"Following two high-level policy reviews on Afghanistan in 2009, the Obama Administration asserts that it is pursuing a fully resourced and integrated military-civilian strategy that should pave the way for a gradual transition to Afghan security leadership beginning in July 2011. The policy is predicated on the view that stabilizing Afghanistan will ensure that it cannot again become a base for terrorist attacks against the United States, and that accomplishing this objective requires reversing a deterioration of security in large parts of Afghanistan since 2006. Each of the two reviews resulted in a decision to add combat troops, with the intent of creating the conditions to expand Afghan governance and economic development. A total of 51,000 additional U.S. forces were authorized by the two reviews, which will bring U.S. troop levels to approximately 104,000 by September 2010, with partner forces holding at about 40,000. 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."
CRS Report for Congress, RL30588