Post-ISAF Afghanistan: The Early Months

Content from the Brookings Doha Center is now archived. In September 2021, after 14 years of impactful partnership, Brookings and the Brookings Doha Center announced that they were ending their affiliation. The Brookings Doha Center is now the Middle East Council on Global Affairs, a separate public policy institution based in Qatar.

Following more than a dozen years of international military presence in Afghanistan, the country faces a key security transition after NATO combat forces transferred all security responsibilities to the Afghan National Security Forces at the close of 2014. The Afghan people also witnessed a political milestone last year—the first peaceful transfer of power from one elected president to another. Today, there are numerous challenges facing the resulting national unity government as the country undergoes near-simultaneous security, political, and economic transitions.

What will happen in this post-transition period? Will Afghanistan’s security hold? What can Afghanistan expect from NATO going forward? Can the economy develop despite a likely decline in foreign aid? What role might Pakistan and other neighbors play in shoring up Afghanistan’s economy and reinforcing its national security?

This policy dialogue addresses these and other questions. It presents a summary of the key findings of a workshop that the Brookings Doha Center and NATO Defense College hosted in Doha in February 2015. The workshop brought together senior officials from the Afghan government and NATO, independent experts, representatives of Afghan civil society, members of the media, and others to discuss and debate Afghanistan’s prospects in the post-ISAF era.