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Presentation of the book “Afghanistan, a permanent conflict” by José Miguel Calvillo | Press release

Jan 22, 2024 | Events |

“Afghanistan a permanent conflict”.



Madrid, 19 de enero 2024

Organised by the GATE Center, the event to launch the book «Afghanistan: A Permanent Conflict. Factors and dynamics to understand an endless war» has been a point of reference in the debate on international conflicts. This work, written by author José Miguel Calvillo Cisnero and published in 2022, offers an essential insight into the complex scenario in Afghanistan.

The presentation was attended by José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero, former Prime Minister of Spain, who together with the author, engaged in a deep and enlightening conversation on the issues addressed in the book. The event was moderated by Erika Rodríguez Pinzón, academic coordinator of GATE Center.

In his speech, José Luis Rodríguez Zapatero reiterated the need for dialogue: “Today, the West seems to be on the defensive, leading a discourse focused on rivals that threaten to destroy the democratic system. However, this perspective often ignores the complexity of international conflicts and the history behind them. Approaching these conflicts without a deep and detailed understanding often results in negative consequences, including the unnecessary and unacceptable loss of innocent lives”.

Calvillo Cisnero’s book delves into Afghanistan’s history and current reality, covering its political evolution and international relations since the late 19th century, to the contemporary challenges it faces. Through detailed analysis, the author explores the internal and external structural factors that have shaped the country’s current situation, and examines the key actors in the conflict.

During the presentation, José Miguel Calvillo highlighted the importance of understanding Afghanistan’s turbulent history and the dynamics that have perpetuated the conflict, including the influence of world powers and the impact of the return of the Taliban. The author underlined how three generations of Afghans have experienced war as a constant, affecting all aspects of their society.

“Afghanistan, with a history marked by approximately 250 years of conflict, faces a critical situation exacerbated by failed attempts to impose political systems alien to its culture. Strategically located at the intersection of the West, East and Asia, its stability is crucial in the geopolitical context, affecting regional trade and global security. Continued instability has profound repercussions, from fomenting the Islamic State to affecting international interests, despite the physical withdrawal of powers such as the United States,” Calvillo explained.

The dialogue between the guests focused on the relevance of the work for the current understanding of global conflicts and highlighted the need for multidisciplinary approaches to understand and eventually resolve situations as complex as Afghanistan. The conversation also delved into the lessons that can be learned from the Afghan case for international policy and development cooperation.

“Against this backdrop, a crucial question arises for the international community: is it worth exploring avenues of negotiation to press for the channelling of funds to work with the Afghan population, or does nothing justify these negotiations? The decision taken will directly influence whether the people of Afghanistan continue to be plunged into permanent war or whether a path towards peace and stability opens up,” Calvillo reiterated.

This presentation not only marks an important contribution to the debate on Afghanistan and its unending conflict, but also emphasises the importance of historical and cultural understanding in the analysis of global conflicts.

Érika Rodríguez Pinzón, academic coordinator of GATE Center, emphasised the crucial role of dialogue on current global challenges “GATE Center stands as an open forum for dialogue on contemporary conflicts, with special emphasis on the situation in Afghanistan, a conflict which, despite its seriousness, has unfortunately been relegated to oblivion. This circumstance underlines the imperative need to establish spaces such as this one, dedicated to the exchange of ideas and solutions for conflicts that should not be ignored”.

About GATE Center – An open door to dialogue and cooperation

GATE Center is a non-profit organisation, a space for reflection and analysis whose mission is to study global and emerging trends in the economy, the social sphere, technology and their impact on the international political order. It seeks to contribute to the understanding of the changes that will determine this century.


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