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.
My biggest concern is that Washington is signaling to Russia that it’s OK to meddle in the politics of sovereign nations which are your neighbors. Meddling is going on from Paris to Ukraine, from east to west and north to south, within Europe and at its borders, and always with the intent of undermining the credibility and effectiveness of democratic institutions. And it is being either denied or downplayed.