Afghanistan after NATO: An Afghan Perspective on Security and Development

Start: Tuesday, June 19, 2012 4:30 PM
End:   Tuesday, June 19, 2012 6:00 PM

You are cordially invited to a panel discussion on the topic of

AFGHANISTAN AFTER NATO:
An Afghan Perspective on Security and Development

with

Albert Santoli (Moderator)
Founder and President of Asia America Initiative

General Hillaluddin Hilal
Member of the Afghanistan Parliament

General Ahmad Rahmani
CEO, IBEX Corporation, Afghanistan

Amb. Omar Samad
Former Afghan Ambassador to Canada

Qasim Tarin
Co-Founder and Chairman, Afghan Business Network
President and CEO, Electro Imaging Systems 

Javid Ahmad (Invited)
Program Coordinator, German Marshall Fund's Asia program

Tuesday, June 19, 2012
4:30 PM

The Institute of World Politics
1521 16th Street NW
Washington, DC 20036

Please RSVP to kbridges@iwp.edu.  

NATO is now concluding a costly presence in Afghanistan, and the withdrawal of troops is gradually being conducted. The country, however, will remain a critical platform for international peace and stability for many decades to come. A resurgent Taliban would create a haven to inspire and train local and international terrorist groups. The production of opium would continuously fuel instability, crime, and corruption across Central Asia, the Balkans, Russia, and parts of Western Europe. Rivalries for influence and competition over Afghanistan's natural resources could intensify competition between Turkey, Iran, Pakistan and India.  Endemic humanitarian crises for the Afghan people could be unbearable.

We often hear the opinions of commentators from the West. But what is the perspective of Afghan citizens who have devoted their lives to the freedom and rebuilding of their homeland? What will Afghanistan, the region, and the world look like in 2014-2015? Inside of Afghanistan, what type of post-occupation regime will take shape? What will be the influence or interference of Afghanistan's neighbors? Can the narcotics trade be curtailed? Can civil war supported by Afghanistan's neighbors be avoided? What effective options do the West, and above all, the Afghan people, still have?

Important components to peace and development are not only credible politics and economic development, but also effective transportation and logistical systems. Without road or air access into Afghanistan through Pakistan, Iran, and Uzbekistan and Tajikistan (under Russian influence or control), can a stable economy be built and sustained? Can humanitarian stability involving food and basic human needs for survival be achieved? Can struggling communities or a cohesive government be defended from attacks by well-supplied radicals? We will seek perspective on these questions from a panel of knowledgeable Afghan leaders who are dedicated in the fields of politics, economics, humanitarian issues, logistics and security.

This event is co-sponsored by The Institute of World Politics and Asia America Initiative.  

Speakers

General Hillaluddin Hilal
General Hilal is a Member of the Afghanistan Parliament representing Baghlan Proivince from 2005 to present.  He served as a former Deputy Minister of Interior for Security from 2003-05 and a former senior advisor to the legendary Afghan Freedom Fighter Ahmad Shah Massoud during the resistance war against the Taliban/Pakistan from 1998-2001. He was a three-star General in the Afghan Air Force, and was senior advisor to the Defense Minister of Tajikistan and during the mediation between President Rahmanov and Abdullah Nuri, leader of the strongest opposition group. From 1996-98, he was Minister of Transportation, Avaiation and Tourism.  From 1993-95, General Hilal was Commandant of Afghanistan's Northern Border Force.

General Ahmad Rahmani
General Rahmani is CEO of IBEX Corp in Afghanistan which provides security, air and ground transportation for international organizations, including NATO and UN agencies, and secure warehousing, logistics support, transportation and humanitarian assistance to Afghan refugees. He was Transportation Minster of Afghanistan during 1992-1997 under the transitional post-Soviet government. He was a General in the Afghanistan Air Force until retiring from the military in 2000.

Amb. Omar Samad
Amb. Omar Samad served as Afghanistan's Ambassador to France from June 2009 to July 2011, while also accredited to Monaco. He served as Afghanistan's Ambassador to Canada (2004-2009) and non-resident Afghan Ambassador to the Republic of Chile. From 2001 to 2004, he was the spokesperson for the Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Kabul in capacity of Director General. He is currently a Senior Expert on Afghanistan at the United States Institute of Peace in Washington, DC.

Born in Kabul in 1961 and son of a diplomat, he attended primary and secondary schooling in Kabul, Paris and London. Compelled to leave Afghanistan in 1979 following the Communist coup d'état, he settled in the United States, where he helped promote the cause of freedom and democracy in Afghanistan. For several years, Mr. Samad worked in the field of information technology, while pursuing a second career in media. In 1996, after achieving an MA at the Fletcher School, he launched Azadi Afghan Radio and website as part of the Afghanistan Information Center based in Virginia. He returned to Afghanistan in December 2001 and joined the Foreign Ministry. For many years, he has been a contributor and commentator for the international media, including CNN, the BBC, Al Jazeera and others. Most of his writings are published on the Foreign Policy blog.

Qasim Tarin
Qasim Tarin is the co-founder and Chairman of the Afghan Business Network and the President and CEO of Electro Imaging Systems.  He is also the interim President of the Afghan-American Chamber of Commerce, Northern California Chapter. He has worked with large corporations such as Toshiba America, IBM, Cannon USA, Xerox Corporation, Hewlett Packard, and Ricoh Corporation USA. He is a member of Rotary International and the CEO Alliance Group.

Javid Ahmad (Invited)
Javid Ahmad is a Program Coordinator with German Marshall Fund's Asia program where he works on a range of initiatives, including the India Forum, workshops on Afghanistan and Pakistan, the Young Strategist Forum, Global Swing States, and the Brussels Forum. Prior to joining GMF, Ahmad worked in the Political and Legislative Section of the Embassy of Afghanistan and the Public Affairs Office of Voice of America. He previously worked for the Welfare Association for the Development of Afghanistan (WADAN) in Kabul and served as an International Elections Observer during Afghanistan's Parliamentary Elections. Ahmad has been published in the Christian Science Monitor, The National Interest, Newsweek's Daily Beast, The Diplomat and is also a regular contributor to Foreign Policy magazine's AfPak Channel.

Albert Santoli, Panel Moderator
Al Santoli is Founder and President of Asia America Initiative, an international NGO dedicated to grassroots development, intercultural reconciliation, terror deterrence and peace building. From 1997-2001, he coordinated the only American program of non-governmental assistance to the anti-Taliban resistance in Afghanistan during the Taliban/al Qaeda reign of terror, while working as a foreign policy advisor in the US House of Representatives. His AAI Development for Peace project in Muslim Mindanao received a rare Philippines Presidential Citation for peace mediation and deterring terrorism in one of the most impoverished and conflict-plagued regions of Asia. He is a New York Times best selling author of military history and a long-time associate of the Institute of World Politics. In 1982, he was among the first international journalist to write for a major publication about the Soviet use of bio-chemical weapons in Afghanistan.