Ben Acheson spent six years deployed to Afghanistan, including as Director of the Office of NATO’s Senior Civilian Representative and as Political Adviser to the European Union Special Representative in Afghanistan. As an adviser to senior Ambassadors and Generals, he was directly involved in events including the end of NATO combat operations in 2014, formal negotiations with the Hezbi Islami insurgent group in 2016 and the signing of the US-Taliban agreement in 2020.
Outside of Afghanistan, Ben has trained women peace negotiators in Iraq and advised senior officials on high-level engagements in Iran and Central Asia while working for the European Parliament and OSCE.
Ben holds a Master’s degree in Peace and Conflict Studies from the University of St Andrews and an undergraduate degree in Geography from Northumbria University. He regularly contributes articles and insight, particularly on Afghanistan, to outlets including BBC Newsnight and the Today Programme, the Atlantic Council, The Huffington Post, The Irish News, The Diplomat and other defence periodicals. He has also served as a peer-reviewer for US Government publications on Afghanistan.