Afghanistan: Post-War Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy [Updated April 30, 2008] [open pdf - 589KB]
"U.S. and outside assessments of the effort to stabilize Afghanistan are mixed and subject to debate; the Administration notes progress on reconstruction, governance and security in many areas of Afghanistan, particularly the U.S.-led eastern sector of Afghanistan. However, a November 2007 Bush Administration review of U.S. efforts in Afghanistan reportedly concluded that overall progress was inadequate. This mirrors recent outside studies that contain relatively pessimistic assessments, emphasizing a growing sense of insecurity in areas previously considered secure, increased numbers of suicide attacks, and increasing aggregate poppy cultivation, as well as increasing divisions within the NATO alliance about the relative share of combat among the nations contributing to the peacekeeping mission. Both the official U.S. as well as outside assessments are increasingly pointing to Pakistan as failing-either through lack of attention or deliberate strategy-to prevent Taliban commanders from operating from Pakistan. To try to gain momentum against the insurgency, the United States is considering new initiatives including adding U.S. troops to the still combat-intense south, possibly assuming U.S. command of the southern sector, and increasing direct U.S. action against Taliban concentrations inside Pakistan. Politically, the Afghan government remains reasonably stable. The post-Taliban 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."
CRS Report for Congress, RL30588