The Alliance in Support of the Afghan People (ASAP) is a coalition dedicated to advancing efforts to support a stable and sustainable Afghanistan that never again becomes a sanctuary for terrorism.
We support Afghan aspirations for peace, security, political and economic development, social justice, and a self-reliant Afghanistan integrated in the international political and economic community.
Since 2001, the Afghan people with international support have made progress towards building a new society that is more prosperous and democratic, where women and men are more educated and in better health, and where Afghans are the ones fighting to keep their country secure and not a source of terrorist attacks. This is ultimately the progress that will make the United States and its allies and partners more secure from threats originating in the region.
Continued support for the Afghan people will allow them to continue to make progress towards an Afghanistan that is a place of hope and growth, not violence and despair.
Today, despite formidable obstacles, a critical opportunity exists to protect, sustain and advance the progress and investments the people of Afghanistan and the United States have made since 2001.
Respect for the political and social rights of women and youth and other vulnerable groups.
A peace process that addresses the causes of conflicts, fully involves all Afghans, and reinforces positive changes since 2001.
Credible elections that produce a result acceptable to the Afghan people.
Continued US and international assistance that empowers the new generation of Afghan men and women and makes assistance more accountable and effective, through:
Adherence to transparency and anti-corruption commitments by both the Afghan Government and International donors;
Lean investment directly to Afghan institutions;
Acceleration of political and economic reforms;
Efforts to increase Afghan revenues to make Afghanistan self-supporting by 2030;
Security partnership with Afghan forces in their fight on the frontlines of terrorism.
The ASAP 2.0 Steering Committee is composed of an amazing group of esteemed members.
On NPR, ASAP’s Pforzheimer analyzes remaining security threats in Afghanistan
May 11, 2021
In a May 10 interview on NPR’s “All Things Considered,” Annie Pforzheimer drew on her experience as the former Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul to paint a picture of how the Taliban and allies such as the Islamic State and al-Qaeda will likely remain a threat to Afghanistan’s security, especially in the wake of withdrawal of U.S. troops by September 11 of this year.
ASAP’s Annie Pforzheimer in Politico: U.S. should the little remaining leverage over Taliban
May 10, 2021
Annie Pforzheimer, a retired career diplomat who served in Afghanistan and a member of the steering committee of the Alliance in Support of the Afghan People, writes in Politico that the U.S. decision to withdraw all troops from Afghanistan by September surrenders most of the leverage we had over the insurgent Taliban. But, she writes, “there’s still some left to help prevent disaster.”
Leaders raise concerns about withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by Sept. 11, 2021
April 15, 2021
News of the announcement also drew strong expressions of concern from a range of leading U.S. policy makers and media outlets. The consensus among these voices is that this is not the time for withdrawal from Afghanistan.
On PBS NewsHour, ASAP leaders share concerns about withdrawal decision
April 14, 2021
Judy Woodruff speaks with three experts on Afghanistan. Retired Lt. Gen. Doug Lute served in both the George W. Bush and Obama administrations focusing on Afghanistan. Annie Pforzheimer was acting Deputy Assistant Secretary of State for Afghanistan until 2019. And David Sedney was Deputy Assistant Secretary of Defense for Afghanistan, Pakistan and Central Asia during the Obama administration.
Plan for September military withdrawal from Afghanistan is a loss for Afghans and U.S. interests
April 13, 2021
Our national dialogue about U.S. policy on Afghanistan has fixated unfortunately on troop levels and dates of departure instead of on the conditions necessary to put the country on a stable footing. The U.S. must leave Afghanistan, but our withdrawal should occur only when we can ensure that it can sustain peace and stability. That time has not yet come, and our unfortunate decision will render Afghanistan, the Afghan people, the region and the world dangerous and unstable.
In article about U.S. policy on Afghanistan, ASAP steering committee member Annie Pforzheimer expressed concerns the a premature U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan will have dire consequences for women there. "What I am concerned about is the idea that they would put just a new deadline on a troop withdrawal, another date on a calendar versus making it conditions-based," she explained. "If it's conditions-based, then I think that they have increased their leverage on the parties, and they are better able to protect the rights of women, minorities and young people." Pforzheimer said those conditions need to include a ceasefire and "should also include the beginnings of a social agreement on that outline of a political road map." She noted that "if, for example, a peace deal that is seen as unfair takes hold it won't really be a peace deal at all, it will simply be the prelude to widespread fighting."
