Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy [November 19, 2010]   [open pdf - 1MB]

"Following two high-level policy reviews on Afghanistan in 2009, 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 security leadership beginning in July 2011. The pace of that transition is to be determined by conditions on the ground, as determined by a formal DOD and a White House review of the Afghanistan situation in December 2010. 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, the Administration is attempting to counter the perception in the region, particularly among Pakistan, India, the Afghan insurgency, and within the Afghan political establishment that U.S. involvement will be sharply reduced after July 2011. That perception may, among other consequences, be inflaming the traditional rivalry between Pakistan and India, in this case to deny each other influence in Afghanistan. As of November 2010, the Administration is stressing that a transition to Afghan leadership would not likely be completed until 2014, with only gradual handover to the Afghans prior to then. The November 19-20, 2010, North Atlantic Treaty Organization (NATO) summit meeting in Lisbon is to map out the transition to Afghan lead and presumably convince partner countries to remain deployed until at least that time."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL30588
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