Afghanistan: Post-War Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy [Updated December 5, 2006] [open pdf - 521KB]
"Afghanistan's political transition was completed with the convening of a parliament in December 2005, but since then insurgent threats to Afghanistan's government have escalated to the point that some experts are questioning the future of U.S. stabilization efforts. 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. Afghan citizens are enjoying new personal freedoms that were forbidden under the Taliban. Women are participating in economic and political life, including as ministers, provincial governors, and senior levels of the new parliament. The insurgency led by remnants of the former Taliban regime escalated in 2006, after several years in which it appeared the Taliban were mostly defeated. Taliban fighters have conducted several increasingly larger scale attacks on coalition and Afghan security forces in several southern provinces, possibly aided by popular frustration with slow reconstruction, official corruption, and the failure to extend Afghan government authority into rural areas and provinces. In addition, narcotics trafficking is resisting counter-measures, and independent militias remain throughout the country, although many have been disarmed."
CRS Report for Congress, RL30588