Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy [August 8, 2013]   [open pdf - 1MB]

"The United States and its partner countries are reducing military involvement in Afghanistan as Afghan security forces assume lead security responsibility throughout the country. The current international security mission will terminate at the end of 2014 and likely transition to a far smaller mission consisting mostly of training and mentoring the Afghanistan National Security Forces (ANSF). 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 66,000 as of September 20, 2012, and has been reduced further to about 63,000. U.S. force levels are to fall to 34,000 by February 2014, with the bulk of that drawdown to take place in the winter of 2013-2014. The size of the international force that will remain in Afghanistan after 2014 is to be announced later in 2013, with options centering on about 8,000-12,000 trainers plus an unspecified number of counterterrorism forces. The majority of the total post-2014 international force would be from the United States. The U.S. troops that remain after 2014 would do so under a U.S.-Afghanistan security agreement that is under negotiation. Still, fearing instability after 2014, some key ethnic and political faction leaders are preparing to revive their militia forces should the international drawdown lead to a major Taliban push to retake power."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL30588
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