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The discussion took a clear and technically competent look at past Western involvement in Afghanistan from different perspectives. It offered plenty food for thought and further discussion.

Dr. Enrico Fels (Managing Director of CASSIS) introduced the topic by sharing a historical overview, describing the current humanitarian situation and outlining the interests of global and regional players.

In a keynote speech, Ms Sara Nanni, a Member of the German Bundestag (security policy spokesperson for Bündnis 90/Die Grünen), addressed the withdrawal of American and Allied troops from the country. The so-called Doha Agreement was a ‘capitulation agreement’ in which the European allies had hardly any influence on its design. The perceived weakness that had emerged had encouraged Russian President Putin to attack Ukraine.

In the panel discussion, Prof Dr. Conrad Schetter began with a historical review of Afghanistan’s violent history and referred to several centers of conflict the country faces. PD Dr. Evelyn Bokler-Völkel focused on the Taliban ideology and its legitimization, which she described as casuistic-nationalistic. She said that the Taliban had undergone a significant transformation over the past 30 years, were capable of learning in the face of challenges, and had to confront the tension between tradition and the present. Ms. Sara Nanni highlighted the misjudgements of Western governments in dealing with a solution to the Afghanistan conflict: the USA had been viewed as a single entity, but the different internal interests had not been recognized. Retired Brigadier General Dr. Michael Bartscher explained the German involvement in ISAF and the misjudgement of the situation.

This was followed by the question of the use of force, the Taliban’s support among the population, and the associated stability of the dictatorial system. Germany’s inadequate strategic capability is a further deficit in its dealings with Afghanistan. Finally, the discussion focused on the question of relations with the Taliban today in view of the humanitarian situation.


Lisa Hartmann
Public Relations and Events Officer

Bonn University Forum, Heussallee 18-24


open to public, no registration required

For more information please follow this link: 16.07.2024 — cassis_en (

Cooperation partner:
CASSIS - Center for Advanced Security, Strategic and Integration Studies, The Bonn Society for Security Policy, the Young Society for Security Policy Bonn, the Federal Association for Security Policy and the Bonn Academy for Research and Teaching of Practical Politics

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