Afghanistan: A Peaceful Transfer of Power in Jeopardy

Please join us on June 26, 2014 from 2:30 p.m to 4:00 p.m for a conversation with The Hon. Ronald E. Neumann and Mr. David S. Sedney on the recent allegations of fraud during the presidential elections and the potential impact on the Afghan and international community.

A conversation with
The Hon. Ronald E. Neumann
Former US ambassador to Afghanistan; and President
American Academy of Diplomacy
Mr. David S. Sedney
Former Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia
Moderated by
Mr. Shuja Nawaz
Director, South Asia Center
Atlantic Council

What seemed to be Afghanistan’s first peaceful democratic transfer of power following the 2001 ousting of the Taliban is now in jeopardy. Allegations of fraud at the ballot box during the second round of presidential elections by Dr. Abdullah Abdullah, aimed at his opponent Dr. Ashraf Ghani and President Hamid Karzai have cast a pall on the whole process. A peaceful transfer of power is essential for the security and prosperity of the Afghan people, the region, and the international community. However, a protracted struggle in the political arena will raise doubts about the future of Afghanistan. Decision-making could stagnate and prevent the essential signing of the bilateral security agreement and the continuation of essential aid flows from the United States and its coalition partners. Such an outcome is not one that the Afghan people can afford. At this pivotal moment in the election process, the speakers will discuss the stakes in the lead-up to the final outcome.

Ronald E. Neumann served three times as ambassador; to Algeria, Bahrain and finally to Afghanistan from July 2005 to April 2007. Before Afghanistan, Amb. Neumann, a career member of the senior foreign service, served in Baghdad from February 2004 with the Coalition Provisional Authority and then as Embassy Baghdad’s principal liaison with the Multinational Command, where he was deeply involved in coordinating the political part of military actions. Amb. Neumann is the author of The Other War: Winning and Losing in Afghanistan (Potomac Press, 2009), a book on his time in Afghanistan. He has returned to Afghanistan repeatedly and is the author of a number of monographs, articles, and editorials. His writings have focused most heavily on Afghanistan, stabilization, and Bahrain. At the Academy he has focused particularly on efforts to expand State and USAID personnel and upgrade their professional formation to enable these insti tutions to carry out their responsibilities. Amb. Neumann is on the Advisory Committee of two non-profits working in Afghanistan; the Global Partnership for Afghanistan (GPFA) and for the School of Leadership, Afghanistan (SOLA). Ambassador Neumann arned a BA in history and an MA in political science from the University of California at Riverside.

David Sedney was deputy assistant secretary of defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia in the Office of the Assistant Secretary of Defense for Asian and Pacific Security Affairs from 2009-2013 and Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for East Asia from 2007-2009. He served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Beijing from 2004-2007. From 2003-2004 Sedney was Deputy Chief of Mission at the US Embassy in Kabul, where he was Charge d’Affaires from August-November 2003. Sedney was also Deputy Chief of Mission in Kabul in 2002, after the re-opening of the embassy. He is a graduate of Princeton University and Suffolk University School of Law. He has received the Secretary of Defense Medal for Meritorious Civilian Service, the Department of State’s Superior Honor Award six times, and Department of State’s Meritorious Honor Award twice. He attended Louisiana State University’ s School of Law where he studied Law of the Sea and International Law. Sedney is a distinguished graduate of the National War College.