ASAP letter to New York Times: Leaving Afghanistan Now Would Be a Mistake
ASAP - Rina Amiri and Mark Kustra
March 11, 2021
A broad cross-section of military leaders, allies and other experienced U.S. observers agree that abandoning Afghanistan now will almost certainly undermine our security interests and allow the Taliban to accelerate political violence and spawn a civil war that will needlessly kill, shatter and displace large numbers of Afghans. United Nations reports confirm that the Taliban continues to maintain ties with Al Qaeda. And if the Taliban prevails militarily, it will surely unwind the substantial social, political and economic gains that have allowed Afghans to advance over the last 20 years.
Letter to Washington Post stresses peril of U.S. withdrawal from Afghanistan
ASAP - Annie Pforzheimer
March 8, 2021
In a letter to the Washington Post, ASAP steering committee member Annie Pforzheimer writes: "It’s obvious to all that, in violation of an agreement with the United States a year ago, the Taliban has been responsible since then for thousands of civilian and Afghan military killings, obstructing the progress of intra-Afghan peace talks, allowing terror groups such as al-Qaeda to remain in the country and returning its comrades to the battlefield after their negotiated release by the Afghan government."
U.S. leaders urge against withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan by May 1
March 4, 2021
A number of prominent American voices – including the Alliance in Support of the Afghan People – are strongly urging the Administration not to withdraw, or even reduce, U.S. troops by May 1. They cite concerns that the Taliban will exploit the void left by the U.S. to muscle its way back into power. Many fear that the Taliban will plunge the country back into a civil war that will shatter millions of lives, unwind social, economic and political advances of the last 20 years, destabilize the region and provide a safe haven for global terror groups to operate.
On anniversary of U.S.-Taliban agreement, American leaders call for continued U.S. engagement in Afghanistan
March 1, 2021
While the February 29, 2020, agreement called for the U.S. to withdraw all its military forces by May 1, the realities on the ground in Afghanistan do not support this recommendation. Just as it would be wrong for the U.S. to re-assume a combat role, leaving precipitously would hurt our own interests. There is a better way: support our Afghan allies in their frontline efforts to quell the continuing violence and negotiate for a durable peace, while safeguarding our national security interests and values.
ASAP Core Principles for 2021 U.S. Engagement with Afghanistan
January 22, 2021
ASAP urges the United States government to consider six principles to guide policy on Afghanistan: - Reassess the U.S.-Taliban Doha agreement; -Stress force capabilities over the size of the U.S. military presence in Afghanistan; -Rethink U.S. representation to the Afghanistan peace process; - Rebuild a deteriorated U.S. relationship with our allies; -Reassert that the Afghan constitutional republic and government institutions are our core partner; -Publicly demonstrate appropriate strategic patience.
ASAP Steering Committee Member Discusses Afghanistan on BBC Radio
December 24, 2020
ASAP Steering Committee member Annie Pforzheimer, a retired, career U.S. diplomat who from 2017 to 2018 served as Deputy Chief of Mission at the U.S. Embassy in Kabul, spoke about Afghanistan recently on the BBC radio. “People have to switch gears from years of focusing on war to the fact that peace can take years as well," she said. "We all have to have strategic patience." For an excerpt of her remarks, click the "Read More" button below. To hear the entire BBC program, go to: https://www.bbc.co.uk/sounds/play/m000q3rb.
ASAP in New York Times: U.S. Should Remain Engaged in Afghanistan
ASAP - Frederick Kagan and Annie Pforzheimer
December 5, 2020
In a letter to the New York Times, ASAP leaders urge the U.S. continue "to provide sufficient development and humanitarian assistance" to achieve the "vision that, above all, Afghanistan must emerge as a peaceful, prosperous, democratically governed country that does not provide a safe haven for global terror groups."
ASAP Welcomes Outcome of Donors’ Conference for Afghanistan
November 25, 2020
ASAP welcomes the outcome of the international donor pledging conference in Geneva, where the United States and other donors generously committed to approximately $12 billion in humanitarian and development assistance for Afghanistan over the next four years.
ASAP and Congressional Leaders Raise Concerns About Announced Troop Reductions
November 18, 2020
ASAP shares the deep concerns held by many Congressional leaders that the Trump Administration’s announcement yesterday to reduce U.S. military troops in Afghanistan from about 5,000 now to roughly 2,500 in January 2021 could undermine efforts by the Afghan government and its armed forces to establish the security the country needs to continue on a path of stability and prosperity. Click below to see our full statement.
As President-elect Joe Biden and Vice President-elect Kamala Harris begin the important work of preparing to take office in January, the Alliance in Support of the Afghan People urges them to be mindful of the need for the United States to remain appropriately engaged with Afghanistan, especially as Afghans continue to establish their security, seek peace and build on the remarkable social, economic, civil society, women’s rights and governance gains of the last 19 years.
