Afghanistan: A Road Map For Progress
Seeking Global Security
“Defining American Strategic Interests in Afghanistan
and the Northwest Border Area of Pakistan”
Review of, and commentary on, President Obama’s release
of the Administration’s Afghanistan Plan
April 1, 2009, 2:30pm – 4:00pm, Cannon Caucus, Room 345
This panel will be the first non-classified public forum here on Capitol Hill
to address the Administration’s newly released plan.
2:30 - 2:35 --Welcome Remarks; Recognition of Members in Attendance;
Introduction of Facilitator -- CPC Co-Chair Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva
2:35 - 2:40 --Introduction of Panelists & Presentation of Framing Questions –
Facilitator, Michael Shank (Communications Director, Rep. Honda)
· Why is America ultimately in Afghanistan? What are the “strategic interests”? How is the US military strategy in Afghanistan and Pakistan increasing or decreasing the security of American and Afghan/Pak peoples? Is it within America’s strategic interests to help Afghanistan ensure political, economic, and social security and stability and if so, is the President’s plan sufficiently oriented towards that goal?
· What measurements of progress will the President employ in Afghanistan and Pakistan, and who will monitor that progress? What is actually achievable and how should Congress require this administration to measure progress and hold it accountable?
· Does governmental and contractor corruption, human rights abuses, loss of civilian life, and lack of full disclosure and transparency of all human causalities harm our strategic interests? Should Congress extend the Special Inspector General mandate to Afghanistan (and Pakistan) as in Iraq? Create rationale guidelines for accounting of military and non-military casualties as part of a strategic plan?
2:40 - 2:50 Ambassador James Dobbins is Director of the International Security and
Defense Policy Center for the RAND Corporation. He has served several high-level positions in the State Department, including as the Bush Administration's first Special Envoy for Afghanistan.
2:50 - 3:00 Abdulkader Sinno, PhD is an Assistant Professor of Political Science and Middle Eastern Studies at Indiana University, Bloomington. His first book, Organizations at War in Afghanistan and Beyond (Cornell University Press, 2008) develops an organizational theory to explain the evolution and outcomes of civil wars, ethnic strife and other territorial conflicts. He has researched and traveled extensively in the Middle East, Europe and North Africa. He teaches graduate and undergraduate courses on Middle Eastern politics, politics of Muslims in the West, conflict processes and state building, research design, and comparative politics.
3:00 – 3:10 Colonel Lawrence B. Wilkerson is a retired United States Army Colonel and former chief of staff to United States Secretary of State Colin Powell. Wilkerson is an adjunct professor at the College of William & Mary where he teaches courses on U.S. national security. He also instructs a senior seminar in the Honors Department at the George Washington University entitled "National Security Decision Making."
3:10 - 3:20 Joanne Trotter is Director of Programs with the Aga Khan Foundation, USA. She served in Afghanistan, between 2005 and 2008, overseeing the Aga Khan Foundation’s work in rural development, civil society, health and education. The Aga Khan Development Network (AKDN) was established by His Highness the Aga Khan, the 49th hereditary Imam of Shia Ismaili Muslims. With its donor partners AKDN has channeled over $700m to reconstruction and development in Afghanistan since 2002, reaching over 1 million people. In Pakistan, AKDN programs in the Northern Areas and Chitral have been successfully replicated across the country through the Rural Support Program Network. Ms Trotter has 15 years international development experience focusing on citizenship, civic education and governance.
3:20 - 3:40 Q&A Session from CPC Members -- Facilitator, Michael Shank
3:40 - 4:00 Q&A Session from the Audience – Facilitator, Michael Shank