Afghanistan: Post-War Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy [Updated October 2, 2007] [open pdf - 556KB]
"Assessments of the U.S. effort to stabilize Afghanistan are mixed and subject to debate. The political transition was completed with the convening of a parliament in December 2005; 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. Despite the national political progress, in 2006 and 2007 the insurgency led by supporters of the Taliban movement escalated after four years of relatively minor violence. Contributing to the renewed violence is popular frustration with lack of economic development, official corruption, and the failure to extend Afghan government authority into rural areas. […]. To help stabilize Afghanistan, the United States and partner countries are deploying a 41,000 troop NATO-led International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) that now commands peacekeeping throughout Afghanistan, and running regional enclaves to secure reconstruction (Provincial Reconstruction Teams, PRTs), as well as building an Afghan National Army, Approximately 27,000 U.S. troops are in Afghanistan, of which all but about 12,000 are under NATO/ISAF command. To build security institutions and assist reconstruction, the United States has given Afghanistan over $21 billion since the fall of the Taliban, including funds to equip and train Afghan security forces. "
CRS Report for Congress, RL30588