Afghanistan: Post-War Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy [Updated September 29, 2008]   [open pdf - 602KB]

"Assessments of the U.S. effort to stabilize Afghanistan are mixed. The political transition was completed with the convening of a parliament in December 2005, but since 2006 insurgent threats to Afghanistan's government have escalated. In the political process, a new constitution was adopted in January 2004, successful presidential elections were held on October 9, 2004, and parliamentary elections took place on September 18, 2005. The parliament has become an arena for factions that have fought each other for nearly three decades to debate and peacefully resolve differences. […] In 2006 and 2007, the insurgency led by remnants of the former Taliban regime has escalated after four years of relatively minor violence. Contributing to the renewed violence is popular frustration with lack of economic development, official corruption, and the failure to extend Afghan government authority into rural areas. […] U.S. and partner stabilization measures include strengthening the central government and its security forces. The United States and other countries are building an Afghan National Army, deploying a 39,000 troop NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) that now commands peacekeeping throughout Afghanistan, and running regional enclaves to secure reconstruction (Provincial Reconstruction Teams, PRTs). Approximately 27,000 U.S. troops are in Afghanistan, of which all but about 12,000 are under NATO/ISAF command. To build security institutions and assist reconstruction, the United States has given Afghanistan over $21 billion since the fall of the Taliban, including funds to equip and train Afghan security forces. Breakdowns are shown in the several tables at the end of this paper. Pending legislation, H.R. 2446, would reauthorize the Afghanistan Freedom Support Act of 2002."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL30588
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