Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy [December 2, 2009]   [open pdf - 917KB]

"Upon taking office, the Obama Administration faced a deteriorating security environment in Afghanistan, despite a build-up of U.S. forces there in preceding years. Signs of deterioration have included an expanded area in which militants are operating, increasing numbers of civilian and military deaths, Afghan and international disillusionment with corruption in the government of Afghan President Hamid Karzai, and the ease of infiltration of Taliban militants from safe havens in Pakistan. Building on assessments completed in the latter days of the Bush Administration, the Obama Administration conducted a 'strategic review,' the results of which were announced on March 27, 2009. The outcome of the review leaned toward those in the Administration who believe that adding combat troops is less crucial than building governance. [...] A series of high level meetings to again review strategy began September 30, and policy was announced on December 1, 2009. Its highlights are: the provision of 30,000 additional U.S. forces to begin deploying by January 2010 to 'reverse the Taliban's momentum and strengthen the capacity of Afghanistan's security forces and government so that they can take the lead.'; a conditions-based plan to draw down U.S. forces beginning in July 2011; [and] a call for additional partner contributions, with no specific figure mentioned."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL30588
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