After Afghanistan: Russia and the United States Pick Up the Pieces

Event Format

The Soviet Union spent the decade from 1979 to 1989 trying to restore order and a friendly government in Afghanistan. Beginning in 2001, the United States spent two decades trying to do the same. Both efforts failed miserably.

Fyodor Lukyanov, one of Russia’s leading analysts of foreign affairs, believes the messy American withdrawal from Afghanistan indicates that the United States intends to focus more narrowly—and more strategically—on national interests worth defending. Join us for a conversation between Lukyanov and Alexandra Vacroux to hear how the Russians are interpreting the U.S. exit from Kabul and the opportunities it may create for Russia. Is the American withdrawal good for Russia? Could more contained American foreign policy goals allow for better U.S.-Russia bilateral relations? Are Russians concerned China will muscle into Central Asia, a region Russia has traditionally seen as its sphere of influence? These questions and more will be discussed and put in context during our opening event of the 2021–22 academic year.

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