"Following two high-level policy reviews on Afghanistan in 2009, and another completed in December 2010, the Obama Administration asserts that it is pursuing a well resourced and integrated military-civilian strategy intended to pave the way for a gradual transition to Afghan leadership. The transition is to begin in July 2011 and be completed by the end of 2014, although U.S. officials say that the U.S. intent is for a long term relationship with Afghanistan that might include U.S. military involvement long after 2014. The policy is intended to ensure that Afghanistan will not again become a base for terrorist attacks against the United States. At the same time, there appears to be a debate within the Administration and between the United States and Pakistan over whether the war effort should be widened somewhat to include stepped up attacks on Afghan militants inside Pakistan. That debate raises the question of the degree to which Pakistan envisions Afghanistan as part of its strategy to avoid encirclement by or pressure from Pakistan's historic rival, India. At the same time, Afghanistan is achieving ever higher degrees of economic and political integration with its neighbors in Central Asia and the Middle East."
CRS Report for Congress, RL30588