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US Leaders Travel To Afghanistan Amid Uncertainty Over Troop Deployments Overseas

Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and U.S. House Speaker Nancy Pelosi pose for a photo in Kabul, October 20, 2019

In recent days, there has been a flurry of high-level U.S. diplomatic activity in Afghanistan. Defense Secretary Mark Esper traveled to Kabul, and while he was there he was joined by a senior bipartisan congressional delegation.

Meanwhile, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan Reconciliation Zalmay Khalilzad has met with leaders in Europe and in Pakistan about peace and reconciliation in Afghanistan.

What is behind all these activities, and why is it happening now, less than two months after President Trump called off talks with the Taliban?

The latest episode of The AfPak File addresses these questions and more. The panelists are Johnny Walsh, senior Afghanistan expert at the U.S. Institute of Peace; Malalai Bashir, a journalist with RFE/FL’s Afghan service, Radio Azadi; Muslim Shirzad, an Afghan political activist; and Michael Kugelman, Asia Program deputy director and senior associate for South Asia at the Wilson Center. Muhammad Tahir of RFE/RL serves as a moderator.

AfPak File: US Leaders Travel to Afghanistan Amid Uncertainty Over Troop Deployments Overseas
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