Afghanistan: Current Issues and U.S. Policy [Updated June 13, 2002]   [open pdf - 274KB]

"The defeat of the Taliban has enabled the United States and its coalition partners to send forces throughout Afghanistan to search for Taliban and Al Qaeda fighters and leaders that remain at large, including bin Laden himself. Afghan citizens are enjoying new personal freedoms that were forbidden under the Taliban; women are returning to schools and their jobs and participating in politics. With the Taliban defeated, the United States and its coalition partners are distributing additional humanitarian aid through newly opened routes and, in conjunction with international agencies, beginning a major reconstruction effort. Although the Northern Alliance has emerged 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 will run Afghanistan until a traditional national assembly ('loya jirga'), under way during June 11-16, 2002, selects a new government. The interim government, which took office on December 22, 2001, has been chaired by a Pashtun leader, Hamid Karzai. As the war against remaining Al Qaeda and Taliban elements continues, the United States is working to stabilize the interim government, arrange humanitarian and reconstruction assistance, expand a new Afghan national army, and support the international security force (ISAF) that is helping the new government provide security. The United States has reopened its embassy in Kabul and allowed the Afghan administration to reopen Afghanistan's embassy in Washington."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL30588
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