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Afghanistan: What Prospects After US/NATO Withdrawal?

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09 June 2021, 13:30
RUSI Members Only
As the US and NATO begin the withdrawal of troops, what will this mean for stability in Afghanistan?

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In April 2021, President Biden announced the final withdrawal of US troops – and with them, NATO forces - from Afghanistan, ending the United States’ 20-year engagement with the country and what he defined 'America's longest war'. However, President Biden also added that, while the US "will not stay involved in Afghanistan militarily, our diplomatic and humanitarian work will continue". "We will continue to support the government of Afghanistan”, he vowed.

The decision has rekindled a debate about Afghanistan’s future. Some NATO allies, including the UK, have regretted the fact that the US has not made the withdrawal conditional on Taliban’s future behaviour. The concern is that the removal of troops risks creating a power vacuum and could result in the collapse of the Afghan Government and a takeover by the Taliban.

With the withdrawal scheduled to be completed by 11 September, our discussion will explore what the impact will be for the country, looking in particular at the stability of the Afghan government and the Taliban’s potential next steps.


  • Rt Hon Tobias Ellwood MP, Chair, House of Commons Defence Select Committee
  • Antonio Giustozzi, Associate Fellow, RUSI
  • William Byrd, Senior Expert, Afghanistan, United States Institute of Peace
  • Shaharzad Akbar, Chair, Afghan Independent Human Rights Commission

This event will be moderated by Dr Aniseh Bassiri Tabrizi, Senior Research Fellow at the Institute, who heads our Unpacking the MENA programme.

This event is open to RUSI Members only. For more information about becoming a RUSI Member please visit

Open to RUSI Members Only

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Emilia Markert
Events Manager
+44 (0) 20 7747 2648

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