Afghanistan: Post-Taliban Governance, Security, and U.S. Policy [November 8, 2016]   [open pdf - 2MB]

"The United States, partner countries, and the Afghan government are attempting to reverse recent gains made by the resilient Taliban-led insurgency since the December 2014 transition to a smaller international mission consisting primarily of training and advising the Afghanistan National Defense and Security Forces (ANDSF). The Afghan government has come under increasing domestic criticism not only for failing to prevent insurgent gains but also for its internal divisions. In September 2014, the United States brokered a compromise to address a dispute over the 2014 presidential election, but a September 2016 deadline was not met for enacting election reforms and deciding whether the Chief Executive Officer (CEO) position might be elevated to a prime minister ship in a restructured government. […] The number of U.S. forces in Afghanistan, which peaked at about 100,000 in 2011, is about 9,800, of which most are assigned to the 13,000-person NATO-led 'Resolute Support Mission' that trains, assists, and advises the ANDSF. About 2,000 of the U.S. contingent are involved in combat against Al Qaeda and associated terrorist groups, including the Afghanistan branch of the Islamic State organization (ISIL-Khorasan), under 'Operation Freedom's Sentinel.' […] U.S. officials assert that insurgents still do not pose a threat to the stability of the government. […] A component of U.S. policy to help establish a self-sustaining Afghanistan is to encourage economic development and integration into regional trading patterns. However, Afghanistan will remain dependent on foreign aid for many years."

Report Number:
CRS Report for Congress, RL30588
Public Domain
Retrieved From:
Federation of American Scientists: http://www.fas.org/sgp/crs/index.html
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