During a panel discussion Tuesday on the situation in Afghanistan, Jason Lyall, the James Wright Chair of Transnational Studies, said no one could have predicted the speed with which the Taliban took control of the provinces and seized the capital, Kabul.
“I don’t care who you are, this was a surprise,” said Lyall in a webinar discussion with other international foreign policy experts about the chaotic evacuation from the Kabul airport, the failure of crisis-management preparations prior to the Biden administration’s decision to withdraw all forces by an Aug. 31 deadline, and what could lie ahead for Afghanistan and the region.
The full webinar, which includes commentary from Daniel Benjamin, president of the American Academy in Berlin and former director of the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding, and Martin Kobler, former German ambassador to Pakistan and former deputy special representative with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, can be viewed on the Dickey Center YouTube channel.
Jason Lyall, the James Wright Chair of Transnational Studies and director of the Political Violence FieldLab, will speak on the rapidly changing political situation in Afghanistan, as part of a panel discussion on Tuesday, Aug. 24, at noon, cohosted by the John Sloan Dickey Center for International Understanding and the American Academy in Berlin.
Lyall will join Daniel Benjamin, president of the American Academy in Berlin and former director of the Dickey Center, and Martin Kobler, former German ambassador to Pakistan and former deputy special representative with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, for the conversation titled “Afghanistan: What on Earth Happened, What Do We Have to Worry About Next?”
The event will be presented as a Zoom webinar.
Benjamin, Kobler, and Lyall will discuss the Western withdrawal and collapse of the Afghan government and offer their analyses of what has transpired over the past several days, says Christianne Hardy, interim director of the Dickey Center.
They will also discuss how regional relationships will be affected by the collapse, not least Pakistan and its influence on the Taliban, Iran, China, Russia, and how the international community should deal with the Taliban as a governing body.
Hardy will introduce the discussion, which will be moderated by Benjamin.