Afghanistan: Post-War Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy [Updated August 9, 2007] [open pdf - 562KB]
From the Summary: "Assessments of the U.S. effort to stabilize Afghanistan are mixed. The political transition was completed with the convening of a parliament in December 2005, but since 2006 insurgent threats to Afghanistan's government have escalated. 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 personal freedoms forbidden by the Taliban. Women are participating in economic and political life, including as ministers, provincial governors, and parliament leaders. The insurgency led by remnants of the former Taliban regime escalated after four years of minor Taliban militant activity. Contributing to the resurgence was popular frustration with lack of economic development, official corruption, and the failure to extend Afghan government authority into rural areas. Narcotics trafficking is resisting counter-measures and funding insurgent activity. The Afghan government and some U.S. officials blame Pakistan for failing to prevent Taliban commanders from operating from Pakistan, largely beyond the reach of U.S./NATO led forces in Afghanistan. U.S. and NATO commanders anticipated a Taliban 2007 'spring offensive' and moved to preempt it with an increase in force levels and accelerated reconstruction efforts, possibly contributing to a lower level-and changing texture-of combat than expected. However, the Taliban has responded by shifting toward the use of suicide bombings, kidnappings, and other tactics used by insurgents in Iraq."
CRS Report for Congress, RL30588