Afghanistan: Post-War Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy [Updated December 28, 2004]   [open pdf - 465KB]

"Afghanistan is a fragile state that appears to be gradually stabilizing after more than 22 years of warfare, including a U.S.-led war that brought the current government to power. Successful presidential elections held on October 9, 2004 are likely to accelerate stabilization and reconstruction. The report of the 9/11 Commission, as well as legislation passed in December 2004 that implements those recommendations (S. 2845, P.L. 108-458), recommends a long-term commitment to a secure and stable Afghanistan; most of these recommendations already form a major part of the U.S. policy framework for Afghanistan. Remaining obstacles to stability include the continued local authority of militias controlled by regional leaders and growing narcotics trafficking. U.S. stabilization measures focus on strengthening the central government, which has been widely viewed as weak and unable to control the many regional and factional leaders. The United States and other countries are building an Afghan National Army; deploying a multinational International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) to patrol Kabul and other cities; running regional enclaves to create secure conditions for reconstruction (Provincial Reconstruction Teams, PRTs); and disarming militia fighters. U.S.-led forces continue to combat a low level Taliban-led insurgency, and the insurgency appears to have lost traction over the past year. To build security institutions and foster reconstruction, the United States gave Afghanistan a total of about $1.9 billion for FY2004, most of which was provided in a supplemental appropriation (P.L. 108-106). Almost all U.S. and international sanctions imposed on Afghanistan prior to and during Taliban rule have now been removed."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL30588
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