On July 20, the Valdai Club held an online discussion titled “Afghanistan After the US Withdrawal: A Security Vacuum Forever?”
The withdrawal of US troops and their allies has put Afghanistan on the brink of another military-political cataclysm. More than 95% of the American contingent has already left the country, according to the Pentagon. The Taliban movement (Banned in Russia) continues its large-scale offensive: now, according to various estimates, it controls from 40% to 80% of Afghan territories. The situation on the Tajik-Afghan border is of particular concern. Over the past few weeks, more than 1.5 thousand Afghan refugees have arrived in Tajikistan, and the Afghan military fleeing the Taliban crossed the border with Tajikistan several times.
What is the legacy of the Americans and their allies in Afghanistan? What does it mean in terms of the future structure of the country? How can Russia protect itself and its neighbours after the Americans leave? Is it possible to intensify the intra-Afghan negotiations amid the current conditions? If the government changes, what to expect from the Taliban? These and other issues were addressed by the participants in the online discussion.
Zamir Kabulov, Special Representative to the President of the Russian Federation for Afghanistan, Director of the Second Asia Department of the Russian Foreign Ministry
Hamid Karzai, President of the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan (2004–2014)
Fyodor Lukyanov, Research Director of the Valdai Discussion Club.