Herat Security Dialogue-VIII

Herat Security Dialogue-VIII

Held on: 18-19 October 2019

Concept Note

8th Herat Security Dialogue (HSD-VIII)
“Afghanistan Settlement: Opportunities and Obstacles”
18-19 October 2019-Herat, Afghanistan


The Afghan conflict and the ensuing efforts to find a sustainable political settlement is reaching the inglorious 40th year anniversary in 2019. This tragic milestone has also been coincided with the 100th anniversary of Afghanistan's Independence from the colonial British power. The county has seen numerous types of conflicts and various attempts for conflict resolution.

Despite many attempts and prescriptions for the political settlement, none has succeeded in delivering a legitimate, effective and sustainable settlement to one of the world's longest wars. Ambassador Khalilzad, "a large than life" American diplomat, representing a "never heard and seen" American administration has reentered the Afghan conflict scene. He has already raised hope for an eventual settlement, while prompting fear of the "Taliban 2"nightmare in many constituencies. His early association with the "Taliban 1" has compounded the latter's fear.

Would his efforts result in America's second Vietnam and the Soviet's Afghanistan experience with ensuing catastrophic costs to the Afghans, US' credibility and regional and global stability? Or could he help initiate a second Bonn process to build upon the achievements of the first Bonn conference/process in which he played a crucial role in late 2001? What would be the consequences of the Taliban 2 for the Afghans, the region and the wider global security? What should be the priorities, modality, pillars, timeline and guarantor(s) of a second Bonn process?

The 8th Herat Security Dialogue (HSD VIII) is dedicated to discuss the Afghan conflict and ensuing attempts for its resolution in broader historical, geographical and conceptual contexts, with particular focus on the future and "solutions".


The topics and questions will include:

  • The Prospect of an Intra Afghan elite consensus over the state Identity, Can Civic Nationalism heal entrenched ethnic mistrust and hostility, particularly among the elites?
  • Can horizontal and vertical delegation of power and democratization bring closer the state and society?
  • Afghanistan Pakistan Relations: Is there a 21st century indigenous solution to a 19th century colonial problem?
  • Have the Taliban left their ideological ivory tower?
  • Is "Islamic Republic" a response to the challenge of Islamist Emirate/Caliphate?
  • Can the US insulate Afghanistan from its ongoing competitions with Russia, China, Iran and vice versa?
  • Can the regional powers (Iran, China, Russia, and India) fill the vacuum of an eventual US' departure?
  • Can a UN-led peace-keeping mission replace the NATO-led stabilization mission?
  • Can a Peace-Dividend Trust Fund alleviate Afghans' fear of the economic price of a peace settlement?
  • Can legalization of Drugs be the solution to the crisis of the "Afghan opium"?
  • Can Truth and Forgiveness complement Afghan peace?

The Afghan Institute for Strategic Studies (AISS) cordially invites Afghan and International scholars, analysts and writers to submit an abstract of their presentation on the above subjects and related themes to the conference secretariat (hsd@aiss.af; hsd.aiss.af@gmail.com) by the 15th August 2019. Successful applicants will be invited to the conference to present their paper.

For more information please contact us:
Email: hsd@aiss.af; hsd.aiss.af@gmail.com
Phone: +93(0) 202232881
Mobile & Viber: +93(0) 785923916
Webpage: aiss.af