Brookings will be closed on Monday, January 14 due to inclement weather.
All events will be rescheduled for a future date.
For over 17 years, the United States has expended considerable blood and treasure to deny safe haven to extremist groups in Afghanistan. Despite this, the Afghan government struggles to assert its authority over the entirety of the country’s territory, while the Taliban—which governed Afghanistan at the time of the 9/11 attacks—remains a potent force that will be part of any negotiated political settlement in the future.
Meanwhile, the United States stands on the precipice of significant changes to its longest war. President Trump has ordered the Department of Defense to present him with options to reduce—perhaps entirely—U.S. forces in Afghanistan, which could dramatically alter the country’s future and risk undermining the United States’ hard-fought gains there. The sudden departure of Defense Secretary James Mattis likewise calls into question the Trump administration’s preparedness to manage the consequences of any significant changes to U.S. policy.
On January 14, Michael O’Hanlon, senior fellow and director of research for the Foreign Policy program at Brookings, will moderate a discussion with former National Security Advisor Stephen Hadley, Senior Fellow Vanda Felbab-Brown, and Visiting Fellow Madiha Afzal on the future of U.S. policy in Afghanistan. Following their conversation, panelists will take audience questions.
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Rather than serving as a unifying diplomatic exercise to highlight Iran’s troubling regional activities, the [Warsaw] summit primarily highlighted America’s diplomatic isolation from its European allies.