Afghanistan: Current Issues and U.S. Policy [Updated December 3, 2002]   [open pdf - 278KB]

"As U.S.-led combat against remaining Al Qaeda and Taliban elements winds down, the United States is shifting its military focus toward stabilizing the interim government, including training a new Afghan national army, and supporting the international security force (ISAF) that is helping the new government provide security. To help foster development, the United Nations and the Bush Administration have lifted most sanctions imposed on Afghanistan since the Soviet occupation. The United States gave Afghanistan a total of over $530 million in humanitarian and reconstruction aid during FY2002. There are some indications that ethnic tensions that have been so closely associated with Afghan politics is fading. Although the minority coalition Northern Alliance emerged from the war as the dominant force in the country, the United States and United Nations mediators persuaded the Alliance to share power with Pashtun representatives in a broad-based interim government. On December 5, 2001, major Afghan factions, meeting under U.N. auspices in Bonn, signed an agreement to form an interim government that ran Afghanistan until a traditional national assembly ('loya jirga') was held June 11-19, 2002. The 'loya jirga' delegates selected a new government to run Afghanistan for the next 18 months and approved Hamid Karzai, a Pashtun, to continue as leader for that time, but the assembly adjourned without establishing a new parliament. Karzai is said to be highly popular throughout Afghanistan, including among non-Pashtuns."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL30588
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