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The Taliban’s shock takeover of Kabul in August 2021 has implications for South Asia far beyond Afghanistan’s borders. The Taliban does not have transnational political ambitions, but it is closely tied to the Pakistan security establishment, and its victory will resonate among other networks of terrorists. This webinar will explore the regional geopolitical consequences of the Taliban takeover. It will examine the Taliban victory’s impact on Pakistan’s regional strategy, on security in disputed Kashmir, on the role of China in the region, and on the trajectory of Islamist groups across the region.
Javid Ahmad is a senior fellow with the Atlantic Council and was, until recently, Afghanistan’s ambassador to the UAE. He was previously a nonresident fellow with the Modern War Institute at West Point and worked with U.S. defense contractors, where he provided counterterrorism/economic analysis to U.S. government and business clients on South Asia/Central Asia. He has worked for the Pentagon’s AfPak Hands, the German Marshall Fund in Washington, and NATO in Brussels. He has written for Wall Street Journal, Washington Post, Foreign Affairs, New York Times, Foreign Policy, The National Interest, The Hill, and CNN. He studied at Beloit College and Yale University.
C. Christine Fair is a Professor in the Security Studies Program within Georgetown University’s Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. Her most recent book is In Their Own Words: Understanding Lashkar-e-Tayyaba (OUP, 2019). She has authored or co-edited several books, inter alia: Fighting to the End: The Pakistan Army’s Way of War (OUP, 2014); Pakistan’s Enduring Challenges (UPenn, 2015), Policing Insurgencies (OUP, 2014); Political Islam and Governance in Bangladesh (Routledge, 2010); Treading on Hallowed Ground: (OUP, 2008); The Cuisines of the Axis of Evil and Other Irritating States (GlobePequot, 2008). She has a PhD from the University of Chicago, Department of South Asian Languages and Civilization. She causes trouble in Hindi, Urdu and Punjabi.
Avinash Paliwal is Senior Lecturer in International Relations and Deputy Director of the SOAS South Asia Institute. He specialises in South Asian strategic affairs. He is author of the much-acclaimed book My Enemy’s Enemy - India in Afghanistan from the Soviet Invasion to the US Withdrawal (2017), and is currently authoring a strategic history of India's near east. Avinash holds an MA and PhD in International Relations from King’s College London, and a BA (Hons) in Economics from the University of Delhi.
Arzan Tarapore is the South Asia research scholar at the Shorenstein Asia-Pacific Research Center at Stanford University, where he leads the newly-restarted South Asia research initiative. He is also a senior nonresident fellow at the National Bureau of Asian Research. His research focuses on Indian military strategy and contemporary Indo-Pacific security issues. He previously held research positions at the RAND Corporation, the Observer Research Foundation, and the East-West Center in Washington. Prior to his scholarly career, he served as an analyst in the Australian Defence Department, which included an operational deployment to Afghanistan. Arzan holds a PhD in war studies from King’s College London.