Following first presidential debate, ASAP urges continued U.S. support for Afghan stability
October 1, 2020
Though there was no discussion of U.S. policy on Afghanistan during this week's presidential debate , it’s a subject our national leadership – and, indeed, all Americans – will inevitably confront well into the next administration and Congress. Here's ASAP's statement.
Global Leaders: Afghan Women Must Participate Fully in Peace Process
Georgetown Institute for Women, Peace and Security
September 13, 2020
100 global leaders have issued an important statement urging "specific measures for the international community to support Afghan women’s involvement in the peace process, including... equal rights for all citizens as guaranteed by the constitution; conditioning international aid on the preservation of the rights and liberties currently enjoyed by Afghan citizens, especially women’s rights; and establishing monitoring mechanisms to ensure the maintenance of rights." (Photo credit: https://www.flickr.com/people/37583176@N00)
ASAP Steering Committee Member Warns Withdrawing US troops Risks Afghan-Taliban Talks
September 13, 2020
ASAP Steering Committee member Annie Pforzheimer, a former deputy chief of mission at the US Embassy in Kabul and now a senior non-resident associate at the Center for Strategic and International Studies, tells CNN: "There are historical examples where the positions of the negotiating parties over time turns into something where areas of convergence starts to become clear. Two sides which appear to be very far apart at the beginning can find themselves having fleshed out areas in which they truly can live and work together. People should not push a peace process into some kind of early conclusion."
ASAP Statement on the Start of Intra-Afghan Peace Talks
September 11, 2020
The start of intra-Afghan talks is long overdue and a sign of hope. It is not, however, a time to abruptly forget what is at stake for the United States and what our inattention to the region has cost us in the past.
How to make a bad situation much worse: Run from Afghanistan because of the virus
The Atlantic Council
May 1, 2020
Getting to peace in Afghanistan will be very difficult in the best of circumstances, but to run for the door would be a serious tactical error and unravel the progress already achieved and whatever opportunity there is for the future.
Afghanistan needs a ceasefire now to battle COVID-19
The Atlantic Council
April 24, 2020
COVID-19 will not wait for negotiators to reach a humanitarian ceasefire. This is not the time to place political goals above public health or to exploit divisions. A coordinated plan of action, grounded in a public health perspective and which prioritizes pausing the violence, is necessary in order to save lives. Any actor using the pandemic to score political points or to strengthen their hand at the negotiation table cannot be truly committed to peace in Afghanistan.
ASAP Statement on February 29 U.S.-Taliban Agreement
March 2, 2020
ASAP statement calls February 29, 2020, U.S.-Taliban agreement the first of many steps towards the goal of a just and enduring peace in Afghanistan, which is a national security interest of the United States. Achieving this goal requires that the intra-Afghan talks are substantive, respect the importance of constitutional and legal process and do not undermine the legitimacy of the elected Afghan government.
ASAP calls for hope and caution about the potential U.S.-Taliban agreement. Hope that it leads to real security for Afghans, and caution that it brings about engagement with the Afghan government and builds on Afghanistan's remarkable advances in social and gender equality, health, education, economic development, constitutional rights, democracy and security.
A letter to Speaker and Republican Leader of the House of Representatives; Majority and Minority Leaders of the U.S. Senate; Chairs and Ranking Members of of House and Senate Foreign Affairs/Foreign Relations Committees; Armed Services Committees; Appropriations Subcommittee on State, Foreign Operations, and Related Programs; and Veterans’ Affairs Committees.
To End America’s War in Afghanistan, US Troops Can’t Leave Yet
January 29, 2020
Walking away out of frustration is just as empty a strategy as doubling down out of optimism. Even as we acknowledge our blind spots and mistakes, the United States should remain engaged in Afghanistan to see the peace process through.
Pro-women, anti-war? There is another way on Afghanistan
August 26, 2019
To date, campaign rhetoric has touched only briefly and broadly on our longest war. Audiences who understandably can’t remember why we went to Afghanistan in the first place, let alone why we are still there, applaud the call to end “endless wars.” And yet, our core security interests and national values require us to avoid a precipitous pullout, especially one unduly driven by U.S. domestic political considerations and set timetables. Fortunately, there is another option.
Denying women a seat at Taliban talks is a huge mistake
February 11, 2019
After September 11, the United States justified deep engagement in Afghanistan in part due to the Taliban's harsh repression of women. Now, after sustaining 2,351 deaths and more than 20,000 injuries, and spending north of a trillion dollars, the United States is negotiating peace with the draconian regime it once abhorred.