Barnett Rubin Gives Keynote Speech on Afghanistan at the Danish Institute for International Studies
Lessons learned from pursuing civil-military coherence
In April 2015, CIC Associate Director Barnett Rubin joined the Danish Institute for International Studies for a seminar on Afghanistan's recent history and lessons learned from pursuing civil-military coherence. He kicked off the discussions with a keynote speech on Afghanistan from 2001 to 2014.
At the end of 2014, the NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) completed its mission in Afghanistan. Security responsibilities are now back in the hands of Afghan institutions, marking the beginning of a new phase in the relationship between the international community and Afghanistan. This provides a timely and essential opportunity to take stock of what has been learned from the past 13 years of comprehensive political, developmental and military engagement in Afghanistan.
The seminar brings together international scholars, experts and practitioners with extensive knowledge on Afghanistan. Focusing in particular on the interaction between civilian and military actors, the seminar zooms in one of the most fundamental, yet also contested, aspects of the intervention in Afghanistan: the suggestion that civilian and military instruments should be combined because armed conflicts cannot be overcome by military means alone. By exploring the conceptual, the operational as well as the policy-oriented aspects of pursuing civil-military coherence, the seminar provides for a nuanced debate on lessons learned, as well as lessons-still-to-be-learned and lessons-lost, in Afghanistan 2001-14.
The seminar is part of a wider lessons learned study that was commissioned by the political parties behind the Danish engagement in Afghanistan in November 2014. DIIS has been asked to draw up the international lessons learned from integrating political, developmental and military efforts, including how the military efforts have affected the prospects of winning Afghan hearts and minds. The deliberations at the seminar will feed into this study.
Please see the Danish Institute for International Studies website for more information about this event.