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This Harvard University panel, co-sponsored by the Lakshmi Mittal and Family South Asia Institute and the Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies’ Negotiation Task Force, explored the lead-up to the collapse of the Afghan government, as well as what the new Taliban regime means for the future of the country and its people.

Drawing on their various expertise, the panelists offered different perspectives on what went wrong during the past two decades, which opportunities were missed, and what might come next. Arvid Bell identified key factors that lead to the current state of affairs. Fara Abbas worked for the Afghan government in Kabul up until the day it collapsed. Anand Gopal wrote a book based on his on-the-ground reporting in Afghanistan about the war. Philipp Ackermann was the civilian head of the Provincial Reconstruction Team (PRT) in Kunduz.


Arvid Bell, Director, Negotiation Task Force, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies; Lecturer, Government Department, Harvard University.


Anand Gopal, Journalist and Author

Fara Abbas, Fellow, Negotiation Task Force, Davis Center for Russian and Eurasian Studies, Harvard University; Former Director of Programs, National Security Council, Islamic Republic of Afghanistan

Philipp Ackermann, Director General, Africa, Latin America, Near and Middle East, German Ministry of Foreign Affairs


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