Afghanistan: War without End? | Anatol Lieven

Wed Nov 18, 2015
Anatol Lieven, Professor at the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in Qatar, delivered a CIRS Monthly Dialogue titled, “Afghanistan: War Without End?” on November 9, 2015. Lieven recounted his experiences as a journalist reporting from Afghanistan in the 1980s, and visiting the country for research in recent years, and offered comparisons between the effects of Soviet military withdrawal in 1989 and the withdrawal of most US troops today. The main difference between the two time periods in Afghan history is that the local government created by the United States is arguably weaker than the one the Soviets left behind, and this is exemplified by the fact that Afghanistan continued as a communist state even after the fall of the USSR. A similarity between the two time periods is continued “overwhelming dependence of the Afghan state on outside help…Around 90 percent of the Afghan state budget and 100 percent of the security budget depends on outside financial aid,” Lieven said.