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Twenty Years of Stabilization and Reconstruction: Lessons from the U.S. Experience in Afghanistan
The Afghan government’s collapse in August demonstrated that two decades of donor-driven state-building efforts failed to build a foundation for a stable, democratic, and prosperous Afghanistan. Why did the United States and its allies fail, and what should donors learn for similar state-building efforts in the future, both large and small?

Spanning the U.S. government’s problematic strategies, inappropriate timelines, and poor understanding of the Afghan context, lessons learned reports by the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction (SIGAR) have warned for years that the Afghan government was exceptionally fragile and that many of the gains alleged by the U.S. officials were hollow and unsustainable. This CISAC seminar will detail how and why the U.S. government should reform its own institutions to more effectively stabilize conflict-affected environments around the world.

Dec 13, 2021 10:30 AM in Pacific Time (US and Canada)

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David Young
Supervisory Research Analyst @Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction
David H. Young is a supervisory research analyst at the Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction and a conflict and governance advisor with experience in six conflict/post-conflict environments: Afghanistan, the Sahel, Israel/Palestine, the Balkans, the Caucasus, and Northern Ireland. At SIGAR, he was the lead author of three comprehensive lessons learned reports: 1) A study of U.S. efforts to stabilize contested Afghan communities, 2) A review of U.S. efforts to build credible and transparent Afghan electoral institutions, and 3) the agency’s 20th anniversary report, What We Need to Learn. He was a civilian advisor to ISAF in Nuristan and Laghman provinces during the Afghanistan surge and subsequently served as a governance advisor to the World Bank, the U.S. Institute of Peace, and Afghanistan's Independent Directorate of Local Governance.