The Afghanistan War as a Challenge for International Security Policy and Crisis Diplomacy

The terrorist attacks on September 11, 2001 prompted the United States and its allies to intervene in the Afghan Civil War. The mission morphed into a state-building project mandated by the UN and supported by NATO, and then into a counter-insurgency campaign led by the US.

The Afghanistan Project analyzed the determinants that shaped the Western-led military intervention, with a focus on the US and Germany. It dealt with initial motives, changing objectives, and intervention effects, as well as with possible scenarios that could play out after the withdrawal of the International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) in 2014. While the reasons for the German participation in the intervention were analyzed using historical-evaluative methods, the project also dealt with current challenges and policy options related to a de-escalation of the Afghanistan conflict in both its domestic and regional dimensions. Hence, the project combined questions of classical foreign policy analysis with the analysis of internationalized civil wars and complex, networked conflicts such as the political environment in Afghanistan and Central Asia.

Project director:
  • Bell, Arvid