Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy [October 31, 2012]   [open pdf - 1MB]

"The United States and its partner countries are gradually reducing their military involvement in Afghanistan as they prepare the Afghan government and security forces to assume full responsibility at the end of 2014. To secure longer term U.S. gains, on May 1, 2012, President Obama signed a Strategic Partnership Agreement that will likely keep some (perhaps 10,000-15,000) U.S. troops in Afghanistan after 2014 as advisors and trainers. Until then, the United States and its partners will be transferring overall security responsibility to Afghan security forces, with Afghan forces to assume much of the security lead nationwide by mid-2013. The number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, which peaked at about 100,000 in June 2011, has been reduced to the 'pre-surge' level of 68,000 as of September 20, 2012 and will continue to draw down as the transition proceeds. However, the transition has been hampered somewhat by a pattern of attacks by Afghan forces on their coalition mentors and trainers, as well as large scale turnover in the Afghan force. In keeping with the Strategic Partnership Agreement, on July 7, 2012 (one day in advance of a major donors' conference on Afghanistan in Tokyo), the United States named Afghanistan a 'Major Non-NATO Ally,' further assuring Afghanistan of long-term U.S. support. The Administration view is that, no matter the U.S. and allied drawdown schedule, Afghan stability after the 2014 transition is at risk from weak and corrupt Afghan governance and insurgent safe haven in Pakistan."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL30588
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