The conflict in Afghanistan is the United States’ longest-running war. Despite the progress made there since September 11, 2001, the persistence of the Taliban insurgency is perhaps still the most debilitating challenge facing the country. The continuing dangers posed by the insurgency in the face of the weaknesses of the Afghan state suggest that the United States and its allies must make important decisions on how best to support Afghanistan going forward.

Today, as the Trump administration is reviewing these issues, U.S. choices about its future involvement in the country remain arguably the most crucial external factor in the evolution of both the conflict and the Afghan state. A recent paper by Ashley J. Tellis and New America’s Jeff Eggers, U.S. Policy in Afghanistan: Changing Strategies, Preserving Gains, examines these paths forward. Tellis presented the paper’s findings and was then joined by Ambassadors Zalmay Khalilzad, Daniel F. Feldman, and Hussain Haqqani to discuss future U.S. and allied involvement in Afghanistan and potential policy approaches. Jeff Eggers moderated the discussion.

Jeff Eggers

Jeff Eggers is a senior fellow at New America, focusing on the behavioral science of policy decisionmaking. He is a former special assistant to the president for national security affairs and was senior director for Afghanistan and Pakistan at the National Security Council from 2011 to 2015.

Daniel F. Feldman

Daniel F. Feldman is a partner in the international trade and corporate social responsibility practice at Akin Gump Strauss Hauer &Feld LLP. He previously served as the special representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan (SRAP) at the U.S. Department of State from 2014 to 2015.

Husain Haqqani

Husain Haqqani is former ambassador of Pakistan to the United States. He is currently senior fellow and director for South and Central Asia at the Hudson Institute and co-edits the journal Current Trends in Islamist Ideology published by the Hudson Institute’s Center for Islam, Democracy, and Future of the Muslim World.

Zalmay Khalilzad

Zalmay Khailzad is president of Gryphon Partners. He previously served as the U.S. ambassador to Afghanistan and to Iraq, as well as U.S. permanent representative to the United Nations.

Ashley J. Tellis

Ashley J. Tellis holds the Tata Chair for Strategic Affairs and is a senior fellow at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace, specializing in international security and U.S. foreign and defense policy with a special focus on Asia and the Indian subcontinent.

About the Tata Chair for Strategic Affairs

The Tata Chair for Strategic Affairs focuses on the pressing international security challenges of the emerging world order, especially U.S. foreign policy and relationships in Asia and the Indian subcontinent. The Chair was established in April 2017 in recognition of Ratan N. Tata’s leadership on Carnegie’s Board of Trustees and his role in taking Indian industry beyond its national borders to create a global brand, emphasizing innovation as the hallmark of commercial success, and contributing to the building of U.S.-India ties.