Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy [September 22, 2011]   [open pdf - 1MB]

"Stated U.S. policy is to ensure that Afghanistan will not again become a base for terrorist attacks against the United States. Following policy reviews in 2009, the Obama Administration asserted that it was pursuing a well-resourced and integrated military-civilian strategy intended to pave the way for a gradual transition to Afghan leadership from July 2011 until the end of 2014. To carry out U.S. policy, a total of 51,000 additional U.S. forces were authorized by the two 2009 reviews, bringing U.S. troop numbers to a high of about 99,000, with partner forces adding about 42,000. On June 22, 2011, President Obama announced that the policy had accomplished most major U.S. goals and that a drawdown of 33,000 U.S. troops would take place by September 2012. The first 10,000 of these are to be withdrawn by the end of 2011. The transition to Afghan leadership began, as planned, in July 2011 in the first wave of areas, four cities and three full provinces, and some U.S. troops have been withdrawn. Amid widespread doubts that Afghan governance and security institutions will be strong enough to protect themselves by the end of 2014, U.S. and Afghan officials are negotiating a 'strategic partnership' that would guide the long-term relationship, although differences over U.S. latitude to conduct operations have slowed negotiations. [...] Much of the development to date has been accomplished with foreign, particularly U.S., help, although donor aid is likely to decline as the transition proceeds. Through the end of FY2011, the United States has provided over $67 billion in assistance to Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban, of which about $30 billion has been to equip and train Afghan forces. During FY2001- FY2011, the Afghan intervention has cost about $443 billion, including all costs."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL30588
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