PSA/USIP – Afghanistan’s Election, America’s Choices – David Sedney & Dr. Andrew Wilder

Partnership for a Secure America (PSA) and the United States Institute of Peace (USIP) hosted an off-the-record dinner roundtable on June 5th to explore issues surrounding the upcoming Afghan presidential runoff election, the future of U.S. engagement in the country, and the role of Congress during and after Afghanistan’s presidential transition.


David Sedney – DASD for Afghanistan, Pakistan, and Central Asia (2009-2013); Deputy Chief of Mission at U.S. Embassy in Kabul (2003-2004)

Dr. Andrew Wilder – Vice President, USIP South & Central Asia programs

On June 14, Afghan voters will choose either Abdullah Abdullah or Ashraf Ghani in a presidential runoff election. Results are scheduled to be announced by July 22, with an inauguration of the new president expected by mid-August. The end of the Karzai administration, and the swearing in of a new Afghan president, will create a unique opportunity to rebuild the damaged U.S.-Afghan relationship – beginning with the expected signing of the Bilateral Security Agreement (BSA). Join us to discuss perspectives on the Afghan elections (for U.S. interests, will it matter who wins? what is the risk of a “bad election”?); what’s ahead for an Afghan presidential transition; and actions the U.S. (especially Congress) can take during the Afghan government formation and “honeymoon” period.

David Sedney

David Sedney is an independent consultant/commentator on national security and foreign policy. He has appeared on CNN, BBC, PBS’ “News Hour,” Al Jazeera TV, and Public Radio International. His views have been quoted in the New York Times, Washington Post, Newsweek, Time, the Guardian, Business Week and other media. He is frequently invited to speak at think tanks and academic institutions such as the Brookings Institution, Atlantic Council, US Institute of Peace, and the Wilson Center on foreign policy, defense, and national security topics. He is a signatory and on the steering committee of the Alliance in Support of the Afghan People.

Dr. Andrew Wilder

Andrew Wilder is the vice president of South & Central Asia programs. He joined USIP in August 2010 as the director of Afghanistan and Pakistan Programs. Prior to joining the Institute, he served as research director for politics and policy at the Feinstein International Center at Tufts University. Previously, Wilder served as founder and director of Afghanistan’s first independent policy research institution, the Kabul-based Afghanistan Research and Evaluation Unit (AREU). This was preceded by more than 10 years managing humanitarian and development programs in Pakistan and Afghanistan, including with Save the Children, International Rescue Committee, and Mercy Corps International.
This was the 14th event in the PSA/USIP Congressional Briefing Series – Topics on International Conflict Resolution and Prevention, an educational program designed to provide congressional staff with opportunities to engage leading experts and fellow Capitol Hill staffers in bipartisan forums. The program aims to build cross-party relationships, encourage bipartisan dialogue, and equip staff with new perspectives on critical issues in the international conflict resolution and prevention field.