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Webinar: “Afghanistan: The End of a Forever War?,” Tufts Center for South Asian and Indian Ocean Studies, September 21, 2021 @ 11:00 am

September 21 @ 11:00 am - 12:00 pm


Benjamin Hopkins

Ahmed Rashid

Nilofer Sakhi

Rory Stewart


Afghanistan: The End of a Forever War?

11 am EST via Zoom Webinar on Thursday, September 21st. Zoom Link to follow.

Speaker’s Bio:

Benjamin D. Hopkins is a historian of modern South Asia, specializing in the history of Afghanistan and British imperialism on the Indian subcontinent. He has authored, co-authored, and co-edited numerous books on the region, including The Making of Modern Afghanistan, Fragments of the Afghan Frontier, and Beyond Swat: History, Society and Economy along the Afghanistan-Pakistan Frontier. His new book, Ruling the Savage Periphery: Frontier Governance and the Making of the Modern State, presents a global history of how the limits of today’s state-based political order were organized in the late nineteenth century, with lasting effects to the present day. He is currently working on A Concise History of Afghanistan for Cambridge University Press, as well as a manuscript about the continuing war in Afghanistan provisionally entitled, The War that Destroyed America. Professor Hopkins’ research has been funded by Trinity College, Cambridge, the Nuffield Foundation (UK), the British Academy, the American Institute of Iranian Studies, as well as the Leverhulme Trust. He has received fellowships from the Council on Foreign Relations, the National University of Singapore, the School for Advanced Research in Santa Fe, and the Woodrow Wilson Center for International Scholars in Washington DC. Writing for the public, Professor Hopkins has been featured in The New York Times, The National Interest, and the BBC. He regularly teaches courses on South Asian history, the geopolitics of South and Central Asia, as well as World history and the legacies of violence and memory in Asia. Professor Hopkins has directed the Sigur Center for Asian Studies since 2016.

Ahmed Rashid is one of the best-known writers and commentators on Afghanistan and Central Asia, a complex area that he has covered in detail for a variety of publications since 1980. He is the author of five books, including the best-selling ‘Taliban‘ (2000) and ‘Descent into Chaos: The US and the Disaster in Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia’ (2008), both of which are on course lists at over 200 universities and defense colleges around the world. They have been translated into over 40 languages and won numerous prizes. Other titles include ‘Jihad (2002)’ and ‘The Resurgence of Central Asia. (1994)’ and, most recently, ‘Pakistan on the Brink, The Future of America, Pakistan and Afghanistan’ (2012). He writes regularly for the Financial Times, the New York Times, the New York Review of Books, and BBC Online. He was the regional correspondent for the Far Eastern Economic Review for 20 years. Foreign Policy magazine chose him as one of the world’s most important 100 Global Thinkers in 2009 and 2010. He serves on the Board of New York’s Committee to Protect Journalist, he is an adviser to Human Rights Watch and Human Rights Commission of Pakistan and served on the Board of Advisors for the International Committee of the Red Cross in Geneva for five years. Most recently he was appointed to the Board of Trustees of the International Crisis Group.

Nilofar Sakhi is the director of policy and diplomacy at McColm & Company. She is also a professorial lecturer of International Affairs at Elliott School of George Washington University. Sakhi is a scholar and policy practitioner who has written extensively on various aspects of transitional security and human security, and peacemaking and peacebuilding processes. Her recent book is on Human Security and Agency: Reframing productive power in Afghanistan. Sakhi has been involved in assisting peace and counter-insurgency policy formulation. Sakhi thematic expertise is terrorism, security, and peace. She studies South Asia, Afghanistan, and Iran with a focus on regional security architecture. She has been involved in Afghanistan Peace Processes since 2010 and remains a regular commentator in media and writer on analyzing the challenges and prospects of peace processes. Nilofar has extensive years of experience in managing international organizations with international networks. She is the founder of Women Activities & Social Services Association (WASSA) – the first women-led organization in the Western region of Afghanistan. Sakhi was formerly a visiting fellow at National Endowment for Democracy, Columbia University, and a fellow at Asia Society and International Center for Tolerance Education. Sakhi holds a Ph.D. degree from George Mason University and a master’s degree from Johns Hopkins University and a second master’s degree from Eastern Mennonite University.

Rory Stewart is a Senior Fellow at the Jackson Institute, Yale University. Stewart focuses on contemporary politics in crisis and on international development and intervention in fragile and conflict-affected states. Stewart was the UK Secretary of State for International Development where he doubled the U.K.’s investment in international climate and environment. Prior to that Stewart served in a variety of roles including Minister of the environment, Minister of State responsible for development policy in the Middle East and Asia and UK policy in Africa, as Minister of State for Justice, and as Chair of the House of Commons Defence Select Committee. Earlier in his career, he served briefly as an infantry officer and then as a diplomat for the UK government in Indonesia, the Balkans, and Iraq. He founded and ran the Turquoise Mountain Foundation in Afghanistan and was the Director of the Carr Centre and the Ryan Family Professor of Human Rights at Harvard’s Kennedy School of Government. Stewart has also written four books: The Places in Between, Occupational Hazards or The Prince of the Marshes, Can Intervention Work?; and The Marches.


September 21
11:00 am - 12:00 pm
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