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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

27 Mar 2021
[The legitimacy the Taliban want is] never going to come without engaging with the outside world and the international community. The Washington Post

Andrew Watkins

Senior Analyst, Afghanistan
8 Dec 2020
If the Taliban want to become a legitimate power in an Afghan state, then they’re going to need to show the world that they take global counterterrorism concerns seriously. The Washington Post

Andrew Watkins

Senior Analyst, Afghanistan
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

Latest Updates

Q&A / Asia

How the U.S. Withdrawal Decision Will Affect the Afghan Conflict

Washington’s decision to withdraw troops from Afghanistan by 11 September spells an end to the U.S. military deployment but not peace. Crisis Group expert Andrew Watkins anticipates that negotiations will likely stall and Afghans will fear an intensified civil war as the U.S. role evolves.

Podcast / Asia

How Afghanistan Views the U.S. Troop Drawdown

This week on Hold Your Fire!, Richard Atwood and Naz Modirzadeh talk to Crisis Group’s Afghanistan expert Andrew Watkins about the looming withdrawal of U.S. troops from the country, how Afghan leaders are preparing and the challenges ahead.

Op-Ed / Asia

There’s No Shortcut to Peace in Afghanistan

Washington’s latest idea of a transitional government would be worse than the dysfunctional status quo.

Originally published in Foreign Policy

Speech / Asia

Testimony on Afghanistan to the European Parliament

In testimony to the European Parliament about efforts to end the war in Afghanistan, Crisis Group expert Andrew Watkins describes the current scale of fighting, Taliban policies and how outside actors can support the peace process.

Op-Ed / Asia

Biden Must Make Hard Choices Quickly on Afghanistan

Afghanistan’s fate hinges in large part on how the Biden team decides to approach the country’s conflict and its tenuous, still-nascent peace process.

Originally published in World Politics Review