Afghanistan: Challenges and Options for Reconstructing a Stable and Moderate State [May 10, 2002]   [open pdf - 1MB]

"The U.S.-led effort to end Afghanistan's role as host to Osama bin Laden and other anti-western Islamic terrorists requires not only the defeat of the Taliban but also the reconstruction of a stable, effective, and ideologically moderate Afghan state. Otherwise, the country could continue to be a potential base for terrorism and a source of regional instability. An important beginning was made with the December 22, 2001, installation of a multi-ethnic interim Afghan administration under Hami Karzai, following U.N.-sponsored negotiations in Bonn, Germany. An ethnic Pushtun with ties to the former royal family, Karzai has gained the nominal support of major regional warlords, but his leadership remains dangerously dependent on his status as a compromise figure. who can attract foreign assistance while not posing a threat to the warlords and other armed contenders for power. Moreover, the viability of the process set in motion in Bonn has yet to be established, especially the outcome of an Emergency 'Loya Jirga' ('Grand Council') which is to appoint a Transitional Authority in June 2002, with the task of drafting a new constitution, and the holding of national elections by about December 2003."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL31389
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