Afghanistan: Post-War Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy [Updated March 31, 2005] [open pdf - 288KB]
From the Summary: "Since the defeat of the Taliban, Afghanistan no longer serves as a safe base of operations for Al Qaeda. Afghan citizens are enjoying new personal freedoms that were forbidden under the Taliban, and women are participating in economic and political life, a point highlighted during First Lady Laura Bush's visit to Afghanistan on March 29, 2005. Political reconstruction is slowly following the route laid out by major Afghan factions and the international community during the U.S.-led war. A loya jirga (traditional Afghan assembly) adopted a new constitution on January 4, 2004. Presidential and parliamentary elections were to be held by June 2004, but security concerns and factional infighting caused the presidential elections to be postponed until October 9, 2004. Parliamentary and provincial elections are postponed until September 18, 2005, with district elections put off until 2006. The presidential elections were held amid high turnout and minimal violence; interim president Karzai was declared first-round winner on November 3, 2004. A new cabinet was sworn in December 27, 2004."
CRS Report for Congress, RL30588