"Following two high-level policy reviews and the appointment of a new overall U.S. commander in Afghanistan in 2009, the Obama Administration says it is pursuing a fully resourced, 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 what the Obama Administration considered to be a security environment that was deteriorating despite a gradual increase in U.S. forces there during 2006-2008. Some of the deterioration has been attributed to Afghan disillusionment with corruption in the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and the relative safe haven in parts of Pakistan enjoyed by Afghan militants. […]. A major issue under discussion in Afghanistan, and a focus of an international meeting in London on January 28, 2010, on Afghanistan, is efforts to try to persuade insurgent fighters and leaders to end their fight and join the political process. […]. As U.S. strategy unfolds and reintegration and reconciliation talks gather strength, a greater sense of U.S. official optimism has started to take hold, with comments to this effect by Gen. McChrystal, Secretary of Defense Gates, and CENTCOM commander Gen. David Petraeus. Their comments have coincided with the apparent success of 'Operation Moshtarak' to push insurgents out of Marjah and establish Afghan governance there, and successful arrests of and strikes on key Afghan militants in Pakistan. A more extensive operation--although characterized more by political engagement than actual combat--is planned for June 2010 in the major province of Qandahar."
CRS Report for Congress, RL30588