The American Legacy in Afghanistan

What legacy will America leave in Afghanistan? As Afghans prepare for a run-off vote to choose their next president, large swaths of the country are seized by insurgency and are ungovernable. While the past 13 years of U.S. military presence in Afghanistan have coincided with an improvement in basic quality of life indicators for many Afghans, it remains unclear whether such gains will prove sustainable after the U.S. military withdraws from the country.

Panelists at this event discuss how American policy has contributed to the current state of affairs in Afghanistan, and provide insight into what the future might hold for the region.


  • Anand Gopal has worked for the Wall Street Journal, the Christian Science Monitor, Harper’s, The Nation, The New Republic, Foreign Policy, and other publications, in Afghanistan and throughout the Middle East. He is currently a fellow at the New America Foundation. Anand's book No Good Men Among the Living was published in April.
  • David Sedney has served the U.S. government extensively on Afghanistan. From 2009-2013 he was the Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia; in 2002 and again from 2003-2004 Sedney served as the Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul; and in 2003 he was also the Director for Afghanistan at the National Security Council.
  • Steve Coll (moderator) is the Dean of the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University and is also a staff writer at the New Yorker. He is the author of several books, including Ghost Wars: The Secret History of the CIA, Afghanistan, and Bin Laden, from the Soviet Invasion to September 10, 2001, for which he was awarded a Pulitzer Prize.
Date: May 19, 2014
Time: 6:008:00 p.m.