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Graeme Smith

Senior Consultant, Afghanistan

Crisis Group Role

Graeme Smith is a consultant for Crisis Group’s Asia Program, focusing on Afghanistan.

Professional Background

From 2015 to 2018, Graeme Smith served as a Political Affairs Officer for the UN Assistance Mission in Afghanistan, with responsibility for domestic politics. He previously worked as country director and Senior Analyst at the International Crisis Group's office in Afghanistan (2012-2015). His career as a journalist included more than a decade as a staff reporter for The Globe and Mail, which posted him in Moscow (2005), Kandahar (2006-2009), Delhi (2010), and Istanbul (2011). He taught politics at the U.S. Naval Postgraduate School in Monterey, California. His awards include two National Magazine Awards, three National Newspaper Awards, and the Michener Award for public service granted annually by the Governor General of Canada. He also won an Emmy Award in 2009, for a video series that recorded the opinions of Taliban fighters.

Areas of Expertise

  • Peace and reconciliation
  • Mediation support
  • Political economy
  • Conflict analysis


  • English
  • French
  • Dari

Select Publications

The Dogs Are Eating Them Now: Our War In Afghanistan (www.ourwarinafghanistan.com)

In The News

16 Jan 2020
[The Taliban's] pause in attacks on cities is unprecedented over the last dozen years. AFP

Graeme Smith

Senior Consultant, Afghanistan
12 Feb 2019
[Without a solid plan for the US to leave Afghanistan] the inferno of violence that follows might be much worse. AFP

Graeme Smith

Senior Consultant, Afghanistan
20 Jan 2019
The most fundamental shift in Kabul politics recently has been the muddying of the waters during the presidential candidate nominations. Reuters

Graeme Smith

Senior Consultant, Afghanistan
1 Jan 2019
While the news of a potential U.S. drawdown may be a reason for cautious optimism in the region, [Afghanistan's neighbours] don’t want an abrupt withdrawal. Reuters

Graeme Smith

Senior Consultant, Afghanistan

Latest Updates

Q&A / Asia

Afghanistan’s Low-turnout Election, Insecurity and Unsettled Prospects for Peace

Afghanistan’s fourth presidential election since 2001 brought perhaps 26 per cent of the electorate to the polls. In this Q&A, Crisis Group consultant Graeme Smith and Senior Analyst Borhan Osman explain the weak participation rate and explore the contest’s implications for the country’s stability.

Q&A / Asia

Behind Trump’s Taliban Debacle

On 7 September, U.S. President Donald Trump made the startling announcement that he had invited Taliban leaders to Camp David for talks – and then cancelled the gathering. Crisis Group Asia Program Director Laurel Miller and consultant Graeme Smith explain what happened and what it means for prospects of ending Afghanistan’s war.

Q&A / Asia

Interpreting the U.S. Talks with the Taliban

Talks with the Taliban in the Qatari capital Doha have raised hopes that the U.S. could end its involvement in Afghanistan’s war. Our Asia Program Director Laurel Miller and Afghanistan analysts Borhan Osman and Graeme Smith break down what was achieved and what remains unresolved.

Op-Ed / Asia

Falsche Beschützer

Die Aufrüstung der Afghan Local Police wäre ein tragischer Fehler

Originally published in Internationale Politik