Lessons from Afghanistan

Wednesday, January 19, 2022, 1:00 - 2:15 pm EST//19:00 - 20:15 CET

The Future of German International Engagement

This AGI webinar will consider the lessons for German foreign and security policy from twenty years of engagement in Afghanistan. The networked approach guided Germany’s involvement and influenced Berlin’s view of crisis management and stabilization in other theaters such as the Sahel. The newly formed government of the SPD, Greens, and FDP has promised a parliamentary inquiry into the 2021 evacuation operation and an Enquete Commission to assess the entire twenty-year mission in Afghanistan. At the same time, security challenges closer to home, such as Russia’s military buildup and its massing of forces around Ukraine along with demands for a renegotiation of the European security order, increasingly dominate the transatlantic security policy discussion.  What are the implications for German and European policy and how will the Afghanistan experience impact German strategy in the future?

Roderich Kiesewetter, Member of the German Bundestag (CDU)
Magdalena Kirchner, Country Director Jordan, Friedrich Ebert Foundation
Siemtje Möller, Parliamentary State Secretary, Federal Ministry of Defense; Member of the German Bundestag (SPD)

Jeff Rathke, President, AGI

This webinar will convene via Zoom. Please contact Ms. Elizabeth Hotary at ehotary@aicgs.org with any questions.

Roderich Kiesewetter is a member of the German Parliament (CDU) and former General Staff Officer of the Bundeswehr (Federal Armed Forces), Col (GS) ret., last appointment EXO to COS SHAPE. He is representative of foreign affairs for the CDU/CSU-Caucus and was elected as chairman of the Parliamentary Oversight Panel for the German Secret Services (PKGr) in November 2020. In December 2021 he was elected as spokesperson for crisis prevention. He has been a member of the German Bundestag since 2009. In the Bundestag he serves as member of the Committee on Foreign Affairs (since 2009) and he has been Special Representative for the CDU/CSU-caucus in this committee since 2014. Since 2010, he has served as Head of the German Delegation at the Parliamentary Assembly – Union for Mediterranean (PV-UfM) and as a member of the German Delegation at the interparliamentary conference for the common foreign and security Policy (CFSP) and the common security and defence policy (CSDP). He was President of the German Reservists Association from 2011 to 2016 . From April 2014 to March 2015, Kiesewetter served as representative of the Committee of inquiry on the NSA revelations. Since 2018 Kiesewetter has been speaker of the advisory council of the Federal Academy for Security Policy Council. 

Magdalena Kirchner, PhD, is the Country Director Jordan of the German Friedrich Ebert Foundation. From 2019 to 2021, she led the Foundation’s country office and efforts in Afghanistan. Prior to this, she was Chief Operating Officer and a Senior Analyst at CONIAS Risk Intelligence Mannheim and Adjunct Lecturer at the Department of Political Science at Heidelberg University. A political scientist and conflict researcher by training, she specializes in transatlantic security and crisis management, Turkey, and the Levant. She has been a 2016/17 Mercator-IPC Fellow at the Istanbul Policy Center and a Research Fellow at RAND Europe. Previously, she held research positions at the RAND Corporation in Arlington, VA, the German Institute for International and Security Affairs (SWP), the German Council on Foreign Relations (DGAP) in Berlin, the Moshe Dayan Center for Middle Eastern and African Studies in Tel Aviv, several think tanks in Ankara and the University of Heidelberg.

Siemtje Möller is a member of the German Parliament and was first elected in September 2017, receiving the majority of the direct votes in the 26th constituency (Friesland-Wilhelmshaven-Wittmund) in the northwest part of Germany. She was reelected in 2021 with an even larger majority. During her first four years in the parliament, she was a proper member of the defense committee and the petitions committee, as well as a deputy member of the committee on foreign affairs. In January 2021 she was elected to be the social democratic speaker on defense issues, becoming the first woman in this position. In December 2021 she was appointed parliamentary state secretary to the Ministry of Defense. In her new role, among other responsibilities, she reports to the Defense Committee in the Bundestag.

After her studying French, Spanish, and politics at the Georg August University in Göttingen, she passed the second state examination to become a high school teacher. In Göttingen, she was also a tutor for political science at the Chair for the History of Political Ideas. There she won the teaching prize of the university’s social science faculty for her interdisciplinary and English-speaking seminar focusing on “Model United Nations.” Since 2014, she has worked as a secondary school teacher in Berlin and Wilhelmshaven. Siemtje Möller completed internships at the United Nations in New York, BBJ Consulting in Brussels, and the World Bank in Washington, DC. She has been a member of the Social Democratic Party since 2010 and a member of the executive board of the party in Lower Saxony since 2014.

Support for this event was provided by the German Marshall Fund of the United States.