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The Middle East Studies Forum invites you to the virtual panel discussion
‘US and NATO Withdrawal from Afghanistan: Implications for the Future’
Farkhondeh Akbari (The Australian National University), Dr Niamatullah Ibrahimi (La Trobe University) and Prof William Maley (The Australian National University)

Register Now!

On 14 April 2021, the U.S. President Joe Biden announced a withdrawal of all U.S. military forces from Afghanistan by 11 September 2021. NATO and other countries including Australia that had participated in the war efforts since 2001 followed suit. Given the rapidly deteriorating security situation in Afghanistan and the stalled peace talks between the government and the Taliban in Doha, the US withdrawal raises serious concerns about a renewed civil war in Afghanistan. Emboldened by the imminent US exit, the Taliban may disengage completely from the peace process, try to fill the security vacuum, and reimpose its ultra-conservative Islamic emirate on the country. This expert panel will discuss immediate and long-term implications of the US withdrawal for regional and international security and stability. 

Key questions

  • How does the US withdrawal impact the prospects of peace talks between the Afghan government and the Taliban?
  • What would be the reaction of neighbouring countries to the changing security conditions after the US and NATO withdrawal?
  • What are the likely implications for human rights, especially the rights of women and minorities? 
  • What can Australia and the international community do  to prevent civil war and promote peace after their withdrawal of forces?

You can access the webinar flyer here

Speaker bios:

Farkhondeh Akbari is a PhD researcher at The Australian National University. Her research focuses on the prospects of peace settlements with non-state armed actors such as the Taliban in Afghanistan and the Khmer Rouge in Cambodia. She obtained a Bachelor and a Master’s in International Relations and an Advanced Master’s in Diplomacy. Previously, Farkhondeh worked for Afghanistan’s Independent Directorate of Local Governance, the United Nations and Afghanistan Independent Human Rights Commission.

Dr. Niamatullah Ibrahimi is a lecturer in International Relations at La Trobe University (Australia). His research interests include social movements, political violence, local peacebuilding and post-conflict governance and security dynamics. His recent publications include The Hazaras and the Afghan State: Rebellion, Exclusion and Struggle for Recognition (London: Hurst & Co. 2017) and (with William Maley) Afghanistan: Politics and Economics in a Globalising State (Abingdon: Routledge, 2020).

William Maley is Emeritus Professor at The Australian National University, where he was Professor of Diplomacy from 2003-2021. He is a Member of the Order of Australia, a Fellow of the Academy of the Social Sciences in Australia, and a Fellow of the Australian Institute of International Affairs. He is the author of Rescuing Afghanistan (2006), What is a Refugee? (2016), Transition in Afghanistan: Hope, Despair and the Limits of State-building (2018), The Afghanistan Wars (2021), and Diplomacy, Communication, and Peace: Selected Essays (2021).


27 May 2021
Melbourne/Sydney: 3:30-5pm
Kabul: 10-11:30pm
Please join us via Zoom* and Register via the ‘Register Now’ link above or the button below by 25 May 2021

*A confirmation email with Zoom login details will be sent by the 26 of May 2021

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