Ambassador Richard Olson, U.S. Special Representative for Afghanistan and Pakistan
September 29, 2016

In advance of the Brussels Conference on Afghanistan, Ambassador Richard Olson met with the Johns Hopkins SAIS community and guests to discuss Afghanistan's current state of security and politics. Ambassador Olson stressed the ongoing US commitment to peace and stability in Afghanistan as its public institutions are developing.

Olson shared his personal thoughts on the transition of security from the American military to Afghanistan's security forces. He commended the progress of the local security personnel for demonstrating growth this year in discipline and capacity, despite facing a formidable foe in only their second year of leading the fight against the remnants of the Taliban within the nation's borders. Moderator Daniel Markey and Ambassador Olson also discussed efforts to combat ISIS (Daesh) and al-Qaeda in the region to ensure that Afghanistan will never again be a safe haven for terrorism.

Taking several questions from the audience, Ambassador Olson shared candidly from his decades of experience in the diplomatic field.