In the immediate aftermath of the 9/11 attacks, the US-led invasion of Afghanistan rapidly overthrew the Taliban regime that had hosted Osama bin Laden and Al-Qaeda network.
Now 20 years later, as the Western military presence withdraws and the Taliban is once again taking over the country, this event explores whether alternative approaches towards Afghanistan could have resulted in a more positive outcome.
The panel of experts examines why a critical lack of understanding of what the West was getting into led to a 20-year campaign that failed to achieve most of its long-term objectives and unleashed unprecedented levels of violence that leaves the Afghan people with a country on the brink.
The panel discusses:
Why was there a failure in recognising and dealing with the sources of conflict?
What were the differences between a highly centralized system of government compared to a decentralized model for Afghanistan?
How was corruption enabled and how did it cripple the country?
In the US-led coalitions’ state-building efforts, where was the monetary outlay directed and was it spent effectively?
Why did the US and its partners have such little understanding of neighbours motivations (with a specific look at Pakistan)?
As with all member events, questions from the audience drive the conversation.