Afghanistan: Lessons Learned, with Gen. David Petraeus

From 11-13 February 2019, the Institute for the Study of War and Strategy hosts its Afghanistan Conference. This conference brings together specialists from participating states to look back on the war in Afghanistan and gather insights from each individual country to come to a fuller inventory of lessons learned. Discussions of papers are organised through regional panels, each representing a group of states that are located in close geographical proximity. The speakers will present their respective state’s armed forces’ experience on the ground and offer commentary on lessons learned. This stock-taking excercise will be hugely beneficial for our understanding of internationally organised counterinsurgency warfare and will concretely lead to more diverse and in-depth knowledge of the war in Afghanistan.

The rationale behind the conference is to provide a multilateral forum for stock-taking of NATO operations in Afghanistan between 2001 and 2014. We would like to assemble experts from NATO (and partner) countries who have written or contributed to the official histories of their countries’ involvement in ISAF. We hope that in providing a multinational forum, we will collectively be able to push forward the analysis of NATO operations from an overarching alliance point of view.

We are honored to welcome General David Petraeus on the first day of the conference.

Registration is now closed. Contact Anneleen van der Meer for further questions.


Preliminary program and participants

Day 1

* 5-6.30pm – Public lecture by General David Petraeus (Arts Lecture Theatre)

* 7pm – Dinner (speakers and staff only)

Day 2

Upper College Hall

* 9.30-10am – Coffee

* 10-12am – Panel 1: US, UK, NATO

  • US – Conrad C. Crane (US Army War College)
  • UK – Ben Barry (IISS)
  • NATO – Seth Johnston (SHAPE)

* 12-1.30pm – Lunch

* 1.30-3.30pm – Panel 2: The Continent

  • France – Christophe Lafaye (University of Aix-Marseille)
  • Germany – Philipp Münch (ZMSBW)
  • Netherlands – Martijn Kitzen (Netherlands Defence Academy

* 3.30-4pm – Coffee

* 4-6pm – Panel 3: The Commonwealth

  • Australia – Rhys Crawley (Australian War Memorial)
  • Canada – Howard Coombs (Royal Military College of Canada)

* 7pm – Dinner (speakers and registered guest only)

Day 3

Upper College Hall

* 9-9.30am – Coffee

*9.30-11.30am – Panel 4: Scandinavia

  • Denmark – Sten Rynning (University of Southern Denmark)
  • Norway – Harald Høiback (Norwegian Armed Forces Museum)
  • Sweden – Jan Ångström (Swedish Defence University)

*11.30-12am – Closing remarks