghanistan Should Be Worried About Pakistan's Political Crisis

Aug 21, 2014
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.

Pakistan and Afghanistan: Losing the Blame Game on Militancy

Aug 07, 2014
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.

Afghanistan Is Not the Next Iraq

Jul 24, 2014
Could Afghanistan be the next Iraq? Michael Kugelman provides four reasons to believe that Afghanistan could avert Iraq’s frightening fate.

The Iran Factor in Afghanistan

Jul 14, 2014
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.

Getting it Right in Afghanistan

Jul 08, 2014
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.

'Daunting Challenges' Await Future Afghan President

Jun 17, 2014
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.

The U.S.-Afghanistan Prisoner Swap Doesn’t Signal Peace on the Horizon

Jun 02, 2014
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.

Afghan Elections Result in Runoff

May 15, 2014
Michael Kugelman speaks to DW English about the upcoming runoff election in Afghanistan.

The Great Game That Won't Be

May 07, 2014
This article is part of a monthly series for Foreign Policy by Michael Kugelman that highlights possible post-2014 scenarios for Afghanistan.

New Issue of Wilson Quarterly Focuses on Afghanistan

May 06, 2014
The Spring 2014 issue of the Wilson Quarterly has been released. Focused on Afghanistan, it features articles by members of the Asia Program.

A Positive Surprise in Afghanistan

Apr 21, 2014
Senior Scholar Marvin Ott discusses the recent elections in Afghanistan.

What Afghanistan's Relatively Peaceful Election Tells Us About the Taliban

Apr 11, 2014
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.

Afghan Elections: What's at Stake?

Apr 04, 2014
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.

4 Reasons Elections Won't Fix Afghanistan

Apr 03, 2014
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.
The Wrong Enemy

The Wrong Enemy: America in Afghanistan 2001-2014

Mar 28, 2014
A conversation with Carlotta Gall, Former Afghanistan and Pakistan correspondent, New York Times

When the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban Unite

Mar 26, 2014
"Come next year, the Afghan and Pakistani Taliban could formally join forces-a jihadist juggernaut with alarming implications for regional stability," writes Michael Kugelman.
Naheed Farid, Member of Parliament, Afghanistan

Afghanistan: The View From Parliament

Mar 06, 2014
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.

Civil Society in Afghanistan: Spark or Stumbling Block for Stability?

Feb 10, 2014
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.

When Barry Met Hamid

Feb 18, 2014
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.

Afghanistan Stability: a Pipe Dream?

Jan 13, 2014
"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."

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