Afghanistan's Path to Reconstruction: Obstacles, Challenges, and Issues for Congress [April 8, 2002]   [open pdf - 72KB]

"For the past 22 years, Afghanistan has been embroiled in conflict. Humanitarian assistance programs have been a key part of the overall multilateral effort to relieve human suffering and assist refugees and internally displaced persons (IDPs). In the post-September 11 environment, while actions are being taken to eliminate Taliban and Al Qaeda forces and others supporting terrorism, the needs have only become more urgent. The case of Afghanistan may present a special category of crisis, in which the United States and others play a significant role in the war on terrorism while simultaneously providing humanitarian and reconstruction assistance to the innocent civilians caught in the crossfire. Moreover, the conditions in Afghanistan represent a challenging mix of infrastructure destruction, ongoing security concerns, and humanitarian needs requiring an immediate response. So far, the international community has recognized that large amounts of aid and resources will be required in the reconstruction effort. In addition, a long-term commitment will be necessary to ensure a stable, democratic Afghanistan emerges and will not fall prey to the twin evils of drugs and terrorism. As the Afghan phase of the war is concluded, transitional and reconstruction assistance will move ahead. It is anticipated that Congress will examine the early progress of reconstruction efforts, aid priorities, and the long-term role to be played by the United States. It will likely also look at the contributions by and responsibilities of key allies partnering in the efforts within Afghanistan. The current operating environment reveals some of the key challenges that lie ahead such as security issues, population movements, food security, environment and infrastructure, health, and education."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL31355
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