"Following two high-level policy reviews on Afghanistan in 2009, the Obama Administration says it is pursuing a fully resourced and more unified military-civilian strategy that will pave the way for a gradual transition to Afghan security leadership beginning in July 2011. The policy is intended to address what the Obama Administration considered to be a security environment that was deteriorating despite a gradual increase in U.S. forces there during 2006-2008. Each of the two reviews resulted in a decision to add combat troops, with the intent of creating the conditions to expand Afghan governance and economic development, rather than on hunting and defeating insurgents. A total of 51,000 additional U.S. forces were authorized by the two reviews, which will bring U.S. troop levels to approximately 100,000 by September 2010. Currently, U.S. troops in Afghanistan total about 94,000 and foreign partners are about 40,000. As U.S. strategy unfolds, a greater sense of U.S. official optimism has started to take hold, with comments to this effect by senior U.S. defense officials, including Gen. Stanley McChrystal, who has been top U.S. and NATO commander in Afghanistan since June 2009. The broader optimism has coincided with the partial success of 'Operation Moshtarak' to stabilize Marjah, and successful arrests of and strikes on key Afghan militants in Pakistan. A more extensive operation-although characterized more by political engagement than actual combat-is planned for June 2010 in the major province of Qandahar."
CRS Report for Congress, RL30588
U.S. Department of State: http://fpc.state.gov/