War in Afghanistan: Campaign Progress, Political Strategy, and Issues for Congress [August 29, 2013]   [open pdf - 301KB]

"This is a critical time for U.S. efforts in the war in Afghanistan. In his 2013 State of the Union address, President Obama announced that the U.S. troop presence in Afghanistan would draw down by an additional 34,000 troops, to about 33,000, by February 2014, and that by the end of 2014 'our war in Afghanistan will be over.' Further decision-making regarding the U.S. force presence in Afghanistan, including after the end of NATO's International Security Assistance Force (ISAF) mission at the end of 2014, is expected later this year. Yet while troop levels tend to steal the headlines, far more fundamentally at stake is what it would take to ensure the long-term protection of U.S. interests in Afghanistan and the region. Arguably, the United States may have a number of different interests at stake in the region: countering al Qaeda and other violent extremists; preventing nuclear proliferation; preventing nuclear confrontation between nuclear-armed states; standing up for American values, including basic human rights and the protection of women; and preserving the United States' ability to exercise leadership on the world stage. At issue is the relative priority of these interests, what it would take in practice to ensure that they are protected, and their relative importance compared to other compelling security concerns around the globe."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, R43196
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Via E-mail
Media Type:
Help with citations