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Andrew Watkins

Senior Analyst, Afghanistan

Crisis Group Role

Andrew Watkins is Crisis Group’s Senior Analyst for Afghanistan. He focuses on prospects and challenges for a peace process in the Afghan conflict. He joined the organisation in February 2020. 

Professional Background

Before joining Crisis Group, Andrew worked as a political affairs officer for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan and as an independent researcher. Prior to working for the UN, Andrew was a conflict analyst and adviser to the humanitarian community in Afghanistan for several years, and previously served as a liaison with Afghan security forces for the U.S. Department of State. Andrew has a BA from Columbia University and an MA from Harvard University. 

Areas of Expertise

  • Insurgency and terrorism
  • Security sector reform
  • Humanitarian access and engagement in conflict

Languages

  • English
  • Spanish
  • Dari

In The News

11 Sep 2020
Posturing from the Taliban... suggests they perceive their current position to be one of great strength. Yahoo News Australia

Andrew Watkins

Senior Analyst, Afghanistan
3 Aug 2020
In order to establish greater trust during intra-Afghan negotiations, both sides should quickly discuss practical measures that can be taken to combat the violence of spoiler groups. Voice of America

Andrew Watkins

Senior Analyst, Afghanistan
21 Mar 2020
Attacks like [in Qalat] were precisely why the US has attempted to fast-track intra-Afghan talks: the faster both sides reach the table, the faster conditions can be laid for lasting reductions in violence. The National

Andrew Watkins

Senior Analyst, Afghanistan
9 Mar 2020
Not only will this almost certainly delay the intra-Afghan talks, but complications are very likely to follow from this political standoff [between Ghani and Abdullah]. Al Jazeera

Andrew Watkins

Senior Analyst, Afghanistan
4 Mar 2020
[The U.S. air strike against the Taliban] is significant. I don’t think it signals the collapse of the whole U.S.-Taliban agreement...[but] you can easily see how things could spiral. Reuters

Andrew Watkins

Senior Analyst, Afghanistan
2 Mar 2020
[The prisoner swap requirement has the] potential to bloom into a real obstacle before intra-Afghan talks even get off the ground. Vox

Andrew Watkins

Senior Analyst, Afghanistan

Latest Updates

Q&A / Asia

Intra-Afghan Negotiations Set to Begin

After months of delay, the Afghan government and the Taliban are finally set to commence peace talks in the Qatari capital. In this Q&A, Crisis Group expert Andrew Watkins explains what to expect as the discussions proceed.

Q&A / Asia

Afghan Leaders End Political Impasse

On 17 May, Afghan President Ashraf Ghani and his chief political rival Abdullah Abdullah signed a power-sharing agreement intended to resolve a dispute over last September’s election. In this Q&A, Crisis Group expert Andrew Watkins examines the deal and its portent for stalled peace talks.

COVID-19 in Afghanistan: Compounding Crises

COVID-19 appears on course to sweep through Afghanistan, yet the public health crisis may pale compared to resultant severe food insecurity. Engaged actors should press for initiation of Afghan peace talks, recognise the potential scope of food shortages and commit to unhindered flow of aid.

Q&A / Asia

U.S. and Taliban Announce Agreement on Afghanistan

On 21 February, U.S. and Taliban representatives announced a deal paving the way for withdrawal of U.S. troops from Afghanistan and talks among Afghan parties to the conflict. In this Q&A, Crisis Group expert Andrew Watkins explains what the agreement entails and what comes next.