Afghanistan: How to end the violent conflict and promote reconciliation

By — on / Daily, International Negotiation

Afghanistan: How to end violent conflict and promote reconciliation.


Ambassador Peter Galbraith

Date: April 13, 2010

Time: 4-6 PM

Where: CGIS Building, Weatherhead Center for International Affairs,

1737 Cambridge Street, Room N-262, Cambridge MA

Contact Chair: Donna Hicks (

Speaker Bios

Peter W. Galbraith has served in senior positions in the US Government and the United Nations. Most recently, he was Deputy Special Representative of the Secretary-General of the United Nations to Afghanistan and an Assistant Secretary-General of the UN. He was recalled on October 1, 2009, after he urged the UN take more forceful action to deal with fraud in Afghanistan’s presidential elections.

From 1993 to 1998, Peter Galbraith was the first US Ambassador to Croatia where he mediated 1995 Erdut Agreement that ended the Croatia War. From 2000 to 2001, Galbraith was Director for Political, Constitutional and Electoral Affairs for the United Nations Transitional Administration in East Timor (UNTAET) and a Cabinet Member in the First Transitional Government of East Timor. He designed the territory’s first interim government and the process to write East Timor’s permanent constitution. He also negotiated two treaties on East Timor’s behalf with Australia that effectively quadrupled East Timor’s share of oil and gas in the Timor Sea.

Ambassador Galbraith is one of America’s foremost experts on Iraq, having been a regular visitor to the country since the early 1980s. As a staff member for the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, he uncovered Saddam Hussein’s murderous “al-anfal” campaign against the Iraqi Kurds, documenting chemical weapons attacks on Kurdish villagers and the depopulation of rural Kurdistan. During the 1991 uprising, Galbraith was in rebel-held northern Iraq, narrowly escaping across the Tigris as Iraqi forces recaptured the area. His written and televised accounts provided early warning of the catastrophe overtaking the civilian population and contributed to the decision to create a safe haven in northern Iraq. In 1992, Galbraith brought out of northern Iraq 14 tons of captured Iraqi secret police documents detailing the atrocities against the Kurds.

Galbraith is a principal of the Windham Resources Group LLC, a Townshend, Vermont-based firm that specializes in international negotiations for government and corporate clients. His most recent books are “The End of Iraq: How American Incompetence Created a War Without End” (2006) and “Unintended Consequences: How War in Iraq Strengthened America’s Enemies” (2008).

About the Herbert C. Kelman Seminar Series

The 2009-2010 Herbert C. Kelman Seminar on International Conflict Analysis and Resolution series is sponsored by the Program on Negotiation, the Nieman Foundation for Journalism, the Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy, The Weatherhead Center for International Affairs, and the MIT-Harvard Public Disputes Program, as well as Boston area members of the Alliance for Peacebuilding. The theme for this year’s Kelman Seminar is “Reconciliation: Coming together after the shooting stops”.

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One Response to “Afghanistan: How to end the violent conflict and promote reconciliation”

  • Larry F.

    The manner in which President Obama brought Osama bin Laden to justice – a well orchestrated commando raid on Bin Laden’s compound in Pakistan, informed by actionable intelligence – suggests that the most appropriate responses to terrorism include police action informed by intelligence.

    Our first response, a ground invasion, was clearly not effective.

    The US can end violent conflict and promote reconciliation by using alternatives to violent conflict.


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