UCI experts can discuss unfolding crisis in AfghanistanAugust 19, 20212 min read
UCI faculty members Dr. Heidi Hardt, associate professor of political science, and Dr. Mark LeVine, professor of modern middle eastern history, are available to speak about the crisis in Afghanistan.
Dr. Heidi Hardt
Dr. Hardt can talk about NATO's contribution to Afghanistan, implications for NATO's legitimacy, security concerns for Afghan women and provide broader context on military interventions and operations. She can address more specific questions related to the two decades long allied operation.
About Dr. Hardt:
Dr. Hardt has expertise in transatlantic security, national security and European security and defense, including NATO, the EU and OSCE. Issue areas include transatlantic security cooperation, collective defense, crisis management, military operations (e.g. Afghanistan), coalition warfare, strategy, learning, adaptation, organizational change, gender and diplomacy. She's the author of two books: NATO's Lessons in Crisis: Institutional Memory in International Organizations (Oxford UP, 2018) and Time to React: The Efficiency of International Organizations in Crisis Response (Oxford UP, 2014). She's the recipient of a 2021-2022 Council on Foreign Relations International Affairs Fellowship and will soon be working as a foreign policy fellow for the Office of Congresswoman Katie Porter.
Dr. Mark LeVine
Dr. Levine was in Kabul in 2019. His point of view on Afghanistan includes:
• “Why did the US abandon the embassy when the agreement with the Taliban specifically allowed to diplomatic staff to remain in Afghanistan and there was no imminent threat by the Taliban to the embassy and in fact the US was coordinating with them. They could have certainly kept the lights on and not looked like cowards running, which set the tone for everything else.”
• “It seems pretty clear that there was an internal military coup. The Taliban did not just waltz into Kabul without coordination with senior military people who are already handing over parts of the country to them in the days before. Some kind of deal had been worked out behind the scenes and without the knowledge of the president, which is why he felt he had no choice but to flee.”
About Dr. LeVine:
Dr. LeVine completed his Ph.D at NYU’s Dept. of Middle Eastern Studies in 1999, after which he held postdoctoral positions at Cornell University's Society for the Humanities and the European University Institute's Robert Schuman Centre for Advanced Studies, in Florence, Italy before coming to UCI. His research and teaching focus on the following issues: histories, theologies and political and cultural economies of the Middle East and Islam in the modern and contemporary periods; Palestine/Israel; cultural production, revolution and resistance in the Middle East and Africa; modern and contemporary Iraq, Egypt, Tunisia and Morocco; art and conflict in West Africa (especially Ghana and Nigeria, but also Senegal, Mali and Kenya); comparative studies of imperialism and colonialism, urban planning and architecture (history and theory); critical theory and globalization studies with a comparative focus on popular cultures and religion in Europe and the Muslim world; peace and conflict studies; and comparative nationalisms.