"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 will pave the way for a gradual transition to Afghan security leadership beginning in July 2011. The policy is intended to address deteriorating 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, rather than on hunting and defeating insurgents. 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. Currently, U.S. troops in Afghanistan total about 94,000 and foreign partners are about 40,000. U.S. strategy has not shown clear success, to date, although senior U.S. officials say that only now is the effect of the U.S. and partner 'surge' being achieved. These comments have been intended to address a growing sense that the conflict may not produce clear or permanent stability in Afghanistan. That perception has been fed by the failure to fully stabilize Marjah; Afghan reluctance to allow combat to better secure Qandahar Province; President Hamid Karzai's dismissal on June 5 of two top security-related officials on whom the international alliance has placed extensive confidence; and the imminent or near-term departure of several major partner contingents, and growing reluctance of others to continue the effort."
CRS Report for Congress, RL30588