by Jason Tudor, GCMC Public Affairs 

GARMISCH-PARTENKIRCHEN, Germany – The future of Afghanistan and what might happen in that nation after 2014 took center stage during a three-day conference at the George C. Marshall European Center for Security Studies March 13-15.

“Afghanistan and Regional Security: Current Trends and Future Challenges” included 17 participants from 11 countries including Afghanistan, China, India, Russia and the United States. Also sending representatives were Kazakhstan, Kyrgyz Republic, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkey and Uzbekistan.

James Dehart, director, office for Afghanistan at the U.S. Department of State; and Dr. Florian Reindel, deputy for the task force for Afghanistan/Pakistan at the German Foreign Office, provided keynote addresses. Dehart said having Afghanistan’s regional neighbors in the room for these discussions was vital to any discussion.

“With everything that we’re trying to do with Afghanistan – support them through transition, trying to help them get an actual peace negotiation going with the Taliban – there is a very strong regional component to this,” Dehart said.

The cosponsored event included seven participants from the Marshall Center, four from the Near East South Asia Center for Strategic Studies, and one from the Asia-Pacific Center for Security Studies. The Army’s Foreign Military Studies Office at Fort Leavenworth, Kan., also provided a representative. The conference was almost one year in the making, according to organizers.

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