This year marks the end of a 20-year joint NATO mission in Afghanistan. The withdrawal of American and German troops is marked by negative headlines. The strengthened Taliban took over many parts of the country, the president fled the country, and military troops surrendered the territory to the Taliban and only slightly opposed the takeover. Pictures and reports from Kabul airport state of chaos and desperation of Afghans trying to flee their country.

A debate is sparked in EU countries about the safe admission and transfer of local forces. Moreover, the non-exclusive military support, which also included development aid in infrastructure, women's rights and stabilisation of the political system, is dismissed as being ineffective. This panel discussion not only looks at the current developments, responsibilities of NATO cooperation and the state of affairs for the international security alliance but also looks at possible future political and humanitarian scenarios for the country.


Andreas von Brandt is Ambassador of the European Union to the Islamic Republic of Afghanistan. Before joining the European External Action Service (EEAS) in September 2020, Mr Andreas von Brandt worked as Deputy Director in the private office of NATO Secretary General Jens Stoltenberg from 2018 to 2020. Prior to joining NATO, Mr von Brandt was Deputy Ambassador at the German Embassy in Kabul. During the years 2014-2017, Mr von Brandt headed different divisions serving for the Foreign Service. From 2009 to 2011, Mr von Brandt was spokesperson and First Secretary at the German Embassy in Rome, Italy. Prior to this, Mr von Brandt worked as project manager with the United Nations Food and Agroculture Organization (FAO) and headed the political and press sections at the German Embassy in Pakistan in 2005-2006. Mr von Brandt holds two 5-year Masters degrees, one in Political Science / International Relations and one in Law, as well as a Masters of Law (LLM) in International Law. He was a Fulbright scholar at the Washington College of Law at American University in 2000.

Basir Feda leads the Afghanistan/Central and Southeast Asia Unit. Previously, he worked as a Project Officer for the project "Forms of Informal Governance in North and North-East Afghanistan" at Berghof. Prior to joining the Berghof Foundation, Basir worked with the political as well as development cooperation sections of the German Embassy in Kabul and also worked with the United Nations Assistance Mission in Afghanistan (UNAMA), where he served as a Principle Liaison Officer. Basir has worked as a consultant for key governance and development programs such as the Stabilization Program for North Afghanistan, water sector reform in Afghanistan and German-sponsored governance programs in Pakistan. Basir holds a BA in Economics from Goa University and a Master’s degree in Public Policy from the Hertie School in Berlin.

Marina Henke is Professor of International Relations at the Hertie School and Director of the Centre for International Security. She researches and publishes on military interventions, peacekeeping, nuclear security and European security and defense policy. Before joining the Hertie School, she was an Associate Professor (with tenure) at Northwestern University, specialising in international relations, as well as at Princeton University where she was a Lecturer and Postdoctoral Research Associate at the Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. She holds a PhD in Politics and Public Policy from Princeton University, a Double Master of Science in Development Studies and International Political Economy from Sciences Po Paris and the London School of Economics and Political Science, and a Bachelor of Arts in Economics, Politics and Latin American Studies from Sciences Po Paris.


Harmke Kruithof works as a Policy Officer for the EU Delegation to Afghanistan, responsible for donor coordination in development cooperation as well as policy and programming on migration and forced displacement. Before joining the EU Delegation, Harmke worked for the European Commission’s humanitarian assistance (DG ECHO) and development cooperation (DG INTPA) departments on migration and forced displacement (2015 – 2020). Her work focused on the EU’s policy development. Before joining the EU, Harmke worked as a trainee for the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs in Ethiopia and two small NGO’s in Kenya and The Hague. Kruithof holds a Master of Public Policy degree from the Hertie School, a Bachelor of Arts from University College Utrecht and is an alumnus of the Fulbright Campus Scholarship programme, at the University of Oregon.

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