Prospects of Peace in Light of the Nexus of Terror and Organized Crime in Afghanistan

AIAS arranged a talk for Dr Arian Sharifi on 13th of Feb, 2020 at the American University of Afghanistan. Dr Sharifi is an Afghan-American professional with a diverse experience portfolio. He has the experience of working with various government and non-government organizations, including serving as the Director-General of National Threat Assessment at the Office of the National Security Council. Dr Sharifi holds a Doctorate (PhD) in Security Studies from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

During the talk, Dr Sharifi pointed out that whether or not the suspended US-Taliban peace negotiation would resume is a major question that would impact the future of Afghanistan. But a bigger question is whether the negotiations, even if they restart and culminate in a peace deal, would really bring peace to this country. In the lecture Dr Sharifi tried to address this question, analyzing the symbiotic relations among the various terrorist groups, including the Afghan, Pakistani, regional and global groups, as well as their relations with trans-border criminal networks. Dr Sharifi argued that over 20 terrorist groups currently operate in Afghanistan out of which the Taliban is one, albeit the biggest. Even if the US reaches an agreement with the Taliban, and that the Taliban make peace with the Afghan government, the mere existence of 19 or so other terrorist groups is enough to continue the state of war in Afghanistan. 

The lecture was concluded with a Q&A session.