Events - 05.11.2010 - 00:00 

In the “Graveyard of Empires”

On Tuesday, 9 November 2010, from 2.15-4.00 p.m., academics of the HSG will discuss the NATO mission in Afghanistan with high-ranking officers. The panel discussion is part of the C SET Speaker Series.


4 November 2010. Afghanistan is rightly called the “Graveyard of Empires”. Whilst the mountainous landscape and a population torn apart by ethnic groups and clan memberships aggravate the governance of the country, Islam provides a unifying faith system that is capable of mobilising the Afghan population against foreign intruders.

Under these conditions, both the British and the Soviet empires failed to “pacify” the country in the past. In view of these two precedents, the question arises as to whether a foreign power is capable at all of installing a viable government in Afghanistan. More than 2,000 NATO soldiers have already lost their lives in this mission, compared with 213 peace-keepers during the Bosnian War.

Military alliance confronted with great challenges
Will NATO succeed in stabilising Afghanistan? What is the alliance supposed to do with regard to the Karzai government, which is an indispensable ally in the fight against the Taliban on the one hand, but corrupt and unpopular on the other? How long will NATO countries be prepared to support this fight, or will they soon follow the example of the Dutch withdrawal?

Panel discussion about the NATO mission
In the C SET panel discussion, participants will examine these questions critically. To convey an extensive picture of the Afghan conflict, they not only represent the three largest ISAF member states (the United States of America, the United Kingdom and Germany) but also represent the pronounced tactical, strategic and political perspectives. Guests include the British Brigadier Timothy Radford and General Dr.h.c. Klaus Naumann(retd.) of the German Bundeswehr.

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