Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy [April 9, 2013]   [open pdf - 1MB]

"The United States and its partner countries are reducing military involvement in Afghanistan in preparation to end the current international security mission by the end of 2014. As agreed by President Obama and Afghan President Karzai, and announced January 11, 2013, Afghan forces will assume the security lead nationwide during the spring of 2013 and U.S. forces will move to a support role. The number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, which peaked at about 100,000 in June 2011, was reduced to a 'pre-surge' level of about 68,000 as of September 20, 2012.[…] The United States and other donors continue to implement various infrastructure projects-- particularly those for water, power, and roads. To prevent a severe economic downturn as international donors scale back their involvement, U.S. officials hope that Afghanistan will be able to exploit vast mineral and agricultural resources, as well as its potentially significant hydrocarbon resources. U.S. officials also seek greater Afghan integration into regional trade and investment patterns. Persuading Afghanistan's neighbors to support Afghanistan's stability instead of their own particular interests has been a focus of U.S. policy since 2009, but with mixed success. Even if these economic efforts succeed, Afghanistan will likely remain dependent on foreign aid indefinitely. Through the end of FY2012, the United States has provided nearly $83 billion in assistance to Afghanistan since the fall of the Taliban, of which about $51 billion has been to equip and train Afghan forces. During FY2001-FY2012, the Afghan intervention has cost about $557 billion, including all costs. About $9.7 billion in economic aid and $82 billion in additional U.S. military costs are requested for FY2013. As announced in the context of the July 8, 2012, Tokyo donors' conference, Administration economic aid requests for Afghanistan are likely to continue at current levels through at least FY2017."

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CRS Report for Congress, RL30588
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