Office of the Vice President for Global Communications

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Panel to discuss social, cultural landscape of Afghanistan

During his presidential campaign, Barack Obama argued that U.S. military efforts had been misdirected into Iraq and that the center of foreign-policy attention and the main target of military action should be terrorist groups based in Afghanistan and along the Afghan/Pakistani border.

The new Obama administration is reorienting U.S. foreign and military policy in precisely this way, with increased attention to political reform efforts, foreign-aid investments, and plans for a rapidly expanded military presence, especially in parts of southern Afghanistan.

Three of the world’s pre-eminent experts who have studied the interactions among Afghanistan’s major communities and the outside world will offer their insights on the social and cultural landscape of Afghanistan today in the panel discussion “Afghanistan — The Once and Future War.”

The discussion will take place at 4 p.m. March 12 at the International Institute, Room 1636.

Panelists include David Edwards, W. Van Alan Clark ‘41 Third Century Professor in the Social Sciences, Department of Anthropology and Sociology, Williams College; Alessandro Monsutti, 2008–09 postdoctoral fellow, Agrarian Studies Program, Yale University, and social anthropologist, Graduate Institute of International and Development Studies, Geneva; and M. Nazif Shahrani, chair, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Cultures, and professor of anthropology, Central Asian and Middle Eastern studies, Indiana University.

Sponsors for the event include the Center for Russian and East European Studies, Center for Middle Eastern and North African Studies, Center for South Asian Studies, and Weiser Center for Emerging Democracies.