This international seminar will bring together eminent experts who have lived and shaped events in and around Afghanistan post 9/11 and in the time of the bombings of Tora Bora – a mountain range in North East Afghanistan. They will address critical perspectives of Afghanistan’s history, society, politics, economy, and the strategic situation at hand. The speakers will also analyze important developments in and around Afghanistan and the Western intervention under US Leadership, authorized by UN SC resolution and under NATO’s Article 5, up to 2004 and the Loya Jirga. Their insights and analysis should be both educative and illuminating, but also assist in meaningful interpretation of today’s situation in Afghanistan and the search for appropriate next steps.
This conference - chaired by Prof. Wolfgang Danspeckgruber, Founding Director, LISD, Princeton University - is to convene experts, diplomats, and military leaders who he has been working with since Spring 2001 on the ‘emerging security challenges in West South Asia’, in an effort to develop strategies for peaceful developments for then post-Taliban Afghanistan and the region.
This meeting represents the commencement of a year-long series of academic in-depth seminars and lectures on Afghanistan & the region and the international involvement, shedding light on key issues of society and history, politics, leadership, economic development, security, radical organizations and terrorism, media, and civil society in Afghanistan, and the effects of certain geopolitical developments on the country’s and region’s situation – since 9/11 Wider focus will range from Provincial Reconstruction Teams (PRTs) to the situation of civilians, looking specifically at women and children in conflict, religion, and culture, modernization, infrastructure, environment, critical geography and geology, the neighborhood & great power interests.
A concluding seminar of the series on lessons learned - potential consequences for now, possible recommendations for the future of Afghanistan and the neighborhood and the wider region is planned for Summer 2022.
*IMPORTANT: At this time, only Princeton students, faculty, and staff who are permitted on campus are welcome to attend the event in person in the Cyril Black Conference Room, 019 Bendheim Hall. Due to Princeton University Covid restrictions, we are obligated to keep a record of every person that attends. Therefore, in order to attend the event in person, you must RSVP.
There will be a Zoom link provided for those who RSVP and would like to join remotely.
Thursday, November 11 – 04:00 PM
The Onset of American and Western Action in Afghanistan – A Princeton Perspective
- Wolfgang Danspeckgruber, Founding Director, Liechtenstein Institute on Self-Determination, Princeton University
Introduction and Setting the Stage
- Robert Finn, Former Ambassador of the United States to Afghanistan; former Ambassador to Tajikistan
Setting Up in Kabul
- Deborah Amos, Correspondent, National Public Radio; Ferris Professor of Journalism in Residence, Princeton University
From Tora Bora to Peshawar – A journalist’s view
- Michael Barry, Distinguished University Professor, American University in Kabul
An Afghan-Pakistan territorial feud and the Afghan Kingdom’s collapse
Friday, November 12 – 09:00 AM
Afghanistan from Asia-Pacific and Wider Regional Perspectives
- William Maley, Emeritus Professor, former Foundation Director, Asia-Pacific College of Diplomacy, Australian National University, Canberra
The Afghan State
- Ali Ansari, Associate Professor, College of William and Mary; Director, Indian Development Cooperation Research (IDCR), CPR, India
- Barbara Stapleton, Former Deputy to the EU Special Representative to Afghanistan, 2006-2010
- Prince Turki al Faisal, Former Ambassador to the United States of America; former Ambassador to the United Kingdom; former Ambassador to Ireland; former Director General of the Intelligence Agency of the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia
Saudi Arabia and Afghanistan
Saturday, November 13 – 09:00 AM
Afghanistan: the Region, Intervention, Security
- Francesc Vendrell, Adjunct Professor, SAIS Johns Hopkins; former EU Special Representative in Afghanistan; former Special Representative of the UN SG to Afghanistan; of the UN SG to El Salvador, Nicaragua, Guatemala, East Timor
How a ‘Window of Opportunity’ was Lost
- Hans Ulrich Seidt, Former Ambassador to Afghanistan and to South Korea; former Inspector General, German Foreign Office, Berlin
On Failed Interventions and Unsuccessful Negotiations
- Rani Mullen, Associate Professor, College of William and Mary; Director, Indian Development Cooperation Research (IDCR), CPR, India
India’s changing calculus on Afghanistan
- Karl Eikenberry, Former Ambassador of the United States to Afghanistan; former. Director of the US-Asia Security Initiative at Stanford University; former. American Defense Attaché to China
Initial Efforts at Security Sector Reform
Photo: Erik de Castro/Reuters; Anti-Taliban Afghan fighters watch several explosions from U.S. bombings in the Tora Bora mountains in Afghanistan December 16, 2001.