On Friday, August 20th at noon ET we hosted a special Contributor Dialogue with former U.S. Ambassador to Afghanistan Ronald Neumann. It was live streamed on the MEPC YouTube channel here and can be viewed below:
This discussion focused on the following topics:
- Given what you have seen so far since the Taliban took over governance in Afghanistan -- which has included relatively moderate statements by Taliban spokesmen -- how do you assess their likely approach towards governing and towards Afghan society, in particular the role of and possible restrictions on women and girls?
- Do you see the U.S. and the international community having the ability -- perhaps through such tools as development and humanitarian assistance, and diplomatic recognition / pressure -- to influence (i.e., "moderate") the Taliban's approach to Afghan society and governance?
- How concerned are you that a terrorist threat with global reach will re-emerge in Afghanistan under Taliban rule? Do you think we will be able to adequately monitor such a potential development? Do you think the Taliban will welcome the presence of terrorist elements in Afghanistan, or rather will they see it in their interest to prevent terrorist groups from re-establishing themselves in the country?
- Do you expect to see a large-scale exodus of refugees from Afghanistan? Since any such exodus would mainly affect Europe, how do you see the U.S. working with its European allies to prevent and/or address such a refugee crisis?
Ambassador Neumann is a member of the MEPC's Board of Directors and has appeared extensively in the media over the past few weeks. A summary of these media appearances can be accessed here.